Walt Brown and Melinda Haag Recognized Among Top Trade Secrets Lawyers in California

Daily Journal | October.08.2020

The Daily Journal has named partners Walt Brown and Melinda Haag to its list of Top Trade Secrets Lawyers in California.

In featuring Walt and Melinda, the publication cited their prominent roles in an Orrick trial team that secured the acquittal last January of a defendant in a high-profile trade secrets prosecution involving former Fitbit employees. The result prompted the U.S. Justice Department to abandon its case against the remaining defendants. The Daily Journal also recently recognized partner Randy Luskey for his role in the case, naming him one of the top 100 lawyers in California this year. Co-counsel Miranda Kane, of Kane + Kimball, also played an important role in the trial team, which won acquittal for our client, Katherine Mogal.

“We went out of our way to not have lead counsel,” Walt told the Daily Journal. “This was a team effort all the way.”

In the profile, Walt, who leads Orrick’s global white collar practice, called the trial win “gratifying,” but stressed that it still took a toll on the client despite the outcome.

Meanwhile, Melinda, former United States Attorney for the Northern District of California, discussed the potential problems that can arise when prosecutors consider bringing criminal charges for trade secrets theft in the competitive tech industry. “Be careful when competitors are coming to you to report what they call trade secrets theft,” she said. “A bias is built in when you’re the purported victim.”

Melinda described the outcome in the Mogal trial as a cautionary tale for such cases, as the publication noted our team “dismantled” the government’s charges. The jury took less than two hours to acquit.