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Microsoft prosecutor to speak at UConn School of Law (Released: 10/1/99)

by Allison Thompson, Office of University Communications

HARTFORD, Conn. -- Originally cast as David against Microsoft's Goliath, Joel I. Klein has quickly gained a reputation as someone who doesn't back down.

Klein, the assistant attorney general in charge of the U.S. Department of Justice's antitrust division, has been at the helm of the government's case against software giant Microsoft. The government has accused the company of having a monopoly and breaking a promise not to bundle its Internet browser with new versions of its Windows operating system.

Klein, who is waiting for the verdict in what many speculate will be a successful fight for the government, will deliver the 1999 Day, Berry & Howard Visiting Scholar Lecture, "Antitrust Enforcement in the 21st Century," at the University of Connecticut School of Law on Oct. 13.

Klein was confirmed as assistant attorney general in charge of the antitrust division in July 1997. He had previously served as acting assistant attorney general and as the antitrust division's principal deputy. During his stint with the antitrust division, Klein has had a hand in the government's action on numerous high-profile mergers. They include the division's approval of the Bell Atlantic Corp. and Nynex Corp. marriage, their approval of the Qwest-US West merger, the rejection of Lockheed Martin Corp.'s attempted purchase of Northrop Grumman Corp., the largest divestiture in banking history of Fleet and Bank Boston, and the pending decision on the proposed Media One - AT&T merger.

In addition, Klein spearheaded the creation of the government's International Competition Policy Advisory Committee in 1997. The committee is charged with developing strategies for effective antitrust enforcement in a global economy.

Prior to joining the antitrust division, Klein was deputy counsel to President Bill Clinton from 1993 to 1995. Before joining the Clinton administration, Klein worked as a law clerk for Chief Judge David Bazelon of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Lewis Powell.

Klein also worked at a public interest law firm and a litigation boutique before starting Onek, Klein & Farr in 1981. The firm, which Klein started with two colleagues, specialized in complex trial and appellate litigation. Klein's clients included corporations, states and cities, and professional and trade associations.

Klein has also served as a visiting and adjunct professor at the Georgetown University Law Center. He graduated magna cum laude from Columbia College in 1967 and magna cum laude from Harvard Law School in 1971.

Klein's lecture at the law school is presented by the Connecticut Law Review.

"This lecture provides a rare opportunity to listen to and question the federal government's vision for antitrust law enforcement in a 21st century global marketplace," said Jason Pratt, symposium editor for the Connecticut Law Review.

The speech, which begins at 10 a.m. in Starr Hall on the law school campus in Hartford, is open to the public and the media.