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Awarding of Attorneys’ Fees in Patent Case May Mark Major Shift

Leventhal Law earned another significant legal victory on behalf of FindTheBest.com. In what some have called one of the most closely watched patent cases in the technology world, a federal judge granted FindTheBest’s request for attorneys’ fees in a patent lawsuit brought by Lumen View Technology LLC. The win is one of the first following the Supreme Court’s recent Octane Fitness decision, which lowered the standard for fee-shifting in patent cases. In awarding FindTheBest its attorney’s fees and costs, U.S. District Court Judge Denise Cote found that Lumen View “could [not] reasonably expect success on the merits” of its lawsuit and that the award would “serve as an instrument of justice.” This latest win for FindTheBest follows an earlier win when Cote granted the company’s motion for judgment on the pleadings and invalidated Lumen View’s patent.

“From the beginning, we knew this was an exceptional case and documented Lumen View’s outrageous conduct,” said Joe Leventhal, founder of Leventhal Law and lawyer for FindTheBest.

Marianne Barth has joined Seltzer Caplan McMahon Vitek’s San Diego family law practice group. Barth has more than 20 years of legal experience. Her expertise in family law stems from work as a civil and business litigator, where she practiced resolving complex financial and emotional issues, which are often present in domestic cases. Though Barth’s practice focuses on family law, she has experience handling other complex litigation, including business, health care and product liability. Before joining Seltzer Caplan, she was a partner at Higgs Fletcher & Mack LLP, and she founded her own practice.

Tyson & Mendes has promoted Regina Silva to head of its employment practice. Silva has extensive experience representing employers in a variety of matters including employment discrimination, sexual harassment and traditional labor law including negotiations and grievances, wrongful discharge, wage and hour, employment policies and litigation prevention. She has appeared before numerous state and federal agencies and courts. Silva has been in court appearing as a civil litigator a prosecutor in California’s Office of the Attorney General and Sacramento District Attorney’s Office.

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Procopio, Cory, Hargreaves & Savitch LLP has hired Michele Brown as senior counsel to the firm’s family law practice group. Brown focuses her practice exclusively on family law, and since 2002, she has been a family law specialist certified by The State Bar of California, Board of Legal Specialization. She handles dissolutions, legal separations and annulments, paternity, custody, relocation cases, grandparent visitation rights, post judgment support, set aside and enforcement matters, preparing or reviewing premarital and post-marital agreements, and domestic violence restraining orders. Brown volunteers her time to sit as a judge pro tem in small claims court and as a family law settlement judge for the San Diego Superior Courts.

“Michele is recognized as an exceptional family law practitioner. We are delighted to welcome her to Procopio,” said Tom Turner, the firm’s managing partner.

Witham Mahoney & Abbott LLP, which opened in January, was founded by three former Seltzer Caplan partners. Charles Witham, Matt Mahoney and Dan Abbott established new legal services focused specifically on the needs of licensed professionals. The focus on lawyers, doctors, trustees and other fiduciaries further extends the firm’s ability to serve San Diego businesses and business owners. They plan to focus on transactional and litigation services, including: business counsel and transactions, disputes and litigation, and trusts, estates and private wealth.

“When we made the decision to start our own firm, we were sensitive to the fact that many business owners are skeptical about the cost of legal services,” Abbott said.

Witham is in his 16th year of practice and focuses on complex business and legal issues, including general counseling of established and emerging companies regarding entity formation and governance, employment matters, mergers and acquisitions, reorganizations, and protecting trade secrets and other proprietary information. Mahoney has more than 14 years of professional experience and represents clients in commercial litigation, from complex multiparty business disputes to simple commercial contracts and arbitrations. Abbott draws from more than 12 years of experience as a litigator and transactional lawyer. He focuses his litigation practice on trust and probate matters, particularly trust litigation.

The San Diego County Bar Association received a 2014 American Bar Association Partnership Award in recognition of the Association’s Diversity Fellowship Program. The San Diego Bar created its Diversity Fellowship Program in 2008 in conjunction with the Association of Corporate Counsel-San Diego to give law students experience in the profession. The program pairs first-year law students from diverse backgrounds with local law firms and corporate legal departments for eight to 10 weeks during the summer. This model gives students hands-on experience while giving employers a chance to meet qualified individuals who might not have been considered otherwise.

Randy Frisch is vice chancellor of business and administration at National University and former publisher of the San Diego Business Journal. He is licensed to practice law in California, Nevada and Idaho.

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