Drew Woodmansee is head of the Litigation Practice Group in the firm’s San Diego office. He has represented clients in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, medical device, and telecommunications industries in federal courts throughout the U.S. His past and present clients include Palm, Kyocera, General Electric, EchoStar Communications/DISH Network, Dexcom, and Charter Communications.
Mr. Woodmansee has tried patent cases to verdict in both bench and jury trials, and has been involved in patent litigation before the U.S. International Trade Commission. His trial experience includes representing San Diego-based Scantibodies Laboratory in a patent dispute with Nichols Institute Diagnostics, a subsidiary of Quest Diagnostics. The case involved polyclonal antibodies for diagnostic assays used to detect levels of human parathyroid hormone in kidney dialysis patients. The case involved a series of trials, including one bench trial and two jury trials. The jury delivered a defense verdict, finding that the asserted patent was invalid on three different grounds and that one of the two accused products did not infringe. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit held the asserted patent invalid under 35 U.S.C. § 102(b).
Mr. Woodmansee has also appeared in cases before a number of appellate courts, including the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Seventh, Ninth, and Federal Circuits, as well as the California Supreme Court.
Mr. Woodmansee maintains an active pro bono practice with an emphasis on high-profile civil rights and First Amendment cases. Mr. Woodmansee served as lead counsel in Fehrenbach v. Department of the Air Force, et al. (D. Idaho), challenging the Air Force’s efforts to discharge his client, highly decorated Air Force Lt. Col. Victor J. Fehrenbach, under the law known as “Don't Ask, Don’t Tell.” Mr. Woodmansee led a Morrison & Foerster team in filing motions for a temporary restraining order (TRO) and a preliminary injunction in August 2010 after learning that Lt. Col. Fehrenbach’s discharge was imminent. The government agreed to entry of a stipulated TRO the next day. On October 1, 2011, Lt. Col. Fehrenbach retired from the Air Force with 20 years of active duty service, an honorable discharge, and full benefits. In recognition of Mr. Woodmansee’s work litigating the constitutionality of "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell," The National Law Journal named him among the 10 lawyers featured in its 2012 annual "Pro Bono Hot List," and the San Diego County Bar selected the firm to receive its 2012 "Outstanding Public Service by a Law Firm" award.
Mr. Woodmansee also represents the plaintiffs in Barnes-Wallace, et al. v. Boy Scouts of America, et al., 551 F.3d 891 (9th Cir.2008), cert. denied, 2010 WL 1740539 (May 3, 2010). In that case, he won two summary judgment rulings in 2003 and 2004 on behalf of his clients, an agnostic couple and a lesbian couple, as well as their Scouting-age boys. The court ruled that the City of San Diego’s free leases of 18 acres in Balboa Park and one acre in Mission Bay Park to the Boy Scouts violate the Establishment Clause of the U. S. Constitution, as well as the No Aid and No Preference Clauses of the California Constitution. In 2008, the Ninth Circuit held that his clients have standing to pursue their claims. The Supreme Court of the U. S. declined to hear the Boy Scouts’ appeal on the standing issue. Mr. Woodmansee re-argued the appeal on the merits before the Ninth Circuit in June 2011, and a decision is pending.
Mr. Woodmansee is a Lawyer Representative to the U. S. District Court for the Southern District of California. He has served as a faculty member for the National Institute of Trial Advocacy, and he has lectured on patent law at the University of San Diego Law School. In 2010–2011, he was invited to deliver lectures at the law schools of Stanford University, Columbia University, the University of Texas, the University of Pennsylvania, and the University of Notre Dame. He sits on the board of directors of the San Diego Volunteer Lawyer Program, San Diego County’s largest pro bono legal services provider, and he is a member of the firm’s Diversity Strategy Committee and Pro Bono Committee.