by Ryan H. Flax, Esq.
Managing Director, Litigation Consulting
The field of patent law, like all other areas of the law in the U.S., is constantly in flux and is constantly being refined or even rewritten by the courts and the lawmakers. Even more so than most other areas of law this is true for patent law because, if for no other reason, there are so many nuances to it and so many different complimentary and competing doctrines within the greater label of “patent law.”
To make matters more volatile, patent practitioners have two courts to deal with in terms of those believing they’re the last word on the relevant law: the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and the U.S. Supreme Court.
So, recently there have been some interesting issues evolving in patent law. Here’s a brief review to keep everyone up to date.
1. Trolls – slaying the beast under the bridge
The most frequent patent news as of late relates to newly proposed legislation to make it less attractive for non-practicing entities
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by Chris Dominic
As humans, we have the problem of forgetting what it was like to not know something once we know it. Our overconfidence in our ability to communicate information of this sort has been documented in experiment after experiment. Think about back to before you knew what a hasty generalization was. You probably committed this fallacy often and could not have noticed when others did the same. Try and imagine back before you understood the concept of probability. Did the concept of normal distribution seem like magic, a cult belief, or just like gobbledegook?
So what does this mean for the advocate who has to persuade using scientific evidence as a part of their job?
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by Ken Lopez
I have a CEO friend who says she won’t hire someone who’s never had experience working in a restaurant. And she’s not in the restaurant business. She just thinks that one of the best places one can get trained in customer service is waiting tables in some form.
And whoever you are – outside counsel, litigation support staff, consultant, or in-house counsel – client service is an essential. How do you develop that skill?
I’ve always felt that you can learn as much going to great restaurants about customer service as you can in the Ritz Carlton’s hospitality training. Great waitstaff know how to make the experience work.
Here are fifteen tips for providing great service that I learned from the restaurant business.
- Set expectations. Most disputes arise from differences in expectations. This is especially true in customer service. Helping people understand what to expect and when to expect it is critical. If you’re going to share the draft brief, the client needs to know that it is a draft. If you’re going to share trial exhibits in draft form with the client they need to understand the difference between the draft and final from your perspective.
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By Mark Hansen
San Francisco lawyer Christopher B. Dolan’s favorite litigation tool is Trial Touch, an iPad app for trial presentation that he says allows him to prep, organize and try a case while collaborating with his office staff on all documentation.
Roanoke, Va., lawyer Robert Dean’s favorite trial tool is TrialPad, a document presentation app for theiPad that allows him to enhance, zoom and annotate exhibits in court with only a projector, a screen and his iPad.
Montrose, Colo., lawyer David L. Masters doesn’t have a favorite tool, but says PDF writer Adobe Acrobat is the application that has allowed his office to go paperless for more than 10 years and can also be used to present evidence in court.
Those were some of the results of a survey of technology gurus in the legal field on the technology tools they use most in their law practice.
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By Dr. Ken Broda-Bahm:
We’ve written frequently on themes: those little nuggets of language and meaning that distill a case to its persuasive essence. As consultants, we create themes even more frequently, trying to find the right message to leverage a case’s greatest strengths while minimizing or reframing its most important weaknesses. By definition, a theme is a simple message that helps an audience see your case in its most favorable terms. But based on some recent research, there is also a mirror image of that: an ‘anti-theme’ in the form of the condensed message that would turn off your audience and turn them away from your case. Considering these anti-themes when working on the contours of your message can help you know what to avoid and what to preempt in your trial strategy.
The study (Gromet, Kunreuther & Larrick, 2013) focuses on consumer choices…
Read more here: http://www.persuasivelitigator.com/2013/05/beware-the-anti-theme.html
by Laurie R. Kuslansky, Ph.D.
Expert Jury Consultant
1. Ask people you know and trust who have gone to trial with the jury consultant for recommendations. There is no substitute for talking with people who have actually worked with the consultant. Reputation alone is not enough to go on.
2. Test the waters. Provide the candidates with the same set of information and see what suggestions they come up with at an initial meeting. This allows the jury consultants to do what they are hired for – absorb and interpret information and turn it into useful recommendations. This kind of trial run enables counsel to test the waters at no cost or risk.
3. Find a consultant whom you are comfortable with, but not too comfortable.
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By Edward Romero – January 15, 2013
Many skills are needed for trial work. One that is often overlooked is the art of listening. As the late Dean Rusk reportedly said, “the best way to persuade people is with your ears—by listening to them.” This is good advice from a former lawyer, Rhodes Scholar, and the longest-serving United States secretary of state after Cordell Hull.
Like peeling an onion, understanding a case often consists of exposing multiple layers of long-forgotten facts that, when revealed, can be distressing, embarrassing, and emotionally painful. No one enjoys revealing secrets, especially those that are humiliating or that can lead to social stigma or imprisonment. Yet, a trial lawyer must do just that: glean from reluctant clients intimate and unpleasant facts that are needed to represent them properly. This is achieved by developing trust, and the best way to do this is by listening. People with legal problems want to talk. And the more they talk, the easier it becomes for them to disclose secrets and reveal confidences that have remained hidden, sometimes for years. In so doing, a client will develop confidence in his or her attorney, not because of the attorney’s experience in the subject matter, but because the attorney has taken the time to understand the client’s concerns and listen to the client’s fears. The attorney has become a confidant and, in so doing, has developed a trust with a client that might otherwise have taken a long time to develop
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