Six Join Kirkpatrick & Lockhart From Testa Hurwitz & Thibeault

Tuesday, March 1, 2005 - 01:00

Kirkpatrick & Lockhart Nicholson Graham's (K&LNG) Boston office has welcomed partners Michael H. Brodowski, David J. Byer, Deborah J. Peckham, Thomas A. Turano and Christine C. Vito to its intellectual property practice group and Mark D. Pomfret to its labor and employment group. These six new partners come to K&LNG from the firm of Testa, Hurwitz & Thibeault, LLP.

Mr. Brodowski's practice focuses on the protection, enforcement and transfer of IP rights, particularly as they relate to the transfer and license of technology development agreements and patent licenses, as well as matters involving trademark, copyright and trade secret.

Mr. Byer's practice focuses on intellectual property counseling and litigation as they relate to copyright, trademark, trade dress, trade secret, advertising and unfair competition cases.

Ms. Peckham concentrates her practice on intellectual property counseling and enforcement, with an emphasis on trademark, copyright, privacy and information law issues as well as strategic procurement, maintenance and enforcement of IP property rights.

Mr. Turano counsels clients in matters relating to IP, patent and trademark prosecution, licensing and litigation. His writings have been published in a number of engineering journals and he has authored a book on patent prosecution.

Ms. Vito represents clients from the life sciences, medical and biotechnology sectors in matters relating to patent procurement and strategic portfolio development, technology licensing and asset management, and intellectual property counseling regarding patent infringement, validity and enforcement.

Mr. Pomfret counsels clients on all matters relating to employment-related litigation, traditional labor law, administrative agency work employment, contracts, wage-hour concerns, plant closings and reductions in force. He also advises on employee hiring, discipline and discharge.

Kirkpatrick CIO Steven W. Agnoli was recognized by the Pittsburgh Technology Council and the Greater Pittsburgh CIO Group as a Pittsburgh CIO of the Year in the global category, a designation for companies with more than 500 employees.

The CIO of the Year Awards honor technology executives who demonstrate excellent service to the community and industry, and whose planning, execution and management of information technology initiatives are marked by creativity, innovation and solid leadership. Finalists are selected by members and staff of the Greater Pittsburgh CIO Group, the Pittsburgh Technology Council, and board members from both organizations and other regional technology leaders.

During Mr. Agnoli's tenure, K&LNG has been recognized regularly as a leader in the use of technology to maintain a competitive advantage in the marketplace for legal services and to support the practice and business of law. K&LNG has three times been selected to receive the prestigious CIO 100 Award from CIO magazine in recognition of the firm's successful technology and business process integration initiatives.

Lawyers from the Kirkpatrick litigation practice representedRobert Wood Johnson University Hospital (RWJUH) at Rahway (NJ) in a contract dispute with Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey in which the New Jersey Appellate Division ruled in the hospital's favor on January 3.

The dispute arose after RWJUH ended its Horizon contract, the terms of which designated the hospital a healthcare provider to Horizon subscribers because reimbursement rates failed to meet the hospital's cost of treatment. In accordance with the contract, the hospital provided continuity of care for patients for a specified period. Horizon, however, reimbursed the hospital at only below-cost contract rates, as opposed to the required cost-covering market rates, for the patient care provided during the continuity period after the contract was terminated. As a result, RWJUH was deprived of approximately $2 million in reimbursements.

In her original ruling, the commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance found that the New Jersey Health Service Corporation Act (HSCA) required RWJUH to accept the lower reimbursement rates. Reversing that administrative decision, the New Jersey Appellate Division held that the commissioner's ruling "negated the parties' negotiated agreement and constituted a rewriting of the contract to Horizon's advantage. The commissioner thus deprived Rahway of the benefit of its bargain."