At the last ChIPs summit, we announced the formation of a number of committees. At this time, we would like to update you on one of our initiatives.


As you may recall, ChIPs co-founder Julie Mar-Spinola moderated a Summit 2015 panel of lead trial lawyers, including Kathi Vidal (Lutton). Kathi volunteered to lead an effort working with the judiciary and Federal Judicial Center to share judicial best practices for promoting speaking roles and stand-up opportunities for junior lawyers. In her experience, that single initiative (which would be diversity agnostic in application) would be the most impactful in terms of leveling the playing field for women and minorities. “If everyone gets ‘chances’ and speaking roles early in their career,” said Kathi, “we’ll retain more great lawyers and everyone will have a solid foundation for building a career and generating business.”


That initiative kicked off during the Summit when Judge Lucy Koh from the Northern District of California announced the initiation of a ChIPs “Judicial Best Practices” committee and her own thoughts on what more she could be doing to give junior lawyers opportunities. She invited all of you to send any model orders or ideas to


Since October, much has been done. The Federal Circuit Bar Association has in parallel started a dialogue with the judiciary on this very topic. Our ChIPs committee (renamed Next Gen; listed below) is now working with the FJC and FCBA to make advances.


Next Gen Committee
Kathi Vidal (Lutton), Fish & Richardson (Lead)
Natalie A. Bennett, McDermott Will & Emery
Jessica Hannah, Apple
Karen Keller, Shaw Keller
Noreen Krall, Apple
Julie Mar-Spinola, Finjan Holdings, Inc.
Sonal Mehta, Durie Tangri
Gabby Ziccarelli, Blank Rome LLP


We also have many judges interested in being part of the committee and are working to formulate an arrangement whereby trial lawyers, the judiciary and companies/litigants can communicate on these issues and encourage more judges to adopt orders that provide opportunities.


We have generated a list of orders we’ve been able to identify that encourage opportunity (click to view and download the PDF). We are in direct communication with judges and the legal community and are sharing these orders. If you are aware of any additional orders, please email them to (Also feel free to share this document within your firms or organizations).


The Federal Circuit Bar Association will post these orders and any updates we have. We are also in the process of creating a website/blog to post model orders as well as any advances.


We are also communicating with the judiciary and bar through conferences and (upcoming) webinars. For example, this topic was the main focus of a recent (January) Federal Circuit Bar Association event in Plano, Texas (with committee member Natalie Bennett leading the charge). It will also be discussed at the FCBA Bench and Bar event this summer (on at least a panel moderated by Sonal Mehta) and at the Federal Circuit Bar Association event in Silicon Valley on February 26th on a panel with ChIPs founder Noreen Krall and members Kathi Vidal and Liz Gillen.


We would encourage all of you to attend the February 26th event and to otherwise get engaged in this discussion. For the full agenda and to sign up, go to


To share ideas or get involved with the Next Gen Committee, contact