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Monday, February 24, 2020

Federal judge to bring patent litigation expertise to IP law firm

By Jessica M. Karmasek | Apr 1, 2015

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TYLER, Texas (Legal Newsline) - The former chief judge of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas has decided to join one of the top intellectual property law firms.

Leonard Davis, who served as the Eastern District’s chief judge until earlier this year, will join Fish & Richardson, the law firm announced Monday.


Davis will join the firm in May, right after departing the federal bench.

“Judge Davis is a perfect match for Fish because we are involved in more patent litigation than any other law firm in the country and Judge Davis manages one of the nation’s busiest patent dockets,” said Ann Cathcart Chaplin, litigation practice group leader at the firm.


“We are so pleased he chose us.”


Davis has served on the federal court -- a popular venue for patent infringement cases because of its set of local rules for such cases and rather fast trial settings -- since 2002. He announced his retirement last year.


During his time on the bench, he has handled more than 1,700 individual cases involving IP law.


“Since announcing that I would be retiring from the bench, I have considered several options for the next chapter of my career,” said Davis, who also was in private practice as a trial lawyer for 23 years. “I am excited about this opportunity with Fish & Richardson.


“I have seen them in court for years exhibit the highest caliber of ethics and legal representation of their clients. I believe they are a great fit for me, and I look forward to working with them.”


Davis will join the firm as of counsel on May 18.


According to the firm, he will provide strategic counseling to clients in IP matters as well as handle case evaluations, settlement strategies for both plaintiffs and defendants, and mock trials and mock Markman hearings.


“Judge Davis is one of the nation’s most knowledgeable jurists in terms of patent law and commercial litigation generally. He certainly had plenty of options, which is why we are extremely proud that he has made the decision to join Fish,” said Thomas M. Melsheimer, managing partner of the firm’s Dallas office.


During Davis’ tenure on the federal bench, the Eastern District’s patent docket has grown from fewer than 10 cases in 2002 to more than 1,000 pending actions in 2015.


He personally has presided over as many as 11 patent jury trials in a 12-month period, the firm noted.


From Legal Newsline: Reach Jessica Karmasek by email at

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