Forward to a Friend  | July 11, 2007
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Bisnow on Business

Land America

Sand, Surf, and the Supremes

A shoutout to our great sponsor, Forrester Interiors, which has been busy building out space for high-end law firms, associations, and companies. Among current projects, big interiors for the American Trucking Association in Arlington, Blackboard in DC, and the American Speech Hearing & Language Association in Rockville (for Silver LEED certification). Welcome aboard!

Sterne Kessler
founder Rob Sterne thought it was safe to go in the water—that is, on vacation with his wife to Acapulco’s famed “Ski Paradise” camp in late April. He had been the lead patent lawyer in KSR v. Teleflex, the most important patent case since Graham v. John Deere in 1966, re-examining the amount of innovation needed to get a patent. Akin Gump’s Tom Goldstein had argued for Teleflex in the Supreme Court in November, with Rob at his side, and they figured there was only a 5% chance it might be announced the two weeks he went away.  



So Rob was getting a massage (“hey, you push muscles you don’t know you have!”) when he got a call from his office that the Court had ruled 9-0 and he needed to do a press conference, then later a Westlaw webinar. The picture above was taken by no less than Gordon Rathbun, one of the world’s most famous waterskiers, who was teaching Rob how to run a slalom, but thought this picture of an obsessed American lawyer too hysterical to pass up. (You can have that perspective when the lawyer’s paying you, not vice versa.)



Okay, here he is back up on his feet—well, sort of. He needed a chair because he was on the losing side, but there was actually some celebrating, because it turns out the Court was much more moderate in raising the hurdle than many feared. The case involved adjustable accelerator pedals in a Chevy Suburban, but could have affected millions of patents. Rob founded his firm 30 years ago at age 26, and today it’s 75 intellectual property attorneys in a single DC office. He’s an electronics expert (“double e” major at Tufts) who represents Google, Qualcomm and Broadcom. Today, by the way, he was at the Capital Hilton for the National Capital Area Boy Scouts, on whose board he sits, honoring Gibson’s Ted Olson as their Attorney of the Year; Rob helped found the event remembering the fun he had in Scout Troop 255 growing up in Chevy Chase and lately becoming involved in his son’s Cub Scout activities.


Speaking of community service, over 160 Morgan Lewis attorneys, staff, and friends gathered last month for their 2nd Annual Community Service Day. Volunteers (some even after running the Lawyers Have Heart 10K) fanned out around the city to do things like make 4,000 sandwiches for the needy, box 635 care packages (each with a personal note from a volunteer) for Operation Interdependence for troops in Iraq, collect 205 pairs of jeans for Martha's Table, and clean out bird exhibits at the National Zoo. (Large exotic birds + big cages = Messiest job of Service Day.)



Morgan Lewis’ Scott Stempel and Harry Rissetto didn’t let 90+ degree temperatures stifle their landscaping efforts at the Jordan House, a stabilization facility for psychiatric crisis. They picked up litter, trimmed foliage, and planted flowers.


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