leach degree


Snell & Wilmer is pleased to announce that Sid Leach, a partner in the firm’s Phoenix office, has been awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Science from the University of Arizona on December 15, 2017. This honor was bestowed upon Leach in recognition of his work supporting higher education, helping the University of Arizona protect intellectual property and for his extraordinary influence on the Department of Astronomy and the Steward Observatory.

Leach has a long-time interest in astronomy and a passion for photographing the night sky. For over 10 years, his astronomy images have been featured in the Official Calendar of the Vatican Observatory. The current 2017 calendar features an image of a nebula complex approximately 1,000 light years away in the constellation Perseus by Leach and Adam Block. His astronomy images have been published in Sky & Telescope magazine and in Astronomy magazine. Asteroid 157258 Leach is named after him. He has been recognized as a member of the Christoph Clavius Circle of Giving by the Vatican Observatory Foundation. He is also chairman of the Arizona Astronomy Board and immediate past-chairman of the National Sharing the Sky Foundation. He serves on the Dean’s Board of Advisors for the College of Science at the University of Arizona. Each year for well over a decade he has contributed annual scholarships for astronomy students at the University of Arizona. He is also a member of the President’s Cabinet at the University of Alabama, and a former member of the Capstone Engineering Society Board of Directors.

“It is a privilege to receive the honorary degree of Doctor of Science from the University of Arizona,” said Leach. “Arizona is at the forefront of astronomy research, and the University of Arizona has one of the nation's finest astronomy programs. I believe that institutions of higher education play a crucial role in contributing to the future of the State of Arizona. I consider it a worthy public service to be able to support outstanding educational programs, because a college education provides an opportunity for young people to improve their lives. I will cherish this honor. It is truly a career highlight.”

At Snell & Wilmer, Leach’s practice includes intellectual property, patent and technology litigation, especially in the area of electronics and computer technology. He has litigated patent cases, trade secret cases, trademark cases, copyright cases, proceedings before the International Trade Commission, as well as trademark opposition proceedings and interference proceedings before the Patent and Trademark Office. In 2009, Leach obtained one of the top ten jury verdicts in Arizona in a trademark case. He has defended against multiple district court suits brought against his clients by patent trolls, and obtained favorable jury verdicts on claims of malicious prosecution and abuse of process asserted against the patent trolls. In 2017, Leach was selected as a 2017 “Lawyer of the Year” in Trademark Law by The Best Lawyers in America. He is a Fellow in the Litigation Counsel of America.