FIRM PRESS: former kirkland partner joins koning zollar, September 16, 2019

Koning Zollar LLP is excited to announce the addition of Shaun Paisley as a partner in its litigation practice. A former partner at the leading international law firm Kirkland & Ellis LLP, Shaun represents a wide range of industries in high-stakes matters, including contract disputes, employment class actions, and fraud cases. Shaun also has extensive appellate experience, having briefed and won appeals before the U.S. Supreme Court, several federal Courts of Appeals, the California Supreme Court, and the California Court of Appeal. Most notably, in DIRECTV, Inc. v. Imburgia, 136 S. Ct. 463 (2015), Shaun successfully represented DIRECTV in its appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court concerning the enforceability of arbitration agreements.  “Shaun is a fantastic addition.” said Blake Zollar. “He brings a wealth of experience and further strengthens our complex business litigation practice.”

Shaun founded his own litigation practice, Paisley Law, after relocating to Connecticut in 2017.  Shaun will now head up Koning Zollar's first East Coast location in New Haven.  “We’re thrilled to have Shaun join the firm,” said Drew Koning, “and we’re excited that Shaun will be opening our first East Coast office to better serve our diverse client base."  "I'm delighted to join the talented team of lawyers at Koning Zollar," Shaun said.  "I'm looking forward to helping the firm grow its already-thriving California litigation practice and to expand its presence to the East Coast." 



FIRM PRESS: dennis childs joins koning zollar, April 29, 2019

Koning Zollar LLP is excited to announce the addition of Dennis Childs to its employment law practice. A former partner at the international law firm Cooley LLP, Dennis represents a wide range of industries with their employment-law needs.

“We’re thrilled to have Dennis join the firm,” said Drew Koning. “As we continue to grow, we’re always looking to add top talent to our various litigation and counseling specialties.”

“Dennis is a fantastic addition,” said Blake Zollar, who also practices employment law at Koning Zollar. “I had the good fortune of working closely with Dennis for many years, so I know firsthand what he brings to the table. With his breadth of experience, unparalleled judgment, and practical business sense, we’re excited to welcome him to our growing team.”

Dennis is regularly named among the best in his fields of practice by various publications, including Southern California Super Lawyers (Labor & Employment), the San Diego Daily Transcript’s “Top San Diego County Attorneys” (Employment & Labor), and San Diego Magazine (Top Lawyers).

IP NEWS: FEDERAL CIRCUIT AFFIRMS PTAB DECISION that dice play is an abstract idea

The Federal Circuit affirmed the Patent Trial and Appeal Board’s (“PTAB”) denial of a patent application (13/078,196) on eligibility grounds holding that the claimed method of game play is an abstract idea and the special markings on the dice represent unpatentable printed matter. 

See In Re: Marco Guldenaar Holding B.V.., 2017-2465 (Fed. Cir. Dec. 28, 2018, Order)



FIRM PRESS: Former Cooley LLP Litigators Open Boutique Firm, San Diego Business Journal, Sept. 27, 2018 by Mariel Concepcion

Former San Diego-based Cooley LLP litigators, Drew Koning and Blake Zollar, have come together to form Koning Zollar LLP, an Encinitas-headquartered litigation boutique that focuses on commercial, employment and intellectual property disputes.

With two decades of combined experience, Koning and Zollar have represented clients such as Amazon, Apple, Google and Qualcomm, according to a press release.

Prior to becoming an attorney, Koning was an engineer in New York and London. Zollar worked as a business litigator on a wide variety of matters including fraud, breach of contract and wage and hour class actions.

FIRM PRESS: A Continuing Trend: Lawyers Ditching Big Law for Small Firm Freedom, The REcorder, Sept. 21, 2018 by xiumei dong

Summer is almost over, but the stream of California lawyers leaving Big Law for more modest pursuits has continued with several lawyers launching their own outfits.

Most recently, a pair of former Cooley litigators formed a new firm in Southern California called Koning Zollar, while a former Jackson Lewis partner has restarted her own shop in Alameda.

Andrew “Drew” Koning and Blake Zollar, two ex-senior associates at Cooley in San Diego, officially launched their own litigation boutique last month in nearby Encinitas. The two-partner firm handles complex commercial, employment and intellectual property disputes.



IP NEWS: Federal circuit reverses ptab precedent on ipr time bar exception

The Federal Circuit overruled the Patent Trial and Appeal Board’s (“PTAB”) long-standing practice of accepting certain inter partes review (“IPR”) petitions outside of Section 315(b) of Title 35's one-year time bar window. The PTAB had held that, where the underlying district court action was dismissed without prejudice, service of the complaint does not trigger the one-year time bar.  The Federal Circuit reversed and found that service of the complaint triggers the one-year time bar, even if the action is later dismissed voluntarily without prejudice. 

See Click-to-Call Tech., LP v. Ingenio, Inc. et al., 2015-1242 (Fed. Cir. Aug. 16, 2018, Order)

EMPLOYMENT NEWS: Jury Awards $18.6 Million to Employee who claimed wrongful termination based on arrest record

A San Diego jury awarded a former Allstate employee over $18 million for firing him following his arrest for domestic violence and possession of drug paraphernalia.  The charges were ultimately dismissed as part of a plea deal where the former employee was ordered to attend anger-management courses.  His attorneys argued that the firing violated California law barring employers from asking about or considering arrests that don't result in conviction in making adverse-employment decisions.  The jury awarded the ex-employee $2.6 million in actual damages and nearly $16 million in punitive damages.  Allstate has appealed the decision.  

See Tilkey v. Allstate Insurance Co., No. 37-2016-00015545-CU-OE-CTL (San Diego Sup. Ct.) 


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IP NEWS: Rule 11 Sanctions of $222,937 Awarded Against Plaintiff and Plaintiff’s Attorneys

A Californian District Court granted defendant's motions for attorney fees under 35 U.S.C. § 285 and for sanctions under Rule 11 and awarded $222,937 jointly and severally against plaintiff and plaintiff's attorneys.  The court stated that "the conduct of both [plaintiff] and its lawyers in this litigation was plainly irresponsible and frivolous. . . . [E]ven though [defendant] gave [plaintiff] a [defendant] engineer's declaration, an invitation to inspect the source code at [its] offices, and the bill of materials for an accused device, [plaintiff] and its lawyers did not amend their infringement contentions (or even inspect the source code until much later). Instead, [plaintiff] boldly continued to assert its implausible (and, as the unrebutted evidence at summary judgment showed, impossible) theories of infringement. . . . Moreover, [plaintiff] failed to conduct an adequate investigation into the plausibility of its claims by refusing to do a teardown of the devices -- even after being informed that the devices did not contain or use the sensors as [plaintiff] alleged."

See Smart Wearable Tech. Inc. v. Fitbit, Inc., 3-17-cv-05068 (CAND June 27, 2018, Order)