Morrison Foerster Alumni News
Letter From The Chair
LETTER FROM THE CHAIR
2023 Spring Issue
Welcome to the
This year marks the 40th anniversary of the firm’s presence in Asia. Today, Morrison Foerster is one of the largest and longest-standing international law firms in Asia.
40 YEARS IN ASIA
It is a busy and exciting time at the firm. A few of our recent shared accomplishments are:
This is a special issue for me because it is my inaugural alumni letter as chair. I would like to start by sharing my vision for the firm’s future. My goal, with your support and the support of our wider MoFo community, is for MoFo to continue to be a destination law firm for talented lawyers who embrace a culture of collaboration, teamwork, and commitment to excellence and a firm of choice for the most challenging legal issues, most critical disputes, and most significant transactions. Our leadership team is focused on:
We recently welcomed over 30 lawyers from premier litigation boutique Durie Tangri, further strengthening MoFo’s intellectual property, complex civil litigation, and trial capabilities. We are excited to have them onboard and look forward to introducing them to you. In addition to the Durie Tangri team, we’ve also added six new dynamic lateral partners to the firm across our global offices and practices since November 2022.
Continuing in the praising of our achievements, I am delighted to introduce you to two MoFo alumni whose careers and contributions we are proud to feature in this issue. Their commitment to the legal profession and their values mirror many of our own core values as a firm. First, you will be introduced to Aramide Fields, Associate General Counsel in the Asia division of Autoliv, a Fortune 500 company and the world’s largest automotive safety supplier. Aramide shares with us more about her multifaceted role at Autoliv, which involves a wide range of legal areas such as commercial law; product liability and quality; real estate; disputes; intellectual property; compliance; and contract review and negotiation. Aramide discusses various aspects of her current role, as well as how she was able to successfully transition to an in-house role after working for 15 years in MoFo’s Litigation Department in our San Diego and Tokyo offices. She credits much of her success to the training and mentorship she received while at the firm from a long list of her mentors. They provided valuable training and new opportunities, including helping her land her current role at Autoliv. Thank you, Aramide, for sharing your story with us.
We also catch up with Marc Hearron, Senior Counsel at the Center for Reproductive Rights. During his time at MoFo, and now in his current role, Marc has fought to protect legal access to abortion. Currently, following the bombshell that was the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, Marc helps lead a team of 20 litigators challenging U.S. laws that restrict reproductive rights. He and his team are working on cases that contest state trigger bans (laws that banned abortion once Roe was overruled), as well as laws that forbid telemedicine and ban qualified clinicians from performing abortions. Marc and his colleagues, in partnership with MoFo, recently filed a groundbreaking case against the state of Texas on behalf of five women who were denied abortion care after facing severe and dangerous pregnancy complications. Marc’s vital work continues in the aftermath of Dobbs. He credits the training he received at MoFo for his continued passion for advocacy work. The pro bono work he did while he was at MoFo, in particular, he says, was “the best legal training a lawyer can get at a firm.” Marc took on many pro bono cases regarding reproductive rights, LGBTQ+ rights, and other issues during his tenure at the firm. Today, he is thankful for the extraordinary mentorship he received while at the firm and encourages lawyers to “jump at every opportunity.” Thank you, Marc, for the important work you are doing and for sharing your story with us.
In recognition of the significant accomplishments of lawyers within the MoFo community and in the legal profession, earlier this year, we honored and said goodbye to our friend and former colleague Mel Goldman, who passed after a long battle with cancer. During his five-decade tenure at the firm, Mel helped build one of the top securities litigation practices in the nation. Mel’s experience with securities litigation was legendary; for decades, he was one of a few “go-to” securities litigators in Silicon Valley and the country. Mel always embodied the core MoFo value of “clients first” by teaching generations of lawyers how to do the same. He set the standard as a mentor: he was instrumental in hiring, mentoring, and furthering the careers of a vast number of lawyers, including many who went on to make significant contributions to the firm and the legal profession. Mel was an extraordinary inspiration to us. He will be greatly missed.
I hope you are inspired by the people we have highlighted in this issue, their commitment to the legal profession, and to making the world a better place. Thank you for staying connected with us. We look forward to seeing you soon.
Eric T. McCrath
Operating as one global firm
client-centric growth while building on
Leaning into our culture and values, keeping them at the center of everything we do
Reinforcing our commitment to delivering premier client service, this year MoFo has been named one of Asia’s Top 15 ESG Law Firms by Asian Legal Business in its inaugural rankings; our market-leading National Security practice was just named 2022 Practice Group of the Year by Law360; and we were named a leading international firm in Chambers Global 2023.
AWARDs + Rankings
Furthering our commitment to diversity and inclusion, we received Mansfield Rule 5.0 certification, which measures whether law firms have affirmatively considered at least 30 percent women, underrepresented racial/ethnic groups, LGBTQ+ lawyers, and lawyers with disabilities for leadership and governance roles, and we are already committed to participating in Mansfield Rule 6.0, which runs from July 2022 to July 2023.
MANSFIELD RULE 5.0
Reinforcing our commitment to pro bono service, a MoFo pro bono team secured $15.5 million in damages, including $11 million in punitive damages, for its clients David Boniface, Juders Ysemé, and Nissandère Martyr, who were the victims of human rights violations in Haiti. MoFo served as co-counsel, along with the Center for Justice and Accountability and Dentons US LLP, with assistance from the Bureau des Avocats Internationaux, a Haitian human rights organization.
PRO BONO WIN
Client-centric growth while building on
Pro Bono Spotlight
Associate General Counsel, Autoliv
Proactivity Inspires Serendipity
Serendipity may play a part, but in Aramide Fields’ experience, lawyers build the most rewarding careers when they proactively pursue their interests, connect with others, and receive encouragement from supportive colleagues to take on new challenges.
“Opportunities came to me naturally at MoFo because other lawyers cared about my advancement, and I said ‘yes’ to great opportunities,” Aramide says. She worked in the Litigation Department in Morrison Foerster’s
San Diego and Tokyo offices over a 15–year period.
Today, Aramide is Associate General Counsel in the Asia division of Autoliv, a Fortune 500 company and the world’s largest automotive safety supplier. She recently told us about her journey to join the legal group of a multinational business whose vision is “Saving More Lives.”
What are your current responsibilities as AGC for Autoliv Asia?
I am a corporate generalist, and my role involves a wide range of legal areas such as commercial law; product liability and quality; real estate; disputes; intellectual property; compliance; and contract review and negotiation. I also support our business partners and advise all corporate functions such as sales, purchasing, and strategic projects. Two of us in our Asia legal group cover Japan, Korea, India, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, and the Philippines.
Has the switch to in-house met your expectations?
Yes, it has met my expectations in some ways and exceeded it in others. I had been exposed to in-house work at MoFo during a secondment to Alcon Laboratories in Texas. From that experience, I learned that in-house lawyers address risks more than outside counsel, and now, as a result of that experience, my legal toolkit includes business-minded strategies.
Since joining Autoliv, I’ve had to get accustomed to taking a stand on business matters. Rather than writing legal memos that conclude “on the one hand [ABC], and on the other hand [XYZ],” I’m offering solid recommendations. Colleagues rely on my expertise to make decisions that I can see the effects of immediately, and the day-to-day business-meets-legal advice I give feels worlds apart from my work as a litigator.
Opportunities came to me naturally at MoFo because other lawyers cared about my advancement, and I said ‘yes’ to great opportunities
What aspects of your in-house role do you find most fulfilling?
People value your advice, and you see the consequences of giving it. That’s fulfilling because I do more than merely send advice out into a void without seeing the results.
I also enjoy being on a cross-functional team with people of various skill sets and expertise. For example, a team working on a specific project may include colleagues from operations, engineering, supply chain, quality, and legal. I appreciate the diversity of thought that is shared as we work toward a common goal.
Did a person or situation at MoFo inspire you to make the leap to working in Japan?
It was serendipity! A partner who’d moved to Tokyo briefly returned to the San Diego office to find associates willing to do a three-month assignment in the Japan Litigation Group. We chatted about his family’s transition to life in Japan, and he asked if I would consider taking the assignment. Later that day, my husband couldn’t believe I’d turned down an opportunity to work in Japan. So, I reconsidered and was on a plane to Tokyo within a few weeks.
I returned to San Diego, then went back to Japan from 2008 to 2009, and returned to San Diego for what I thought was the final time. But Jim Hough invited me back for my third stint in Japan, where I’ve been since 2015.
How did your work at MoFo prepare you for your current in-house role?
Getting exposure to a wide range of practice areas at MoFo means that I’ve seen a lot, and I’m ready to take on new challenges. As a senior associate, I represented Japanese and global clients in complex disputes in areas such as intellectual property, product liability, privacy, and commercial law. I also worked on internal investigations related to FCPA, antitrust, and other topics. This broad experience in multiple legal areas prepared me to evaluate business issues from various perspectives and to anticipate and assess risk as an in-house counsel.
Many lawyers reflect fondly on their pro bono work at MoFo. How about you?
Absolutely. A commitment to pro bono work is one reason I chose MoFo out of law school. I formed great relationships working on many pro bono matters. For example, I worked on guardianship and reproductive rights cases. I represented a highly decorated U.S. military member pushed out during the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” era to get his benefits reinstated.
Winning asylum in the United States and Japan for people fleeing atrocities in their native countries was perhaps the most rewarding of my pro bono experiences. Learning to take ownership of cases was important, but the substance of the cases put law into perspective for me. People were struggling for freedom, rights, and dignity, and my legal skills helped them in their darkest times.
It might sound lofty, but many of us have more control over our careers than we realize. Unhappy lawyers might simply be in the wrong practice area or location. It takes soul-searching to find your interests and values, and time to find a place that matches them.
Who were your mentors at MoFo?
It’s such a long list! Some standout ones are Jim Hough, the late Jim Huston, Steve Comer, and Dan Levison. Also, Erin Bosman in the San Diego office, who gave me my first court appearance. And Louise Stoupe, who told me about the opening for my current role at Autoliv.
I have an expansive view of the word “mentor.” I especially want to mention Arturo González, Eric Tate, and Trevor James, who I met at Attorneys of Color workshops. Although I didn’t work with them, I sought their advice over the years, like when I contacted Trevor about potentially returning to Tokyo in 2015.
Across the board, my MoFo mentors reaffirmed that I belonged at the firm, made significant contributions, and had value as a lawyer and a person.
Can you think of a time when a mentor’s impact made a difference?
One memory is from when I was a junior associate and worked on an internal investigation for a Fortune 500 company with Dan Levison and Paul Friedman. Dan trained me on how to create interview outlines and binders of key documents as if I were conducting witness interviews myself.
I went with Paul to Hong Kong to support him during witness interviews. I thought I was there only to manage the binders and take notes to write interview memos. Then Paul asked if I’d like to interview a witness. He saw that I was well-prepared and gave me an opportunity I hadn’t expected. The impact of his belief in my capabilities has stuck with me all these years.
What can lawyers in law firms focus on to attain an in-house role like yours?
Don’t be passive in your career. Show up, work hard, and follow your natural interests.
Maintain good relationships with clients and colleagues. Internal networking at meetings and workshops is as important as developing strong legal skills. If you do these things, then the right opportunities will find you.
Much of it can be serendipity, but you must also connect with people and build your name. Nothing happens if you keep your head down and just bill hours.
And remember that, as in-house counsel, you must decide how and when to speak up, and learn to live with the consequences of your advice. Many
in-house lawyers worry that law firm lawyers can’t make that transition, but I am proof that it can be done.
What advice do you have for lawyers starting their careers?
Picture how you want your career to be, and then find ways to make your daily life match that image. It might sound lofty, but many of us have more control over our careers than we realize. Unhappy lawyers might simply be in the wrong practice area or location. It takes soul-searching to find your interests and values, and time to find a place that matches them.
What opportunities still lie ahead for you?
For 15 years (and frankly, most of my childhood and adulthood), I was often focused on my next goal or achievement. In this season of life, I am not chasing the next big thing because I am very happy with where I am. Now, I think more about where my children are in life and how I can support their development. I have a daughter, age eight, and four-year-old boy/girl twins.
I have been doing more speaking engagements recently and could see that expanding in the future. If I can share my experience, knowledge, or resources and make someone else’s way a bit easier, lighter, and more joyful, then I’m happy to do it. Throughout my career, I’ve mentored others because of the positive impact my mentors had on me. I want to pay it forward.
Aramide recently participated in MoFo Asia’s #EmbraceEquity, Intersectionality in the Workplace webinar in celebration of International Women’s Day. View the recording of the webinar on mofo.com.
Steven Tran joined the firm as a partner in the Private Equity and Mergers & Acquisitions Groups in Singapore. Steven has extensive experience advising global and regional private equity funds and their portfolio companies, as well as multinational corporations operating in the Asia Pacific region, on their complex multijurisdictional private equity and M&A transactions.
Steven supports his financial sponsor clients and their portfolio companies in their corporate transactions across the Asia Pacific region, with a particular focus on Southeast Asia, including LimeTree Capital, CITIC Capital, Permira, EQT, and other leading investors. (G.D.L.P, 1999, College of Law, New South Wales, LL.B., 1999, University of New South Wales)
Deborah (Deb) Connor joined the firm as a partner in the Litigation Department, based in Washington, D.C., and focuses on anti-money laundering and Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) matters. Deb brings to MoFo over 25 years of combined experience as a criminal prosecutor for the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) Criminal Division and United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, specializing in anti-money laundering enforcement, investigations, compliance, and complex white-collar criminal cases.
Deb joined MoFo from the DOJ, where she was Chief of the Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Section (MLARS). In this role, Deb led seven units and 160 professionals, and oversaw a diverse portfolio of investigative matters, including prosecutions against traditional and nonbank financial institutions for Bank Secrecy Act, economic sanctions, and other violations; matters involving digital currency and financial technology companies; kleptocracy cases seeking to recover stolen proceeds from international corruption; and transnational criminal organizations engaged in organized crime, human trafficking, narcotics, and money laundering. Deb previously spent 16 years in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, holding several prominent roles including serving as Chief of the Fraud and Public Corruption Section. (J.D., 1994, Georgetown University Law Center)
Brian Radigan joined the firm as a partner in the U.S. Federal Tax Group and Global Tax Department. Brian brings to MoFo 17 years of sophisticated in-house and law firm experience in international tax transactions and transactional tax work, including M&A, structuring cross-border multinational arrangements, non-controlling investments in startups, and a wide array of structured capital markets transactions.
Brian has extensive experience advising on the tax aspects of a variety of business transactions, including M&A, joint ventures, international structuring, and capital markets offerings. He is a subject-matter expert in subpart F regime, tax treaties, Up C structures, cross-border M&A, structured capital markets, gas/power purchase agreements, repatriations, FTC planning, and ECI management. Brian has a broad knowledge base of international tax systems, tax accounting rules, indirect taxes, and corporate law. (J.D., 2005, Harvard Law School)
Sam Riley joined the firm as a partner in the Transactions Department in London. She has a broad regulatory and transactional practice that focuses on fintech, digital innovation, and emerging technology in finance, within banking and financial market infrastructure such as trading platforms, payment systems, and clearing houses, including digital assets, crypto, and derivatives and structured finance.
Sam has extensive experience in regulatory change initiatives and industry standards, providing strategic capital markets and financial regulatory advice to a broad range of entities, including financial institutions (investment banks, broker-dealers, custodians, and asset managers), sponsors, and corporates. (C.P.E., 2004, University of Birmingham, L.P.C., 2005, College of Law)
Tabitha Saw joined the firm as a partner in the Transactions Department and global Private Equity Real Estate Group, in Singapore. Tabitha represents investment managers, institutional investors, development companies, funds, and owner operators in complex high-value private equity real estate (PERE) and data center transactions. She has significant experience in the establishment of capital raising platforms for real estate investments across APAC, including logistics and data center developments, contractual co‑investment platforms, joint ventures, funds, and downstream portfolio acquisitions and disposals. Her areas of experience include advising on hyperscale leasing and colocation arrangements, greenfield and brownfield acquisitions, and asset management and operational arrangements. (B.A., 2006, University of Cambridge)
Michael Schulman joined the firm as a partner in the Litigation Department and Employment and Labor Group. Michael brings to MoFo over a decade of experience counseling employers on issues related to U.S. federal, state, and local employment and labor laws.
Michael advises clients in the context of both transactions and litigation. Michael’s practice spans labor and employment matters that arise in the context of transactions (including M&A, bankruptcy and restructuring, and financing), as well as advice and counseling matters, general employment compliance matters, internal investigations, government audits and investigations, pre-litigation strategy, and administrative agency charges. He conducts acquisition-related due diligence and risk assessment and assists clients in resolving
post-acquisition and restructuring-related labor and employment and workforce integration issues. (J.D., 2011, The George Washington University Law School)
Steven James joined the firm as a partner in the London office. He specializes in intellectual property disputes and advises on the protection and exploitation of intellectual property, as well as a wide range of commercial matters.
Steven practices in intellectual property, technology, and commercial law, with a focus on new technologies and innovation. His experience includes advising clients on both contentious and transactional intellectual property and commercial matters, predominantly in the tech, financial services, life sciences, retail and luxury goods, food & beverage, and media sectors. He advises on the full spectrum of IP rights, including trademarks, passing off, copyright, designs, patents, and confidential information. (G.D.L.P, 2004, BPP Law School, L.P.C., 2005, BPP Law School, PGDip, Law, 2012, University of Oxford)
Galia Amram joined the firm as a partner in the Securities Litigation, Enforcement, and White Collar Defense Practice Groups in San Francisco. Galia is an experienced trial lawyer who represents companies, individuals, and law firms in high-stakes litigation. Her practice ranges from white collar prosecutions, government investigations, and enforcement actions, to trade secrets disputes, legal malpractice, breach of contract, and employment claims. Galia has represented prominent politicians, Am Law 100 firms, and startups, among others. (J.D., 2003, New York University School of Law)
Allyson Bennett joined the firm as a partner in the Copyright, Trade Secrets, and Trademark practices in Los Angeles. She represents companies, large and small, in all stages of litigation, from pre-suit counseling and investigation, through trial and appeal.
Allyson has litigated a wide range of complex copyright and trademark cases, including cases involving ecommerce platforms, social networks, and television studios. She regularly helps companies navigate business challenges arising from copyright and trademark issues in an increasingly digital world. (J.D., 2013, Yale University)
Adam Brausa joined the firm as a partner in the Patent Litigation Group in San Francisco. He focuses his practice on patent litigation, and he has represented numerous pioneering technology companies in intellectual property disputes.
Adam has litigated patent matters relating to a wide range of technologies, including antibody expression, DNA microarrays, prosthetic implants, medical devices, touchscreen smartphones, cloud-based synchronization, vacuum cleaners, and microwave packaging. (J.D., 2007, Northwestern University)
Kira Davis joined the firm as a partner in the Patent Litigation Group in Los Angeles. She is an experienced courtroom lawyer who represents pharmaceutical, medical device, and other biotechnology companies—from early‑stage startups to the some of the world’s leading life sciences companies—in all stages of patent litigation.
Kira has served as senior litigation counsel in a variety of complex patent disputes, including cases involving foundational antibody technology, cancer therapies, other small-molecule therapeutics, transcatheter heart valve repair and replacement devices, and genetic testing and genomics technology. (J.D., 2004, Cornell Law School)
Daralyn Durie joined the firm as a partner in the Copyright, Patent Litigation, and Class Actions + Mass Torts Groups in San Francisco. A founding member of Durie Tangri, she is one of the nation’s preeminent trial lawyers, with significant experience litigating high-stakes disputes on behalf of leading innovators in the technology and life sciences sectors.
Daralyn draws on decades of experience serving as lead counsel in complex matters and securing successful outcomes in major litigation. Her recent notable wins include securing a defense verdict for Aptiv in a hotly contested patent case and scoring three back-to-back wins in the first post-COVID in-person jury trials. (J.D., 1992, University of California, Berkeley, School of Law)
Andrew Esbenshade joined the firm as a partner in the Securities Litigation, Enforcement, and White Collar Defense Practice Groups in Los Angeles. He represents companies and individuals in investigations and actions by various government entities, including the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, and others, as well as conducting numerous internal investigations on behalf of clients. He also creatively and efficiently navigates complex civil litigation, achieving successful results for his clients as both defendants and plaintiffs. (J.D., 1998, University of California, Berkeley, School of Law)
Joseph Gratz joined the firm as a partner in the Copyright, Patent Litigation, and Trademark Groups in San Francisco. Also a founding member of Durie Tangri, clients turn to Joe to handle trailblazing litigation where copyright and trademark law meet new technologies. An experienced litigator, Joe draws on his strong technical background to distill complex issues into simple, accurate concepts for judges, juries, and clients.
Joe’s cases have set key precedents in internet law, from the Google Books case that laid the groundwork for today’s generative AI innovations to key cases establishing the boundaries of intermediary liability. In addition to representing their interests in the courtroom, Joe helps his clients navigate their thorniest product counseling puzzles to reduce the risk of litigation. (J.D., 2005, University of Minnesota)
Eugene Novikov joined the firm as a partner in the firm’s Patent Litigation and Trade Secrets Groups in San Francisco. He has litigated a wide range of high‑stakes cases for technology, biotechnology, and pharmaceutical companies of all sizes, with a focus on patent, trade secret, and consumer class action matters.
Gene has significant experience with matters involving organic chemistry, genetic sequencing, video games, computer security, mobile device hardware, data compression, and materials science, among others. Recently, Gene helped secure a $178 million patent infringement verdict for a Bay Area drug development company against a major pharmaceutical multinational, and he won a defense verdict for a major telecom company in a trade secret matter. (J.D., 2008, University of Pennsylvania Law School)
Whitney O’Byrne joined the firm as a partner in the firm’s Securities Litigation, Enforcement, and White Collar Defense Practice Groups in Los Angeles. Whitney has represented technology companies, pharmaceutical companies, financial institutions, and other clients in jury and bench trials and arbitrations. She has also represented both individual and institutional clients in investigations conducted by the Department of Justice, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Federal Reserve, and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.
Whitney’s trial experience includes a multi-district antitrust case in the Southern District of New York, a patent trial in the Northern District of California, and multiple JAMS and AAA arbitrations. Whitney is also a NITA trial skills instructor and has taught trial advocacy at multiple levels for over 10 years. (J.D., 2012, Columbia Law School)
Tim Chen Saulsbury joined the firm as a partner and deputy co-chair of the global IP Litigation Group and the cross-disciplinary Intellectual Property Group in San Francisco. His experience spans all aspects of trial and appellate practice, including matters before U.S. federal and state trial courts, the International Trade Commission, commercial arbitration panels, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.
Tim represents many of the world’s leading technology companies in high-stakes patent and technology disputes and has served as lead counsel for VMware, Zoom, Atlassian, Pinterest, Kaiser, Wix.com, and Brightcove. (J.D., 2010, Stanford Law School)
Ragesh Tangri joined the firm as a partner in the Copyright, Patent Litigation, and Trade Secrets Groups in San Francisco. In addition to Daralyn and Joe, Ragesh is also a founding member of Durie Tangri. He brings diverse experience representing clients ranging from individuals to Fortune 100 companies in high-stakes intellectual property and trade secret disputes, in addition to commercial litigation and legal malpractice, in jurisdictions across the country. Ragesh regularly represents major technology companies, law firms, and individuals in their most significant disputes.
Ragesh has litigated matters involving high-stakes breach-of-contract and tort claims, as well as legal malpractice and professional negligence claims arising from work done in a variety of underlying areas, including intellectual property litigation, patent prosecution, general corporate matters, and tax. (J.D., 1991, University of California, Berkeley, School of Law)
Eric Wiener joined the firm as a partner in the Patent Litigation and Trade Secrets Groups in San Francisco. He focuses his practice on intellectual property and has significant experience with a range of commercial litigation.
Eric has represented major biotech companies in high-stakes patent infringement, licensing, and trade secret disputes across the United States. A former math teacher, Eric relishes the technical and numerical aspects of cases. (J.D., 2009, Duke University School of Law)
We are thrilled to welcome this exceptional group of lawyers to MoFo
– Eric McCrath, chair of Morrison Foerster
Morrison Foerster and premier litigation boutique Durie Tangri announced the completion of their combination on January 3, 2023. Durie Tangri’s lawyers further strengthen MoFo’s intellectual property, complex civil litigation, and trial capabilities. The combination cements Morrison Foerster’s position as a premier global IP and patent powerhouse, further strengthening the firm’s position at the forefront of technology and life sciences.
Durie Tangri has been recognized as a premier trial practice, representing clients in diverse areas of complex litigation, including IP (patent, trademark, and copyright), professional liability, privacy, white-collar crime and investigations, contract and commercial matters, and class actions.
and call them our colleagues, having
worked closely with them over the past several weeks to complete the combination. This combination is a perfect match, both in terms of our joint focus on technology and life sciences clients, and our cultural alignment, in particular our shared commitment to diversity and inclusion.
Answer when opportunity knocks
Marc attributes his career success to a policy of saying yes to opportunities. “Jump at every opportunity, even if it’s a stretch,” Marc says. He once spent six weeks in Morrison Foerster’s Tokyo office helping people develop writing skills, jumping on a plane only five days after being asked.
He credits Deanne Maynard for his outlook after she offered him advice that Justice Stevens had given her: “When you are thinking about your next plan, don’t be thinking about two jobs down the road. Do what sounds fun.”
“If an opportunity sounds fun, go do it, and make the most out of it,” Marc explains. “You can’t predict where your opportunities will come from. But doing something rewarding right now is in your control. And if you’re enjoying your work, you’ll dive into it, and then you’ll be fine in the future.”
Working with many people in multiple practice areas at MoFo, including Michael Jacobs and Rachel Krevans, also gave Marc insight into different types of clients and areas of the law to build his career.
“Sometimes, the work may seem uninteresting, but it’s opening the door for the next opportunity. It’s building important relationships,” Marc says. It’s a lesson he benefited from firsthand after leaving MoFo.
Bringing the fight to each battle
Marc brings seasoned firepower to each battle. In November 2021, Marc argued Whole Woman’s Health v. Jackson in the U.S. Supreme Court, which challenged Texas SB 8, a six-week abortion ban enforced through civil lawsuits seeking $10,000 or more against anyone who performs or assists an outlawed abortion.
Then after the Dobbs ruling, Marc partnered with Morrison Foerster to maintain abortion access in Texas for as long as possible. “We got an injunction after Dobbs that allowed abortion providers to perform services for just three days, but that gave our clients and their patients some semblance of control in the middle of all the chaos,” Marc says.
Now, Marc and his team are addressing an ongoing health crisis. Hospitals are denying or delaying treatment to patients who have dangerous, emergent obstetrical conditions because of state abortion bans. Doctors in Texas fear up to 99 years of imprisonment if they provide an abortion in reliance on the state ban’s medical emergency exception, even though offering termination may be the standard of care.
Cross-border issues can also get tricky. “We are in the midst of the first state legislative sessions after Dobbs,” Marc says. “Some state legislatures are considering enacting laws that would prevent patients from accessing healthcare in a different state.”
Right now, Marc and his colleagues at the Center are engaging in what may be a decades-long process to restore abortion rights state by state and eventually at the federal level. Thankfully, he received the best training a lawyer can get.
The best legal training possible
“Pro bono work at MoFo is the best legal training a lawyer can get at a firm,” Marc says. “It can give you an opportunity to run the case, deal directly with clients, and even as an associate or junior partner, get to do the oral argument.”
Marc took on many pro bono cases regarding reproductive rights, LGBTQ+ rights, and other issues as a partner in MoFo’s Appellate & Supreme Court practice from 2015 to 2018 and an associate from 2007 to 2014.
In the Ninth Circuit, Marc successfully argued in National Abortion Federation v. Center for Medical Progress, which affirmed an injunction barring the release of secretly recorded videos activists leaked to smear abortion providers. “That was rewarding,” he says. “It was my first experience directly working with abortion advocates and seeing some of the underhanded tactics in the anti-abortion movement.”
In the Fifth Circuit case June Medical Services v. Gee, Marc represented Hope Medical Group, opposing a Louisiana law that would have shut down most of the state’s clinics. The case resulted in a U.S. Supreme Court victory in 2020.
At MoFo, Marc initially worked with Beth Brinkmann, Brian Matsui, and Ketanji Brown Jackson. Ruth Borenstein was a great friend and mentor whom Marc knew would always listen and talk through any issues. Marc found mentorship in Joe Palmore, and Deanne Maynard was his most significant mentor.
“Working with such smart people, you must think very deeply,” Marc says. Eleven years of rigorous challenges from brilliant colleagues and mentors also sharpened Marc’s writing skills, which he now uses to help junior lawyers hone their writing.
Win Now or Survive to Fight Another Day
Senior Counsel at the Center for Reproductive Rights
We work in every continent to ensure maternal health and expand access to contraceptives and abortion. As the U.S. moves backward, Latin America and the rest of the world are moving forward..."
Relationships open doors
After MoFo, Marc worked for a short time as Senior Counsel for Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein on the Senate Judiciary Committee. Then, when an opportunity arose at the Center, true to his philosophy, Marc said yes, leading to the next phase of his career.
At the Center, Marc enjoys working with a team and interacting with clients, calling it the most rewarding part of the job. “I even discovered that depositions are really fun to take,” he jokes.
Yet Marc also brings a highly skilled perspective to the role, saying, “Much of the work is strategic. We’re thinking about how to shape the law. My federal appellate court expertise helps in preparing cases at the trial court level for successful appeals.”
Once again, Marc is relying on tactics he learned while at MoFo. “I interacted with intensely talented people at MoFo to develop strategies for turning what appears to be a likely loss into a win—or losing the right way, so you live to fight another day.”
PRO BONO SPOTLIGHT
Marc has many more days of fighting ahead. Currently, the Center needs help from lawyers with state court experience, as well as criminal lawyers to assist with compliance issues. Learn how you can get involved.
The bombshell that was the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization stunned many in the United States and around the world. But Marc Hearron, Senior Counsel at the Center for Reproductive Rights, together with his colleagues, had been preparing.
Marc has fought to protect legal access to abortion for years. “After such a big shock to our jurisprudence, we’re now thinking long term about rebuilding reproductive rights in the U.S. from the ground up,” Marc says.
With so much uncertainty about state-by-state abortion restrictions, the Center is also fielding healthcare providers’ questions on complying with onerous constraints. “Partly, clients just want to know if someone will help if they get sued,” Marc says. “We tell them of the whole litany of lawyers already standing up for them, which gives them some assurance.”
Marc joined the Center in 2019 and now helps lead a team of 20 litigators challenging U.S. laws that restrict reproductive rights. Current cases contest state trigger bans (laws that banned abortion once Roe was overruled), as well as laws that forbid telemedicine and ban qualified clinicians from performing abortions. Marc and his colleagues, in partnership with Morrison Foerster, recently filed a groundbreaking case against the State of Texas on behalf of five women who were denied abortion care after facing severe and dangerous pregnancy complications.
The Center maintains offices worldwide and in New York and Washington, D.C., and often partners in litigation with other reproductive rights and justice organizations. The Center has long partnered with Morrison Foerster in litigation in Texas and Louisiana, including three cases that went to the U.S. Supreme Court.
“We work in every continent to ensure maternal health and expand access to contraceptives and abortion. As the U.S. moves backward, Latin America and therest of the world are moving forward,” Marc says. “So, we’re looking to apply the lessons learned in Ireland, Argentina, Colombia, and Mexico to the U.S.”
Pro bono work at MoFo is the best legal training a lawyer can get at a firm. It can give you an opportunity to run the case, deal directly with clients, and even as an associate or junior partner, get to do the oral argument.
A Passion Driven by People and the Products
Now, having been at Honda since 2013, Jim primarily derives his passion from working with all of the engineers and other associates on a daily basis. “I see the passion that our R&D engineers put into developing our products, and our quality and manufacturing teams building them, and ultimately our sales and service people, who support it all,” stated Jim. “Their passion makes it easy to go to bat for them in order to defend our products.”
In his diverse role, Jim is responsible for leading the litigation division in defending Honda in a wide array of product-related lawsuits, including patent litigation, product liability cases, class actions, warranty litigation, asbestos, and other litigation matters. In addition, he provides legal counsel to Honda’s executives and numerous business units, often working with affiliates worldwide in relation to U.S.-related legal issues.
Jim has worked his way up within the company, beginning primarily with class action work when he first joined—a practice area for which he was primed while at MoFo.
“It was almost as though I wrote the job profile for the Honda position. It was hard to believe; I checked off every single box,” said Jim. In addition to class actions, he became well rounded in other areas by taking on product liability cases and counseling internal clients on U.S. trade laws. Ultimately, he was asked to transition to lead the IP Litigation team, before being promoted to his current role, where he oversees all litigation.
Mel’s experience with securities litigation was legendary; for decades he was one of a few go-to securities litigators in Silicon Valley and the country. He represented Memorex Corporation in the first large securities class action filed against a Silicon Valley high-tech company. He was involved in well over 100 securities cases, both in California and throughout the United States, representing numerous technology companies, financial institutions, and their directors and officers. His practice also focused on the defense of private and government antitrust actions. He was retained by Barnes & Noble to defend the company in an antitrust lawsuit brought by the American Booksellers Association and individual retail booksellers, and by The Coca-Cola Company to defend antitrust claims of transshippers, among many others. He was a tenacious, strategic advocate and exemplified the highest standards of civility.
Mel also personified the MoFo tradition of service to the legal profession through active participation in bar organizations. He lectured to numerous professional organizations in the areas of securities law and complex commercial litigation, including the Practising Law Institute, California Continuing Education of the Bar, San Diego Securities Regulation Institute, and American Law Institute and American Bar Association. He served as a lawyer representative from the Northern District of California at the Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference, was involved in the Northern District Historical Society, was a member of the American Law Institute, and was a fellow of the American Bar Foundation. He served as president of the Bar Association of San Francisco in 1995.
Mel Goldman joined the Firm in 1965 and became a partner in 1969. Simply put, Mel was a giant in the history of MoFo (although he would not like that notion). During his five-decade tenure, he helped build one of the top securities litigation practices in the nation. He was listed for over 25 years in Best Lawyers in America as a leader in the fields of Bet-the-Company Litigation, Criminal Defense White Collar, Securities Capital Markets Law, and Commercial Litigation. Because Mel was known for being a specialist in several areas, he attracted huge numbers of exceptional lawyers to the firm who wanted to work with him.
It is with great sadness that we bid farewell to our friend and former colleague Mel Goldman, who passed away at the age of 86 after a long battle with cancer. Mel grew up on the northwest side of Chicago in a neighborhood of Polish immigrants. He paid for his first years of college selling women’s shoes. He obtained his B.S. in accounting from DePaul University and graduated from Northwestern University School of Law after serving as managing editor of the Law Review and being elected to the Order of the Coif. He made his way to California in 1961 as a teaching assistant at Stanford Law School, graduating with a Master of Laws. At Stanford, he met his wife Bonnie (whose maiden name was also Goldman), and they married in 1963.
After teaching, he spent a year at Kirkland & Ellis in Chicago but returned to San Francisco a year later, joining Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison to practice antitrust law. Soon after, Mel decided to leave Brobeck for Morrison, Foerster, Holloway, Clinton & Clark.
As a leader within the firm, Mel served in almost every conceivable leadership capacity. He was on the Management Committee from the early 1970s and was head of the Personnel Committee in the mid-1970s. Under his leadership, the firm hired a number of women who went on to become the first women partners at the firm. He served as chair of the Litigation Department from 1978 to 1982. In later years, he served on the Executive Committee to then-chair of the firm Steve Dunham. From 1992 to 2000, he served as chair of the Points Committee.
As Jack Londen wrote, before Mel’s passing, “It is impossible to know Mel Goldman well and not admire and enjoy him. All the external emblems of success in our line of work have come to Mel. He earned a sterling reputation for the quality and success of his advocacy as a pre-eminent figure in antitrust and securities litigation, and as a bar leader. That said, Mel’s greatest accomplishments are not external. He combines brilliance with great strategic judgment. He is very funny, with an ironic perspective on himself and almost everything else. I have known Mel for 42 years, and rarely have we had a discussion of any length that has not included a laugh or two. What is greatest about Mel is his character. He is completely unstinting in his attention to the matter at hand. Mel’s effort is never half-hearted. Those of us on Mel’s team could give him our best work, and he would always see something we had missed. He is a generous teacher, passing along insights and techniques that his teachers had given him. But the best lessons came from watching him work— with a focus and intensity that make words like diligence and dedication seem too weak.”
Mel was an extraordinary inspiration to so many of us. He will be greatly missed.
Read more about Mel’s extraordinary life and career and the impact he had on so many of us at the firm.
It is impossible to know Mel Goldman well and not admire and enjoy him. All the external emblems of success in our line of work have come to Mel. He earned a sterling reputation for the quality and success of his advocacy as a pre-eminent figure in antitrust and securities litigation, and as a bar leader.
Danielle Coleman was promoted to Senior Director & Associate General Counsel, Global Litigation at VMware in February 2023. At MoFo, Danielle was an associate from 2010 to 2016 in the San Francisco office.
Larry Denny was promoted to Chief Legal Officer at 8x8 in December 2022. At MoFo, Larry was an associate from 2002 to 2004 in the San Francisco office.
Adam Eltoukhy was promoted to Chief Legal Officer at Samsara in February 2023. At MoFo, Adam was an associate from 2010 to 2012 in the Washington, D.C. office.
Maya Ingram was selected for the Truman
National Security Project 2023 membership class in December 2022. At MoFo, Maya was an associate from 2012 to 2016 in the San Francisco and Los Angeles offices.
Peter Hilton was promoted to Senior Counsel Corporate & Securities at Hillenbrand in January 2023. At MoFo, Peter was an associate from 2013 to 2018 in the Northern Virginia office.
Diana Luo was promoted to Divisional Vice President & Associate General Counsel at Abbott Laboratories in January 2023. At MoFo, Diana was an associate from 2006 to 2013 in the Palo Alto office.
Shirley Qin was promoted to Senior Corporate Legal Counsel at Coherent in January 2023. At MoFo, Shirley was a summer associate in the Tokyo office in 2015 and then an associate in the Tokyo and Washington, D.C. offices from 2016 to 2019.
Leah Ramos was promoted to Senior Vice President/Director of Ethics, Compliance & Audit at STO Building Group in January 2023. At MoFo, Leah was an associate from 2007 to 2014 in the New York office.
Mustafa Rizvi was promoted to Deputy General Counsel at Joby Aviation in January 2023. At MoFo, Mustafa was an associate from 2015 to 2019 in the San Francisco office.
Joe Rosner was promoted to Senior Privacy Counsel US - Director at Novartis in January 2023. At MoFo, Joe was a summer associate in 2014 and then an associate in the Los Angeles office from 2015 to 2020.
Will Solis was promoted to Deputy General Counsel at Twist Bioscience in January 2023. At MoFo, William was an associate from 2011 to 2017 in the San Francisco office.
Sydney Cooper joined the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland as a Judicial Law Clerk to the Honorable Lydia Kay Griggsby in January 2023. At MoFo, Sydney was a summer associate in 2019, and then an associate in the Washington, D.C. office from 2021 to 2023.
Deok Keun Ahn joined Arkive, a fine art museum and fintech startup, as Chief Legal Officer in January 2023. At MoFo, Deok Keun was an associate from 2007 to 2013 in the San Francisco office.
Nimesh Christie joined Fenergo as Head of Policy and Regulatory Affairs in February 2023. At MoFo, Nimesh was a senior associate from 2011 to 2015 in the London office.
Carlos Espinoza joined Abbott Laboratories as Senior Counsel, Intellectual Property in November 2022. At MoFo, Carlos was an associate from 2013 to 2019 in the Los Angeles office.
David Fasman joined Morgan Stanley as Executive Director, Legal and Compliance Division, Alternative Investments in March 2023. At MoFo, David was an associate from 2011 to 2013 in the New York office.
Oliver Johnson-Munday joined Bank ABC as Legal Counsel in January 2023. At MoFo, Oliver was an associate from 2019 to 2021 in the London office.
Mia Mazza joined Mechanics Bank as Senior Counsel, Litigation in November 2022. At MoFo, Mia was a partner from 2000 to 2013 in the
San Francisco office.
Amanda Mollo joined TD Bank as Senior Counsel - Credit Cards in February 2023. At MoFo, Amanda was an associate from 2013 to 2018 in the Washington, D.C. office.
Brenda Muñoz joined the U.S. District Court, Northern District of California as a Judicial Law Clerk in February 2023. At MoFo, Brenda was a summer associate in 2018 and then an associate in the San Francisco office from 2019 to 2022.
Alex Rosenberg joined Juniper Networks as Product and Open Source Counsel, Corporate Attorney Manager in March 2023. At MoFo, Alex was a summer associate in 2016 and then an associate in the San Francisco office from 2017 to 2021.
John Caruolo joined Virtusa as Corporate Counsel in January 2023. At MoFo, John was an associate in the Boston office from 2019 to 2022.
Candice Novack joined the
San Diego County District Attorney’s Office as Deputy District Attorney in January 2023. At MoFo, Candice was a summer associate in 2019, and then an associate in the San Diego office from 2021 to 2022.
Tessa Davis joined Apple as Senior Renewable Energy Specialist in January 2023. At MoFo, Tessa was a partner in the Singapore and Los Angeles offices from 2019 to 2023.
Amanda Studley joined Sensata Technologies as Counsel, Transactions in December 2022. At MoFo, Amanda was a summer associate in 2020, and then an associate in the Boston office from 2021 to 2022.
Cesar Santiago joined City of Hope as Counsel, Business Transactions in January 2023. At MoFo, Cesar was an associate in the Los Angeles office from 2021 to 2023.
Teresa Garcia-Barrero joined Amazon Studios as associate corporate counsel in January 2022. At MoFo, Teresa was an associate in the San Francisco office from 2021 to 2022.
Shauna France joined Aumni as director, LP Solutions in June 2022, and is an adjunct professor at Monterey College of Law. At MoFo, Shauna was an associate in the Palo Alto office from 2017 to 2022.
On The Move
New alumni as of February 2023
You are invited to a special evening reconnecting with your former colleagues at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA).
We will toast our shared history and collective achievements surrounded by exquisite art at
this iconic San Francisco venue. Enjoy great company, cocktails, cuisine, and exclusive access to SFMOMA’s current art exhibits.
This event is being held exclusively for alumni and current attorneys of Morrison Foerster. Suggested attire is business casual.
We hope to see you there!
This year marks the 40th anniversary of the firm’s presence in Asia. Throughout the year, we will be celebrating this special anniversary with events and stories showcasing the accomplishments and contributions of MoFo Asia. For more information, please visit mofo.com.
40th Anniversary in Asia
We look forward to having you join us on the MoFo Alumni Portal, and we thank you for your support of the MoFo community. If you have any questions, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tuesday, May 2, 2023
6:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.
We are excited to announce the launch of
our new MoFo Alumni Portal. The new portal includes a variety of features including:
A searchable database
of MoFo attorney alumni
and current MoFo attorneys
A job board listing
and the ability to post open roles
at your company to the community
The ability to tailor your
profile and connect with
your fellow alumni
A communication feed, similar to social media platforms
Access to CLE offerings
and additional resources