I was privileged to participate in the 12th annual Dr. Kenneth Street Law Symposium at Austin College in Sherman last Friday, which was themed as "Emerging Trends in the Federal Courts." The symposium began with a luncheon address by Fifth Circuit Judge Patrick Higginbotham, which was then followed by three panels on trends in (1) appellate courts; (2) criminal cases; and (3) intellectual property and commerical innovation.
Accompanying Judge Mitchell on the third panel was moderator Robert Greeson, myself (hmm, three Baylor lawyers - this could get interesting) and technology entrepreneur Mike "Norden" Pisterzi, so called because he was the designated bomb-thrower for the panel, a role he excelled at, using his experience in intellectual property investment to shed light as well as heat throughout the discussion.
It is a bold statement to claim that a 75 minute panel is entertaining to anyone but the people on it, but we sure tested that, with a thoroughly enjoyable (at least for me) discussion on patent litigation in general, the effect of recent Supreme Court cases on practice, commercial innovation and investment, and when advisory opinions are and are not forthcoming. The discussion was forthright, candid, impassioned, and even tearful at times (and that was just Mike). I had a great time, and hope that the attendees did as well.
Thanks to Austin College for inviting us - it's always good to get to talk to students and practitioners about the interesting fields we practice in.