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Jeff Randall has a knack for taking down opponents outside the courtroom. During a short trip to Sweden in the summer of 1999, Cooley Godward’s Jeffrey Randall turned the tide in one of his biggest cases. Randall, 40, a partner in the firm’s Palo Alto, Calif., office had spent two years defending Qualcomm Inc. in a suit brought by Sweden’s Ericsson Inc. in a Texas district court. The company charged Qualcomm with infringing 11 patents involving a cell phone technology known as Code Division Multiple Access. In Sweden, Randall deposed one of the patents’ inventors, who said his work did not solve the technological problems it was supposed to. The statement was enough to create doubt about the patent’s claims. Coupled with critical admissions from the rest of the patents’ inventors and a strong Markman hearing, Randall settled the case later that year. Settlement terms were kept private. Qualcomm’s share price surged after the announcement of the settlement. Randall says the deal enabled the company “to achieve enormous success.” “When he takes on a battle, he doesn’t let go,” says Cooley Godward’s chief executive, Stephen Neal, a partner in the firm’s Palo Alto office. “He’s tenacious, thorough, and a fighter by heart.” Randall is described by colleagues as a firm leader, known for successfully representing high-profile clients such as Applied Materials, Inc., Dell Computer Corp., and eBay Inc. He was appointed head of the firm’s Palo Alto-based IP litigation department earlier this year. Growing up, Randall enjoyed some success in high school sports and had aimed to become a professional athlete in football, basketball, or both. But during his undergraduate years at the University of Oregon he became interested in trial law and the detective work involved in fighting a case. He received a J.D. from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law in 1987 and started working as an associate in the Palo Alto office of Phoenix’s Brown & Bain. Randall honed his trial skills when he left Brown & Bain in 1989 for a stint as a deputy district attorney in Santa Clara County. The move enabled him to master the art of cross-examination. He tried a dozen cases before turning 30, an achievement he knew he wouldn’t have been able to make at a firm. His boss from those days, George Kennedy, the Santa Clara County district attorney, says that he came close to tears when Randall quit in 1993 to rejoin Brown & Bain. But Randall wanted to get back to high-stakes IP litigations. “He was one of the best trial attorneys I have ever had,” says Kennedy. “In criminal trials, you need all 12 jurors to agree with you. He was able to do that; look you in the eye and convince you of something.” In 1995 Randall was hired as a partner at Cooley Godward to develop the firm’s litigation practice and recruit manpower. The practice has grown from 10 to 100 lawyers during his tenure. At Cooley, Randall has successfully settled — or as he says, “beaten his opponents into submission” — the majority of his IP cases in less than a year. Randall successfully settled the first major piece of litigation brought against eBay in 2000. Network Engineering Software, Inc., sued the Internet auction company, seeking unspecified monetary damages and alleging deliberate patent infringement. After Randall filed a motion for summary judgment of invalidity, NES backed down and agreed to a minimal, confidential settlement figure. The case took eight months. Randall is also currently defending eBay in an infringement suit brought by MercExchange LLC over three patents relating to online auction technology. In its 2001 annual report, eBay says the suit has the potential to be materially harmful, but Randall isn’t worried. “Jeff knows when to be aggressive. His client relations are superb, and he’s also a really nice guy,” says eBay associate general counsel Jay Monahan. “With Jeff, you get it all.”

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