Press Releases

Sheppard Mullin Opens New Silicon Valley Office

Office Moves to Permanent Location in Menlo Park

July 21, 2008

Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP announced today the opening of a permanent Silicon Valley office, the firm's eleventh office and eighth in California.  Attorneys in the new office, located in Menlo Park, will include partners Marc A. Sockol, Riaz A. Karamali, Karen Canaan and James M. Chadwick.

Sockol, managing partner of the new office, joins Sheppard Mullin's Intellectual Property practice group.  Karamali joins the firm's Corporate practice group.  Both Sockol and Karamali were previously partners at Thelen Reid Brown Raysman & Steiner LLP in Palo Alto, where Sockol headed the office.

Canaan joins Sheppard Mullin's Intellectual Property practice group.  She most recently had an independent life sciences patent boutique servicing a variety of clients from large corporations to start-ups.  Prior to running her own firm, she was a partner at Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo PC in Palo Alto. 

Chadwick, a member of Sheppard Mullin's Entertainment and Media and Business Trials practice groups, has relocated from Sheppard Mullin's San Francisco office. 

“Establishing a Silicon Valley presence has been a key step in the firm's strategic plan.  It leverages the expansion and success of our Corporate, IP and Entertainment practices and helps us serve current and future technology clients.  We are pleased to be opening the office with a solid foundation of talented attorneys having exactly the right combination of skills.  We are committed to growing the office to serve companies in Silicon Valley, including those in media, information technology, communications, clean technology, security, health care and biotechnology sectors," said Guy Halgren, chairman of the firm. 

Commented Sockol, "Joining Sheppard Mullin provides an exciting opportunity to lead the firm's new Silicon Valley office.  I was attracted by the firm's commitment to opening in this market, as well as its strong financial performance and success in opening other offices, most recently in Shanghai and New York.  I am also impressed by Sheppard Mullin’s understanding of the needs of Silicon Valley clients and its resources to support them."

Sockol specializes in intellectual property rights and applies his technical and legal skills to client counseling, preparation and prosecution of patent applications, preparation of patentability, invalidity and noninfringement opinions, and the assertion and defense of patent litigation claims.  He also has experience in trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets and technology licensing. 

Sockol has drafted, prosecuted and defended more than 750 patent applications across a broad spectrum of technological areas.  These areas include computer hardware, computer software, semiconductor design and fabrication, the Internet, networking, wireless systems, satellites, QAM, multimedia distribution systems, e-commerce, business methods, POS hardware and software, network and computer security systems, database structures, application development tools, storage management systems, fault tolerant systems, QOS monitoring, biometrics, set-top boxes, digital and analog circuitry, medical devices, solar power, optics, thin films and HVAC. 

Karamali has twenty years of experience in the areas of mergers and acquisitions, licensing and technology transactions, venture capital financing, outsourcing, and domestic and international joint ventures.  He represents a broad range of clients including high growth start-ups and Fortune 500 companies, and is currently actively involved in venture capital and acquisition transactions related to the Middle East, India and Pakistan. 

Canaan has close to ten years of experience preparing and prosecuting patent applications for clients in the biotechnology, chemical, and medical arts industries.  As part of her practice, she prepares patent legal opinions and technology transfer agreements.  In addition, she has assisted her clients in developing trademark portfolios for their patented products and she has assisted her pharmaceutical clients with their FDA regulatory requirements.  

Chadwick's practice focuses on media law and media defense litigation, including copyright and trademark litigation, First Amendment and privacy law, and access and newsgathering law, as well as general civil litigation.  His clients include Media News Group, San Jose Mercury News, Inc., Mother Jones Magazine, Salon Media Group, Daily News Group and NBC. 

Sockol received a J.D. from University of San Francisco School of Law in 1992 and a B.S. in electrical engineering from University of California, Davis in 1989.  Karamali received a J.D. from Columbia University in 1988 and a B.A. from Rice University in 1985.  Canaan received a J.D. from Whittier Law School in 1997 and a B.A. in biochemistry from University of Texas, Austin in 1986.  Chadwick received a J.D., summa cum laude, from Santa Clara University School of Law in 1991, a M.A. from San Francisco State University in 1985 and a B.A., cum laude, from University of California, Santa Cruz in 1979.

About Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP

Sheppard Mullin is a full service AmLaw 100 firm with more than 520 attorneys in 11 offices located throughout California and in New York, Washington, D.C. and Shanghai.  The firm's California offices are located in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Silicon Valley, Santa Barbara, Century City, Orange County, Del Mar Heights and San Diego.  Founded in 1927 on the principle that the firm would succeed only if its attorneys delivered prompt, high quality and cost-effective legal services, Sheppard Mullin provides legal counsel to U.S. and international clients.  Companies turn to Sheppard Mullin to handle a full range of corporate and technology matters, high stakes litigation and complex financial transactions.  In the U.S., the firm's clients include more than half of the Fortune 100 companies.