In my 30-year career, my practice has mainly involved the following four categories of cases: intellectual property, fair competition disputes, technology and internet disputes, and complex litigation.
- Litigated many cases concerning trade secrets, trademarks, copyrights, patents, and rights of publicity.
- Led and participated in the pattern jury instructions involving these areas.
- Led the efforts to draft and pass Alabama’s first ever “Right of Publicity” statute.
- Represented Record Industry Association of America, the Motion Picture Association of America, Capitol/EMI, University of Alabama, Auburn University, and University of Arkansas, among others.
- Handled franchising disputes for businesses of all sizes, including well-known franchises such as the founder of the Steak Out franchise in a complex commercial and IP dispute.
- Mitigated issues concerning patent and copyright “trolls” and other claimants.
Fair Competition Disputes
- Led the effort to reform and pass the first revision in over 80 years to the “restrictive covenant” statute in Alabama that governs non-compete agreements, non-solicitation agreements, and no-hire agreements.
- Successfully advanced a price fixing case against an international corporation.
- Defended against monopolization claims brought against a large client.
- Regularly defend against actions brought under the Alabama Motor Fuel Marketing Act.
Technology and Internet Disputes
- Recognized World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) arbitrator.
- Resolved internet domain name disputes, including defending Network Solutions against a potential nationwide class action challenging expired domain name registrations.
- Extensive experience with software disputes, including multiple struggles against the Business Software Alliance (BSA).
- Extensive experience with the Computer Fraud & Abuse Act (CFAA) that governs unauthorized access to computer systems, particularly as it relates to labor and employment.
- Advised a client on telecommunications matters.
Alabama Law Institute
- For nearly 20 years, I have been involved with the Alabama Law Institute (ALI), a non-partisan, invitation only, restricted membership quasi-public private organization. Over its decades-long existence, the ALI has earned the trust of our state legislature and Governor as being the source of wise, useful and timely legislation to address current legal issues. It has been a quiet, constant and largely unheralded force for good in the lives of all Alabamians.
- My work with the ALI has included, among other things:
- The first revision in 84 years to Alabama’s Restrictive Covenant Act (non-compete agreements) strengthening an individual’s ability to seek work in his or her chosen field while at the same time providing, within a clearer scope, the ability of businesses to protect their valuable relationships and information. I led the ALI’s drafting of the revision act and then over two legislative sessions successfully obtained passage of the new act which took effect January 1, 2016.
- Alabama’s first ever “Right of Publicity Act” which allows Alabama citizens, famous and not famous, to protect their names and likenesses from unauthorized commercial exploitation. I led the ALI’s drafting effort and helped pass the act into law over the vigorous opposition of outside interests.
- Updating Alabama’s State Trademark Act to include a cause of action for “dilution” to protect locally famous trademarks.
- In 2016, the ALI selected me to chair a standing committee for updates to Alabama Intellectual Property and Fair Competition Statutes.
Pattern Jury Instructions
- I have been a part of drafting all the pattern jury instructions that govern Intellectual Property for cases tried in Alabama.
- The 2012 11th Circuit (federal appeals court for Alabama, Georgia and Florida) Copyright Pattern Jury Instructions (Leader)
- The 2012 11th Circuit Trademark Pattern Jury Instructions (Participant)
- The 2016 11th Circuit Update to the Copyright Pattern Jury Instructions. (Leader)
- The 2016 11th Circuit Update to the Trademark Pattern Jury Instructions (Participant)
- The 2016 Alabama Right of Publicity Pattern Jury Instructions (Leader)
- The 2016 Alabama Trade Secret Pattern Jury Instructions (Leader)
- The 2016 11th Circuit Defend Trade Secrets Act Pattern Jury Instructions (Leader)
- No other lawyer has been included on more than two of these pattern jury instruction drafting committees.