Gene Quinn at IPWatchdog recently posted his notes from Chief Judge Holderman’s Ten Commandments for Trying Patent Cases presentation at a recent Thomas Jefferson School of Law symposium.  I have had the opportunity to hear versions of the presentation a couple of times and learn something new every time.  Here are Judge Holderman’s ten commandments.  Thou shalt not try a patent case to a judge or to a jury without:

  1. A clear theory for victory
  2. Targeting your final argument
  3. Anticipating your opponent’s arguments
  4. Speaking understandable words
  5. Telling the story
  6. Using visuals
  7. Organizing the exhibits for the decision maker
  8. Presenting your theme early and often
  9. Being straight forward and focused
  10. Remembering you are “ON STAGE”

Some of the ten seem relatively obvious as you read them, but even the obvious ones are valuable reminders as you head into the stress of trial preparation.  One that always jumps out at me is organizing exhibits for the decision maker.  Far too many trial teams simply line up their exhibits in numeric order or the order they were shown at trial without thoughtfully organizing the exhibits so that they tell a story for the jury.  If you have a chance to see Judge Holderman give a version of this talk, do not miss it.