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School of Law Presents Annual Lewis Bernstein Memorial Lecture

Professor Edward D. Cavanagh (left) introduces lecturer Richard M. Steuer
Thursday, October 20, 2016

On October 19, 2016, Richard M. Steuer, Senior Counsel at Mayer Brown LLP, presented the 2016 Lewis Bernstein Memorial lecture in the Law School’s Belson Moot Court Room.

Drawing on his years of experience as an antitrust practitioner, author, teacher, and former chair of the ABA Section of Antitrust Law and the New York City Bar Association’s Antitrust Committee, Steuer addressed “The Horizons of Antitrust.”

He observed that although, historically, U.S. antitrust enforcement had a variety of goals—including preservation of free markets to maximize consumer welfare, protection of small business, and protection of individual liberty—the modern view among courts and U.S. enforcers is that the goal of antitrust enforcement is simply to maximize consumer welfare.  

In this respect, Steuer noted that the United States is out of step with competition authorities throughout the world. In other countries, competition authorities use antitrust to seek full employment and better income distribution, to protect national security, to preserve domestic control over vital resources, to integrate disparate economic systems, and to preserve cultural diversity, as well as diversity of viewpoints.

Steuer said that it was unlikely that the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division would undertake an enforcement regime to achieve each of these goals, but outlined a proposal detailing how these goals could be realized through cooperation of various U.S. governmental agencies.

About the Bernstein Lecture
Established in 1990 by Elaine Bernstein to honor her late husband, Lewis Bernstein ’38, this annual lecture is designed to enrich the academic atmosphere of St. John’s Law by bringing to campus distinguished individuals who interact with students, faculty, graduates, and members of the legal community on a topic relating to antitrust law and policy and other topics relevant to the study of Law.

The program is a fitting tribute to Bernstein, a Brooklyn native who earned the Bronze Star Medal and five battle stars in service to his country and who served the legal profession over five decades. While working at the Office of the Attorney General, Bernstein tried many of the leading cases that its Antitrust Division litigated. He received the John Marshall Award for Outstanding Legal Achievement in recognition of his service to the Department of Justice

After retiring from public service, Bernstein worked in private practice in the District of Columbia, specializing in antitrust and consumer protection litigation, and serving as a mediator in the D.C. Superior Court's alternative dispute resolution program.

“As a public servant, a distinguished lawyer, and a private citizen who regularly gave back to his community through volunteer service, Lewis Bernstein truly embodied St. John’s ethos of selfless service to the common good,” said Professor Edward D. Cavanagh, the event’s organizer. “It’s an honor to bring leading jurists to St. John’s each year to engage the Law School community in his memory.”