A Mayer Brown lawyer’s busy day

Mayer Brown partner Jeff Sarles will argue two Federal Circuit cases on the same day — Monday, Oct. 5.  This is the second consecutive year where he has had two appellate arguments on the same day. Last year, it was at the 7th Circuit.

This time around, the parties are the same and they both concern claims of infringement of slot machine patents. But they arise from separate district court proceedings before different judges and involve different patents.

The cases are Bally Gaming, Inc. v. IGT, No. 2009-1072 (Fed. Cir.), and IGT v. Alliance Gaming Corp., No. 2009-1110 (Fed. Cir.).  Mayer Brown represents the appellee in the first and the appellant in the second.

The two cases involve a dispute between two of the world’s largest gaming companies over the validity of patents underlying the world’s the most popular slot machine – the Wheel of Fortune.  While Sarles will be arguing both cases for IGT, different attorneys from Quinn Emanuel will argue the two cases for Bally Gaming.

When asked how Sarles keeps both cases separate in his mind, he said, “You have to be careful, and make sure the two piles on your desk don’t get intermingled.”

“There is enough of a relationship [between the patent infringement appeal] to hear them right after the other,” he said. “The two cases I will be arguing, it requires a little different mindset … One case, I’m trying to say that the district court got it right, and in the other case that the district court got it wrong. Even through the two judges are different, they do involve different approaches.”

He’s been preparing for both cases by alternating his preparation days – working on one case one day and the other case the next day until the issues are crystallized in his mind. After that, he said there is no fear of him mixing things up.

His goal for the day, he said, “is hopefully to achieve a double victory for my clients. These are important matters. There is a lot at stake, and if I can accomplish that my client will be happy, and hopefully we will have contributed to the development of the law as well.”

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