Certum Group was pleased to sponsor the 2023 Eastern District of Texas Bench Bar in October 2023. In addition to panels of practitioners, Kathy Vidal of the USPTO, Former AG Eric Holder, and Kevin Costner, participants heard from more than 25 current and former district and circuit court judges from all over Texas, the Fifth and Federal Circuit, Texas and numerous other states. A few key takeaways from the conference were:
- Credibility remains the primary focus of the court and juries in making decisions, and collegiality among counsel and parties is key to success in the Eastern District of Texas.
- Generational differences are becoming increasingly significant in how law firms are run, cases are staffed, and information is presented to juries.
- When dealing with foreign outside counsel, it is a good practice to account for translation needs and time differences and to be cognizant of the different confidentiality/privacy/discoverability rules in every jurisdiction.
- Courts are mindful of the efficiencies that AI-based tools can create but caution counsel to avoid over-reliance on the technology at the risk of sacrificing accuracy or credibility with the court.
- Juries seek streamlined presentations and are not compelled by technical experts who fail to present their analysis objectively and take note of experts who appear to be solely “hired guns”, so the selection and preparation of expert witnesses remain particularly critical in complex cases.
- The USPTO is focusing significant resources on innovation and initiatives seeking to encourage growth and exploration.
- There is a critical need for more judges, and the federal judicial system is overloaded. In addition to numerous vacancies, the number of courts and benches has not increased at the same rate as the nation’s population.