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The Lawyers of ChromaDex Elysium.jpg

As long as we're going to be in a state of perpetual litigation, we might as well get to know the dozens of attorneys and jurists that it takes to keep this litigation going.

Is it true that we have so far involved almost 50 lawyers (including eight judges), drawn from eight law firms and four courts, not counting your humble lawyer blogger journalist documenting it all?  Pull up a chair...

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Cooley represents ChromaDex in the commercial cases in California and New York. Alan Levine (who authored the "nefariously conceived plan" complaint), Peter Willsey, and Laura Grossfield Birger are handling the New York matter, while the rest are completing discovery and preparing for trial in California. Tony Stiegler was originally the lead attorney in California, but he left the case earlier this year and was replaced by Michael Attanasio, so you can find Tony in the "Alumni" section at the end, although Tony is retired.

I have attempted to respect the law firms' feudal political-economy by separating the partners from the associates, and listing the attorneys alphabetically within each caste. In the above photo, that means the bottom row is logging most of the hours, and the top row gets the profits.

On August 12, 2019, Eamonn Gardner and Jon Cieslak left the team, and Craig TenBroeck joined the team.

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Steptoe & Johnson represents ChromaDex in the Inter Partes Review proceeding before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board. That proceeding is nearly finished, so unless there are appeals, Steptoe may soon become alumni of the litigation.  The Steptoe team is geographically diverse, coming from Chicago (Abramic & Nutall), Washington DC (Fox), and San Francisco (Lucia). You heard Jon Abramic and Jamie Lucia in the Oral Argument before the PTAB.

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Covington represents ChromaDex in the just-filed Patent Infringement action in Delaware. So does the Ropes & Gray spinoff Haley Giuliano. Although Haley Giuliano is mostly a patent prosecution firm (getting patents approved in the first place), not a patent litigation firm (defending patents after they have been approved),founding partner Jim Haley is a SuperLawyer with experience defending patents, and specifically with experience in biotech patents. Covington & Burling, of course, is a tip-top, creme-de-la-creme prestige firm, so ChromaDex's patents could hardly be in better hands.

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We don't know much about Elysium's new counsel, Baker Hostetler, except that they joined the case when Skadden partner Joe Sacca switched from Skadden to Baker and apparently took Elysium's business with him. The same Baker Hostetler team has filed appearances in both the New York and the California proceedings (except for Michel Matthias, who is local counsel just in California). However, judging from the counterclaims that Baker Hostetler filed in New York, the switch from Skadden to Baker has not resulted in a change in tone for Elysium.

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Venerable Boston firm Foley Hoag has seemed to be riding shotgun with Skadden in the commercial litigation, and we haven't been quite sure of their role. But in the Inter Partes Review proceeding before the PTAB, Foley Hoag has been flying solo, with results yet to be determined. Four of the Foley Hoag attorneys above -- all but Mr. Jones and Mr. Quina -- answered ChromaDex's Patent Infringement complaint in Delaware, so Foley Hoag won't be joining the alumni group any time soon.

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Joe Tuffaha (partner) and Prashanth Chennakesavan (senior counsel) at LTL (Lee Tran & Liang), a medium-size commercial and IP litigation firm in Los Angeles, appear to be managing the Covance case in Delaware.

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Judge Carney handles the California litigation, and he does it fast and decisive, although sometimes I think too fast. Magistrate Judge McCormick is responsible for handling the discovery disputes, the second of which has just emerged. Both Judge Carney and Magistrate Judge McCormick are UCLA alums, like me, but they made more of themselves than I did. 

In New York, the case was first assigned to Judge Caproni, then re-assigned to Judge McMahon.

The Delaware case is with newly appointed judge Connolly.

The three Administrative Patent Judges at the PTAB will move to the alumni section once their verdict in the trial is rendered.

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Tony Stiegler handed off the commercial litigation to Michael Attanasio in February, and has retired.

King & Spalding's Sheldon Bradshaw had a cameo appearance authoring a devastating supplemental letter to the FDA explaining why the FDA should not allow supplement companies to free-ride on others' good citizenship. Mr. Bradshaw was selected for the job no doubt because he previously served as Chief Counsel to the FDA and therefore knows that of which he speaks.

Spencer Gottlieb left Skadden to become a federal district court clerk -- that's a prestigious kind of job, but not necessarily a fun one, but way more fun than being a Skadden associate, if only because you don't have to bill hours.

Skadden's Jennifer Bragg had a cameo appearance responding to Sheldon Bradshaw's FDA letter, with a star-crossed epistle that simultaneously asserted that the toluene in basis both had been removed and had never been there in the first place. Ms. Bragg was associate chief counsel to the FDA before Sheldon Bradshaw was chief counsel. So there.

David Kupfer is the associate who co-authored (along with Alan Levine) the New York complaint that names Elysium's "nefariously conceived plan." Mr. Kupfer is still with Cooley, but we haven't seen his name since.

Tom Hadid was a senior associate at Cooley, but he has left the firm to join Kilpatrick Townsend in Los Angeles.

Peter Morrison, Brad Honigman, Julia Nahigian, and Michael Powell all filed motions to withdraw on November 6, 2018, bringing to a close Skadden's participation in the case. But since former Skadden partner and legal mastermind Joe Sacca is still leading the effort, only now from Baker Hostetler, it may not feel that different.

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