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Scheef & Stone’s Michael Smith Recognized as IP Trailblazer

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Michael Smith

Scheef & Stone is proud to announce that the National Law Journal named Michael Smith an Intellectual Property Trailblazer. The IP Trailblazers is awarded to professionals working as agents of change in their practice areas.

When asked about his path to becoming a trailblazer, Michael pointed to his pioneering work in 2003, starting an IP blog before the advent of Facebook or the smartphone. He launched to write about important IP cases coming out of the Eastern District of Texas and it went on to become one of the most enduring blogs devoted to IP law, still going strong 20 years later. In the years since, he has also launched TEXIPLAWBLOG devoted exclusively to important IP cases coming out of all of Texas and a podcast series, “Texas IP Roundup With Michael Smith,” in partnership with the Berkeley Center for Law and Technology.

Michael is a partner in the firm’s Marshall office, where his practice focuses on complex commercial and patent litigation in federal court. He is counsel of record in over 900 civil cases in the Eastern District of Texas. He is the former chair of the Eastern District’s Local Rules Advisory Committee; past president of the Eastern District Bar Association; Life Fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation; two-time member of the Texas Bar Board of Directors; past chair of both the Texas Bar Litigation Section and Texas Bar Journal Board of Editors; and editor of “O’Connor’s Federal Rules Civil Trials” for over 20 years.

Selection criteria for the National Law Journal’s Trailblazers is available here.

Scheef & Stone Welcomes Michael Schofield

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Michael SchofieldScheef & Stone is excited to announce the addition of USPTO-registered patent attorney Michael Schofield as their newest Member to join the firm.

Michael began his career as a mechanical engineer where he developed an appreciation for the role that the law plays in protecting intellectual property. This appreciation led him to law school to become a patent attorney.

He has over a decade of experience preparing and prosecuting domestic and international patent applications and enjoys taking the time to understand the nuances of the intellectual property he works to protect.

“Michael’s start as a mechanical engineer provides him valuable experience as a creator of intellectual property,” said Founding Partner, John Scheef. “We are excited to have him on our team to help clients protect their valuable and hard work.”

Prior to joining the firm, Michael worked as a senior IP counsel at a large company focused on electrifying the commercial transportation industry.

Michael’s addition further solidifies Scheef & Stone’s position as a leader in the IP and legal community.

Scheef & Stone’s Mark Hill Elected to the Frisco ISD Board of Trustees

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Scheef & Stone congratulates our own Mark Hill on his recent election to the Frisco ISD Board of Trustees. Mark was elected on May 6, 2023, for the Place 5 seat and his ceremonial swearing-in took place at his first Board meeting on June 12th. “As a resident of Frisco for almost twenty years, I have seen the City of Frisco grow and succeed in large part due to the Frisco ISD,” Mark said. “We are blessed to have great parents and students throughout our community, as well as many of the finest educators in the State. Frisco ISD is a leader in public education, and I look forward to helping that tradition continue for years to come.”

With 75 campuses (and growing) located throughout Frisco, as well as in North Plano, West McKinney and Little Elm, Frisco ISD is one of the ten largest school districts in the State of Texas, and the largest “A” rated district in the state. It’s also the largest employer in Frisco with over 8,000 employees, boasts a student count of over 67,000, and has an annual budget in excess of $700 million.

The Frisco ISD Board is comprised of seven elected Trustees that serve as the district’s policy-making body and are elected by the citizens of Frisco ISD to three-year terms. For over 20 years, the Frisco ISD has partnered with the City of Frisco on numerous major projects including the Ford Center at The Star and Dallas Cowboys, PGA of America Headquarters, Toyota Stadium and FC Dallas, and many more.

Mark has dedicated himself to the best interests of the firm’s clients for years, and we applaud his determination to share that same heart of service to benefit the larger Collin County community.

Scheef & Stone Welcomes Joseph Baker’s Return

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Scheef & Stone is delighted to announce that Joseph Baker has returned to the firm’s litigation practice in Dallas as a partner. Joe will focus primarily on business and commercial litigation, with a focus in oil and gas litigation and oil and gas law, as well as experience in representing clients in construction, real estate, and insurance defense matters.

“We are excited to have Joe return to the firm and rejoin our group of exceptional litigators,” said Founding Partner Bill Stone. “His extensive experience in oil and gas litigation will be an ideal fit for the practice — we’re fortunate to have him back.”

Joe obtained his undergraduate degree from TCU, cum laude, and graduated from the Texas Tech University School of Law, magna cum laude. While in law school, Baker was a member of the Law Review.

He is licensed to practice law in Texas and New Mexico, including the federal courts for the District of New Mexico and the Eastern, Western, and Northern Districts of Texas.

Outside of the courtroom, Baker is an active member of his community. He is board member of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Midland and was formerly a board member of the Midland Teen Court.

Scheef & Stone Attorneys Assist in Company Acquisition

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Scheef & Stone is pleased to announce that two of our attorneys, Roger Crabb and Margaret Ricchi, assisted First Rate Ventures in a successful corporate acquisition.

The transaction involved First Rate, Inc acquiring the Wealth Management Platform including performance reporting, portfolio management, and trading & rebalancing from InvestEdge, Inc.

“This result was a culmination of excellent work by Roger and Margaret,” said Scheef & Stone founding partner, John Scheef. “We are proud of our attorneys’ commitment to achieving solid results for our clients.”

Roger has over 25 years of experience negotiating and documenting corporate transactions, including mergers and acquisitions, private and public market financings, and general commercial transactions.

Margaret is a corporate and business lawyer who uses her past litigation experience to help domestic and international businesses. With a focus on mergers and acquisitions, she is dedicated to guiding her clients through all their transactions.

Scheef & Stone Welcomes Marc McSwain to the Firm

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Marc D. McSwain

Scheef & Stone is excited to announce the addition of Marc McSwain to the firm’s Intellectual Property practice area.

Marc is a USPTO-registered patent attorney with over 24 years of experience in patent law, including several years as a patent agent before becoming an attorney.

“Marc’s breadth of experience in patent law is impressive,” said Founding Partner, John Scheef. “We are thrilled to have him on our team and are excited about the solid counsel he will provide to our clients.”

Marc’s experience includes identifying and protecting valuable inventions, directing technological improvements, and providing support for litigation and/or licensing activities for future business success.

The addition of Marc further solidifies Scheef & Stone’s position as a leader in the legal community and we are excited about the opportunities that lie ahead with him joining our team.

What Makes a Great Lawyer – Answered by Scheef & Stone’s Jane Taber

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Jane C. TaberThe firm recently celebrated having 13 lawyers named as D Magazine Best Lawyers by asking its attorneys what makes a great lawyer. Jane Taber provided the following insight, and we couldn’t have said it any better. Enjoy!

The nation is chock full of very good lawyers. Every year hundreds of lawyers graduate from the top of their classes, win prestigious awards for exemplary service, and provide superb legal representation resulting in tremendous results for their clients. As a profession, lawyers are intelligent and aren’t afraid to put in the necessary time and effort of lifelong learning to fine-tune their legal skills and gain experience. They have an uncanny ability to analyze information, strategically plan and implement a pathway for the best outcomes for their clients, and efficiently and persuasively write or present orally their clients’ position. So how does a lawyer become great and rise above her colleagues when she is surrounded every single day with good lawyers? A few characteristics make the transformation of a good lawyer into a great lawyer.

First is compassion. When a lawyer authentically and genuinely wants to help resolve a problem this is manifested as compassion. After all, isn’t that why our clients come to us in the first place—to solve their problem or avoid a future problem? This requires focusing on how others feel and understanding and accepting their perspective even if you don’t agree with it. Without compassion you can’t put yourself into your client’s shoes and fully comprehend the problems they face. Without compassion you can’t understand opposing counsel’s or the trier of facts perspectives. However, with compassion, and understanding the positions of all parties involved, you can anticipate the next steps of each party and take pre-emptive measures that are in the best interest of your client. You simply can’t provide the best solutions without compassion.

Secondly is assertiveness, which is different from aggressiveness. Assertive lawyers effectively state their opinions and make themselves heard in a professional manner, respectful of others. Aggressive lawyers attack and ignore others’ opinions, insisting their opinion is right and any other opinions are wrong. Much like lawyers without compassion, overly aggressive lawyers cannot possibly understand another’s position if it isn’t aligned with theirs, making them ineffective at understanding the client’s problem and incapable of providing an effective solution. Causing irreparable damage are overly aggressive lawyers, whose lack of respect for others undermines trust and leads to an uncooperative environment with mutual resolution or agreement often impossible.

Lastly is creativity. The number of different legal scenarios a lawyer is faced with over her career is innumerable. All clients, fact patterns, and issues differ. A solution for one client likely won’t work for another due to each client’s uniqueness. A great lawyer must be able to assess her client’s situation from all angles, understand what the client wants—and what her adversary wants, weigh all options, and muster up all the creativity she can to craft the perfect solution for the client that will also be accepted by an adversary. This requires coming to the table with compassion, listening intending to hear all persons at the table, and being assertive but not to the point of aggressive in advocating for a workable solution.

Yes, there are plenty of good lawyers that will do a fine job for most clients, but a great lawyer rises above a good one with her secret weapons of compassion, assertiveness, and creativity.

Scheef & Stone Partner Recognized as Hall of Fame Award Recipient

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Peter Lewis

Scheef & Stone is pleased to announce that Peter Lewis was inducted into the TMI Episcopal’s Hall of Fame during Alumni Day on Friday, April 21st.

Established in 2015, the Hall of Fame is an honorary society recognizing the exceptional contributions of alumni. Inductees are recognized for their embodiment of TMI’s core values – wisdom, integrity, service, excellence, and reverence. Peter is a 1974 graduate of the private high school and was one of eight individuals honored this year.

Throughout his career, Peter has remained devoted to serving his community. He has served as an officer and/or director of the Texas Public Finance Authority, Volunteer Centers of North Texas, Goodwill Industries, Mental Health Association of Dallas, Dallas Symphony, Alcuin School, Baylor Hospital System Foundation, Dallas Historical Society, J.L. Turner Legal Association, Head Start, the Texas Lyceum and the Friends of Fair Park. He currently serves on the board of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Dallas and the Texas advisory board for the Trust for Public Land.

While at TMI, Peter earned several academic and leadership awards, was Band Commander, editor of the Class of 1974 yearbook, served on the Student Council, was an all-state (private schools) football and basketball player, an all-city basketball player, and was named to several All-SPC and TPL football and basketball teams as well as an All-SPC team in baseball.

Upon graduating from TMI, he attended Princeton University where he played football and basketball and graduated in 1978 with a degree in Politics. He subsequently attended Columbia University School of Law and obtained his Juris Doctor in 1981. Thereafter, Peter began his legal career in Dallas where, in 1988, he became the first African American lawyer to become a partner (equity) in a Dallas majority law firm.

About TMI Episcopal

Located in the Texas Hill Country, just 20 miles from downtown San Antonio, TMI Episcopal is a coed, college-preparatory school for students in grades 6-12. Its rich history dates back to 1893 when the school was founded by the Episcopal Diocese of West Texas and has grown to become the excellent academic community it is today. From honors and Advanced Placement courses, a wide range of fine art and athletic activities, and the optional, distinguished JROTC program to the school’s dedication to service and leadership, TMI is a place for students to engage, learn, and grow into the well-rounded leaders of tomorrow.

Lucky #13! Scheef & Stone Attorneys Listed as Best Lawyers in Dallas by D Magazine

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Scheef & Stone is pleased to announce that thirteen of our attorneys were named 2023 D Magazine Best Lawyers. The exclusive list honors the top Lawyers in Dallas, as chosen by their peers. This prestigious recognition is a testament to these attorneys’ exceptional legal skills, outstanding client service, and commitment to the legal profession. We are incredibly proud to have them on our team and to see their hard work and talent recognized by D Magazine as well as their peers. We would like to extend our sincerest congratulations to our attorneys for this well-deserved recognition. We are honored to have them on our team and look forward to seeing them continue to excel in their respective practice areas.

The Scheef & Stone attorneys selected by D Magazine are:

Robert Bolton: Tax
Rebekah Steely Brooker: Probate: Trust & Estates
Roger Crabb: Corporate Law: Private Equity
John Fischer: Intellectual Property: Patent Prosecution
James Griffin: Tax: ERISA/Employee Benefits
Byron Henry: Appellate
Mitch Little: Securities Litigation & Enforcement
LaDawn Nandrasy: Appellate
Mark Nielsen: Intellectual Property
John Scheef: Business/Commercial Litigation
Patrick Schurr: Bankruptcy & Workout
Bill Stone: Corporate Law: Mergers and Acquisitions
Jane C. Taber: Corporate Law/General & Healthcare Transactional

Scheef & Stone Welcomes LaDawn Nandrasy to the Firm

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LaDawn NandrasyScheef & Stone is pleased to announce that LaDawn Nandrasy has joined the firm. LaDawn will practice as a member of the firm’s Appellate team.

LaDawn is board certified in civil appellate law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, a prestigious credential earned by less than 1% of practicing Texas lawyers and joins the firm with more than three decades of appellate law experience. She has tried cases in several appellate courts, including the Supreme Court of Texas and the Fifth Circuit.

“To say we’re thrilled to have LaDawn join Scheef & Stone is an understatement,” said Founding Partner, John Scheef. “The appellate experience and bench depth that she brings to the firm is incomparably remarkable and she will be invaluable to our clients and our firm.”

LaDawn’s achievements have been recognized by Texas Super Lawyers in Appellate Law as well as a Top 50 Women Lawyer in Texas. D Magazine named her a Best Women Lawyer in Dallas and included her in the Best Lawyers in Dallas in Appellate Law.

Committed to the legal profession, LaDawn serves in a variety of capacities. She is a member of the Oversight Committee of the State Bar of Texas Committee on Pattern Jury Charges. Four times, she has authored the chapter on Interlocutory Appeals for the Texas Practitioner’s Guide to Civil Appeals in Texas. Her other roles have included leadership at the State Bar of Texas Appellate Section as a Council Member and as Co-Chair of the Diversity Committee.

Devoted to her community, LaDawn’s has served on several non-profit boards including Empowering Women as Leaders and Hope International, an international adoption agency that assisted with the adoption of her daughter from overseas.

The addition of LaDawn further solidifies Scheef & Stone’s position as a leader in the legal community and we are excited about the opportunities that lie ahead with her joining our team.