Since a large percentage of high-stakes patent cases are appealed to the Federal Circuit, I thought it might be of use to in-house counsel to list at least one person’s view of the top oral advocates for patent cases at the Federal Circuit. This first list is from cases decided during the year 2006. (Because I typically listen to the recordings of the oral arguments in my car on my drive to and from work, please take note that my impressions can be influenced by how frustrating traffic is on any particular day.) Generally, these advocates were knowledgeable of patent law, articulate, zealous, and persuasive.
The pool of honorees listed in alphabetical order are:
a) Garrard R. Beeney (Sullivan and Cromwell)
b) Evan R. Chesler (Cravath Swain & Moore)
c) Don Dunner* (Finnegan Henderson Farabow Garrett & Dunner)
d) Rudolf E. Hutz* (Connolly Bove Lodge & Hutz)
e) Douglas J. Kline* (Goodwin Procter)
f) Charles E. Lipsey* (Finnegan Henderson Farabow Garrett & Dunner)
g) Michael W. Shore (Shore, Chan, and Bragalone)
h) Kathleen M. Sullivan (Quinn Emanuel)
i) Stephen L. Sulzer (Connolly Bove Lodge & Hutz)
j) Dirk Thomas* (now of McKool Smith)
*Registered patent attorney
Stay tuned for the lists for 2007, 2008, and 2009.