After trying out a cloud-based firm, patent lawyer E.J. Joswick has returned to the brick-and-mortar world, joining Thompson Hine as a partner from FisherBroyles.
Thompson Hine also added a real estate associate, Christina Campbell, from Arent Fox in Washington.
Joswick said his foray into virtual lawyering at FisherBroyles, where he spent a year and a half after almost 12 years at Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton, was a “great experience,” but he needed to provide his clients a “tight-knit team of patent attorneys” with more face-to-face interaction.
Joswick focuses on high-tech patents, mainly software, for computer-related technologies. He said his clients include several Silicon Valley computer and tech companies, but he declined to name them without permission.
“I work for big-name tech companies in Silicon Valley that do [patent] prosecutions in large volumes. So to work with them, you really can’t do it as a solo,” he said, adding that he wanted to put together a team where the people are “interacting pretty regularly, so they’re familiar with the clients’ preferences and styles.”
“Thompson Hine has some outstanding individuals, so I knew I could come in and form those teams. That was important to me,” said Joswick, who joined the firm Aug. 14.
He spoke to the Daily Report from California, where he was already introducing some of his new Thompson Hine colleagues from the Atlanta and Dayton, Ohio, offices to his clients.
Another big draw, Joswick said, was Thompson Hine’s proprietary project management and process improvement program, called SmartPaTH.
“They have some tools that allow me to monitor client matters and identify areas of inefficiency and make improvements. If we’re spending too much time to draft claims or on revisions, I can identify that and figure out how to change our processes,” he said.
His clients are interested in alternative fee arrangements, including fixed fees, with predictable costs, he explained. “If they’re paying hourly, they’re bearing the risk. With fixed fees, the law firm has to figure this out. Thompson Hine is actually embracing this and looking at how we provide efficiency.”
“It’s more than just something they say. They’re investing in it with the SmartPaTH program,” he added.
Thompson Hine has just 20 patent attorneys, compared with well over 100 at Kilpatrick. “It is an opportunity to build their patent and intellectual property presence, especially in Atlanta,” Joswick said.
Tim McDonald, the partner-in-charge for Thompson Hine’s Atlanta office, said Joswick is an excellent addition to the firm’s IP practice, and to its culture.
“The fit is more important than ever these days, because the cost of turnover is so high,” McDonald said. “We’ve been slow to add people, and we’ve looked at a lot of folks.”
Joswick is Thompson Hine’s second IP partner in Atlanta, McDonald said, joining Ash Patel, an IP litigator.
“We are ready to move when we find the right person,” McDonald said, adding that it only took two months to hire Joswick after they met him.
Thompson Hine’s local office is “selectively trying to add people,” he said, noting that this year it has been a net exporter of work to other offices. With Joswick and Campbell, the office has 29 lawyers.
The firm has nearly 400 lawyers overall, with 2016 revenue of $207.5 million.
Ira Foster has become general counsel and associate director for Georgia Legal Services Program. Foster was previously the managing attorney for the legal aid group’s Macon office. Foster served as president of the Macon Bar Association in 2015-2016 and he was the 2015 recipient of the State Bar of Georgia’s Access to Justice Dan Bradley award.
Georgia Legal Services has promoted Tomieka Daniel to managing attorney for the Macon office, which serves 23 of the state’s 159 counties. Daniel had been the office’s supervising attorney and has done statewide training on domestic violence and teen dating violence. She is the president-elect of the Houston County Bar Association and the 2015 winner of the Georgia Association of Black Women Attorney’s Bensonetta Tipton Lane Award for Commitment to the Family.
Rett Peaden has joined Smith, Gambrell & Russell as a partner in the corporate practice from Davis, Matthews & Quigley. Peaden advises on transactions and serves as general counsel to businesses, including owners of closely-held companies.
Castles “Cass” Hollis has joined Bryan Cave as counsel in the employee benefits and executive compensation practice from Fisher & Phillips, which she joined last year after an eight-year hiatus from law to raise her children. Hollis spent the first decade of her career at Bryan Cave’s predecessor firm Powell Goldstein, leaving in 2008, just before it was acquired by Bryan Cave.
Pro Bono Partnership of Atlanta has added a staff attorney, Sireesha Ghanta, who was counsel at Cooper Holdings. Ghanta’s first volunteer legal project as a first-year associate at McKenna Long & Aldridge (now Dentons) was through the group, which connects nonprofits with lawyers for pro bono corporate legal services.
Caplan Cobb has hired two associates, Ashley Brown and Julia Blackburn Stone. Brown was an assistant U.S. attorney for the Western District of Tennessee and earned her J.D. in 2012 from the University of Virginia. Stone joined the firm in June from Rogers & Hardin and earned a J.D. in 2011 from Emory University.
Personal injury lawyer Matt Hurst has joined Rafi Law Firm in Midtown as an associate from H.L. Cromartie III‘s firm in Rome, Georgia. He earned a J.D. in 2013 from Georgia State University.
Drew Findling became the president-elect of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers at its annual meeting in San Diego at the end of July. He’s been a member of the group since 1988.