Marguerite S. Willis practices in complex commercial litigation, with concentration in the antitrust field. She also has substantial experience in class action practice and in litigating matters involving claims of unfair trade practices, false advertising, and vicarious corporate liability. She practices in both state and federal courts throughout the United States.
Ms. Willis graduated from the University of Michigan, with high distinction, and the Stetson University College of Law, cum laude.
Ms. Willis is a frequent lecturer on topics including antitrust, class action practice, and law firm marketing. She lives with her husband, former Mayor Frank E. Willis, in Florence, South Carolina.
· Ms. Willis joined Nexsen Pruet on May 1, 2000. Prior to that time, she was a partner in the law firm of Howrey, LLP.
· South Carolina Women Lawyers Association: Treasurer, 2012-Present; Board of Directors, 2006-Present
· University of South Carolina School of Law Partnership Board
· Womens Bar Association of the District of Columbia - Past President
· The Florida Bar - Former Out-of-State Governor
· Columbia College Board of Trustees, 2005-Present
· Eastern Carolina Community Foundation - Board of Directors - 2007-2010
· Former Director of South Carolina Chamber of Commerce
· Former law clerk for the Honorable Paul H. Roney, United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, and the Honorable Peter T. Fay, United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida
· South Carolina Super Lawyer in Antitrust Litigation and Class Action/Mass Torts (2011-2013)
Selected Case Experience
· Ms. Willis began her legal career working on the massive antitrust cases known collectively as "The Uranium Cartel Litigation." She litigated private antitrust cases in Illinois, New Mexico and North Carolina and worked as well on the related federal grand jury investigation in the District of Columbia. These cases all alleged horizontal price-fixing under Section 1 of the Sherman Act.
· Ms. Willis defended numerous witnesses in federal grand jury proceedings investigating alleged horizontal price fixing under Section 1 of the Sherman Act in Puerto Rico.
· Dunlop Sports Co. v. Wilson Sporting Goods Co. In the early to mid-1980s, Ms. Willis defended a major antitrust case in federal court in Chicago, Illinois. This case, which alleged a violation of Section 2 of the Sherman Act by attempting to monopolize through predatory pricing, involved the production of millions of documents and the depositions of over 100 individuals, both in the United States and abroad.
· Mead Data Central v. West Publishing Company. Ms. Willis prosecuted a major antitrust case alleging violations of Section 2 of the Sherman Act (monopolization, attempted monopolization through control of an essential facility), as well as violations of the Robinson-Patman Act.
· 1990-1995. Ms. Willis served as national counsel for a Fortune 100 company in its asbestos property damage litigation. In this capacity, Ms. Willis coordinated the defense of four national class actions, as well as numerous other lawsuits across the country.
· 1994-2001. Ms. Willis served as national counsel for a major pharmaceutical company in over 4,000 cases, including federal and state class actions, involving claims of price-fixing and price discrimination under federal and state law. The federal cases, which involved both retail drug stores and consumers as plaintiffs, were consolidated in Chicago, Illinois as MDL 997, In re Brand Name Prescription Drugs Antitrust Litigation. State court cases included proceedings in Alabama, California, Colorado, the District of Columbia, Florida, Kansas, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, New York, North Carolina, Tennessee, Washington, and Wisconsin.
· 1998-2001. Ms. Willis served as national counsel for a billboard company in a case alleging monopolization under Section 2 of the Sherman Act.
· 1999-2000. Ms. Willis served as national counsel for a major options exchange in governmental investigations and parallel federal class action lawsuits involving claims of violations of the antitrust and securities laws. The federal lawsuits were consolidated for pretrial proceedings in New York as In re Stock Exchanges Options Trading Antitrust Litigation.
· Since joining Nexsen Pruet in the spring of 2000, Ms. Willis has represented defendants in state court class action lawsuits, and Ms. Willis served as lead counsel in a federal antitrust class action alleging the price-fixing of pulpwood timber.
· Ms. Willis prosecuted multiple opt-out antitrust actions in MDL 1516 (In re Polyester Staple Fiber Antitrust Litigation) for damages caused by price-fixing and customer allocation of polyester staple fiber.
· Ms. Willis led the defense of Southeastern Freight Lines in an antitrust class action for alleged price fixing of fuel surcharges in MDL 1895 (In re LTL Shipping Services Antitrust Litigation).
· Ms. Willis was also lead attorney for Bristow Oil Company in a four-week trial against ExxonMobil in 2008 in state court in Darlington, SC.
Nexsen Pruet Attorneys Recognized By Peers; Twenty-Eight Named to 2013 Super Lawyers® List for South Carolina
Nexsen Pruet is pleased to announce the attorneys who have been listed in the 2013 edition of South Carolina Super Lawyers®.
"Former Nexsen Pruet employee chases gold at the Olympics"
Former project assistant Jason Richardson wins a Silver Medal at the 2012 London Olympics.
Attorneys Recognized By Peers; Twenty-Four Named to 2012 Super Lawyers® List for South Carolina
Nexsen Pruet is pleased to announce that twenty-four attorneys have been listed in the 2012 edition of South Carolina Super Lawyers®.
Becker & Willis Profiled Following "Leadership In Law" Event
South Carolina Lawyers Weekly profiles Nexsen Pruet attorneys Laurie Becker and Marguerite Willis.
Nexsen Pruet Attorneys Recognized By Peers; Sixteen Named to 2011 Super Lawyers® List for South Carolina
Nexsen Pruet is pleased to announce that sixteen attorneys have been listed in the 2011 edition of South Carolina Super Lawyers®. Those attorneys practice in firm's Charleston, Columbia, Greenville and Myrtle Beach offices.
Becker & Willis to Receive "Leadership in Law" Awards
Nexsen Pruet is pleased to announce that attorneys Laurie Becker and Marguerite Willis have been named 2011 "Leadership in Law" award winners by South Carolina Lawyers Weekly.
Marguerite Willis to Address Fellows of the Litigation Counsel of America
Marguerite Willis, member of Nexsen Pruet, LLC in Columbia, South Carolina, has been selected to speak at the 2010 Spring Conference and Induction of Fellows for the Litigation Counsel of America (LCA) on May 6-7 in Monterey, California.
Women & Money - "All Things Being Equal, Money is Power"
Nexsen Pruet's Marguerite Willis is interviewed on WLTX's "Newsmakers" about The Alliance for Women, money, power and pay disparity.
"Price-fixing conspiracy case ended in top settlement"
The Article of the Week in the January 26th edition of North Carolina Lawyers Weekly about a Nexsen Pruet case. The article was entitled "Price-fixing conspiracy case ended in top settlement."
SC Lawyers Weekly Reports on Nexsen Pruet Verdict
SC Lawyers Weekly Reports on Nexsen Pruet Verdict - "After nearly four years of legal wrangling, a family-owned company in Darlington County has emerged with a $3 million verdict against global oil giant ExxonMobil."
News Reports about Nexsen Pruet's verdict against Exxon Mobil
The Columbia Regional Business Report,SC Biz News, WMBF News.com and SC Now.com report on Nexsen Pruet's verdict against Exxon Mobil.
Nexsen Pruet Wins $3 Million Verdict Against Exxon Mobil
A legal team headed by Nexsen Pruet's Marguerite Willis secured a $3 million verdict, including punitive damages, against Exxon Mobil Corporation on behalf of a Darlington company that claimed the global oil giant had illegally conspired to drive it out of the Mobil lubricants business and had wrongfully terminated its distributorship.
Marguerite Willis Re-Elected to SCWLA Board of Directors
Marguerite Willis named one of five new Columbia College Board of Trustees members
Columbia College has announced the appointment of five new members to its 27-member Board of Trustees, including Nexsen Pruet Member Marguerite S. Willis.
2nd Nexsen Pruet Attorney Elected to SC Chamber Board
The South Carolina Chamber of Commerce elected officers and for 2002-2003. Nexsen Pruet attorneys Marguerite Wills and Tommy Lavender to serve.
Marion Crane, Benjamin Porter, and Robert Taylor, Plaintiffs, v. International Paper Company and CWC of North Carolina, Inc., Defendants
"Antitrust Damages Under South Carolina Antitrust Statute"
"Antitrust Damages Under South Carolina Law"
· SC Bar CLE: Beyond the Elements II: South Carolina Damages from A to Z, September 25, 2009, "Antitrust Damages Under South Carolina Law"
· The Alliance for Women: Food for Thought Series, March 3, 2009, "What's in Your Pocketbook?"
· Tribute to Women and Industry, Floyd Conference Center, Florence, SC, September 14, 2009
· South Carolina Women Lawyers Association, August 6, 2009
· Releasing Your Leadership Potential, Update, Furman University, Greenville, SC, April 3, 2006
· Class Action Practice-2006, February 2, 2006
· Everything You Wanted to Know about Antitrust Laws and Managed Care, Part II, October 6, 2005
· Releasing Your Leadership Potential, Furman University, Greenville, SC, April 11, 2005
· Nelson Symposium, Antitrust and The Outdoor Advertising Industry, Gainesville, FL, February 11, 2005
· Everything You Wanted to Know about Antitrust Laws and Managed Care, October 1, 2004
· South Carolina Bar CLE: Beyond the Elements: South Carolina Damages from A to Z, May 21, 2004
· Antitrust Update, In-House Counsel Ethics Seminar, Columbia, SC, October 25, 2002
· A "Do It Yourself" Guide to Class Action Practice, ABA Forum on the Construction Industry / 2002 Annual Meeting, Minneapolis, MN, October 4-5, 2002
· State Law Preemption: A Case Study... In Progress, Outdoor Advertising Association of America, Inc., 2002 Legal Seminar, Washington, DC, September 23, 2002
· Bid-Rigging... A "Refresher" Course, Carolinas Associated General Contractors Highway - Heavy Division, Annual Meeting, Hilton Head, SC, June 20-23, 2002
Association of Corporate Counsel: September CLE Series
Marguerite Willis to Address Fellows of the Litigation Counsel of America
"What's in Your Pocketbook?" seminar
· Litigation Counsel of America -