Topic: Views from the Bench: Discussion of Patent Trials by Judges of the Southern District of California
Panelists: Hon. Judge Marilyn L. Huff and Hon. Judge Cathy Ann Bencivengo, District Judges, and Hon. Magistrate Judge Andrew G. Schopler, Southern District of California.
Moderator: Howard N. Wisnia, Partner at Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, LLP.
Date: Thursday, June 8, 6:00 pm
Location: San Diego Marriott Del Mar, 11966 El Camino Real, San Diego

6-6:45 Reception
6:45-7:30 Dinner (salad pre-set)
7:30-8:30 Presentation (dessert provided during presentation if there is not enough time during the dinner period)
Parking discounted $5/$10 (self/valet)


San Diego Marriott Del Mar
11966 El Camino Real
San Diego


huffHON. MARILYN L. HUFF, District Judge, Southern District of California

Marilyn L. Huff was appointed in 1991 as a federal district judge for the Southern District of California. She was Chief Judge of the Southern District of California from 1998 to 2005. She is a patent pilot judge, a member of the United States Judicial Conference Budget Committee and a member of the Ninth Circuit’s Education Committee.

She is the President- Elect of the Federal Judges Association and on the Judicial Advisory Board of the Association of Business Trial Lawyers in San Diego and the Executive Board of the Louis Welsh Chapter of the American Inns of Court. Previously, she was the Chairperson of the Ninth Circuit’s Public Information and Community Outreach Committee, a member of the U. S. Judicial Conference Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure, the Ninth Circuit Judicial Council, a member of the Judicial Resources Committee for the United States Judicial Conference, chairperson of the Ninth Circuit Gender Fairness Committee, President of the Louis Welsh American Inns of Court, President of the Lawyers Club of San Diego, and Vice President of the San Diego County Bar Association.

Her recent publications include Developments in the Jurisprudence on the Use of Experts, 7 WASH. J.L. TECH. & ARTS 325 (2012) and Symposium on the Restyled Federal Rules of Evidence, 53 WM. & MARY L. REV. 1462 (2012).

She received her J.D. from the University of Michigan law school in 1976 and a B.A. from Calvin College in 1972. She was a lawyer in private practice in San Diego, California from 1976 to 1991, specializing in civil litigation and media law. She has received the San Diego County Bar Association’s awards for Legal Professional of the Year and Service to the Legal Profession.

bencivengoHON. CATHY ANN BENCIVENGO, District Judge, Southern District of California

Judge Bencivengo was appointed to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California by President Barack Obama, and confirmed on February 10,2012. Prior to her confirmation, she served as a U.S. Magistrate Judge for the Southern District since December, 2005. Judge Bencivengo is a participant in the Southern District’s Patent Pilot Program and is a member of the District’s Patent Local Rules Committee.

Before joining the bench, Judge Bencivengo was a partner with the law firm of DLA Piper (formerly Gray Cary), where she specialized in intellectual property litigation and was National Co-Chair of the firm’s Patent Litigation Practice Group. Judge Bencivengo attended Rutgers University in New Jersey, earning a B.A. in journalism and political science and an M.A. in political science as a Fellow at the Eagleton Institute of Politics. She received her J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School, magna cum laude. She is a Master in the J. Clifford Wallace Chapter and the Louis M. Welsh Chapter of the American Inns of Court. She currently serves on the Ninth Circuit Education Committee and formerly served on the U.S. Magistrate Judges Education Committee for the Ninth Circuit, chairing the committee in 2009 and 2010. She was a Ninth Circuit Director of the Federal Magistrate Judges Association, served on the Advisory Board of the San Diego Chapter of the Federal Bar Association from 2009-2012, and is a member of the Board of Governors of the San Diego Chapter of the Association of Business Trial Lawyers.

Hon. Andrew G. Schopler, Magistrate Judge, Southern District of California
Magistrate Judge Schopler was appointed in 2016.  An honors graduate of both Dartmouth College and Harvard Law School, he began his legal career as a public defender in North Carolina.  He later joined Rudolf Maher Widenhouse & Fialko, rated as North Carolina’s top white-collar defense firm, where his practice focused on complex civil litigation and criminal defense.  He was named to North Carolina’s highly-selective Capital Roster, from which he was appointed to capital murder cases statewide.
In 2004, Judge Schopler joined the U.S. Attorney’s Office in San Diego as a federal prosecutor, where he ultimately became the Deputy Chief of the Major Frauds and Special Prosecutions Section.  In 2015, he received the Director’s Award for Superior Performance by an Assistant U.S. Attorney – the highest honor offered by the Justice Department’s governing office for U.S. Attorneys.  He also serves as a Captain in the U.S. Army National Guard, having graduated Army Airborne School in 2015, at age 44.
Moderator: Howard N. Wisnia
Howard is a partner in the San Diego office of Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP.  He has led litigation teams in a variety of patent infringement and other IP matters before Courts, the International Trade Commission (ITC) and arbitration panels.  Howard also has extensive experience in post-grant proceedings before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB). He has successfully litigated matters on behalf of clients in the medical device, financial, telecommunications, semiconductor, and software industries. Howard focuses his practice on IP disputes, including district court litigation, ITC investigations, post-grant proceedings, arbitrations, and coordinating multinational litigation matters. In addition to his litigation experience, Howard has worked in patent matters for over 25 years as a patent examiner, and general counsel to a medical device company.