Eric Mahr came to the Antitrust Division in September 2015 as the Director of Litigation. His responsibilities include overseeing and actively being involved in the Division’s civil and criminal litigation efforts and its litigation training program. This marks Mr. Mahr’s second stint with the Department of Justice; he previously spent five years at the Federal Programs Branch in the Civil Division at the beginning of his career.
“When approached about this job, it struck me as the perfect fit for the way my career and my interests in both antitrust and litigation have developed,” said Mr. Mahr. “The combination of the position itself, our current Front Office leadership, and the Division’s willingness to litigate when needed to enforce our antitrust laws, all appealed to me when deciding to take on this new role.”
After leaving the Civil Division, Mr. Mahr joined Wilmer Cutler & Pickering (now WilmerHale) and became immersed in antitrust work. He spent four years working in Brussels doing a variety of merger review and cartel work before the European Commission and the various member-state competition authorities.
Mr. Mahr notes that his time overseas left him with a “far better appreciation for our own system” and cemented his interest in being an antitrust litigator. Mr. Mahr has come to appreciate the role that courts play in evaluating the Division’s enforcement decisions. “Our reasoning and supporting facts have to be ready to withstand intense scrutiny by a neutral judge,” he said. As someone who has served as both an enforcer and a defense lawyer, “I really appreciate the role courts play in ensuring that the Division cannot get loose with our analysis or lazy with the facts.”
Mr. Mahr would encourage others in the field to both “find a mentor and be a mentor. So much of the law is learned not in law school or law books, but passed down through the experience of others. It is so valuable to find mentors throughout your career and to be a mentor to as many people as you can.” He also encourages younger lawyers to keep up with their interests outside the law, which help create the kind of well-rounded personality that is important for litigators. Outside of the office, Mr. Mahr enjoys spending time with his wife and three children, reading, running, training in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, and trying to fit in the occasional round of golf.
Before joining the Division, Mr. Mahr was a partner with WilmerHale in Washington, D.C. He received his law degree from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law and his undergraduate degree from Bucknell University.