On behalf of many of its members and in light of several recent events, the American Society of Trial Consultants announces an expansion to its Pro Bono Committee initiative to assist legal counsel in their fight for equality, justice and human rights. The ASTC has, since its inception, offered pro bono assistance in the support of justice to those in need. In accordance with the Society’s long-standing tradition of pro bono work and its roots in the support of due process, many of our members stand ready to assist those affected by this, and are ready to offer their time and talent in any way possible. For more information, counsel advocating for equality, justice and human rights or other pro bono matters contact the ASTC Pro Bono Committee at: email@example.com.
Pro Bono help from ASTC Member Benson Green helps a little guy stand up to a bully in Games Workshop v. Chapterhouse.
Benson started calling friends in the intellectual property business asking for advice. They put him in touch with Lawyers for the Creative Arts, an organization that works to provide Pro Bono legal services to artists. LCA in Chicago was able to get put Chapterhouse Studios in touch with Winston and Strawn LLP, who agreed to accept the case Pro Bono, together with Chicago-based Marshall, Gerstein, and Borun LLP. Benson’s firm also agreed to work on the case pro bono and an outstanding team was formed. Now, Chapterhouse Studios had options and could stand toe to toe with the industry giant bent on its destruction.
Over the next two years Benson and his firm put in over 1,000 hours working on the case. As the trial grew closer he provided comprehensive trial strategy support, conducted a jury research with generous assistance from Savitz Field and Focus in Chicago, was involved in jury selection and assisted counsel throughout the trial. At the end of a two week trial Chapterhouse had defeated 111 of the 160 copyright infringement claims and 104 trademark infringement claims. More importantly, the jury gave both companies firm guidance on what the rules would be going forward. Chapterhouse Studios now knows what it can and cannot do and Games Workshops knows that it cannot bully small companies with frivolous claims.
For Benson, helping a small business stand up to an industry bully was rewarding enough. Creating ground rules to help other small businesses was a bonus. The case also provided valuable experience for both Benson and the attorneys involved in the years-long litigation. Benson gained valuable experience in a new area of the law and many of the lawyers involved had their first experience working with trial consultants. It clearly will not be the last time they do. Chapterhouse Studios, Winston and Strawn, the ASTC, and the trial consulting profession in general all benefited from Benson taking that first step and wishing well to a little guy in trouble.
Benson is a consultant with Douglas Green Associates and emphasizes the development and implementation if Organization Narrative into trial strategy. For more information on the case, see the following article on Winston and Stawn’s website. Benson can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.Letter from Katherine W. Shank
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