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Talk about a bigger platform: Two partners from Howard, Rice, Nemerovski, Canady, Falk & Rabkin have left for DLA Piper Rudnick Gray Cary. Howard, Rice, with a single office in San Francisco, has 115 lawyers, while DLA has 2,900 attorneys in 53 offices and 20 countries. Arthur Beeman, the chairman of Howard, Rice’s patent litigation practice, and patent litigator Pamela Fulmer joined DLA’s San Francisco office as partners Monday. Beeman had been with Howard, Rice for a year since moving here from Kentucky, where he was chair of IP litigation at Frost Brown Todd. He is licensed to practice law in Kentucky, Ohio and Minnesota and says he will be taking the California bar exam next week. Fulmer has spent her entire 14-year career at Howard, Rice. “We truly believe that there is a unique opportunity to be part of the building of an international law firm,” said Beeman. “We believe the patent litigation practice is one of the best in the United States given its breadth and depth.” With the additions, DLA has six IP partners in San Francisco, said John Allcock, co-chair of the firm’s technology, media and communication practice group. “I think that it is no mystery that we are aggressively expanding our patent litigation capability,” said Allcock. “They approached us in search of a more suitable platform, and I think we provided for them.” In June, Annette Hurst, co-chair of the firm’s IP litigation group, joined Heller Ehrman. And at the beginning of July, IP partner Neil Smith departed to Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton. Deborah Marshall, a Howard, Rice partner designated by the firm as a spokeswoman, said Monday that she didn’t expect the departures “to have a significant impact” on the firms’ IP practice. Marshall said the group was handling some patent litigation for RIM, maker of the BlackBerry device, as well as copyright infringement work for MGA Entertainment. Howard, Rice is also representing the Schlesinger family in its fight with Disney Inc. over the rights to Winnie the Pooh, and representing Genentech Inc. in its appeal of a $500 million verdict won by the City of Hope Medical Center. “With all of the departures, we have not lost significant business,” said Marshall. “I can understand that somebody might feel that [a national or international platform] might provide more opportunity. We feel going forward that we will continue to get interesting matters from exciting clients.” Marshall said the firm’s financial picture was stronger this year than last year. “We want to be a financially strong and attractive firm,” she said, “but money is not what drives people to come to Howard, Rice and leave Howard, Rice.” She said the firm is “very comfortable” with its performance. “People feel very well compensated,” she said.

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