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Novell Adds 4 Local Lawyers to the Trial Team - Updated
Friday, January 08 2010 @ 10:49 PM EST

Some new lawyers join the happy group about to try SCO v. Novell, on the Novell side. They are David Wright, Sterling Arthur Brennan, Kirk R. Harris, and Cara J. Baldwin. They are all with the Salt Lake City firm of Workman Nydegger. A little more home town advantage, maybe? Ms. Baldwin worked as Judge Ted Stewart's law clerk previously. And they are all IP litigation specialists.

Here are the notices:
01/06/2010 - 614 - NOTICE of Appearance by David R. Wright on behalf of Novell, Inc. (Wright, David) (Entered: 01/06/2010)

01/06/2010 - 615 - NOTICE of Appearance by Sterling Arthur Brennan on behalf of Novell, Inc. (Brennan, Sterling) (Entered: 01/06/2010)

01/06/2010 - 616 - NOTICE of Appearance by Kirk R. Harris on behalf of Novell, Inc. (Harris, Kirk) (Entered: 01/06/2010)

01/06/2010 - 617 - NOTICE of Appearance by Cara J. Baldwin on behalf of Novell, Inc. (Baldwin, Cara) (Entered: 01/06/2010)

Here are snips from their bios, to give you a feel:

David Wright:

Mr. Wrightís practice focuses on complex litigation of intellectual property matters, including trade secret, copyright, patent, and trademark cases. He also has experience in transactional matters such as licensing and other contractual matters, and opinions regarding patent validity, infringement, and unenforceability.

Mr. Wright has successfully represented the firmís clients in courts and administrative agencies throughout the United States. He also has represented clients before arbitration and mediation panels. In addition, he has successfully coordinated enforcement efforts of international intellectual property rights throughout the European Union and Asia.

Mr. Brennan:

Mr. Brennan's practice focuses on complex business and intellectual property litigation. He has handled a broad range of litigation matters involving patents, trademarks and trade dress, copyrights, trade secrets, securities, antitrust, unfair business practices, insurance coverage, environmental, and other complex litigation in industries including computer components and software, biotechnology, financial institutions, real estate development and land use, and petroleum marketing.

Mr. Brennan has successfully tried cases and has handled appeals in both federal and state courts. Additionally, he has extensive experience representing clients in arbitrations, mediations and other alternative dispute resolution proceedings. He is admitted to practice in all state and federal courts in Utah and California, before the Ninth, Tenth, and Federal Circuit Courts of Appeal, and before the United States Supreme Court. Mr. Brennan has received the highest rating for legal ability and ethical standards (AV) from Martindale-Hubbell. He is the former Chairman of the Business Litigation Section of the Orange County Bar Association, is the past Chair of the Orange County Chapter of the J. Reuben Clark Law Society, and a former member of the International Board of the Law Society. He is a member of the Order of the Barristers and has served as a Master of the Bench and officer of the Warren J. Ferguson Inn of Court.

Following graduation from law school, Mr. Brennan was a law clerk to a United States District Judge in Los Angeles, California. Prior to joining W|N as a shareholder in July 2003, Mr. Brennan was a litigation partner in the international law firm of Morrison & Foerster.

Mr. Harris:

Mr. Harrisí practice focuses on complex litigation including patent, trademark/trade dress, trade secret, and copyright actions.

Prior to law school, Mr. Harris worked as a metallurgist for one of the largest steel manufacturing companies in the United States. During law school, he served as Managing Editor of the Idaho Law Review.

Ms. Baldwin:

Ms. Baldwin practices with the firmís intellectual property litigation group. Ms. Baldwin joined W|N following completion of her work as a law clerk to the Honorable Ted Stewart at the United States District Court for the District of Utah.

Prior to law school, Ms. Baldwin was employed at Huntsman Cancer Institute, where she worked in a developmental genetics laboratory investigating bilaterality in developing embryos.

Ms. Baldwin holds a masterís degree in microbiology from Brigham Young University and a bachelorís degree in biology, with a minor in chemistry, from the University of Utah.

So that should help. And by the way, Ms. Baldwin is not only a brainiac, but she's beautiful to boot. I note that Mr. Brennan used to be with Morrison & Foerster, and has experience in computer cases, as well as in arbitrations. Mr. Wright has similar experience in arbitrations, and I note "he has successfully coordinated enforcement efforts of international intellectual property rights throughout the European Union and Asia." So I'm thinking there will be some SUSE stuff they expect to come up.

I doubt that it can have failed to be noticed how truly gruff Judge Stewart was toward Novell lawyers at the recent status conference, compared to his treatment of SCO's, including Brent Hatch, a local boy, something our witnesses remarked on as very marked. Isn't it interesting to see how law firms think and plan and react? They don't complain. They adjust. And move forward, no matter what cards they are dealt. They have asked Judge Stewart as one possible relief to send this case to the judge handling SCO v. IBM, but as you can see, if he doesn't, they'll be ready to go forward.

Update: A reader noticed that Intellectual Property Today ranked W|N 32nd in its list of 2008 Top Patent Firms. Of the total list of 352 law firms and individuals, W|N is the only Utah-based firm to break the top 100, as the firm points out on its website:

W|N has consistently earned recognition as one of the top intellectual property firms in the nation. The firm represents a wide array of clients in all areas of intellectual property law, including patent, trademark, copyright, unfair competition, and related litigation and licensing matters.

With some eighty attorneys, W|N specializes in practice areas including computer systems, software, e-commerce and information technology; electronics and electrical engineering; pharmaceutical, neutraceutical, chemical, biotechnology, and medical and life science technologies; physics and optics; mechanics and mechanical engineering; alternative energy; agricultural sciences; IP licensing; and complex IP litigation, interpartes conflicts and mediation and arbitration.

They are patent agents for Microsoft, at least one of them, if not the one, according to PatentDocs. Here's their praise listed at Martindale. This is way more than local window dressing. They are recognized as one of the best IP firms in the country. In a perfect world, they'd all be experts in the GPL.

One other thing I ought to explain: a bench trial and a jury trial are not at all the same. So you need a different style for a jury trial than for one before just a judge. Judges are not usually swayed by emotions or influenced by evidence submitted improperly. So it's a very different ballgame, on a more highly technical level, so to speak, because it's all about the law. Before a jury, we will finally get to the facts themselves, and it will be fun.

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