40th Annual Page Keeton Civil Litigation Conference

I am spending what I assume is a beautiful day outside in Austin moderating the afternoon’s sessions at UTCLE’s annual civil litigation conference.  So far this afternoon I have enjoyed Frank Guerra talk about opening and closing statements, followed by Brittany Stanton and Josh Sandler talking about demonstrative evidence.  It is perhaps a comment on litigation today that Frank had 30 minutes for the crown jewel of trials, while Brittany and Josh are luxuriating in 45 minutes for demonstratives.  But both are great. After the break we’ll have sessions on difficult witnesses and jury selection, followed by ethics Jeopardy, which is always fun (but more fun if you have a ringer in the audience advocating for the wrong answers – we do that at EDTX bench/bars, and it’s always fun watching attendees when that happens.. There’s another day and a half of good stuff to come, with updates in numerous fields.

Running With the Line

One of the things I like to share with readers is something of the experience of practicing in the Eastern District of Texas, which more often than not includes references to football, as shared experiences, whether civic, social, educational, or historic.  In other words, more football. For the good of the order, then, I can’t let what happened in Waco this past weekend pass. When the Baylor Line was founded back in 1970, it was a spirit organization for first-year men, who formed a human tunnel on the field at Floyd Casey Stadium to welcome the football team, and then sat in the seats behind the visiting football team and shouted, uh, encouraging things, I’m sure.  For a firsthand view of what it’s like to run the Line, here’s a video.  (It is a really neat tradition). It wasn’t until 1994 that it became a co-ed organization, leaving a generation of alumnae who were never able participate. This weekend, those women finally got that chance when the university invited all alumnae who were freshmen from 1970-94 to participate in a ceremonial running of the Baylor Line. Here’s the point I’m leading up to. My wife Jamie and three of her Baylor dorm friends have had an annual tradition of “spa weekends” where they get together going back to after they graduated from Baylor, which was in 1989.  I’m not saying that means they just turned 50 because that would be unwise.  They’ve always been very close, even to the point that two of the four married guys named Michael Smith (I am not making that up).  They all ran Saturday – along with over 800 other women – in their “MamaSpaBear” Line jerseys, and Baylor ran a nice feature story on them Longtime friends among alums in this Saturday’s ceremonial Baylor Line run, which features priceless photos of my honey in the mid-80’s, with truly Texas-sized hair. Making it extra special this year is that one of those freshmen running with the Line this year is our son Grayson, who’s studying computer and electrical engineering, and volunteering as cannon fodder, i.e. acting as a witness, for Practice Court students at the law school. I’d like to say that Jamie and Grayson made Baylor history by running together Saturday morning, but he slept through both kickoff and his mother’s repeated calls, texts and emails.  In fairness, an 11 am kickoff is early for a college student on Saturday.  He did show up after halftime for a photo op, though.

There’s been some interest in the current state of filings post-TCH, so I wanted to update readers with some relative stats for the top patent filing districts in recent weeks.

2017 3Q Patent Filings Analysis: About Those Delaware Filings …

There’s a scene towards the end of 2010 where Dr. Floyd (Roy Scheider) looks out the window of the Leonov and sees that the colors of the planet Jupiter are … fading.  He doesn’t know why, but he knows it’s really, really significant.

I was reminded of the look on Roy Scheider’s face last night when I began looking at two reports that are now out analyzing the patent case filings for the third quarter of 2017.

You won’t believe who edged out Delaware in new patent filings the last three weeks of September.  And I think I know why.

Y.A. Tittle – 1926-2017

There are sad faces around Marshall today at the news of the death of NFL great Y.A. Tittle, who passed away over the weekend. Y.A. was born and raised in Marshall, played at Marshall High School in the 1940s, then after a significant recruiting battle between Texas and LSU went to LSU. (Other players from MHS who went on to play football for LSU include my dad – seven years after Y.A. and to significantly less fanfare – and Odell Beckham, Sr. in the 1980’s). He played ten years for San Francisco in the NFL, then led the New York Giants to three division titles before retiring in 1964.  He threw for more than 33,000 yards and 242 touchdowns and entered the Hall of Fame in 1971. Y.A.’s last visit to Marshall was three years ago in 2014, when he was present for the naming of the MHS football field house in his honor.  And his jersey has always had a place of honor in the museum that sits in the center of the square.  ESPN profiled him at that time, in an exquisite story Awakening the Giant that is well worth reading. RIP, Y.A.  We will miss you.

2017 Midwest IP Institute

Looking forward to today’s sessions at the 2017 Midwest IP Institute at the outstanding Minnesota CLE Conference Center in Minneapolis.  Lots of good speakers on tap, beginning with this morning’s keynote, CAFC Judge Jimmie V. Reyna. I am up on the panel on venue after TC Heartland with Susan Morrison and Aaron Myers, moderated by John Adkisson. John pulled current filings stats for us to discuss, as well as trends we are seeing in practice.  I had my first post-In re Cray venue hearing the day before yesterday, so I can relay what I’m seeing as far as briefing and argument as well.

Time is what prevents everything from happening at once. Lately it doesn’t seem to be working

My calendar knew that I am speaking at three events in the upcoming week on the effect of TC Heartland, but somehow it didn’t see fit to tell me.  So let me flag a couple in case you’re in the neighborhood, as well as mention a fourth presentation at the upcoming ILT IP conference in Plano in November:

Midwest IP Institute – Friday, Sept. 29 – 1:15 pm – I am on a panel at the Midwest IP Institute in Minneapolis.  As our panel follows CAFC Judge Jimmie Reyna, who was on the panel in In re Cray, we might have more insights than we’re currently aware of.

If you haven’t been to this event, the Minnesota Bar’s CLE conference facilities in the City Center Mall are the best I’ve ever seen.  I spoke there a few years back and am really looking forward to returning – with I could be there for both days, but there are claims that must be construed …

EDTX Bench/Bar – Thursday, October 5 – I’ve already posted on this one, but we have a great panel on the effect of TCH (and now In re Cray) to kick off the bench bar Thursday morning.  I’ll be moderating a panel consisting of

  • Judge Leonard Davis, Fish Richardson;
  • Dean Brad Toben, Baylor Law School;
  • Ted Stevenson, McKool Smith;
  • Wesley Hill, Ward, Smith & Hill, PLLC; and
  • Thomas J. Meloro, Willkie, Farr & Gallagher, LLP

We are hard at work making sure we have all the best analysis for attendees.

I’m also presenting on the same topic at the Institute for Law & Technology’s 55th Annual Conference on Intellectual Property Law in Plano, which I am co-chairing with Brian Gaffney of AT&T this year.  The conference will be November 13-14, and I’ll post more when – well, when next week is over.

Baylor Law Alumni Weekend

I am headed to Waco for Baylor Law Weekend to celebrate 25 years since I survived Louis Muldrow and Jerry Powell in Practice Court (actually that was last year, but I graduated in ’92).   There is a Big O with my name on it at George’s tonight (if you have to ask, never mind), and I need to start early because we are playing OU tomorrow.  

Oh yeah, and I get to see the offspring, who takes his first engineering exam today …

Order of Legal Writing (Cleaned Up) Evangelist and Hero

Thanks to @SCOTUSPlaces for the certificate.  I’ll get right on reprinting my business cards (and cleaning up my cites).  Waiting on the email with the info on the secret handshake, and being a long time member of KofC and KotHS, I’ll be disappointed if a funny hat isn’t involved at some point.

Again, for information on the “(cleaned up)” citation concept, see the ASAL post adopting it here.