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Fulbright & Jaworski L.L.P. Announces 11 New Partners
Press Release | 2008/03/02 20:35
HOUSTON - Fulbright & Jaworski L.L.P. has selected 11 lawyers from within the international firm to join Fulbright's global partnership.

Fulbright's new partners include: Michael Thomas Clark, Antony James Corsi, Denise Webb Glass, Richard D. Hill, Matthew H. Kirtland, Christopher J. Lallo, Michael S. McCoy, Oscar Rey Rodriguez, David A. Rosenzweig, Bryn Alan Sappington and Paul Trahan.

"We are delighted to welcome this outstanding group of lawyers to join us as partners during an exciting time in our firm's history," said Steven B. Pfeiffer, Chair of Fulbright's Executive Committee. "We are strategically adding talented and experienced lawyers to our worldwide offices. Our newest partners have long been a part of our core practice areas, including corporate, IP, energy, health, litigation and tax. They share in our culture of placing the utmost importance on client service and anticipating our clients' needs. Through them, we know the future is bright for our firm and our clients."


Paul Trahan is Austin's newest partner. Trahan handles complex commercial litigation in a variety of industries including the technology, construction, motor vehicle, real estate, and health care industries. He has first chair jury trial, bench trial, and arbitration experience. Before joining Fulbright, Trahan was a commercial banker in Houston, serving as a lender in Bank One's Energy Group. He later joined the team at Southwest Bank of Texas (now Amegy), where he served as a Vice President in Commercial Lending. Trahan received his J.D. in 1997 from The University of Texas School of Law. He received his M.B.A. in 1988 from The University of Texas and his B.A. cum laude in 1985 from Texas A&M University.


Denise Webb Glass is a new partner in Dallas. She has worked in Fulbright's health law section since 1997. She concentrates on operational, business and related regulatory issues affecting the health care services industry. In addition to receiving her J.D., cum laude, from the University of Houston Law Center in 1996 and her B.A., cum laude, from The University of Texas at Austin in 1993, Glass has completed the course work for a Masters of Public Health from the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston. She was admitted to practice law in Texas in 1996 and is certified in health law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.

Oscar Rey Rodriguez also is a new partner in Dallas, where he previously served as senior counsel. As a member of Fulbright's appellate practice group and litigation department, Rodriguez focuses on state and federal appellate and trial litigation. He graduated as his law school class valedictorian from Southern Methodist University's Dedman School of Law in 1993 and went on to work as a judicial clerk to Justice Nathan L. Hecht of the Supreme Court of Texas. Among other honors, Rodriguez holds the distinction of having earned the highest score on the July 1994 Texas Bar Examination. He received his B.B.A., Honors Program Certificate in 1989 from The University of Texas at El Paso, where he received numerous honors. Admitted to practice law in Texas in 1994, Rodriguez is certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in Civil Appellate Law.

Bryn Alan Sappington also joins the partnership in Dallas, where he was a senior associate. Sappington advises publicly and privately held companies in mergers and acquisitions, offerings of securities and other corporate matters. He received his J.D. cum laude in 1998 from the University of Michigan, where he was the over-all runner up in the 1998 Campbell Moot Court competition. Sappington received his B.A. in biology from Baylor University in 1992 and was admitted to practice law in Texas in 1998.


Christopher J. Lallo joins the partnership in Fulbright's Houston office, where he had been a senior associate in tax. Lallo has been associated with the firm since 1999. He concentrates on domestic and international tax matters, has broad-based experience in the area of tax planning related to domestic and cross-border mergers and acquisitions, and advises clients on the U.S. federal income tax consequences of various transactions, including merger and acquisitions, tax-free reorganizations, spin-offs and other divestitures, cross-border investments, and financing structures. Lallo received his J.D. in 1999 with honors from The University of Texas School of Law, where he was a member of the Order of the Coif and an editor of the Texas International Law Journal. He received his B.B.A. in accounting, magna cum laude, from Texas A&M University in 1996.

Michael S. McCoy also is a new partner in Houston. McCoy handles intellectual property and technology-based litigation. Additionally, he counsels a varied clientele about securing, managing and maximizing profit from intellectual property, in addition to identifying and protecting intellectual property assets through filing and prosecuting patent, copyright and trademark applications. McCoy received his J.D. from the University of Houston Law Center and his B.S. in aerospace engineering in 1989 from Texas A&M University. McCoy is registered to practice before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.


Michael Thomas Clark joins Fulbright's partnership in the Los Angeles office, where he has been a senior associate. He handles corporate and securities law matters with an emphasis on mergers and acquisitions. He received his J.D. in 1998 from George Mason University School of Law, where he was Editor-in-Chief of The Journal of International Legal Studies. He received his B.A. in 1994 from The Master's College in Santa Clarita, California. Clark was admitted to practice law in California in 1998.


Antony James Corsi is a new partner in Fulbright's London office, where he has been a senior associate since 2006. Corsi handles dispute resolution - primarily complex commercial litigation, alternative dispute resolution, risk assessment and internal and regulatory investigations. His international dispute resolution experience involves diverse locations, including North America, the Caribbean, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia. As a member of the London Solicitors Litigation Association and the Solicitors Association of Higher Court Advocates, Corsi is a qualified solicitor advocate with rights of audience in the civil High Court. Corsi received his LLB with honours from the University of Bristol in 1994 and completed his legal practice course at the College of Law in 1995. He was admitted as a solicitor in England and Wales in 1997.

Richard Hill joins the partnership in Fulbright's London office, where he had been a senior associate since 2005. He practices in Fulbright's international arbitration group, and handles commercial litigation and alternative dispute resolution. Hill has been involved in major international arbitrations in England, Ireland, France, Switzerland, Italy, the Czech Republic, the United States, Mexico, Hong Kong, Singapore and China, and provided counsel under the ICC, ICDR, ICSID, LCIA and UNCITRAL rules. Additionally, Hill has extensive litigation experience in the English High Court, Court of Appeal, House of Lords and Privy Council, and in the courts of certain commonwealth jurisdictions. He is also experienced in mediation and other forms of ADR. He is co-editor of the Leading Arbitrators' Guide to International Arbitration (Juris, 2003) a new edition scheduled to be published in March 2008. Hill received a post-graduate diploma in law from City University, London, in 1995, and graduated with honours from Cambridge University in 1993. He was admitted as a barrister in England and Wales in 1996, receiving the Prince of Wales Award, and as a solicitor-advocate in 1999.

Fulbright & Jaworski L.L.P. Media Relations Manager Pam Easton, 713-651-8480

What is Intellectual Property?
Legal Opinions | 2008/03/02 05:24

Intellectual Property is the product of your thinking that can be used for commercial value. In other words, you think of a song and write down the words – you have the legal right to prevent others from copying or making a song based on your lyrics. This right you have can make you money if someone is willing to pay you for your song. Maybe your boss asked you to write a computer program. Who owns the work? You may have designed a new mouse trap and have the design on computer. Or you have created a distinctive logo for your company. But Intellectual Property goes deeper than songs or even copyrights. Let’s examine the four main areas of Intellectual Property law: Trade Secrets, Copyrights, Trademarks and Patents.

Trade secrets give the owner a competitive edge. If some information has value to competitors and they don’t know about it – then it’s a trade secret. If the information was not kept reasonably safe (secret) then it’s not a trade secret. Trade secrets may be sold with the business or stolen from bad employees. Maybe a former employee didn’t sign a non-disclosure statement before going to work at the competition. Some also reverse engineer software to gain the source code. This highly protected source code for computers is their trade secret, giving them an advantage over the competition. The trick is you have to keep your trade secrets as such, secrets.

Copyrights protect all kinds of writing by singers, writers, programmers, artists, etc… These are the best known of all intellectual property. Registering with the US Copyright office can enhance the automatic protection. You must have your copyright material on paper, tape, or computer. Copyright protection applies to the “literal expression.” It doesn’t protect the “underlying” theme of the writing. It must have some creativity. You can’t copyright a simple list. You don’t actually have to have a copyright notice since March 1st, 1989. The recommended notice is “copyright” year author’s name. For example, this article will have a copyright. Copyright 2005 Stuart Simpson. But it is not necessary.

Trademarks must be a unique name, design, symbol, logo, color, container, etc…that businesses use to distinguish their goods from others in the same market. You should have a strong name for a mark, as common words receive less protection. Like Stuart’s Cold Ice Cream Company. My name and the descriptive term (cold) are weak marks. But a distinctive name like Netflix, is a strong mark. Netflix is technically a “service” mark. It falls into the same category as trademarks. Your trademark must be submitted to the US Patent and Trademark Office (PTO). But first, the mark must be put into use “in commerce that Congress may regulate.” This means you have to sell across state lines or have a business that caters to interstate or international travelers. After you do this, you can file another form to show the mark is actually being used. The PTO checks for similar marks. You can’t use the circled R just yet. You can only use this if your logo or mark has been registered.

Patent law gives inventor of new and special invention the right to use this invention for a fixed period of time. The US Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) must find that the invention qualifies for patent protection. Your invention has to be new and novel, not obvious. What do you do with a patent? Normally, the inventors get a license agreement with a company to produce the product for a period of time. In exchange, the company pays the inventor royalties for each item sold.

Intellectual property goes further in depth on each of these items. I wanted to give you a brief description to help broaden your knowledge base when writing, creating or inventing. If your work falls into one of the above categories, do more research.

by: Stuart Simpson

A Legalpalooza Only Dickens Could Love
Legal Opinions | 2008/03/01 22:07

You can't go home again. After two federal criminal trials charging him with looting Westar Energy, David Wittig has become all too familiar with that aphorism in his six-year legal odyssey.

But if you do go home again, it seems, you should first reacquaint yourself with local legal rates, which are likely to be far less than the high prices charged on the East Coast.

That seems to be the message of he most recent legal sideshow in the Westar case, sometimes dubbed the Enron of Kansas.

First, some background: In 2002, Federal prosecutors accused Wittig and another Westar executive, Douglas Lake, of wire fraud, conspiracy, money laundering, and circumventing of internal controls in the process of "looting" Westar, an electrical utility in Topeka, Kansas.

Their first trial, in 2004, ended in a hung jury. In September 2005, the jury at their second trial convicted the men of multiple counts, but an appeals court overturned the verdicts in 2007. It also threw out many charges, saying prosecutors had failed to prove the men violated any federal regulations. Their third trial is scheduled to start on September 9.

Who has been paying Wittig's and Lake's multimillion-dollar legal bills while they have stymied their former employer all these years? Why, Westar itself. Under the company's bylaws, Wittig and Lake, as former officers, are entitled to payment of reasonable legal defense costs, at least until they are convicted of criminal wrongdoing.

Not surprisingly, Westar is getting tired of writing the checks. And so it has challenged how much it is on the hook to pay. Specifically, does "reasonable" defense costs mean reasonable for Kansas City, where Westar is based? Or reasonable for New York and Washington, D.C., where Wittig and Lake found lawyers they like?

Since 2005, Westar has fought payment of lawyers for both Wittig and Lake, suing them in separate lawsuits, claiming outrage over the high prices charged by lawyers from the East Coast — and, so far, failing miserably in each of these cases.

FSUPD, local law firm host Bike-A-Thon
Press Release | 2008/03/01 22:05

The Florida State University Police Department and the law firm of Brooks, LeBoeuf, Bennett, Foster & Gwartney is hosting the free "Stop DUI in 24 Hours Bike-A-Thon" from noon today to noon Sunday.

FSU PD Maj. Jim Russell invites FSU students and staff and concerned community members to grab their bikes and helmets and meet at FSU's Westcott Plaza between 10:30 a.m. and noon today to participate. According to event founder Major Jim Russell, this is the second year, the FSUPD is leading the bike-a-thon to raise awareness concerning impaired driving with a goal of reducing the number of DUI related offenses and fatalities.

A public send-off ceremony will be held at noon Saturday at Westcott Plaza; also from noon until 5 p.m. a free "safety village" will be staged on the Plaza by the fountain with entertainment and a chance to make donations of $10 per lap to individual or teams hoping to win with the most laps. Dean LeBoeuf, one of sponsoring attorneys, stressed this is not a race but a safe, escorted three-mile circuit through campus that anyone may enjoy. Cyclists may ride as much or as little as they choose during the 24-hour time period. Throughout the ride, events will be held to raise awareness concerning impaired driving, traffic safety, and drug and alcohol abuse.

The first responder and law enforcement cyclists will stop at FSU residence halls between 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. to offer DUI awareness presentations. The ride will conclude with a public awards ceremony on the steps of the Westcott Building on Sunday at 1 p.m. Cyclists are asked to bring a helmet and bike with lights if they plan to ride in the dark. All riders will be provided with a free set of head and tail lights, however they must bring a set of batteries. Registration forms are available on-site or may be downloaded at the FSUPD website at, click on the FSUPD Stop DUI in 24 Hours logo in the right hand column. Cyclists under 18 must have a signed release from a parent or guardian or they will not be permitted to ride.

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