Ernie L. Brooks 1942-2007

Ernie_Brooks_CoverSad news today in the patent law world. Ernie Brooks, head of Brooks Kushman was killed yesterday in an automobile accident. Mr. Brooks litigated over 50 cases to decision — including last year’s case of z4 v. Microsoft. In z4, Mr. Brooks lead the trial team to a $133 million verdict for its tiny client. He was 64 years old.

3 thoughts on “Ernie L. Brooks 1942-2007

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    I, too, extend my sympathies to Ernie’s family and the folks at B-K.

    I knew Ernie in the days the firm had eight members, playing softball for/with him and wearing a B-K shirt even though I was at a different firm. I’m not even tempted to pull an Eric Sharp (though Ernie himself admitted he had character traits to which he was “reluctant to attribute his success,” according to the Jones article), but candor requires me to point out that — and Ron and Dave were there when it happened, and if memory serves, Lynn as well — a waitress once poured a pitcher of beer inside the front of his pants after a game, an action deemed by those in attendance to have more than suitable justification.

    You’ll forgive me if it is this memory of Ernie I choose to keep, rather than one from the world of law. But is this a guy who could be expected to bring patent litigation forward to the twentieth century, from the nineteenth? You bet, even if not all opponents (or judges) were ready for it.

    Again, my condolences to the many who will miss him. Warmest regards to all in the Motor City, Cass.

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    Ernie and I weren’t adversaries but in the same team, when his client’s European patent got attacked. What a privilege it was, to work with him. Powerful (almost intimidating) presence, but no lecturing how to win the case. The feeling that he was all the time watching and learning, observing the whole European process with a very sharp eye. In the pub before and after we won, the generous dissemination of pure pearls of wisdom.

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    This is tragic news. My condolences to Ernie’s family and his firm. Ernie was a worthy and capable adversary (see 224 F.3d 1349) — one who earned enough respect that, after our case was over, I referred work to him and his firm. He will be missed.

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