FIRM: Hogan & Hartson LLP
LAW SCHOOL: Harvard Law School
CLIENTS: Dow Jones, News Corp., Panasonic, Olympus, Sharp, Sanyo, Seiko Epson, Affymax, APP Pharmaceuticals, Takeda Pharmaceuticals, Abraxis BioScience, Funai, JVC Kenwood, HTC
YEARS IN PRACTICE: 23
Reason I'm a Lawyer: I became a lawyer because I believed that people in our society who have legal training are in the best position to make a difference in the public and private sectors.
Most Challenging Case: I have been working with two non-profit legal organizations in Alaska to establish that the people in five Alaska Native villages should be permitted to fish and hunt on the Outer Continental Shelf based on the doctrine of "aboriginal rights." To prove our case at trial, we needed to establish that the ancestors of our clients fished and hunted on the OCS before their first contact with European explorers in the 1770s. We put our case together based on first-hand accounts of European explorers from the late 1700s, oral histories and legends from our clients, and analysis by historical anthropologists. The case is proceeding toward appeal.
Best Career Moment: We won a hard-fought patent case for our clients APP Pharmaceuticals and Abraxis BioScience. We established that the other side's products would infringe all three patents we asserted, and obtained an injunction through 2014.
If I Weren't an Attorney: I would be a screenwriter or a medical researcher. Although film and medical research are very different professions, I have friends I admire in both fields, and both fields offer great opportunities for creativity.
Bucket List: In terms of places to see, Australia, New Zealand, Antarctica, Iceland.
My Colleagues Don't Know: Before becoming a lawyer, I ran a career education and counseling program for 32 Eskimo, Indian, and Aleut villages in rural Alaska. The people I worked with lived a subsistence lifestyle, hunting and fishing for their food. There were no roads between the villages, so I had to travel around by small plane, and with bad weather, it wasn't unusual to be marooned in a village for three to five days at a time. It was the best job I ever had, and I think about the people and my experiences there every day.
LOU KARASIK , 53
FIRM: Alston & Bird LLP
LAW SCHOOL: Stanford
CLIENTS: Twentieth Century Fox, DirecTV, Eaton Corp.
YEARS IN PRACTICE: 28
Reason I'm a Lawyer: I didn't want to go to medical school or become an English professor, so I gave law school a try.
Most Challenging Case: My first jury trial, a corporate/fiduciary duty case, lasted nine months. I was pretty much in trial or post-trial for an entire year. That's challenging!
Best Career Moment: Winning the "Watchmen" case (a judge ruled that the producer of the film hadn't secured the rights from Fox; the parties settled with Fox getting a cash payment and a percentage of the box office), because the legal issues were very interesting, the stakes were very high, the case was widely followed and the result was a big victory against a vigorous opposition.
Worst: That nine-month jury trial!
If I Weren't an Attorney: I would be traveling.
Bucket List: To visit Africa.
My Colleagues Don't Know: All of my family, my wife and three kids, have the middle initial "A": Louis Alexander, Laura Anne, Elissa Anne, Jonathan Alan and Caitlin Adelle.
GARY NELSON , 50
FIRM: Christie Parker & Hale LLP
LAW SCHOOL: Georgetown University Law Center
CLIENTS: Major office products suppliers, clothing companies, food manufacturing and distribution companies, major electronic manufacturers, celebrities.
YEARS IN PRACTICE: 13
Most Challenging Case: Successfully defending the right of a clothing company to use the name of a designer when the individual had previously assigned the trademark rights to his name to the company, but then attempted to continue using his name as a trademark in the clothing industry.
Best Career Moment: Changing the policy of the United States trademark office to allow actors/actresses to register their names as trademarks for motion picture acting services.
If I Weren't an Attorney: I would be a mountain guide (having climbed the highest peaks in North America, South America, Africa and Europe).
Bucket List: Everest.
OTHER TOP INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY ATTORNEYS
Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP
Jeffer Mangels Butler & Marmaro LLP
Irell & Manella LLP
Latham & Watkins LLP
Kirkland & Ellis LLP
Sidley Austin LLP
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