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Their successes range from a $366 million breach of contract suit in Texas, to a $90 million patent infringement case against Sony Corp. in California, to a white-collar defense win against a former top officer at Adelphia Communications Corp. in New York. Of the 10 cases profiled here, two were won by attorneys for criminal defendants. What they all have in common is that they have at least one big win-jury or bench trial-within the last 18 months, and a track record of success over many years. We do not suggest that these are the top attorneys, but they are accomplished litigators with significant recent victories and a successful history practicing law. We admit that the process is subjective: Our reporters and editors based our selections on nominations from readers and our own research. And some of the verdicts have been, or may still be, modified by judges or appeals courts down the road. Three attorneys featured won significant intellectual property cases in the past year, an indication of the recent rise in IP litigation. Morgan Chu, a top IP attorney at Irell & Manella’s Studio City, Calif., office, scored a big victory in March when he helped Immersion Corp., a small start-up that studies the sense of touch for technological applications, beat Sony Corp. in a David v. Goliath patent infringement suit for $90 million. William F. Lee, co-managing partner of Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr, represented EMC Corp. in a patent infringement case against Hewlett-Packard Co. involving three patents for remote data storage and mirroring technology. The case settled on appeal for about $325 million. Robert G. Krupka, a partner in Kirkland & Ellis’ Los Angeles office, won the biggest case of his career last year, a patent infringement suit for his client, inventor Gary K. Michelson, against the medical-device manufacturer Medtronic Inc. A jury awarded Michelson $582 million, and Medtronic agreed to a $1.35 billion settlement in April. Patent cases can be difficult because of the technological and scientific jargon, and all three attorneys emphasized the need to simplify a case to make the facts digestible for a jury. Chu said making the information “comprehensible and interesting” was key. Lee said he accomplishes that by picking a theme that any juror can relate to, such as an inventor’s passion for creation. Lee also stressed making a case as compact as possible. In his recent victory for EMC Corp., he simplified to the extreme: He offered just five witnesses and presented the case, including cross-examination, in four days.
WINNING 10 profiles of successful strategies from some of the nation’s top litigators

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