The National Law Journal (NLJ) has recognized WilmerHale partners Joe Mueller and Fellow William F. "Bill" Lee in this year's Winning Litigators special feature, which profiles attorneys who scored big victories for their clients in high-stakes cases in the past year. This annual contest highlights lawyers that prevailed in cases that set a legal precedent, overcame an unfriendly jurisdiction, or occurred when substantial damages were at stake,
Mueller and Lee were selected for their role in achieving a significant trial victory for Intel Corporation in a $2 billion patent infringement suit brought by AVM Technologies—a victory that also earned them the title of Litigators of the Week by Litigation Daily earlier this year. The six-day jury trial held in the US District Court of Delaware before Judge Richard Andrews resulted in a finding of no infringement on all eight asserted claims. The case, AVM Technologies, LLC v. Intel Corporation, was filed by AVM in January 2015—it was the second lawsuit that AVM filed against Intel concerning the same microprocessor circuit patent. In a significant pre-trial action one week before trial, the court granted Intel's Daubert motion to exclude AVM's expert testimony on damages.
In the NLJ's profile of the lead partners and the win, Mueller and Lee noted that the following were among the factors that led to their success: "(a) a focus on teaching the technology to the jury—we believed if they understood the technology, they would understand the problems with plaintiff's claims, (b) showcasing the independent development of Intel's technology, including by presenting the testimony of several engineers who had each worked at Intel for over 20 years, and (c) exposing the hedge fund that was funding the litigation, which undercut plaintiff's attempt to present a 'David v. Goliath' theme."
Also in the profile, Mueller and Lee share two trial tips that have been critical to their success. First, "credibility is the key. Jurors and judges would rather see an honest concession of a bad fact, than an attempt to avoid or sugarcoat it. Better to be forthright—that will earn the respect and trust of the jury and judge." Second, "always keep the overall thematic and narrative framework in mind, and help the jury understand how particular facts fit into the big picture."
Bill Lee is a leading intellectual property litigator who has represented a variety of technology-focused clients for more than 40 years. Mr. Lee has tried more than 200 cases to verdict and argued more than 75 cases to the Court of Appeals of the Federal Circuit and other appellate courts. Those cases have included some of the highest profile patent cases of the last decade. He also has been a member of the faculty at Harvard Law School for more than 10 years.