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Partnering Up with Fish & Richardson Law Firm!

by Erik Fogel | Jan 26, 2014 |

Legal Education, Manhattan Debate League

1 Comment
We are honored to partner with Fish & Richardson LLP for a second year.  We are grateful for Fish & Richardson's support of all our Great Debaters and sponsoring our 2014 Middle School City Championships Debate Tournament.  The Fish and Richardson City of Championships will feature the top debaters from across the city in May 2014!  Last year Fish & Richardson also hosted the Final Round of our City Championships Debate Tournament! 

Firm History (excerpted from http://www.fr.com/about/firmhistory/)

Since 1878, our firm has been at the forefront of evolutionary change in technology and patent law.

Under the command of Frederick Fish – who at the time was the acknowledged leader of America's patent bar – we started as a Boston law firm with only a few attorneys on staff. Now we have a legal team of more than 350 in  12 offices across the world. 

We have represented technology luminaries such as Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell, and the Wright brothers before they were stars – when they were entrepreneurs with innovative ideas and a drive to succeed. 

Since then, our firm has continued to grow into an IP powerhouse, representing today's visionaries in technology, business, and the arts, while boasting a client list that ranges from individual inventors to top-tier multinational corporations. 

Our attorneys – more than 76 of whom hold PhDs in a broad variety of technologies – have the knowledge and skills to assist our technology-driven clients in the areas important to their success. 

We offer more than just patent protection. In addition to traditional IP services, we provide regulatory, financing, and licensing advice to help our clients maximize the value of their IP. 

We were there when Edison patented the lightbulb and when Bell gave the world a telephone. 

The idea of flight fascinated the Wright brothers, and with our help they were able to make it a reality. 

For more than a century, we have been inspired by the inventive fearlessness of our clients and have only one mission in mind: to help them become the technology legends of tomorrow. 

One path, many milestones 
It all began when Frederick Fish opened the office in Boston. Since then we have left a footprint in every area of the technology map, from patenting the early telephone to patenting the keys on a Steinway piano.

To read more of our accomplishments, please click  here.
FISH & RICHARDSON PRO BONO (EXCERPTED FROM http://www.fr.com/pro-bono/)
At Fish, we are committed to making  pro bono  work an integral part of our professional culture, and we strongly encourage all of our legal professionals to take on  pro bono matters as an integral part of their professional lives. We back up this commitment by providing our attorneys with full hours credit for approved  pro bono  matters, and by assigning a principal-level attorney in each of our U.S. offices with the task of seeking out and publicizing local  pro bono  opportunities.

Last year, Fish attorneys donated over 10,000  pro bono  hours representing clients in need of legal representation. On average, Fish lawyers spend 28 hours a year on  pro bono  matters. Our efforts have resulted in significant and meaningful gains for our clients, from securing asylum from a persecuted refugee, to obtaining citizenship for immigrant children fleeing abuse and violence in their home country, to preserving intellectual property rights for income-qualifying artists, inventors, and non profit organizations. At a time when funding for legal services and access to justice for low-income individuals are at an all-time low, the volunteer work done by Fish’s attorneys is critically important in providing access to justice. 

We are a member firm of the Pro Bono Institute (PBI), and in selecting matters for  pro bono  representation, we are guided by the PBI's definition of  pro bono  legal work, which emphasizes the provision of legal services to persons and nonprofit organizations with limited means, and the protection of important civil and public rights. Click here to review a more complete description of our recent  pro bono efforts .

Recent Pro Bono Examples

Fish & Richardson has a long-standing commitment to the representation of individuals seeking political asylum in the United States. Since 2008, the firm has represented over 50 clients seeking political asylum or special immigrant juvenile status in this country; our clients hail from Bhutan, Congo, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Uganda, Cameroon, Armenia, Guatemala, Somalia, El Salvador, Peru, and Honduras. Fish works with immigration legal services providers around the country, including the Political Asylum/Immigrant Representation Project (“PAIR”) Kids in Need of Defense (“KIND”) , Human Rights First, and many others.

Ten years ago, a young Peruvian man was forced to flee his native country because of repeated physical and emotional abuse based on his sexual orientation and at the hands of his family, classmates, police, and community members. Hospitalized after being severely beaten and left unprotected by police, and after receiving a death threat from his father, the young man fled to the United States, staying with a friend in Washington D.C. He subsequently learned that he was HIV positive, and began receiving treatment. Through a referral from Human Rights First, attorneys from our D.C. office represented this client on his asylum application, which was granted in late 2011. Our representation continued; after being arrested for a misdemeanor traffic violation, we represented him in court, negotiating a plea deal that resulted in a suspended sentence and nine months’ probation. The firm was able to work through the client’s permanent resident application after this arrest. Fish assisted our client in a successful application for permanent residency, which was granted in November 2012.

Religious Institutions
Fish represented a Greek Orthodox Monastery in Brookline, MA in a copyright infringement suit involving the Monastery’s copyrighted translation of seven ancient religious Greek texts. The suit was for both the infringement of the seven works and for breach of a settlement agreement that resolved a previous copyright infringement lawsuit between the two parties. In 2012, the First Circuit affirmed the District of Massachusetts’ two grants of summary judgment to the Monastery from February and December of 2010, and reiterated what the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act expressly provides: that translated literary texts are copyrightable works. This was a huge victory for our client, reconfirming that the art of translation is a creative process that involves artistic choices. The decision validates the copyrightability of religious works and protects them from infringement. The Archbishop filed a petition for certiorari with the Supreme Court, which Fish opposed in December 2012. The Supreme Court denied the Archbishop’s petition on February 20, 2013. Read more about this case  here .

Habeas Corpus
A team of Fish attorneys from our Atlanta office took on the cause of representing a client on his state habeas appeal to the Georgia Supreme Court. Referred by the Georgia Innocence Project in 2008, the central issue in the appeal is ineffective assistance of counsel. Our client’s appointed trial attorney had a troubled history with drug abuse, the Bar, and the law, and has since passed away. His appellate lawyer was also investigated as part of Fish’s case, with allegations that she failed to develop any evidence.  One of the Fish team’s main argument is that the evidence shows that our client’s trial attorney, never conveyed the State’s plea offer to our client.  A plea offer that our client would have accepted.  Before Fish got involved, the case went up to the Georgia Supreme Court and was affirmed in May of 2005, entirely because his appellate counsel had proffered no factual record upon which to consider ruling in our client’s favor.  The Fish team conducted a new fact investigation, developed a new case strategy, engaged in discovery, and then conducted a mini-trial before the State Superior Court.  After the petition was denied by the Superior Court, the Fish team appealed to the State Supreme Court, filing probable cause briefing to get an opportunity for full briefing and a hearing. In May 2012, our client’s application for certificate of probable cause was granted by the Georgia Supreme Court, an exciting and rare occurrence in Georgia state habeas cases.  A hearing was held before the Court in late 2012. After the State Supreme Court denied our petition, the Fish team, undaunted, filed a federal habeas petition on the client’s behalf.  In July 2013, the United States District Court for the Middle District of Georgia withheld ruling on the Respondent’s motion to dismiss our petition, and has invited full briefing on the merits. 

Pro Bono Partnerships

Fish & Richardson has worked on over 400  pro bono  matters in 2013 thus far, contributing over 13,000 hours representing  pro bono  clients in communities around the country. We also serve our communities in other ways; our legal staff serves on various nonprofit and charity boards nationwide, and our local offices volunteer in myriad ways, such as organizing toy drives for needy families, participating in book drives for soldiers in Afghanistan, and raising money for natural disaster relief. 

Key areas of  pro bono  representation include immigration/political asylum, death penalty representation, family law, and prisoners’ rights. We also advise nonprofits, inner-city businesses, entrepreneurs, artists, and inventors, using our unparalleled intellectual property expertise and resources on their behalf. In order to reach clients in need of  pro bono  representation and to maximize the impact of our resources, Fish partners with highly regarded public interest and legal services organizations around the country, including, but not limited to, the following:

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