Volunteer Mediators

The Federal Circuit depends on volunteer mediators to support the mediation program.  Once the parties agree to mediation, the Circuit Executive’s office assigns one of the below mediators to the matter.

Volunteer Mediator Biographies

Robert Cohrs has extensive experience in the finance industry and Federal Government service. Mr. Cohrs is retired from the Office of Complex Financial Institutions at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) where he was responsible for the evaluation of resolution plans of major global financial institutions. In addition to the FDIC, Mr. Cohrs has served in positions with the United States Patent and Trademark Office and the Export Import Bank of the United States. In the finance industry, Mr. Cohrs held senior management positions in major U.S. and international banks. In addition to the patent examination experience at the United States Patent and Trademark Office, Mr. Cohrs financial experience includes the valuation and monetization of intellectual property rights.

Mr. Cohrs received his mediation training from Pepperdine University School of Law, Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution, and the National Conflict Resolution Center. Mr. Cohrs alternative dispute resolution experience includes serving on the San Diego County Bar Association, the National Conflict Resolution Center and the San Diego Superior Court Mediation Panels. His education background includes a J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School (1967), an M.B.A. from George Washington University (1971), and a B.S. in Physics from Ohio State University (1964).

Stanley Dees recently retired as Senior Counsel with McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP.  He joined the firm in 1963 and his practice encompassed counseling and litigation in the field of government contracts and related areas such as claims, bid protests, cost allowability, terminations, self-governance and compliance, investigations and civil fraud cases.  Some of his major interests have been the calculation of equitable adjustments and damages and remedies for breached contracts and void or voidable contracts.  He has authored numerous articles and spoken widely over the past fifty years in the area of government contracts.

Mr. Dees is now engaged in alternative disputes resolution and consulting.  Before retiring, he engaged in substantial litigation before the U.S. Court of Federal Claims and its predecessors, as well as boards of contract appeals and federal district courts.  He has argued numerous cases before the U.S. Court of Appeals to the Federal Circuit and its predecessor.  He has counseled and litigated issues under classified programs.

Mr. Dees is a graduate of Princeton University with honors.  He received his law degree from the University of Virginia School of Law where he was a member of the board of editors of the Virginia Law Review and received the Order of the Coif.  He was a lecturer at the University of Virginia Law School in the 1990s and is a honorary faculty member of the U.S. Army JAG School.  He served as Chairman of the Public Contract Law Section of the American Bar Association (1987-88).

After clerking for federal trial and appellate judges, Joe Esposito practiced complex business litigation for more than 38 years before his retirement from Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP in March 2019.  His trial experience includes a patent infringement jury trial, a customs fraud jury trial in the Court of International Trade, and an employment discrimination jury trial, as well as trials involving antitrust, corporate tax, tortious interference, partnership fraud, legal malpractice, breach of contract, and fiduciary duty claims.

He is a member of the American Law Institute.  Mr. Esposito has been recognized by Chambers USA for Litigation, General Commercial (District of Columbia), Band 2 in 2019 (until his retirement), and Band 3 each year from 2010 to 2018.  He was named to Super Lawyers Washington DC each year from 2014 until he retired.

Mr. Esposito has served as an Adjunct Professor at the George Mason University School of Law, and on the faculty of the National Institute for Trial Advocacy.

He co-chaired the Mediation Committee of the ABA Section of Dispute Resolution.  Mr. Esposito received mediator training at the Center for Dispute Settlement and the American Arbitration Association.  He is the former co-chair of the Antitrust Litigation Committee of the ABA Section of Litigation, and former co-chair of the Section’s Intellectual Property Litigation Committee Patent Subcommittee.  He also served on the Section’s Federal Practice Task Force, and as an Associate Editor of Litigation News.

He has received his B.A. magna cum laude from the State University of New York at Buffalo, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, and his J.D. from the New York University School of Law, where he served on the Annual Survey of American Law.

J. William Frank was a partner in the intellectual property firm of McCracken & Frank LLP from 2002 to 2007.  He has now retired as a partner and is Of Counsel to the firm in order to concentrate his practice on ADR issues.  Prior to joining the Firm, he was General Patent Counsel of S. C. Johnson & Son, Inc. where he was responsible for managing all matters relating to patent and technology issues.  He has been involved in numerous litigated matters both in the United States and abroad and has negotiated numerous agreements, including agreements settling litigation.

He has completed a 40 hour mediation training course from the DePaul University College of Law, the CPR Int’l institute for Conflict Prevention & Resolution Intensive Mediation Training, a 2 day workshop in mediation and conflict resolution skills from the Mediation and Restorative Justice Center in Waukesha, WI and the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators/CPR 2 day Fast Track Arbitration Skills training.  He is a member of the INTA Panel of neutrals.

He has mediated over 20 matters ranging from construction, merchant/consumer, auto accidents, return of property, landlord/tenant, and hospital/patient.  He has resolved about 75% of these matters with an agreement.

Mr. Frank graduated in 1968 from Lehigh University with a B.S. in Chemical Engineering and in 1973 with a J.D. from the Georgetown University Law Center.  He is a member of the American Intellectual Property Law Association where he was a member of the Board of Directors and was elected as a Fellow.  He has been chair of a number of committees and is currently on the ADR committee.  He is also a member of the ABA Intellectual property, Science and Technology and ADR sections.  In addition, he is a member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators in London.

The Honorable Keith F. Giblin took the oath of office as United States Magistrate Judge in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas on October 1, 2004.  He was reappointed for a second term which he began serving on October 1, 2012.  While on the bench, he has
conducted numerous mediations in a variety of civil cases.  He also has handled a large number of intellectual property cases, including pretrial management, Markman hearings, and trials.  He has been a panelist and presenter during numerous legal seminars and has spoken on topics including federal practice, criminal law, and patent litigation.

Judge Giblin received a Bachelor of Science in Physics from Lamar University and a Doctor of Jurisprudence from South Texas College of Law.  While on the bench, he also attended the University of Houston’s professional LLM program, earning an LLM in Intellectual Property Law.  Prior to becoming a United States Magistrate Judge, Keith Giblin was a prosecutor with the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Texas for twelve years.  He also was in private practice for two years, handling civil litigation matters.

Magistrate Judge Jeffrey T. Gilbert (N.D. Ill.) received his undergraduate degree from Washington University in St. Louis in 1977 (Phi Beta Kappa) and his law degree from Northwestern University School of Law in 1980 where he was Articles Editor of the Law Review.

After graduating from Northwestern in 1980, Judge Gilbert spent two years clerking for Judge Marvin E. Aspen (N.D. Ill.).  In 1982, Judge Gilbert joined Sachnoff & Weaver, Ltd., at the time a firm of less than 30 lawyers.  He practiced with Sachnoff Weaver through and including its 2007 merger with Reed Smith LLP, an international law firm of 1,600 lawyers, and then until he was sworn in as a Magistrate Judge in May 2010.

During his 28 years in private practice, Judge Gilbert represented both plaintiffs and defendants, individuals and corporations, in class actions and general commercial cases. He specialized in securities litigation but also represented clients involved in a variety of other kinds of business litigation.  Throughout his career, Judge Gilbert also maintained an active pro bono practice. Among other cases, he was counsel in Jones v. CTA, a landmark case under the Illinois Human Rights Act that resulted in the installation of wheelchair lifts on CTA buses prior to the passage of the Americans With Disabilities Act.  Judge Gilbert has been an adjunct professor at Northwestern University School of Law for the last 20-plus years.  He teaches a course in the fall on trial advocacy and evidence and a disability law seminar in the spring.  He also taught a graduate course on the first amendment and the media at Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism and in the NITA trial advocacy program.

George L. Graff has extensive experience in dispute resolution, licensing and acquisition of intellectual property rights and technology.  He has acted as lead counsel in numerous bench trials, jury trials, ITC investigations, arbitrations, appeals and dispute resolution negotiations involving patents, copyrights, trade secrets, software and technology licensing, trademarks and related antitrust and commercial issues.  He has also advised and represented clients in the negotiation of intellectual property and technology licenses and acquisitions in a wide variety of fields, including semiconductor design and manufacturing, software development, entertainment, pharmaceuticals and dietary supplements, medical and dental devices, telecommunications, fiber optics, automotive components, apparel, travel services, internet services, and investment banking.

In addition to the mediation panel for the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals, Mr. Graff serves on the National Panel of Neutrals of the American Arbitration Association, the Technology Panel of Neutrals and International Patent Commission of the International Institute for Conflict Prevention and Resolution (CPR), the mediation panel of the Bankruptcy Court of the Eastern District of New York and the arbitration panel of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York.  He has served as a neutral arbitrator or mediator in numerous cases involving intellectual property, licensing and technology related issues.  He has participated in numerous mediation and arbitration training courses sponsored by CPR , the American Arbitration Association, the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York.

Mr. Graff has served as a partner of Paul, Hastings, Janofsky and Walker, LLP and Milgrim Thomajan and Jacobs, PC.  He graduated, magna cum laude, from Columbia University School of Law in 1967, where he served as an editor of the Columbia Law Review.  Following law school, he served for three years as law clerk to Chief Judge Stanley H. Fuld of the New York Court of Appeals. Before commencing his legal career, Mr. Graff served on active duty in the United States Navy, where he attained the rank of Lieutenant Commander.  Mr. Graff represented the American Bar Association as advisor to the drafting committee of the Uniform Computer Information Transactions Act (UCITA), which establishes a nationwide legislative framework for licensing of software and electronic databases.  He has also represented the Intellectual Property Owners Association (IPO) as an amicus curiae in patent related appeals in the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals and served as vice chair of its Amicus Committee.  He has also served as a member of the Council of the ABA section on science and technology and as chairman of the State Legislation Committee of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York.  He has been recognized as a leading U.S. intellectual property attorney in several publications, including The Legal 500, New York SuperLawyers, and Who’s Who in American Law.

Martin Harty offers mediation, arbitration, and other alternative dispute resolution services in connection with commercial and government contract disputes. He is currently an Adjunct Professor of Law at the Washington College of Law, American University, and, for over sixteen years until his retirement in September of 2006, served as an administrative judge on the Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals.  He was one of the architects of the Board’s ADR program, which received the 2003 Office of Federal Procurement Policy and Federal Acquisition Council award for excellence.  He has served as a neutral in numerous ADR proceedings (mediations, arbitrations, early neutral evaluations, mediation/arbitrations, mini-trials, and structured settlements) covering the full spectrum of issues arising in contracts for construction, supply or services (including major weapons systems).

Before his appointment to the Board in 1990, he served as the Deputy General Counsel (Logistics) at the Defense Logistics Agency from 1988 to 1990. He was the principal procurement legal advisor and managed DLA’s bid protest program.  From 1974 to 1988 he was Chief Counsel of the Defense Fuel Supply Center (now the Defense Energy Supply Center), where he was awarded the Department of Defense Meritorious Civilian Service Medal for his contribution to the Center’s mission.  He began his career with the Office of General Counsel at what is now the Government Accountability Office, concentrating on contract law issues and all facets of procurement law.

Martin Harty is a long time member of the ABA Section of Public Contract Law and served on the Section’s Council (1985 to 1988) and was editor of the Public Contract Newsletter (now The Procurement Lawyer) from 1973 to 1994.  He was elected a Fellow of the Public Contract Law Section in 1994.  He is currently an Associate Editor of the Public Contract Law Journal and was co-chair of the Public Contract Law Section’s Special Committee on Alternative Dispute Resolution from August 1999 through August 2005.  He remains an active member of the committee.  He lectures frequently and has written on the use of ADR.  He was one of the primary author/editors of the 1999 and the current
edition of the Public Contract Law Section Special Committee on Alternative Dispute Resolution’s monograph: Alternative Dispute Resolution: A Practical Guide for Resolving Government Contract Controversies, Second Edition (American Bar Association, March 2005).  He was also one of the editors of the Electronic Guide to Federal Procurement ADR(link is external) issued by the Attorney General’s Interagency Working Group on Alternative Dispute Resolution and a contributing author of the Public Contract Law Section Task Force on Dispute Avoidance and Early Dispute Resolution’s monograph: Best Practices in Dispute Avoidance for Government Contracting (American Bar Association 2002).  He also co-authored Alternative Dispute Resolution at the ASBCA (Briefing Papers, Second Series ▪ West Group, 2000).  

He is currently the Public Contract Law Section’s liaison to the Dispute Resolution Section. He received a B.S. from Loyola University of Chicago and attended its European Study Center in Rome, Italy.  He received a J.D. from Georgetown University and an LL.M from George Washington University.  He attended the Harvard Business School’s 97th Advanced Management Program.

Appointed United States Magistrate Judge for the Eastern District of Texas, Sherman Division, (2011)

Former Shareholder at Hawthorn & Hawthorn, P.C. Beaumont, Texas Shareholder (2001-2011)


University of Texas School of Law Austin, Texas Juris Doctor, May 2001 Highest achievement in the study of Evidence (2000), Criminal Defense Clinic (1999-2001), American Journal of Criminal Law (1999)

University of Texas Austin, Texas Bachelor of Arts, with honors, Government, May 1998

Bar Admissions

State of Texas (2001), United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas (2002), Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals (2002), First Circuit Court of Appeals (2008), Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals (2008)


Criminal Law, Texas Board of Legal Specialization (2008)


Jefferson County Young Lawyers Association (Board Member 2003-2010, Secretary 2004-2005, Treasurer 2005-2006, Vice President 2006-2007, President Elect 2007-2008, President 2008-2009, Immediate Past President 2009-2010); Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association (2000-2011), Jefferson County Bar Association (2001-present); Southeast Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association (2004-2011); Graduate of the Texas Criminal Trial College (2006); Beaumont Rotary Club, 2011-present

Community Service

Pro Bono Volunteer (2001-2011); Teen Court volunteer (2002-2011); Settlement Week Committee Chair (2005-2006); JCYLA Finance Committee Chair (2005); Volunteer Settlement Week Mediator (2003-2009): Coach of the Kelly High School Mock Trial team (2006-present)(3rd place finish in State tournament in 2007, 10th place state finish and winner of the Professionalism Award in 2008, 3rd place state finish in 2010, Region V Champions, 2007-2012)


2012 Pleading Requirements in Federal Court, State Bar of Texas CLE; 2012 Common Issues in Federal Civil Cases, Jefferson County Bar Association; 2010 Amendments to the United States Sentencing Guidelines, Jefferson County Bar Association – Criminal Law Section, 2011; Federal Court Criminal Practice: Nuts, Bolts, and Silver Bullets, Jefferson County Bar Association CLE, 2010; Federal Court Criminal Practice, Federal Court CLE, Jefferson County Bar Association, 2007; Guideline Practice Tips Including Post-Booker Sentencing Analysis, Southeast Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, 2006; The Booker Report; The Past, The Present and Future Ramifications, Southeast Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, 2005; Effective Plea Bargaining, Criminal Justice Graduate Course at Lamar University, 2004; How to Work with the “Big Bar,” State Bar of Texas Annual Conference, 2005

John E. Kidd retired from Clifford Chance US, a global law-firm, in 2005.  When Rogers & Wells merged with Clifford Chance in 2000, he became the Global Leader of the firm’s 130-attorney Intellectual Property International Network.  From 1984 to 2000, Mr. Kidd was the managing partner of the IP Groups at the firms Anderson Kill, Shea & Gould and Rogers & Wells.

Mr. Kidd began his litigation career as a trial attorney for five years with the US Department of Justice and later returned for an assignment as Special Counsel.  For the next 40 years, Mr. Kidd was in private practice, and he concentrated his practice upon representing plaintiffs or defendants in intellectual property trials, in particular, U.S. jury trials and counseling his clients on licensing of technology and business ventures.  He is also a former Patent Examiner and Patent advisor to the U.S. Navy. He is admitted to practice before many Federal Courts in the U.S.  He is a member of most patent bar organizations including the Sarasota City Bar, as well as the Law Society of England and Wales and a member of the European Patent Lawyer Association.

Over the years, Mr. Kidd’s has participated in over 120 patent lawsuits for clients such as, Adventis, Baseball Hall of Fame, E.I. du Pont, Genentech, Honda, Harvey Kurtzman (Mad Magazine), ITT, McDonald’s, Nokia, NTT DoCoMo and, Pfizer.

In the business world Mr. Kidd has been an officer and chairman of several family owned companies.  In 2004 Mr. Kidd was an IESC Volunteer Executive, and he worked with W.I.P.O. and the Jordanian Patent Office in Amman, Jordan on a U.S. A.I.D. funded patent law project.

In the 1990s, Mr. Kidd began to concentrate on alternate dispute resolution and, since retirement, has concentrated on being a neutral and court expert on patent related matters in both domestic and international proceedings.  To date he has participated in over 80 ADR proceedings, first as counsel to his clients and now as a neutral.  He has completed hundreds of hours of basic and advanced training as a neutral in mediation and arbitration, both as a student, instructor and counsel.  Since 2000 he has acted as chairman of ADR committees for several bar associations, and he is currently (2008) a member of the Federal Circuit Mediation Panel.  He is also registered with CPR, the Federal Circuit, IBA, ICC, JAMS (Atlanta) and WIPO as an IP arbitrator and mediator.  He is also a member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.

Mr. Kidd is listed in the International Who’s Who of Patent Lawyers and his peers in the past have rated him as “one of the very best trial lawyers at the patent bar.” Mr. Kidd was formerly the co-chairman of the New York Chapter of the Licensing Executives Society (LES).

Mr. Kidd graduated with a BS in Physics in 1957 from LeMoyne College and in 1961 from Georgetown University Law School. Over the years, 

Judge Love graduated cum laude from Texas A&M University and St. Mary’s University School of Law.  After graduating from law school in 1995, Judge Love practiced civil trial law in San Antonio before serving as Chief Staff Attorney with the Twelfth Court of Appeals in Tyler.  In 2002, he began serving as Chief Staff Attorney to United States District Judge Leonard Davis.

On January 3, 2006, Judge Love was sworn in as United States Magistrate Judge for the Eastern District of Texas.  While on the bench, he has conducted numerous mediations in a variety of cases.  Judge Love also has been a panelist in numerous federal practice and intellectual property seminars and is the co-author of Complex Patent Cases: Observations from the Bench, which appeared in the spring 2010 edition of the Southern Methodist University Science and Technology Law Review.

Judith Meyer is a full-time mediator and arbitrator.  She is a principal in her own firm. She is an adjunct professor of negotiation and mediation at Cornell Law School.

Current Employment

J.P. Meyer Associates – Principal
Attorney Mediator & Arbitrator

Work History

JP Meyer Associates, 1994-present; Of Counsel, Bazelon, Less & Feldman, (formerly Bazelon, Less & Price), Philadelphia, 1988-94; Partner, Lande,

Rolston & Meyer, Beverly Hills, 1984-88; Hearing Officer, Los Angeles Board of Police Commissioners, 1979-88; Partner, Meserve, Mumper & Hughes, Los Angeles, 1979-83 [Associate 1973-1979].


Litigation Counsel Twenty-five years as civil trial lawyer litigating disputes in eminent domain, business and UCC claims, construction, real estate, insurance, and commercial lending.


Twenty years as mediator and arbitrator resolving complex commercial claims in contract, environment, construction, employment, attorney and accounting malpractice, securities, insurance coverage and bad faith, franchise, class actions, and bankruptcy.

Professorships and Lecturer

Adjunct professor, Cornell Law School teaching Negotiation and Mediation; Lecturer on Mediation: University of Pennsylvania Law School; Wharton School of Business of the University of Pennsylvania, Executive Education Program; Rutgers Law School, Dickinson Law School, and Temple University Law School; ALI-ABA Continuing Legal Education and Bar Courses on ADR.

Judge Pro Tem/ADR Panels

Judge Pro Tem, Commerce Court, Philadelphia; Certified Mediator, U.S. District Court, Eastern District Pennsylvania; CPR International Institute of Dispute Prevention & Resolution, Panel of Distinguished Neutrals; American Arbitration Association, Commercial Arbitration and Mediation Panels; National Arbitration Forum; Federal September 11 Victims Compensation Fund of 2001; Appeals Committee Prudential Policyholders Alternative Dispute Resolution Remediation Plan; EEOC Mediation Service Panel; National Association of Securities Dealers, Inc.; General Services Administration Employment Dispute Resolution; USA Track and Field Olympic Trials; American Health Lawyers Association; Resolute Systems, Inc.; ADR Options; U.S.-China Business Mediation Center; New Jersey Superior Court Appointed Mediator; Construction Dispute Resolution Systems.

Representative Cases Handled as Mediator

Mediated over 1000 cases. Representative cases include $90 million office-park construction defect; infringement of copyright registration and trade dress rights in commercial product; software licensing dispute between IT companies; claim of system failure by NASD broker against clearing house; dispute over underground spill of petroleum in 20-acre shopping mall contaminating soil and groundwater; dispute between pharmaceutical firms over inclusion of placebo form of product in asset purchase agreement; withdrawal of senior debt commitment by bank after reliance by network television; dispute between bank and insurer over reinsurance trust account; dispute over patent license assignments and income sharing; sexual harassment and retaliation claim against publicly traded company; ADA claim against United States Air Force by civilian employee; breach of exclusive global distribution rights to software technology, failure to market technology and misappropriation of confidential information; dispute over purchase and attempted residential development of 69 acres subject to Federal Wetlands Act; denial of benefits to manager under corporate change in control plan after merger; long-term manager’s claim for continuing employment in Fortune 1000 company after downsizing. Other cases include employment claims under Title VII, the ADA, FMLA and ADEA, accounting malpractice, insurance bad faith and motor vehicle franchise disputes.

Professional Licenses

Admitted to the Bar: California, 1974 (inactive status since 1989), Pennsylvania, 1988 (active), and Idaho, 2004 (active).  U.S. Tax Court, 1982.

Professional Associations International Academy of Mediators (Current Fellow, Board Member, 1997-2007); American College of Civil Trial Mediators; International Mediation Institute, Advisory Council on Certification of Mediators; American College of Arbitrators; Society of Professionals in Dispute Resolution; American Bar Association (Section on Dispute Resolution); Pennsylvania Bar Association; California Bar Association (inactive); Philadelphia Bar Association (ADR Committee); Montgomery Bar Association (Dispute Resolution Committee).


Barnard College (BA, 1966); Cornell University (JD, 1974), Moot Court Board.

Representative Publications/Speaking Engagements

“When the Neutral’s Dilemma Hits: Routine Problems, and the Not-So-Routine Repercussions of Common Arbitration Conflicts”, Alternatives to the High Cost of Litigation, CPR International Institute for Conflict Prevention & Resolution, Vol. 25, No. 5, May 2007; “ADR v. the Bench: Why Are Neutrality Standards Different?”, Alternatives to the High Cost of Litigation, CPR International Institute of Conflict Prevention & Resolution, Vol. 4, April 2007; “Mediation: 20 Tips in 40 Minutes”, 3rd Annual PBI Institute, March 2007; “Powerful Persuasion: What Mediators Really Want to Hear”, Trial Magazine, Vol. 42, Issue 4, April 2006; “Think Outside the Box: Use Mediation Proactively”, Corporate Counsel Magazine, January 2005; “Providing Alternatives to Litigation,” WomensBiz.US, October 2004; “Seven Common Myths of ADR” Metropolitan Corporate Counsel, September 2004; Pros and Cons of ADR” Dispute Resolution Journal, Summer 1997; “Mediation Works” Dispute Resolution Journal, April-June 1995.

Ms. Meyer is also a frequent presenter on mediation to law firms, bar association practice sections and professional associations.

Judge Mitchell graduated with honors from Baylor Law School after receiving both bachelors and masters degrees from Texas A&M University.  Judge Mitchell’s undergraduate background was primarily in genetics and life sciences.  After law school, Judge Mitchell clerked for the Honorable Chief Judge Leonard Davis in the Eastern District of Texas before starting her civil practice at Fulbright & Jaworski in Houston.  Judge Mitchell’s practice was primarily in the area of Health Law Litigation, but she also worked on patent cases and is licensed to practice before the USPTO.  After her time at Fulbright & Jaworski, Judge Mitchell returned to the Eastern District of Texas to serve as the Chief Staff Attorney to Judge Davis.

Judge Mitchell was sworn in as a United States Magistrate Judge on August 16, 2013. In her time on the bench and while working with Chief Judge Davis, Judge Mitchell has overseen numerous patent and general civil litigation cases.  She also mediates cases in the Eastern District of Texas.

Magistrate Judge Rowland is a native of Akron, Ohio.  She attended the University of Michigan for undergrad, and then the University of Chicago for law school.  After law school, she clerked for the District Judge Julian Cook in Detroit, Michigan.  Following her clerkship, Judge Rowland worked as a staff attorney and then Chief Appellate Attorney for the Federal Defender Program for the Northern District of Illinois.  During that time, she represented over 275 indigent defendants in every aspect of a federal criminal case, including trying several federal criminal jury trials and arguing many cases before the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals.  Judge Rowland then joined the law firm Hughes Socol Piers Resnick & Dym, where she led the criminal defense practice and also litigated many high-profile civil cases.

Judge Rowland was sworn in as a United States Magistrate Judge in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois on November 14, 2012.

Neil A. Smith was a partner for almost four decades in several well-respected law firms in San Francisco and Silicon Valley, including Limbach & Limbach.  Mr. Smith was appointed as the first Administrative Patent Judge for the Patent Trial & Appeal Board in the new US Patent & Trademark Office satellite office in Silicon Valley.  The PTAB rules on patent appeals within the Patent Office, interferences, reexaminations, and now the post-grant reviews and business method patent challenges and derivation proceedings available under the America Invents Act.  He recently resigned, enabling him to pursue alternative dispute resolution of patent and intellectual property cases.

Before moving to San Francisco, Mr. Smith began his career in intellectual property as a Patent Attorney for the US Atomic Energy Commission at its headquarters in Washington, D.C., and thereafter served as a Law Clerk to the Honorable Giles S. Rich, Judge on the Court of Customs & Patent Appeals, the predecessor to the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals.

Mr. Smith has substantial experience in the practice of patent and intellectual property litigation in the federal courts.  He is a frequent speaker and author on intellectual property and ADR subjects, including a quarterly column in the California State Bar IP section magazine, New Matter, on Ninth Circuit cases, and “Complex Patent Suits: The Use of Special Masters for Claim Construction” 2, Landslide 1, Oct. 2009 (American Bar Association), and Chapter “New Strategies for Infringement Litigation” Recent Trends in Patent Infringement Lawsuits (Aspotore/Thomson, 2010).

Mr. Smith has been an officer in many legal organizations, including President of the San Francisco Patent and Trademark Law Association, a member of the Board of Directors of the American Intellectual Property Law Association, and a founder and President of the Bay Area Intellectual Property American Inn of Court.  He served on several ADR panels and been trained in arbitration, mediation, and early neutral evaluation.  He has acted as a Special Master, a Discovery Master, and as a Judge in private trials and on an appellate panel.  He has served on the Mediation and Early Neutral Evaluation panels of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, the Domain Name Arbitration Panel of World Intellectual Property Organization, and the International Trademark Association, Panel of Neutrals.

Among Mr. Smith’s many awards and recognitions, he was:

  • Named U.S. I P Litigator of the Year, “Managing Intellectual Property,” 1999
  • Named for over twenty years in “The Best Lawyers In America” for Litigation and Patent Law representation, and as a SuperLawyer by “Northern California Super Lawyers”
  • Named in “Guide to World’s Leading Experts in Patent Law;” “Who’s Who of Internet and Electronic Commerce Lawyers;” “The International Who’s Who of Business Lawyers” and the “International Who’s Who of Trademark Lawyers” and “Chambers USA,” “America’s Leading Lawyers for Business”
  • First Recipient of U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s Joseph Rossman Award

Judge Mary Pat Thynge has served as a Magistrate Judge of the U.S. District Court of the District of Delaware since June 1992, and currently serves as its Chief Magistrate Judge since 2012.  Prior to joining the bench, Judge Thynge was the managing attorney for the Wilmington office of the law firm of White & Williams.  Previously, she was associated with the law firm of Biggs & Battaglia.

Judge Thynge is a member of the Federal Magistrate Judges Association, formerly served on its Board as the Third Circuit Representative, and presently is a member of its Civil/Criminal Federal Rules Review Committee and is its Membership Chair.  Since 2004, she has served as Executive Editor for the Federal Courts Law Review.

Since her elevation to the bench, Judge Thynge has developed and managed the ADR program of the District Court in Delaware, and also serves as a mediator for the Federal Circuit Court.  She has been actively involved in continuing legal education programs, primarily regarding ADR, the Federal and Local Rules of Civil Procedure and the Federal Rules of Evidence. She has mediated over 2800 cases, of which more than 600 matters involved patent disputes.  She authored the chapter Mediation: One Judge’s Perspective (Or Infusing Sanity into Intellectual Property Litigation ) in the book ADR Advocacy Strategies and Practice for Intellectual Property Cases 2011 and the second edition in 2017.  Judge Thynge has presided over jury and bench trials, including patent cases.

James Toupin is the former General Counsel of the US Patent and Trademark Office, a position he held for nine years, and former Deputy General Counsel of the US International Trade Commission, where he worked for fourteen years.  Before working at those agencies, he was in private practice, with concentrations in intellectual property law (including patents, trademarks, copyright and unfair competition) and administrative agency litigation (including EPA, FTC, and OSHA).  At the USPTO, he was the chief legal officer, responsible for the Office of the Solicitor, Office of General Law and Office of Enrollment and Discipline, as well as for management oversight of the Board of Patent Appeals and interferences and the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board.  Among other duties, he was responsible for deciding whether to approve BPAI or TTAB suggestions that their decisions be made precedential.  At the USITC, he supervised all litigation on behalf of the agency, including in the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, the Court of International Trade, district courts and international tribunals.

He has represented parties in a wide variety of fora, including in private arbitrations, US district courts and the CIT, NAFTA and WTO panels and appellate tribunals, boards of contract appeals, the Merit System Protection Board, regional circuits and the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, and the Supreme Court.  He has experience in many of the subject areas that come before the Federal Circuit.  He not only has specialized expertise in patent, trademark and international trade law, he has also provided advice and representation in such areas as government contracts, government employment, and appropriation law.  Currently a master member of the Giles Rich Inn of Court, he is a past member of the Court of International Trade’s Rules Advisory Committee as well as the American Bar Association subcommittee on international trade.

Beyond serving as a volunteer mediator for the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, he is on the roster of neutrals of the World Intellectual Property Organization and on the roster of panelists for disputes under Chapter 19 of the North American Free Trade Agreement.  His formal training in alternative dispute resolution includes the intensive mediation training course from the Center for Understanding in Mediation and WIPO arbitration workshop.  Widely published on issues of intellectual property and international trade law, he is currently working under contract with Oxford University Press on a book for general practitioners on issues that arise in patent litigation. 

Maria Valdez is a federal magistrate judge in Chicago in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.  Prior to becoming a federal magistrate judge she was the Chicago Regional Counsel of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) concentrating her trial and appellate practice in the areas of constitutional law and the federal Voting Rights Act.

She began her legal career in 1988 as a federal public defender in Los Angeles, California representing indigent criminal defendants.  Judge Valdez also worked as a senior associate at the law firm of Hughes, Socol, Piers, Resnick & Dym in Chicago where she specialized in civil rights.  She received her undergraduate degree from the University of California at Los Angeles and her law degree from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law.  In addition to her legal career Judge Valdez has been active in the philanthropic community of Chicago.  Judge Valdez was appointed to the federal magistrate bench in January of 2005.

Les Weinstein, an independent ADR intellectual property and technology neutral, has been recognized as one of The Best Lawyers in America, and one of the Southern California Super Lawyers for his ADR expertise.  As a trial lawyer he represented European and Asian as well domestic technology clients in patent, copyright, trademark and trade secret disputes.  He holds an undergraduate degree in engineering from the University of Pennsylvania and, in addition to a J.D (with Distinction), an LL.M focused on intellectual property law from George Washington University Law School.  He is registered to Practice before the United States Patent & Trademark Office as well as being admitted to the US Supreme Court and numerous federal appeals and district courts.

His many years of experience in litigation, arbitration, and mediation include the fields of medical devices, banking, real estate, construction, automotive, chemistry, food processing, electronics, software, cellular, optical and mechanical systems.

Mr. Weinstein also served as an arbitrator and is a member of the American Arbitration Association’s Large Complex Case, International and Patent Arbitration panels.  In addition, he has for a number of years been an ADR Attorney Settlement Officer for the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.

Mr. Weinstein is a member of the Intellectual Property Sections of the American Bar Association, the Federal Bar Association and the State Bar of California.  He is admitted to practice in California and the District of Columbia.  Mr. Weinstein has both received many hours of specialized ADR training from the AAA, Pepperdine Law School’s Strauss Institute and the US District Court, and has widely lectured on both intellectual property and ADR matters in the US and foreign countries.  Mr. Weinstein will, under the auspices of the Center for International Studies, teach International ADR and Intellectual Property Law in Tirana, Albania in the spring of 2011.