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General Counsel Awards Will Draw Some Fine Legal Minds

Celia A. Brewer’s more than two decades-long career in public service has included work on some of the San Diego region’s most complex and high-profile land use and environmental projects.

You will have an opportunity to meet and recognize Brewer and Donald J. Rosenberg, general counsel and corporate secretary of Qualcomm Inc., for their good work at the San Diego Business Journal’s General Counsel Awards event on June 30. It will be held from 4-7 p.m. at Balboa Park Hall of Champions. You need to be there is you have any hope of growing your practice this year.

Brewer is city attorney for the City of Carlsbad, where she was a key member of the team that negotiated a historic agreement with NRG Energy and SDG&E to remove the aging power plant from the city’s coast. Prior to joining the City of Carlsbad in 2003, Brewer served as the interim attorney and assistant attorney for the Unified Port of San Diego. Brewer began her public service career in Solana Beach, first as deputy city attorney and eventually as city attorney, where she helped resolve issues related to moving the railroad tracks below street level, a project that improved safety and helped revitalize this small coastal city.

A passionate advocate for people with spinal cord injuries, Brewer serves on the advisory board of the Southern California Chapter of United Spinal Association, is a Christopher Reeve Foundation certified peer mentor and a member of the UC San Diego satellite fundraising team for the “Swim With Mike” scholarship fund for physically challenged athletes.

Rosenberg reports directly to CEO Steve Mollenkopf and is a member of the company’s Executive Committee. In his role as chief legal officer, he is responsible for overseeing Qualcomm’s worldwide legal affairs including litigation, intellectual property and corporate matters. Qualcomm’s Government Affairs, Internal Audit and Compliance organizations also report to him.

Prior to joining Qualcomm, Rosenberg served as senior vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary of Apple Inc. Prior to that, he was senior vice president and general counsel of IBM Corp., where he held numerous positions including vice president and assistant general counsel for litigation and counsel to IBM’s mainframe division.

Rosenberg has had extensive experience in corporate governance, compliance, law department management, litigation, securities regulation, intellectual property and competition issues. He has served as an adjunct professor of law at New York’s Pace University School of Law, where he taught courses in intellectual property and antitrust law. He is also a board member of NuVasive Inc., the Corporate Directors Forum, La Jolla Playhouse and Connect.

• • •

Kimberly Long’s murder conviction was overturned last week after a judge found her conviction was the result of inadequate counsel. But really it was because of the California Innocence Project at California Western School of Law.

“This is one of those classic cases where the person who finds the victim ends up becoming a suspect,” said Justin Brooks, director of the Project. “Her case was paper thin when it went to trial, and now, when you consider what we know since then, it’s absolutely a certainty that she’s innocent.”

In 2012, the Project requested new DNA testing for Long using grant funds from the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services. The results of the testing revealed an unknown male profile at the scene. Additionally, a time-of-death analysis showed Long could not have committed the murder based on the timeline of events on the night of the murder. Finally, based on the crime scene, it would have been impossible for Long to commit the murder and not get blood all over her clothes. Her attorney failed to present evidence of the lack of blood on the clothing. Long has been in prison since 2009.

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Fish & Richardson announced the addition of 38 associates across the firm’s 12 offices recently. Joining the Southern California office, based in San Diego, are Crystal Culhane, Veronica Sandoval, Jared Smith and Nicole Williams.

Culhane focuses on patent prosecution work in the areas of chemistry, pharmaceuticals, and biotechnology, as well as patent litigation matters. Prior to joining Fish, she was an associate at a general practice law firm where she handled patent prosecution matters and also assisted in Hatch-Waxman litigation matters.

Sandoval previously served as a judicial extern to the Honorable Charles K. Wiggins of the Washington Supreme Court and as an extern at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Prior to her legal career, Sandoval was a medical liaison for two pharmaceutical companies and an adjunct professor at the University of Utah.

Smith previously was a senior systems engineer on classified projects for Raytheon and Northrop Grumman.

Williams focuses on patent litigation and has experience with various technologies, including DNA sequencing and stem cell technology.

Randy Frisch is vice chancellor of business administration at National University and a former publisher of the San Diego Business Journal. He is licensed to practice law in California, Nevada and Idaho. He can be reached at rcfrisch@msn.com.

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