Topic: Views from the Bench: Discussion of Patent Trials by Judges of the Southern District of California
Moderator: Howard Wisnia, Mintz Levin
Panelists: Hon. Judge Huff; Hon. Judge Bencivengo; Hon. Judge Sabraw
Date: Thursday, October 15, 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 the 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

Our Panel Moderator:

professional_howard-wisniaHOWARD WISNIA, Member, Mintz Levin

Howard is an IP trial lawyer who has successfully led litigation teams in a variety of patent infringement and other IP matters throughout the country. He has litigated matters on behalf of clients in the medical device, financial, telecommunications, semiconductor, and software industries.

Howard has successfully served as both first chair and co-counsel in patent litigation trials and has successfully argued numerous Markman hearings and summary judgment motions. He has also appeared before the International Trade Commission and coordinated multinational patent litigation in a variety of matters.

Howard also assists clients in litigation avoidance, including patent clearance studies, license negotiations, and strategic patent counseling. His experience in interferences, reexamination procedure, and the coordination of foreign patent actions provides additional roads to success in major patent disputes. Howard has spoken extensively, both domestically and abroad, on a range of IP topics, including the Supreme Court’s Bilski decision.

Our Panel Speakers:

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.

Judge Dana M SabrawHON. DANA M. SABRAW, District Judge, Southern District of California

Judge Sabraw graduated from San Diego State University with a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice Administration, with distinction. He received his Juris Doctor degree from McGeorge School of Law, University of  the Pacific, in 1985, where he graduated in the top 10% of his class and served on the Law Review.

Before his appointment, Judge Sabraw served as a Judge of the Superior Court, County of San Diego, for five years (1998-2003) and as a Municipal Court Judge in San Diego’s North County Municipal Court for three years (1995-1998). During his tenure on the state court bench, Judge Sabraw served as the Presiding Judge of the North County Municipal Court, Criminal Supervising Judge of the Superior Court, North County Division, and presided over an independent civil calendar for two years. From 1985 to 1988, Judge Sabraw was an associate attorney with the law firm of Price, Postel & Parma in Santa Barbara, California. From 1989 to 1995, Judge Sabraw practiced law with Baker & McKenzie in San Diego, California, becoming a partner in 1992. Judge Sabraw is a member of: Pan Asian Lawyers of San Diego, Wallace Inn of Court, Association of Business Trial Lawyers, and various other federal judicial committees. Judge Sabraw is a founding member and former President of the Wallace and Lopardo Inns of Court.