Press Release

Morrison & Foerster Elects 15 to Partnership

02 Jan 2013

NEW YORK (January 2, 2013) – Morrison & Foerster is pleased to announce that 15 lawyers have been elected partners. Their election is effective January 1, 2013.

"We are extremely pleased to announce the firm's newest partners, all of whom have distinguished themselves by demonstrating the highest levels of commitment to legal excellence and superior client service," said Morrison & Foerster Chair Larren M. Nashelsky. "This partnership class represents our depth of practice expertise on a global level and it is a privilege to welcome such impressive attorneys into their new roles within the firm."

The following lawyers have been elected partner:

Shogo Asaji, a member of the Litigation Department, resident in the Tokyo office. Mr. Asaji specializes in counseling U.S. and European companies with respect to patent matters in Japan, such as infringement proceedings before the Tokyo District Court and the Tokyo Customs Office, invalidation proceedings at the Japan Patent Office, and licensing and purchase negotiations. He also represents and counsels clients in U.S patent litigation, and has experience prosecuting U.S. patent applications in the fields of mechanical and electrical arts and preparing legal opinions of counsel. Mr. Asaji received a B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering from Tufts University, a M.A. degree from Johns Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Studies, a J.D. degree from American University's Washington College of Law, and an LL.M. degree in International and Comparative Law from Georgetown University Law Center. He joined the firm in 2006.

Kevin A. Calia, a member of the Securities Litigation, Enforcement, and White-Collar (SLEW) Group in the Litigation Department, resident in the San Francisco office. Mr. Calia's practice includes securities, antitrust, and general commercial litigation. He has experience representing public companies and their officers and directors in securities class actions, derivative actions, SEC investigations, internal investigations, and other litigation in state and federal courts. Mr. Calia received his J.D. from Stanford University and joined the firm in 2004.

Demme Doufekias, a member of the White Collar Practice Group in the Litigation Department, resident in the Washington, D.C. office. Ms. Doufekias represents corporations and individuals in health care fraud, Foreign Corrupt Practice Act and other investigations conducted by the Department of Justice, U.S. Attorney's Offices, inspectors general, and other federal enforcement agencies. She has represented clients in federal and state trials. Ms. Doufekias received her J.D. from Georgetown University and joined the firm in 2006.

Ze'-ev Eiger, a member of the Capital Markets Group in the Business Department, resident in the New York office. Mr. Eiger's practice focuses on securities and other corporate transactions for both foreign and domestic companies. He represents issuers, investment bankers and financial intermediaries, and investors in financing transactions, including public offerings and private placements of equity and debt securities. Mr. Eiger received his J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center and B.A. from the University of Virginia. He joined the firm in 2004 and was Of Counsel prior to his election to the partnership.

Takamitsu Fujiu, Ph.D., a member of the Patent Group in the Business Department, resident in the Northern Virginia office. Dr. Fujiu's practice includes patent prosecution, patent infringement and validity analysis, and litigation. His areas of technical expertise are optics, optical materials, piezoelectric and dielectric materials, semiconductor devices and processing, display devices, scanning probe technologies, and carbon nanotube technologies. Dr. Fujiu received his B.S. from University of Tokyo, Ph.D. from Penn State, and his J.D. from Catholic University. He joined the firm in 2000 and was Of Counsel prior to his election to the partnership.

Hisateru Goda, a member of the Corporate Group in the Business Department, resident in the Tokyo office. Mr. Goda works with strategic and financial buyers in a number of sectors on mergers and acquisitions transactions in the Japanese market and also represents issuers and underwriters on capital markets transactions in Japan. He received his LL.B. from the University of Tokyo, graduated from the Legal Training and Research Institute of Japan, and received his LL.M from Columbia Law School. He is qualified to practice in New York and is also a Bengoshi admitted to practice in Japan. He joined the firm in 2002.

Junichi Kurokoshi, a member the Real Estate Group in the Business Department, resident in the Tokyo office. Mr. Kurokoshi's practice focuses on the representation of Japanese and non-Japanese investment banks, commercial banks, private investment funds, and real estate companies in the negotiation, structuring, and documentation of real estate and structured finance transactions, including the acquisitions, dispositions, leasing, and asset management arrangements for commercial and residential properties. He received his J.D. from the Legal Training and Research Institute of Japan and received his LL.M from New York University in 2008. He is a Bengoshi admitted to practice in Japan and New York. He joined the firm in 2004.

Rita F. Lin, a member of the Financial Services Group in the Litigation Department, resident in the San Francisco office. Ms. Lin was named one of 50 "Attorneys on the Fast Track" by The Recorder, and one of the 100 "Top Women Lawyers" by the Daily Journal.  Her practice focuses on complex civil litigation with an emphasis on the defense of consumer class actions against financial services companies under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, and state unfair practices statutes. She has extensively briefed and argued issues under the body of federal laws governing the operations of federally chartered financial institutions, including the National Bank Act. She also has an active pro bono practice, and in 2011, argued and won a landmark ruling invalidating the Defense of Marriage Act. Ms. Lin received her J.D. from Harvard Law School. She joined the firm in 2004.  

Cary Miller Ph.D., a member of the Patent Group in the Business Department, resident in the San Diego office. Dr. Miller works primarily with pharmaceutical and biotechnology clients, specializing in strategic patent procurement, counseling on infringement and validity issues, reexamination proceedings, and patent litigation. Dr. Miller has expertise in in a variety of biotechnology-related areas, including small molecule and biologic therapeutics, molecular biology, stem cells, diagnostics, and medical devices. Dr. Miller received her Ph.D. from Mount Sinai School of Medicine and her J.D. from Columbia Law School. She joined the firm in 2006 and was Of Counsel prior to her election to the partnership.

Geoffrey R. Peck, a member of the Financial Transactions Group in the Business Department, resident in the New York office. Mr. Peck specializes in financial transactions and restructurings, representing banks, funds, issuers, and borrowers in a wide array of financings, including syndicated and asset-based loans, acquisition, subscription-backed, mezzanine, structured commodity, and project financings, and secondary market trading. His practice is both domestic and cross-border, with particular experience on Latin American transactions. Mr. Peck received his J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania. He joined the firm in 2006 and was Of Counsel prior to his election to the partnership.

Rufus Pichler, a member of the Technology Transactions Group in the Business Department, resident in the New York office. Mr. Pichler's practice focuses primarily on commercial transactions involving technology and intellectual property. He advises companies in the wireless, computer and IT, semiconductor, biotechnology, and pharmaceutical industries. He also has specific expertise in international intellectual property and commercial law including European Union and German law, and advises clients from the United States and abroad in a variety of international transactions. Mr. Pichler received his J.D. from the University of Freiburg, Germany. He also holds a Master of the Science of Law degree from Stanford Law School and a Ph.D. from the University of Muenster, Germany. He joined the firm in 2000 and was Of Counsel prior to his election to the partnership.

Jeff Schrepfer, a member of the Corporate Group in the Business Department, resident in the Tokyo office. Mr. Schrepfer's practice focuses on mergers and acquisitions, capital market transactions, and general corporate counseling for publicly and privately held companies. He is fluent in Japanese and often represents Japanese clients who need counsel while negotiating international deals that are generally conducted in English. Mr. Schrepfer received his J.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, Boalt Hall School of Law. He joined the firm in 2001.

Ruti Smithline, a member of the SLEW Group in the Litigation Department, resident in the New York office.  Ms. Smithline's practice focuses primarily on white-collar criminal defense, including regulatory matters and corporate cross-border internal investigations.  She also advises clients on anti-corruption compliance matters and is a member of the firm's FCPA + Anti-Corruption Task Force.  Ms. Smithline received her J.D. from George Washington University. She joined the firm in 2005.

Colette Verkuil, a member of the Litigation Department, resident in the Palo Alto office. Ms. Verkuil's practice specializes in intellectual property litigation, primarily patent and trade secret litigation in the semiconductor industry. Apart from semiconductor manufacturing technologies, Ms. Verkuil has litigated cases relating to a wide range of technologies, including mobile application distribution systems, videoconferencing systems, plastic bag dispensers, sports trading cards, and data storage systems. Her practice also includes intellectual property counseling. She received her J.D. from Cardozo Law School and her B.S. from MIT. She joined the firm in 2005.

Keiko Yamazaki, a member of the Corporate Group in the Business Department, resident in the Tokyo office. Ms. Yamazaki specializes in corporate and commercial transactions, with particular expertise in acquisition finance and real estate finance transactions. She regularly represents Japanese and foreign private equity funds and commercial banks in leveraged buy-outs and other structured financings. She received her J.D. from the Legal Training and Research Institute of Japan. She is a Bengoshi admitted to practice in Japan. She joined the firm in 2004 and was Of Counsel prior to her election to the partnership.

Ito Mitomi Horitsu Jimusho ("Ito & Mitomi") has established a joint enterprise with Morrison & Foerster to provide legal services through its Tokyo office. Certain of the new partners listed above will be partners in Ito & Mitomi.

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