Pamela Matthews - (March 19, 1967 - March 17, 2014)
Graveside services for Pamela Matthews, 46, of Marshall, will be held on Monday, March 24, 2014, at 2 P.M. at Gladewater Memorial Park with Father John Himes officiating.
Born on March 19, 1967, in Stockton, California, she died on Monday, March 17, 2014. She was a graduate of Marshall High School ...
The problem with an obituary for someone that you don't know is that you don't have anyone to tell you what is in between the lines about the person – what you really need to understand the loss that her family and friends are suffered. So I thought I'd make a few comments in the margins so to speak.
I first met Pam when I was about to graduate from Marshall High School in 1982, and she was a member of the ninth grade band that came over to the main campus for a band concert. I was the band historian at the time, and was shooting pictures of everything in sight, and got this one of her in her majorette uniform (and the one below at the annual Red & White game). For the next three years Pam came to East Texas State University, where I was an undergraduate student, in the spring for solo & ensemble competition, and ragging the boy-crazy clarinet player from Marshall around about her old majorette uniform was standard practice in the band fraternity I was a member of.
That we were both members of the same high school band, even though not at the same time, means something locally. It means we were members of a group that learned under our long time band director Dr. Jerry R Payne (30 years in Marshall schools) how to work towards a goal, and how to conduct yourself professionally as a member of an organization.
Pam was one of the few people that realized that when Doc showed up in front of our office in his van bringing Miss Marilyn to get her hair done next door, it was the small-town equivalent of a state visit from the President, and she would hustle both of us out to the sidewalk to open the door and see if Doc or Mrs. Payne needed anything. That was important to both of us, for reasons going back 30 years.
.... Draughon’s Training Institute, and East Texas Baptist University. She graduated with a B.A.S. Legal Assistant Studies degree, a political science degree, and a sociology degree. ...
The next time I saw Pam was in 1993 when I had returned to Marshall to clerk for Judge Sam B Hall, Jr. over at the federal courthouse after law school. One of the opportunities that his clerks had was to teach in the legal assistants program at East Texas Baptist University, and Pam was one of the students in my civil procedure class. Her performance in her classes was so good that one of her professors vouched for her to a friend with a Henderson firm, and help her get her first job as a paralegal. She graduated from college at ETBU, and was a leader in the Northeast Texas Association of Paralegals (NTAP) as well as with the paralegal profession statewide.
Pam was just one of those ninja paralegals that could do anything. You know the kind.
... She worked for Wellborn Houston Law Firm in Henderson, Dobbs and Tittle Law Firm in Tyler, Erskine and McMahon Law Firm of Longview; Siebman, Burg, Phillips, and Smith LLP Law Firm of Marshall.
For most of her legal assistant career, Pam worked for the Wellborn Houston firm in Henderson, which for many many years was one of the two large plaintiffs' firms in East Texas. This was a another connection that we had, because my first jobs and law firm was at the Jones, Jones, Baldwin, Curry & Roth firm in Marshall as a runner, and later during law school as a law clerk (and after that for Carl Roth for 14 years after he left the firm and I left the courthouse). We shared the experience of working for large, highly skilled firms that worked together as a team, and went to trial a lot, even by local standards. She knew - without me having to say anything - how to treat clients and prepare files because she'd been trained by some of the best lawyers in the area. This experience also gave her an experienced second set of eyes on issues when I needed them.
Her hobbies included the bowling team, golf, horseback riding, hunting, and helping animals find homes.
Pam's passion was helping animals, in particular dogs, and last week at their meeting NTAP made a donation to the Marshall animal shelter in Pam's memory. She would have liked that.
She was a member of the Trinity Episcopal Church in Marshall. She is survived by her father and mother, William E. and Robbie D. Anderson of Kilgore; son, Branden Allan and wife, Debbra, and their children, Corrin, Randall, and Derrick. She, in addition, is survived by her twin sister, Sharon, and husband, Robert Adams of Troup and their children, Shelby, Chelsea, Zeke, and Gabe; sister, Misty Yates and fiancée Danny Butler of Marshall; step-brother, John Townsend and his daughter, Barbara, of Carthage.
Pamela met each day with a cup of coffee and looked forward to the challenges of working for the law firm of Michael C. Smith in Marshall.
Six years ago, when Pam learned that I needed a paralegal/office manager – what is referred to locally either as a "Donna" or an "office wife" as my wife puts it (they are used to being called Jamie or Pam interchangeably - which neither minds since - this being Marshall - they were in the same high school graduating class so they'd actually known each other longer than either has known me) she called me, and neither of us has looked back since.
My favorite picture of Pam, and how I will remember her is this one the day that we moved into the Hub, months before the renovations were complete. We just walked in, with our computers and monitors under our arms, and set up shop in the only room that was even partially complete, the small conference room.
As you can tell, it didn't even have a floor, light fixtures, - it was a few days before we even started getting doorknobs. We had to plug in lamps to see to work, and carry a flashlight to go to the bathroom. But as you can tell from the smile on her face, Pam absolutely loved it. It was an adventure.
So while we have enjoyed the offices since they were finished, as you can tell in this picture of Pam from the reception we had for the artists in the building after the renovations were completed, she loved it even when it was all paint fumes and sheet rock dust. She just loved what she did.
Pam was the consummate professional at work, as the hundreds of clients, lawyers and friends that pass through our doors saw. She took great pride in her work, knew what to do most of the time, and who to call to find out what to do when she didn't, and she made our office not just friendly, but efficient, and in the end a hell of a lot of fun to come to work at.
She was a gifted, generous, and loving mother, daughter, sister, and friend. Pamela was an optimist that believed given time, everything will turn out all right. She loved her work, friends, and especially her dogs, Dolly and Judge and Chindi. Pam had recently married Dudley Taylor of Marshall.
If so desired, Pam would love for donations to be made to your local animal shelters for pet care and adoptions. Rescue a pet or sponsor a loving family who longs to.
The family will receive friends from 6 to 8 P.M. on Sunday, March 23, 2014, at Croley Funeral Home in Gladewater.
As readers may recall, in January of this year plaintiff SimpleAir obtained a jury verdict of infringement and not invalid against defendant Google from a Marshall jury in Judge Rodney Gilstrap's court. Since the jury could not return a verdict as to damages, the court accepted the verdict as to the first two issues and set the second trial on damages, which occurred this week.
That jury found that damages for the case was $85 million through January 2014. I am advised that the plaintiff presented two damages models with a range of $127-146 million for past infringement only. Google proposed $6 million for the full term of the patent, which would have extended three years into the future.
We forget sometimes how much the practice of law depends on people. It depends on people to decide what to do, people to carry out those decisions, and people to pass judgment on those decisions when necessary. Computers help us be more efficient, but it is people that decide what is to be done and make it happen. Lots and lots of people, at every stage of the process.
I woke up in Beaumont this morning excited to be working with a team putting on our client's side of a Markman hearing. It was a memorable experience making our arguments and working with cocounsel, opposing counsel, and court staff to present our case to the judge. I remember sitting there at counsel table this morning thinking how lucky I am to get to do what I do, and to have the opportunity to advocate for clients in a system like ours. Then after the hearing I did what I often do when visiting another Eastern District courthouse - I made the rounds visiting with judges and court staff - comparing pictures of our children, hearing about new grandchildren and what our families are up to, gossiping about people we know, and telling a war story or two.
I don't know if this is part of practicing law everywhere, or perhaps it is just an extension of how people in small towns just naturally get along. The people we work with and see during the course of our day are an important part of our lives. Some come and go as jobs change, while others remain your whole career. And as Bill Moyers once said of our shared home town, people here know when you're sick and they care when you die.
I wish I could say that I thought about all of this at the time - that I thought about how important the people I work with are to me, and how lucky I am to work with them. But I didn't. I didn't think about it until I had almost gotten back to Marshall this evening and I got a call telling me that the woman who's worked next to me for the last six years as my paralegal and my office manager - who I've known for thirty-plus years since she was a boy-crazy ninth grade clarinet player - was found tonight in her home shot dead. And tomorrow would have been her birthday.
So when you get to your office in the morning, take a moment to look around and see how very, very lucky you are to be able to work with people that you care about doing something that you care about. Tomorrow morning when I get to my office and look around all I will see is an empty chair.
Between visits by cousins, a day trip to the In Person Meet and Confer Inn & Suites at DFW, and a two day trip with the twins to Waco to provide a seminar on texting for my 80-year-old mother and to read (for the first time, actually) my mother's detailed notes on yours truly in my baby book, I completely forgot to check on the outcome of Judge Dyk's Stragent v. Intel case in Tyler until this morning.
The Tyler jury in visiting CAFC Judge Timothy Dyk's court found that the plaintiff had not proved that either the chips or the wafers infringed either of the asserted claims. It did, however, find that Intel had proven by clear and convincing evidence that both claims were invalid. So no on infringement and yes on invalidity - which actually was statistically the most likely outcome for patent trials locally last year as well. Also means plaintiffs were 1-1 last week in patent/commercial litigation in Tyler.
Oh, and I know you wanted to know. According to the book (and look at the text in the photo - that woman could write), I was the best baby ever and everyone stopped to tell my mother so. I did have one cross day in January of 1965, she records (seriously - that was it), but other than that was perfect. Ancient record (is it ever) so admissible all day long under 803(16).
This was a breach of contract and trade secrets case dealing with cardiac MRI systems. The jury found for the plaintiff except for the misappropriation and unfair competition claims against the individual defendant, a Dr. Lee, and on the fraud/malice/gross negligence that was the necessary predicate for an award of exemplary damages.
In round numbers the jury awarded $24.4 million on the breach claim and $760,000 on the unfair competition. However, the numbers are very specific, which often indicates the jury took one side or the other's number. I haven't been able to find out for certain whose yet since the defendant against whom the $25,174,761 was assessed didn't have local counsel, and I'm not going to interrupt the plaintiff's local, as he's likely out celebrating. But I think I can guess.
We were happy to host the Texas Bar Foundation's reception for Marshall and Longview area Fellows in the SBPS offices at the Hub today. The TBF is on the road this week, conducting receptions to recognize members in Lufkin, Tyler and Marshall, and it was a good chance to hear war stories from old members, recognize new members, and see what the TBF is doing. Catering was by our trial standard The Blue Frog and as always was outstanding.
It was a rather surreal day actually - we also hosted a New York Times reporter this morning who wanted to interview me about an article he's working on on recent developments in Marshall, my two 11 year olds who were on spring break (but were happy to give tours of their "office" upstairs to the visitors) and the retired Navy captain originally from Marshall who first got me interested in studying aircraft carriers back in the late 1970's. It was good to see all of them, and I'm sure no one minded the smell of burnt popcorn on the 113 side as Parker tried to remember what time to use on the microwave in Dad's office.
I also worked on several cases that had some issues threatening to boil over, and posted on the busy day they have been having in Tyler, where Judge Davis finished one trial and Judge Dyk begins the home stretch on another.
The Eastern District has another guest from DC this week. Judge Timothy B. Dyk of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit is sitting as a district judge in Tyler this week hearing a patent case. He is trying Stragent LLC v. Intel, 6:11cv421, which was assigned to him on February 18 of this year. Since then he's held numerous telephonic hearings and issued a supplemental claims construction opinion. (Which of course will only receive de novo review, which based on Judge Dyk's vote in Lighting Ballast he is fine with).
Judge Dyk picked a jury in the case on Monday, and I understand the plaintiff rested its case earlier today, so odds are we'll have a verdict Friday. I'm guessing between 4-4:20.
In case anyone cared, not one of any of the several hundred GeoTag cases that were once pending before Judge Gilstrap in Marshall remained to pick a jury Monday when scheduled. There are still a few pending before Judge Schneider and Judge Payne (eight maybe? Docket's not real clear), but with a few exceptions too annoying to detail, none of the ones before Judge Gilstrap remained to pick a jury Monday morning.
No doubt in honor of the SimpleAir retrial on damages that gets underway before Judge Gilstrap in the next few days, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals offered some guidance on the subject earlier this week.
As reported in 600 Camp, in Naquin v. Elevating Boats, LLC, the Fifth Circuit retained the jury's liability findings (which is what lawyers call that side of the case when it's not patent infringement) and ordered a new trial on damages.