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Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP Intellectual Property Group Adds Seven Associates

November 13, 2006

ATLANTA (November 13, 2006) – In another example of its continuing aggressive expansion strategy, the Intellectual Property group at Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP is pleased to announce the hiring of seven IP associates as part of the firm's unprecedented 2006 new associate class.  Overall in 2006, Sutherland added 41 first year associates with 26 in the Atlanta office, 14 in the Washington office and one in the New York office. 

A significant number of the firm's IP lawyers are registered to practice before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.  Many hold advanced technical degrees in areas such as chemistry, chemical engineering, computer and electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, molecular biology, pharmacology and medicine.  Sutherland's IP practice includes 16 members with graduate technical degrees.  These additions bring the total number of full-time lawyers in Sutherland's IP Group to 45, continuing the pattern of rapid expansion in the practice over the last five years.

"Our Intellectual Property group has grown tremendously in the past five years, and we fully intend for that growth to continue," said Sutherland IP Practice Group Leader John L. North.  "We have seen this growth based on quality work for leading national and international corporations, and based on the recruiting of top-notch IP lawyers such as the seven who have joined us recently. We remain excited about the prospects for continued growth over the coming years."

Sutherland's IP group features technical patent prosecution and counseling knowledge, coupled with broad litigation experience in a number of areas, including biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, biomedical devices, computers, software, chemical technology, minerals and telecommunications.

The new IP associates are:

Brian J. Decker, a Vanderbilt University Law School graduate (2006), who also holds B.S. degrees in biomedical engineering and electrical engineering from Vanderbilt (1999), where he graduated magna cum laude.  Decker worked as a consultant at a global consulting firm prior to joining Sutherland.

Deidre A. Francis, who majored in English and sociology at Yale University (1999) before earning a law degree, with honors, from the Emory University School of Law (2006). 

Kristin E. Goran, an Emory University School of Law graduate with highest honors (2005), who earned a B.S. degree in biomedical engineering from Vanderbilt (2002), where she graduated summa cum laude.  Before joining Sutherland, she clerked for the Honorable Orinda D. Evans of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia.   In addition, Goran served as a lab intern for the Whitaker Foundation's National Institutes of Health Biomedical Engineering Program.

Darcy L. Jones, a magna cum laude graduate of the Mercer University Walter F. George School of Law (2005), who also earned an M.L.S. in library science from Emporia State University (1998) and a B.A. in English from Washburn University (1996).   Jones served as Director of Information Technology at the Mercer University Walter F. George School of Law, prior to joining Sutherland.

David A. Reed, a University of Virginia School of Law graduate (2006) who holds a B.S. degree in chemical engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology (2002), where he graduated with highest honors.  Prior to joining Sutherland, Reed was an intern in the United States House of Representatives.  He also worked as a process engineer for a major chemical company.

Geoffrey K. Rogers, a University of Texas School of Law graduate (2006) who earned a chemical engineering degree, with high honors, from the University of Texas (2003).  Rogers previously worked as a research assistant in the University of Texas Department of Chemical Engineering.

Kristin M. Timm, who holds a law degree from the University of Georgia School of Law (2006) and earned political science and German degrees from Samford University (2003), where she graduated with honors.  Prior to joining Sutherland, Timm worked as an intern for two German law firms.

Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP is an AmLaw 100 law firm known for solving challenging business problems and resolving unique legal issues for many of the nation's largest companies.  Founded in 1924, the firm has grown to more than 450 lawyers with offices in Atlanta, Austin, Houston, New York, Tallahassee and Washington.  For further information about the firm, please visit

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