Fourth Year Associate Argues at Claim Construction Hearing in Minnesota District Court

On March 1, 2017, Mathias Samuel of Fish & Richardson filed a notice that a junior attorney would be arguing at an upcoming hearing—this time, before Judge Nelson in Minnesota District Court. The notice explained that Conrad Gosen, a fourth year associate, would be arguing the construction of several contested terms related to technology for electrical generators and motors in an upcoming Markman hearing. On March 10, 2017, the hearing took place and Mr. Gosen argued along two Fish & Richardson partners, Mathias Samuel and Rob Courtney.

Explaining his experience, Mr. Gosen said “I am very grateful for the opportunity to have argued several claim terms for our client during a recent claim construction hearing. Newer lawyers often struggle to get any ‘on your feet’ experience arguing in court, and so the opportunity to represent my client before the judge not just at a hearing, but at one of the most critical junctures of a patent case was a very rewarding experience.”

Similar notices have been filed by other Fish & Richardson principals creating opportunities for junior lawyers to argue in court, including in cases before Judge Koh and Judge Kronstadt in the Northern and Central Districts of California. The notice in this case was given in a letter, which is reproduced below and can be cribbed from and improved upon as a model.

Dear Judge Nelson:

On March 10, 2017 at 1:00 p.m., this court has scheduled argument on the parties’ claim
construction briefing in this case. As a number of courts have recognized “in today’s practice of
law, fewer cases go to trial and there are generally fewer speaking opportunities in court,
particularly for young lawyers (i.e., lawyers practicing for less than seven years).” See, e.g.,
Secured Structures, LLC v. Alarm Security Group, LLC, Order, Civ. Act. No. 6:14-CV-930
(E.D. Tex., Mitchell, J., Jan. 22, 2016);
(judicial orders). As such, a number of courts “strongly encourage[] the parties to be mindful of
opportunities for young lawyers to argue in front of the Court, particularly for motions where the
young lawyer drafted or contributed significantly to the underlying motion or response.” See,
e.g., id.

Cutsforth believes the upcoming claim construction hearing affords such an opportunity and
respectfully notifies the Court that it intends to have fourth year associate Conrad A. Gosen
argue for certain contested terms at the upcoming claim construction hearing. Mr. Gosen has
been deeply involved in the case for several years. Other lawyers for Cutsforth will argue the
remaining terms. Cutsforth does not believe this division of the argument between Cutsforth’s
various counsel will unduly complicate the proceedings, and it will not require any additional
time beyond what the Court has already allotted for the hearing.

Written by: Dalia Kothari, April 5, 2017