Dorius Brings Experience as Engineer AND Patent Lawyer to Austin-based law firm of Reed & Scardino

Reed & Scardino LLP has announced the arrival of Kirk Dorius as Of Counsel at the downtown Austin law firm.

Dorius’ practice focuses on patent prosecution, licensing, and patent litigation. His intellectual property practice has included client counseling, written opinions, trademarks, and intellectual property portfolio development and commercialization for a range of manufacturing, medical, oil and gas, automotive, mechanical, and electro-mechanical technologies.

Prior to joining Reed & Scardino, he was an associate with Fish & Richardson P.C. and with Snell & Wilmer L.L.P. He also served as a judicial clerk to the Honorable Richard Story of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia.

Dorius received a J.D. with honors from the University of New Hampshire, Franklin Pierce Law Center in 2004. Prior to law school, he worked as a mechanical engineer with The Boeing Company, the byproduct of a B.S. in mechanical engineering he received from Utah State University.

Dorius told Austin Legal News that the engineering degree and experience in the field has allowed him “to take a hands-on approach to understanding and protecting clients’ new technologies. Kirk

“I have found great value in visiting client facilities for product demonstrations and on-site strategy sessions with development teams.  Some of the most valuable patent claims have been crafted on a factory floor, in a machine shop, or with grease from a prototype under my fingernails.  In one example, I flew to a prospective client’s factory and walked an automated production line with the inventors and with their previously rejected patent applications in hand.  We were able to identify key process parameters overlooked in earlier patent prosecution and secure patent rights leading to enhanced royalties for subsequent licensing of the technology.

“I am also actively involved with the Pointsman Foundation in commercialization of the patented MAGIS isotopic separation technology developed by Dr. Mark Raizen at UT Austin.  MAGIS technology and the foundation will provide stable isotopes for use in production of medical radioisotopes for medical diagnostics, cancer therapy and research, as well as for applications in fundamental physics research, energy production, water purification and more efficient lighting.”

Perot Rebuffed on Appeal in Challenge to Mark Cuban’s Management of Mavericks

The 5th Court of Appeals in Dallas has upheld a trial court’s decision to dismiss a lawsuit filed against Mark Cuban, the billionaire owner of the Dallas Mavericks, which alleged the team was being mismanaged.

The plaintiffs in the case were Hillwood Properties III and its owner Ross Perot Jr. Perot is the former owner of the Mavericks and is now a minority owner of the team. They alleged in a lawsuit that Cuban had been “careless and reckless,” resulting in a loss of substantial investment value to the now minority owners. Further, they alleged the team was on the verge of insolvency, and that a receiver should be appointed to take over management of the Mavericks.

The case attracted national headlines, at least in the legal community, because Cuban’s legal team at Fish & Richardson filed a motion for summary judgment that featured a photo of Cuban and his team hoisting the 2011 NBA Championship trophy. The plaintiffs emphasized in the motion that “under Hillwood’s ownership, the team was deemed the ‘worst franchise’ in all of professional sports. Under Cuban’s stewardship the Mavericks have become one of the league’s most successful teams and are now NBA champions. Accordingly, there can be no genuine question that Hillwood’s claims of mismanagement lack merit and Hillwood’s claims should be disposed of on summary judgment.”

In affirming the ruling of the trial court, the appeals court agreed that there was no evidence that the Mavericks were in financial distress.

“Hillwood cites no authority, and we have found none, to support an interpretation of insolvency that would involve disregarding a historical and ongoing pattern of continuing financial contributions from third parties,” the appeals court wrote.

“Further, even assuming the test for the inability to pay debts as they come due is a ‘forward-looking test,’ the test remains whether the entity is insolvent or in imminent danger of insolvency. While the test for insolvency may ‘look forward,’ it may only look forward to determine whether insolvency is ‘imminent.’”

To see the opinion, visit: http://600commerce.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/Hillwood-Investment-Props.-III-Ltd.-v.-Radical-Mavericks-Mgmt.-LLC.pdf

Austin Attorney Stabbed on Jogging Trail

KXAN has reporter that Austin attorney Mark Siefken was stabbed Tuesday morning on a southwest Austin jogging trail.

Siefken, a partner at MacLnnes, Whigham & Siefken, was stabbed in the stomach and underwent surgery that same day.

The television station reported that Austin Police got a call around 6:30 a.m. about the attack, which occurred at Archstone Trail near Mopac and Highway 290 at the intersection of Staggerbrush Road and Roadrunner Lane. The two men reportedly approached the jogger for money, and when he didn’t  have any, they stabbed him.

Police said two men approached Siefken, asked him for money, and then stabbed him after he said he didn’t have any.

The attorney was treated at greenbelt and  then transported him to University Medical Center Brackenridge, with “critical injuries,” according to KXAN.

The full story is available here: http://kxan.com/2014/09/16/crews-responding-to-southwest-austin-water-rescue/

Greenberg Traurig’s Demetrius G. McDaniel Named To Top Lobbyists & Influencers List

Demetrius G. McDaniel, a shareholder in the Austin office of the international law firm Greenberg Traurig, LLP, has been named to the Lawyers Of Color & On Being A Black Lawyer’s Second Annual Top Lobbyists and Influencers List. McDaniel will be honored at The Caucus Prelude Reception hosted by the Congressional Black Caucus in Washington, D.C. prior to the organization’s 44th Annual Legislative Conference (ALC) on September 24-27.

“We are very proud of Demetrius and congratulate him on this prestigious recognition,” said Darrell R. Windham, co-managing shareholder of the firm’s Austin office. “Demetrius is well known in our state capital, within the firm and around the nation as a top lobbying professional who advocates ethically and relentlessly for his clients and is extremely deserving of this top honor.”

According to its website, Lawyers of Color was initially founded as On Being A Black Lawyer, but now also produces publications for lawyers of South Asian American, Pacific Asian American, Hispanic, and Native American heritage. Lawyers of Color has been recognized by the American Bar Association, National Black Law Students Association, and National Association of Black Journalists. With a core readership of 35,000, nearly 200,000 unique annual blog visitors, and nearly 4,000 followers and fans, Lawyers of Color has the largest social media presence of any minority legal organization.

McDaniel, Chair of the firm’s Texas Government Law & Policy Practice, counsels and provides advocacy for Fortune 500 and other large private and public sector clients on federal, state and local legal and public policy matters. His broad knowledge of federal and state government allows him to collaboratively develop strategies to help clients solve complex problems that have a government origin or nexus. McDaniel consults with clients on their strategic objectives and provides advice on important issues that will enhance their business opportunities, increase their compliance with laws and regulations, and assist them in building internal systems to prevent problems from occurring with all levels of government.

Charles Schwab-Austin Seeks Legal Counsel Director

Charles Schwab & Co, Inc. is moving much of its operation to Austin in the coming years.

That intention will create many opportunities, some of which in the legal profession.

This was evidenced by the recent posting for the Legal Counsel Director position.

The duties for this position: Provides legal advice to all aspects of business. Will be a part of our Institutional & Retail Legal Team within the Office of Corporate Counsel. Serves as enterprise counsel for the client-facing businesses, including Advisor Services, Investor Services, and Corporate and Retirement Services. Serve as counselor for the sales, client service, technology and marketing areas for Advisor Services business (custody and related services for independent registered investment advisers). Sales and service related legal matters arising out of Advisor Services business. Projects and initiatives designed to build new offers, programs and technology solutions. Marketing projects designed to drive new business to Advisor Services business. Assume other assigned tasks and projects in addition to his or her regular work schedule and to assist other attorneys on the team as circumstances may dictate.

To learn more, visit http://jobs.schwab.com/austin-tx/legal-counsel-director/292228DFE9804798A31B99E8ED022165/job/

 

Gardere Welcomes New Partner to the Firm’s Austin Office

Gardere Wynne Sewell LLP has announced that Arcie I. Jordan has been hired as a partner in the firm’s Austin office. Ms. Jordan joins Gardere from Jackson Walker LLP and brings more than 20 years’ experience in counseling a broad spectrum of companies expanding internationally to and from the United States.

“Arcie’s international practice expertise is consistent with our strategic focus in Mexico and Latin America,” said Gardere Chair Holland N. O’Neil. “Arcie likewise compliments our burgeoning International Trade Group, which advises clients related to FCPA compliance, anti-trust compliance, import/export and other supply chain regulations around the world.  She is well-known in this area of practice, and our clients will be well-served by her acumen in this complicated, but critically important, area of the law.”

Ms. Jordan’s practice encompasses international transactional, transportation, trade and immigration matters. She routinely assists clients with acquisitions and divestitures, corporate governance, structuring and formation, foreign investments, immigration issues, cross-border labor and employment and tax-related issues, and regulatory permitting, licensing and compliance (including those related to U.S. exports).Arcie I. Jordan

“I am thrilled to join Gardere,” says Ms. Jordan. “I recall Gardere attorneys blazing the trail for U.S. investors entering Mexico in the mid-1980s, when I was still a neophyte aspiring to be an international attorney. It is an honor to be joining such a well-known and respected international firm.”

Since the early 1990s, Ms. Jordan has been extensively involved with the international business community in Austin. She has held leadership roles in the International Partnership of Greater Austin and the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. She is a member of the Camino Real District Export Council and the Pan American Roundtable, and actively supports the U.S. Export Assistance Center.

Additionally, Ms. Jordan is a founding member of the International Business and Law Roundtable, a networking and knowledge management group for executives involved in international business, and the International Business and Law Council of Texas, a group comprised of in-house corporate counsel dealing with international legal issues. Ms. Jordan has lived and traveled throughout Mexico and several South American countries. She is fluent in Spanish, and she is equally comfortable negotiating and drafting legal documents in Spanish as she is in English. Ms. Jordan also has a working knowledge of French and has set a personal goal of learning Portuguese.

Ms. Jordan received her B.A. from the University of Texas at Austin and her J.D. from the University of Texas School of Law. She also completed the advanced studies program on Comparative U.S./Mexico Legal Systems sponsored by the law schools of University of Monterrey and St. Mary’s University.

“We are excited to have Arcie join our Austin office,” says Gardere Austin Office Executive Partner Kimberly A. Yelkin. “As a leader in the industry, Arcie’s proven track record and wealth of experience will be of great benefit to the Firm’s international practice and to our multinational clients.”

The addition of Ms. Jordan comes on the heels of Gardere’s recent announcement in July that it is entering into an agreement with joint venture partner, Arena y Asociados S.C., to combine all Mexico operations into Gardere, Arena y Asociados, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Gardere (see the Firm’s July 28, 2014 press release here). She also joins several high-profile attorneys who have made the move to Gardere’s thriving international practice, including Juan M. Alcalá (Austin), Michelle Schulz (Dallas), Elsa Manzanares (Dallas) and Alfredo Ramos (Houston).

New Law Firm, Beckstead Terry PLLC, Pairs Attorneys from DLA Piper and Greenberg Traurig

Amy Beckstead and Jana Terry are joining forces to launch Beckstead Terry PLLC, an employment and commercial litigation boutique law firm based in Austin.  Beckstead is a former equity partner at DLA Piper. Terry a former senior attorney at Greenberg Traurig with her own successful solo practice the past three years.

“Beckstead Terry (http://www.becksteadterry.com) is the latest chapter in our legal careers, which have spanned working for the largest law firms in the world to working in smaller, more agile, business-focused platforms,” said Amy Beckstead.  “Business has been great for both Jana and me and it made sense to join forces to leverage our respective skillsets and optimize the services we could offer clients.”

Beckstead is an AV-Preeminent rated attorney, licensed to practice in both California and Texas.  Formerly of DLA Piper, the world’s largest international law firm, Beckstead recently worked in a smaller, boutique labor and employment firm prior to launching Beckstead Terry this year.  Her practice focuses on helping employers comply with the myriad of state and federal employment laws, as well as defending her clients when they are sued for employment-related matters.

Terry, a former law clerk to U.S. District Court Judge John D. Rainey, has had her own successful commercial litigation practice for the past three years since leaving Greenberg Traurig, one of the U.S.’s largest law firms.  Terry’s practice focuses on addressing the commercial litigation needs of her clients, with a specific focus on litigation involving employment disputes, commercial real estate, breach of commercial contracts, and creditor’s rights.  Terry also provides transactional advice with respect to employment matters.

Terry and Beckstead first became acquainted during the early days of “MAMA’s” (the Mother Attorney Mentoring Association in Austin).  MAMA’s, conceived and founded by Beckstead, now has a membership of more than 350 women attorneys and has grown into a fixture of the Austin legal community.

Terry summarized the new venture:  “Amy and I have known each other for years and our approach to serving our clients is identical: we are laser-focused on providing incredibly responsive, strategic, and practical advice to our clients regarding their employment and commercial litigation needs.   We are excited to partner with each other and continue to provide value and exceptional service to our clients.”

First Austin Law Firm Recognized by National Association of Minority and Women Owned Law Firms

Austin-based labor and employment boutique law firm, Hutcheson Bowers LLLP, www.hutchesonbowers.com, has announced that it is the first Austin firm to be selected to join the prestigious National Association of Minority and Women Owned Law Firms (NAMWOLF). The association admits only “elite law firms that have a proven track record representing Fortune 500 corporations.”

“We are honored to be invited to join NAMWOLF and to be recognized nationally with other distinguished firms,” said Shannon Hutcheson. “We look forward to working with the members of NAMWOLF and their corporate partners.”

NAMWOLF uses a detailed screening process, described at www.namwolf.org, to evaluate law firms for potential admission, which includes:

  • Recommendations from Fortune-ranked firm clients.
  • In-depth interviews with the firm’s clients to ensure that the firm offers the highest level of legal service.
  • Review of peer surveys to evaluate the firm’s reputation for ethical conduct and legal excellence.
  • Verification of the firm’s AV-Preeminent rating from Martindale-Hubbell.

Hutcheson Bowers LLLP is certified as a Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE) by the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC). In addition, the firm is designated as a Historically Underutilized Business (HUB) by the Texas Building and Procurement Commission (TBPC).

Austin Attorney: Is a Power of Attorney Enough?

Central Texas trust law attorney Brad Wiewel recently wrote about the power of attorney and its acceptance:

Most of the time people are advised that they should have a general durable power of attorney so that someone can handle their finances in the event of incapacitation. However, as powers of attorney are becoming increasing popular, it is also becoming more and more difficult to get financial institutions to accept them.WiewelB_

General Durable Powers of Attorney are an important part of almost all estate plans. They provide a cheap and effective way for someone to designate a person to handle financial matters in the event of incapacitation due to an accident or old age. The New York Times reports in Power of Attorney Is Not Always a Solution that the very popularity of powers of attorney has led to an increasing difficulty in getting financial institutions to accept them. The problem is that powers of attorney can also be used to commit elder abuse and fraud. Banks do not want to get sued and as a consequence will refuse any power of attorney that is irregular. The New York Times article tells the story of a woman who went by her middle name but the document her brother signed giving her power of attorney used her first name. Banks were not willing to accept that she was the same person named in the power of attorney without hassle.

The article suggests that banks are more willing to accept revocable trust documents. Whether or not that is true depends on individual banks. Certainly banks will not refuse every power of attorney. An important takeaway, however, is to make sure that everything in your general durable power of attorney is accurate. For example, the person given the power should be named in the same way that he or she is on a government-issued ID. Talk to an estate planning attorney about ways to make your power of attorney more likely to be accepted and whether a trust might be a better option for you.

Reference: The New York Times (August 22, 2014) “Power of Attorney Is Not Always a Solution

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Local Health Law Attorney to Share Expertise at Texas Health Law Conference

Attorney Fletcher H. Brown, a partner at the Austin office of Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis, LLP, has been selected to speak at the Texas Health Law Conference at the AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center on the University of Texas campus on Sunday, October 12.Fletcher Brown

The annual event, which is co-produced by the Health Law Section of the State Bar of Texas and the Texas Hospital Association, is a popular draw for lawyers who work in the health care sector or advise health care clients.

Brown and other panelists will participate in a session that is entitled ‘The Tangled Web of Hospital Operations and Relations.” The session, which begins at 2:30 and ends at 5:30, will kickoff the three-day event.

The session has been described as ideal “for those looking at these issues for the first time and those looking for a refresher. This session will cover some of the strands of hospital operations and relations. Topics will include licensing, regulatory compliance, medical staff issues, contracting challenges, and other situations regularly faced by providers and their attorneys.”

Joining Brown on the stage will be Lisa Frenkel, vice president and chief legal officer, Gulf Coast Division, HCA Holdings Inc., Houston; Larry “Max” Maxwell, regional chief legal officer, Adventist Health System, Winter Park, Florida; and Hilary H. Young, partner, Joy & Young LLP, Austin

“Given the credentials of the people who will be serving on the panel with me as well as the other sessions that are being presented, I am honored to be a speaker at this prestigious conference,” he said.

Brown has consistently been recognized by Chambers USA as a leader in Texas health law.  In addition to this honor, he has been named a “Super Lawyer” in the Health Law Field by Texas Monthly and Law & Politics magazine for the past decade.

To attend the event, visit http://www.tha.org/HealthCareProviders/Education/ConferenceSeminarLi0972/TexasHealthLawConfe0963/ProgramCostandRegis0997/