McKool Smith is pleased to announce the promotion of seven attorneys to Principals in the firm’s Austin, Dallas, Houston and New York offices, effective January 1, 2019.

“Our new principals have made their mark in the firm by demonstrating true leadership and a high level of client service,” said David Sochia, Managing Principal of McKool Smith. “I look forward to their continued success.”

Kristina Baehris a Principal McKool Smith’s Austin office. She has represented a variety of U.S. and international companies of all sizes in cases involving complex commercial and intellectual property disputes. She recently managed a trial team on behalf of Rovi against Comcast for a successful result before the International Trade Commission, including examining several witnesses and arguing procedural matters.  Prior to joining the firm, she was a law clerk for the Honorable Nancy Gertner on the U.S. District Court of Massachusetts and a Yale Law School Bernstein Fellow to the Carter Center in Liberia.

Blake Baileyis a Principal in the Houston office.  His practice focuses on complex commercial litigation and intellectual property litigation, with an emphasis on standard essential patents.  Additionally, he represents clients in a broad range of bankruptcy and bankruptcy litigation-related matters, including disputes involving breaches of contract, breaches of fiduciary duties, recovery of fraudulent transfers, and recovery of secured property, among others.  He was a member of the trial team that secured a complete defense verdict for CenturyLink in a securities fraud suit brought by five groups of investors and four of its current and past executives who accused the company of securities fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, and fraud.  Blake served as a law clerk for Chief Judge Edith Jones of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in Houston.

Travis DeArmanis a Principal in McKool Smith’s Dallas office. His practice focuses on commercial and intellectual property litigation.  Travis recently managed a complex commercial arbitration before the American Arbitration Association, including preparing the case for the hearing, examining a number of witnesses, and presenting argument to the tribunal. Travis also helped secure a victory for the firm’s client, patent owner Dr. Ford Albritton IV, in an inter partes review trial before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) concerning the validity of Dr. Albritton’s surgical device patent.  Travis previously served as a law clerk for the Honorable J. Rodney Gilstrap, United States District Judge for the Eastern District of Texas.

Ryan Hargraveis a Principal in the Dallas office.  Her practice focuses on complex commercial and intellectual property litigation matters in United States District Courts, the International Trade Commission, and the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.  Ryan was on the appellate team that received a Rule 36 affirmance of a District Court judgment of non-infringement and invalidity that McKool Smith won on behalf of Bush Hog, Inc., and parent company Alamo Group Inc., in defense of a patent infringement suit brought by Deere & Co.  In a separate but related decision, the Federal Circuit also affirmed the District Court’s ruling which ordered Deere & Co. to pay approximately $500,000 of the legal costs.

Warren Lipschitzis a Principal in the Dallas office of McKool Smith.  He is focused on high-stakes patent infringement and technology cases. Warren played a key role in securing a $145 million patent infringement verdict against Apple, presenting and cross examining witnesses and splitting the closing argument with firm chairman and co-founder Mike McKool.  He also recently presented the infringement expert in a major patent infringement lawsuit in the Eastern District of Texas that resulted in a jury finding of willful infringement and over $110 million in damages.

David Schiefelbeinis a Principal in the New York office.  David's practice spans a wide range of litigation, including complex commercial litigation, white collar defense, and qui tam litigation.  He has recently focused his practice on the representation of trustees, hedge funds, and institutional investors in residential mortgage-backed securities put-back and servicing litigation.  Prior to that David successfully represented the inventors of the RSV drug Synagis (R) in a royalty dispute against a multinational pharmaceutical company.  In addition, David has worked in conjunction with the Battered Women's Legal Advocacy Project and the New Jersey Battered Women's Service, to represent women seeking final restraining orders against their abusers in state court.

Avery Williams is a Principal in Dallas.  Avery focuses on complex commercial litigation and intellectual property, including contract disputes, breach of fiduciary duty actions, and trade-secret litigation in both state and federal courts.  He recently helped secure a summary judgment ruling from the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois which allows Cushman & Wakefield, Inc., the world’s largest privately held real estate services firm, to access $48 million in coverage from four insurers to cover defense costs and settlement payments in connection with four lawsuits concerning underlying appraisal-related claims.

With more than 175 trial lawyers across offices in Austin, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, Marshall, New York, and Washington, D.C., McKool Smith has established a reputation as one of America’s leading trial firms.  Since 2006, the firm has secured eleven nine-figure jury verdicts and thirteen eight-figure jury verdicts. The firm has also won more VerdictSearchand The National Law Journal “Top 100 Verdicts” over the last 10 years than any other law firm in the country.  Courtroom successes like these have earned McKool Smith critical acclaim and helped the firm become what The Wall Street Journal describes as “one of the biggest law firm success stories of the past decade.”  McKool Smith represents clients in complex commercial litigation, intellectual property, bankruptcy, and white collar defense matters.