THE AM LAW DAILY

SURVEYS AND RANKINGS

MAGAZINE

SPECIAL REPORTS

The Work

April 24, 2009 9:00 AM

The Am Law Litigation Daily: April 24, 2009

Posted by Andrew Longstreth

Litigator of the Week
Arturo Gonzalez of Morrison & Foerster

On Wednesday a jury in Santa Clara County superior court awarded $36.3 million to Hansen Medical in a trade-secrets case against Luna Innovations. From what we gather, the closing argument from Hansen's lawyer, Arturo Gonzalez of Morrison & Foerster, was an impressive performance. According to The Recorder, Gonzalez compared Luna to a cheating husband and sported a tie bearing a wolf howling at the moon.

Here's the background of the case: In 2006 Hansen signed an agreement with Luna to develop a robotic catheter used in heart surgery. In a suit filed in 2007, Hansen alleged Luna broke that agreement and signed a more lucrative deal with a competitor. Hansen's claims included breach of contract, fraud, good faith and fair dealing, and trade secrets. The jury found for Hansen on all counts except fraud. Luna was defended by Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati.

On Thursday we spoke with Gonzalez, our Litigator of the Week. First, we asked about the wolf tie. Gonzalez said he doesn't like wearing ties. In fact, he stopped wearing them to the office 20 years ago. (He claims to have started casual day, but that's another story.) "I appreciate when I go to court, I need to wear a tie," he said. "So I said what I'll do as a small protest, I'll pick my own ties....I get ties that I think people will enjoy, that are different, that are unique."

As Gonzalez tells us, that includes ties with animals. During the Hansen trial, he wore ties that featured a charging elephant, zebras, and tigers. "That's been my M.O. for 20 years."

The animal-themed ties worked out well with a few of the jurors. During voir dire, three of the women jurors stated that they were strongly against animal testing, one of the issues that came up during the trial. Gonzalez made the critical decision not to try to knock them off the jury even though Hansen does animal testing. "There were a few times during the trial where I thought Luna's attorneys [at Wilson Sonsini] were using the phrase 'animal testing' perhaps more than they needed to. And every time that came up, you ask yourself, 'Gee, did I do the right thing here?' But we felt strongly that the case was not about animal testing, and we felt we could persuade them of that."

And what about his closing arguments? "I start thinking about the closing argument the day I'm assigned to a case," Gonzalez told us. He said the idea of comparing Luna to a cheating husband came to him right away. "That really is the way I always viewed this case," he said. "Here we are the faithful party doing everything we can to make this work...and there they are talking to all these other people about cutting a deal."

Gonzalez's closing included 140 pages of PowerPoint slides. After the trial, some jurors told the MoFo trial team they were on the fence and the closing pushed them over. "That was good to hear," said Gonzalez. "Our team spent a lot of hours putting that PowerPoint together. It was a real team effort. I was up until 3 in the morning with one associate the night before the closing, finalizing [it]."


Law Firms
Former AG Ashcroft to Start Law Firm

The Litigation Daily caught up with former U.S. attorney general John Ashcroft before he formally announced the national launch of The Ashcroft Law Firm, which will focus on government investigations and regulatory enforcement actions.
more


Regulatory / Securities
SEC Hoping for Budget Boost

The Obama administration has requested $1.026 billion for the SEC for fiscal 2010, an increase of 9 percent over this year's budget, and two senators have proposed an additional $20 million for enforcement.
more


IP
Ninth Circuit Allows Journalist to Join Class Action Against YouTube

Before the major copyright infringement class action against YouTube was filed in New York federal court two years ago, Robert Tur, a helicopter journalist, had initiated his own suit against the video-sharing site in the Central District of California. On Tuesday, against the protests of YouTube, the Ninth Circuit allowed Tur to transfer his suit to New York and join the class action.
more


IP
Liz Claiborne Not So Lucky in Summary Judgment Ruling

In a David v. Goliath trademark infringement case, a company called Marcel Fashion has beaten back an aggressive challenge by Liz Claiborne and its Lucky Brands label. "David is kicking ass," is how Marcel's McCool Smith lawyer sums up the litigation.
more


Edited by Andrew Longstreth

Make a comment

Comments (0)
Save & Share: Facebook | Del.ic.ious | | Email |

Reprints & Permissions

Comments

Report offensive comments to The Am Law Daily.

Post a comment

If you have a TypeKey or TypePad account, please Sign In





By: TwitterButtons.comhttp://www.facebookloginhut.com/facebook-login/


[email protected]




From the Law.com Newswire

Sign up to receive Legal Blog Watch by email
View a Sample

Advertisement