308. Perfect Pitch: Why is Diversity Important?

DATE: Friday, July 21, 2017      TIME: 3:30 PM - 4:30 PM
LOCATION: City Hall, Committee Room 120

Given the increase in diversity hiring successes in large and medium-sized firms over the past decade or so, is diversity so important in a pitch? Will the large corporations be effective in encouraging diversity of attorneys on their matters by using the carrot and stick approach such as fee reductions and or bonuses? Learn from senior in-house counsels and outside counsel from both large and medium-sized firms on whether these and other various organized and organic mechanisms to promote diversity such as RFPs, mandates, and programs are working. Outside counsels will showcase how to effectively market and incorporate diversity into a pitch even when it’s not a priority to in-house counsel.

CLE accreditation pending. Click here to download CLE materials.


Partner, Baker & Hostetler LLP

Phong D. Nguyen

Phong is an IP strategist and partner at Baker & Hostetler LLP and is based in Washington, D.C. He strategically and intelligently develops and manages patent portfolios in the US and internationally for large corporations in concert with in-house counsels and product managers based on financial information, data analytics and competitive analysis to protect current and future product offerings. Phong cultivates a rapport with Examiners and Supervising Examiners in various art units to obtain desired claim coverage for patent applications. He also performs competitive review and analysis of internal and external patent assets, and products to leverage value of the patent portfolio and to mitigate litigation risks. He files and responds to Post-Grant requests at the USPTO. Phong also provides non-infringement, clearance and invalidity opinions for patents and clearance opinions for trademarks and copyrights. He further drafts and negotiates a variety of IP agreements including licenses and cross-licenses, joint-development agreements, non-disclosure agreements, consulting agreements, marketing agreements, joint venture and research collaboration agreements. Phong serves as a co-chair of NAPABA’s Intellectual Property Committee and is a Board member of the National Conference of Vietnamese American Attorneys.

Partner, SmithAmundsen LLC

Gary Zhao

Gary represents clients in high-stake and complex business litigation matters nationwide. A partner in SmithAmundsen LLC’s commercial litigation group, Gary has secured victories through both trial and arbitration for his client in cases involving breach of contract, intellectual property, false advertising, unfair competition, business fraud and other disputes. He is a graduate of the ABA TIPS Leadership Academy. Gary has been recognized by NAPABA as one of Best Lawyers Under 40 in 2015. He is a past President of the Chinese American Bar Association and is a recipient of the Presidential Leadership Award from the organization. Gary is a past board member of AABA Chicago and received its Member of the Year Award in 2010. He was recognized as one of 40 Illinois Attorneys Under 40 to Watch by Chicago Daily Law Bulletin. Gary co-chaired the NAPABA litigation committee from 2011 to 2016. He is an At-large member of the NAPABA Board of Governors.

Associate General Counsel, Microsoft

Joe Lee

Joe Lee is an Assistant General Counsel for Microsoft’s Cloud & Enterprise business where he is one of Microsoft’s experts on cloud computing technology. Joe currently leads a team that supports the Azure cloud business, Microsoft’s cloud computing platform and one of its biggest technology bets. Over the years he’s been recognized as a top performer and received the company’s “Gold Star Award”. Joe also graduated from Microsoft’s “Bench Program”, a leadership program for high achieving senior leaders. Joe is also a Board member for the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) and co-chair of NAPABA’s Intellectual Property Committee. Joe has been a frequent speaker on several conference panels and CLEs on cloud computing and technology law topics including, “Did My Copyright Get Lost in the Cloud”, “Cloud Computing with a Chance of Meatballs”, and “The Inner Workings of the Cloud and Implications for Negotiating Cloud Services Agreements”. Joe earned his bachelor’s degree in History with distinction and his J.D. from the University of Washington. Prior to joining Microsoft, Joe was an attorney at Foster Pepper & then at Cairncross & Hempelmann both located in Seattle, Washington. Growing up in the Pacific Northwest, Joe is a die-hard Washington Husky and Seattle Seahawks fan.

Sue Xia

Associate Counsel, Walmart eCommerce

Sue Xia is associate counsel of patents and open source at Walmart eCommerce and is based in Silicon Valley. Walmart eCommerce operates Walmart.com, Jet.com, VUDU and other affiliates worldwide. Sue leads the patent program at Walmart eCommerce where she manages the growing patent portfolio. She also leads the open source program for Walmart eCommerce which has open sourced several large projects in the past two years including OneOps, a cloud-based project management tool, and Electrode, a platform for building React/Node.js applications. Prior to Walmart, Sue was at White & Case’s Silicon Valley office where she represented semiconductor and software companies in a variety of IP matters including patent portfolio counseling, patent prosecution and litigation. She has litigated complex patent cases in district court and the International Trade Commission. During her time at White & Case, Sue worked in the IP department of a large consumer electronics company in Japan where she advised her clients in various IP issues and experienced the Japanese "salaryman lifestyle". Sue earned her Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and Engineering from UCLA and JD from Santa Clara University.