Friday morning of the bench/bar started off with a panel on Story Telling & the Art of Persuasion, moderated by Karen Smolar, with panelists Doug Cawley and Fay Morriseau. That was followed by the always popular panel of former jurors Persuasion Seen From Inside the Box with Judge Judith Guthrie, Jason Cassel and Jennifer Doan.
After the morning break, the conference split into three tracks focusing on patent law, criminal law, and general civil litigation. I have summarized the tracks below:
- The DFW USPTO: Who, What, When & Where? - Discussion of what to expect as the USPTO prepares to open its Regional DFW office with Judge James Smith, Chief Administrative Patent Judge, USPTO, and Bart Showalter.
- Key ED Texas Patent Decisions & Federal Circuit Trends - Review of leading ED Texas patent decisions and trends in Federal Circuit, which I moderated with panelists Jennifer Parker Ainsworth, Peter Corcoran, Wes Hill & Judge Roy Payne.
- Into the Future: What’s Ahead? - a focus on what lies ahead for intellectual property moderated by Professor Xuan-Thao Nguyen, with panelists Bart Showalter & Professor David Taylor.
- Balancing the Equities & Interests: Do Defendants Really Want to Go It Alone? Panel discussion on the issues of scheduling, claim construction and trial in situations where a patent is alleged to be infringed by multiple parties moderated by Charles “Chip” Molster with panelists Chief Judge Leonard Davis, Mark Flagel, Ronald Schutz & Wayne Stacey.
- What Does Technology Have To Do With It? Panel discussion on the interplay between the technology side of a patent case and the art of persuasion that is involved in other civil jury trials moderated by Philip Philbin with panelists David Keyzer, Scott Partridge & Carl Roth.
- Patent Dim Sum. The ultimate Judge’s Panel. Interactive discussion between attendees and Eastern District of Texas judges on hot topics ranging from infringement and invalidity contentions to MDLs, discovery & damages with moderator Johnny Ward and panelists: Chief Judge Leonard Davis, Judge Ron Clark, Judge Rodney Gilstrap, Judge Michael Schneider, Judge Caroline Craven, Judge Keith Giblin, Judge John Love & Judge Amos Mazzant.
- eDiscovery and ESI - Panel discussion of the recently released ESI protocol for use in federal criminal cases. Marlo Cadeddu, Northern District of Texas Electronic Discovery Coordinator & Sean Broderick, National Litigation Support Administrator with the AO of US Courts
- Key Supreme Court, Fifth Circuit and ED Texas Criminal Law Decisions of 2011-2012 - Judy Madewell, Assistant Federal Public Defender, Western District of Texas.
- Preservation of Error: Avoiding Plain Error Review. Discussion of preservation of error during pre-trial and trial. Judge Jennifer Elrod, Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals; Deborah Pearce & Bryan DeTray, Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, Staff Attorney’s Office.
- Cybercrimes - This session will focus on federal computer and internet crimes such as hacking, identity theft, cyber-stalking, unauthorized password use, and fraud. Ken Hawk, Assistant Federal Public Defender, Eastern District of Texas
- Effective Advocacy at Sentencing - Panel discussion of sentencing trends and issues, and how to persuade the Court. Judge Marcia Crone, Judge Richard Schell & Judge Zack Hawthorn; Malcom Bales, United States Attorney, Eastern District of Texas & Pat Black, Federal Public Defender, Eastern District of Texas.
General Civil Litigation
- Key EDTX non-Patent Decisions of 2011-2012 - Discussion and update regarding recently decided significant decisions from the Eastern District of Texas. Sean Rommel, Melissa Smith & Michael Truncale.
- Re-Emerging Oil and Gas Litigation - Royalty and working interest disputes and contract cases. Dick Watt, Watt Beckworth
- Thinking Outside the Box - Developing and defending new causes of action when recovery options are shrinking. Kurt Kern & Todd Tracey
- Cognitive Biases; A Look at the Science of Persuasion - Stanley Curbo.
- The East Texas Tool Box: What Seasoned Trial Lawyers use to Persuade Jurors. Judge Robert Parker; Judge Judith Guthrie; George Chandler & Tom Melsheimer
The joint session lunch was an entertaining set of remarks by Rusty Hardin, then it was back to the breakouts. Following the conclusion of the breakouts there was the traditional brief meeting of the Eastern District bench bar to sentence the new officer and director by acclamation, hear the financial report, and make damn sure Clyde Siebman will stay as next year's bench/bar committee chair.