SOURCE: Katsh & Associates LLC

March 08, 2011 12:18 ET

Salem Katsh, Noted Trial Lawyer, Author, and Advocate for Disabled, Opens New Law Firm for Intellectual Property Law and Commercial Litigation

HASTINGS-ON-HUDSON, NY--(Marketwire - March 8, 2011) -  Salem Katsh -- who spent over thirty-five years building intellectual property practices and handling major litigations for firms such as Weil, Gotshal & Manges and Shearman & Sterling -- announced today that he has opened his own law office, Katsh & Associates LLC. The New York-based firm will specialize in intellectual property -- patents, trade secrets, trademarks/trade dress, copyrights, Internet -- and commercial litigation. Katsh also intends to continue his academic pursuits and his pro bono advocacy on behalf of children with disabilities.

Katsh's professional career has encompassed many diverse elements.

Katsh Redefined How Patent Law is Practiced in the U.S.

Katsh is well known for having inaugurated the idea that general practice firms can and should practice complex patent litigation, previously the domain of specialized patent firms. He founded the extremely successful IP groups at Weil, Gotshal & Manges (1987) and Shearman & Sterling (1997). Katsh also led Weil Gotshal to become the first New York-based firm to open an office in Silicon Valley (in 1991).

Today, virtually every significant law firm in the U.S. has built or acquired a patent litigation practice and has one or more offices in the Palo Alto area. Heavily recruited, Katsh has also practiced with Kasowitz, Benson, Torres & Friedman, and most recently with Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis, which he joined in 2009 and is now leaving.

Among the Most Highly Regarded IP Lawyers in the Country

For over 20 years, Katsh has been included in Who's Who in American Law, Who's Who in America, Who's Who in the World, as well as Chambers and the other "best lawyer" surveys, most recently being named as one of the country's top patent litigation lawyers.

Katsh is well known for having won verdicts in intellectual property cases of national significance. Two of the cases he handled for General Electric have been the subject of front page articles in the Wall Street Journal.

Katsh has also structured many important commercial transactions, both domestic and international, involving complex manufacturing, distribution and joint venture agreements that involve intellectual property.

Reflecting the breadth of his practice, Katsh is acknowledged as an expert in antitrust law. Antitrust issues are frequently of major significance in intellectual property litigations and commercial transactions.

K&A to Shun Big Firm Model

Katsh has toyed with starting his own firm before. In 2006, after leaving Kasowitz Benson, he practiced on his own for a time prior to joining Schnader Harrison. "The time for me to go solo was then not right," Katsh states. "Now it is." 

Katsh states that he has no interest in having Katsh & Associates LLC follow a typical law firm model. "This firm," states Katsh, "is going to pursue its own path. It will hearken back to a time when lawyers cared about quality above all other factors, when public service was viewed as truly worthwhile, and when lawyers were encouraged, motivated and thrilled to test existing legal doctrines against new and creative ideas. Today, the constraints of reaching enormous and highly aggressive profit goals make adherence to these principles quite difficult and rather sporadic."

Champion of Rights for Disabled -- A Movie Star?

Katsh has fought pro bono for two decades for the rights of disabled children, and won a trial in federal district court in 2007. In cases brought against the New York City Board of Education, Katsh attacked its practice of "warehousing" special education children in classes and facilities that did not provide a proper educational environment as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act. Katsh's legal actions have forced the New York City school board to comply with the mainstreaming mandates of that law, and the outcome of this case has served as a precedent for thousands of families across the country.

Mary Somoza, a leading advocate for the disabled and mother of the plaintiff (who has a severe case of cerebral palsy and, though registering a high IQ, is nonverbal), has praised Katsh for his work: "Salem worked tirelessly day and night as the lead lawyer of our team, constantly encouraging me and helping me to hold the course through those very difficult times... And he was a true role model for those young lawyers on his team, and his actions inspired them."

The amazing story of how Somoza and Katsh got together and successfully waged their campaign to change the way disabled children are educated has been picked up and is now being made into a major motion picture (Chris Cooper is slated to play Katsh. 

A Prolific Author

A member of a family of scholars and teachers, Katsh is a prolific author, having published two books and over thirty articles, many of which have been noted and cited for their scholarly quality. His diverse academic interests are reflected in the book The Limits of Corporate Power, which deals with corporate governance and is widely used in universities.

Katsh has written many articles on a broad range of intellectual property, antirust and litigation topics, most recently his widely cited article on the Supreme Court's decision concerning process patents ("Ten Years From State Street to Bilski -- And No End in Sight"). 

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