Practice Area

Local Counsel Engagements


Pittsburgh And Regional Local Counsel Representation: Litigation And Intellectual Property

In addition to representing clients as lead counsel, the firm regularly serves as local counsel in cases in the federal and state courts in the Pittsburgh region. The attorneys at Houston Harbaugh are particularly well suited to act as local counsel in intellectual property matters, having done so on numerous occasions.

Attorney  Henry Sneath serves on the Patent Local Rules Committee for the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania, which assisted the Court in formulating and changing the local patent rules of practice followed by the Judges in this District. Mr. Sneath has extensive experience as a trial lawyer in the Pittsburgh region, having tried over 95 cases to verdict before juries and judges primarily in this area, and, as a result, he is familiar with the general make-up and tenor of jurors that often sit in these types of cases. Mr. Sneath has personally appeared before all of the federal District Court judges who are currently sitting in the Western District of Pennsylvania, and he is familiar with their local rules and practices. He has particular experience before the four judges who are currently serving as the “patent judges” and who are agreeing to hear patent disputes.

The United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania has a number of specialized local rules for dealing with all types of cases and for patent cases in particular that may be unfamiliar to out-of-town attorneys (these rules were recently amended in December 2015). For instance, the Court has a mandatory ADR requirement that must be completed early in the litigation. The Court has also promulgated special rules to deal with patents and e-discovery from the outset of a case. The Western District is one of the fourteen Patent Pilot Program District Courts in the country and was selected for its experience and procedures in dealing with patent cases. There are currently four judges (Chief Judge Conti, Judge Bissoon, Judge Fischer, and Judge Hornak) who have been identified by the Court as Designated Patent Judges to deal with the patent cases in this district. The attorneys at the firm have been before all four of these judges in patent infringement cases.

The law offices of Houston Harbaugh, P.C. are conveniently located in downtown Pittsburgh and are a short walk to either the federal or state court houses. A major hotel is also located across the street from our offices, which provides quick access for attorneys and witnesses who have to travel to Pittsburgh and stay overnight. In addition, there are numerous restaurants within walking distance of our offices. We have three conference rooms, plus additional office and meeting space to accommodate depositions and pre-hearing and trial preparations. We also have relationships with a number of local support vendors, including court reporters, copy services, technology providers, and trial consultants who can assist during all phases of litigation. Having served as local counsel during trial, our staff and attorneys are well equipped to assist clients and lead counsel during these stressful times.