"I had some long-term interests in terms of how I wanted my career to proceed, and I thought those would be best pursued at another firm," he said, adding that the firm had been "supportive" throughout.
Patch, who joined Day Casebeer from firm client Sun Microsystems, did not return a phone call Wednesday. But Day said that Patch and the firm agreed at the beginning of the year that he would leave the partnership to become of counsel.
"It was mutually agreed upon that it was the best way for him to move forward," Day said.
Day said the rest of the firm, too, is ready to move forward.
"I'm sure that Qualcomm was very unsettling for a lot of people," Day said. "The question is: Does it cause you to lose focus and distract you from the opportunity that sits right in front of us? I'm confident that the people we have here are focused on the opportunities right in front of them."
Although it lost Qualcomm as a client, Day Casebeer is still working on patent cases for other marquee clients like Amgen, SAP and Symantec Corp. Day said the firm has been able to land new cases, though he conceded that losing Qualcomm as a client left a "hole."
"I don't think it's made it hard for us to get work," he said. "I think we're reasonably busy ... last year we were incredibly busy."
Palo Alto solo Julie Turner, who left the firm's partnership two years ago, said Day Casebeer won't lack for work because of the Qualcomm situation.
"I think that clients who know them know just how good they are, and they also know that the attorneys strive for the highest ethics and that the Qualcomm case is really a mischaracterization of the firm," Turner said.
Day said a new class of associates would be starting in the fall. Last year the firm added eight associates. Day said he's not sure yet how large the 2008 class will be.