In an era of litigators, Patrick Arenz is a trial lawyer. He handles high-stakes disputes for a diverse set of clients, ranging from Fortune 100 companies to small inventor-led companies and individuals. His practice focuses on patent and copyright infringement matters, trade secret misappropriation, breach of contract disputes, and business and individual tort cases. In five separate enforcement efforts for inventor-led companies, he has secured eight-figure licensing revenues for each client. He is equally adept at representing defendants, and has handled competitor-versus-competitor patent cases on both sides of the “v.” His cases have garnered media attention from outlets including The New York Times, Star Tribune, and even “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.” Based on his accomplishments, Patrick was selected for the Minneapolis/St Paul Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 list, named a Minnesota Attorney of the Year in 2018, and named a Legal Media Group Americas Rising Star 2019 Winner for Best in Litigation: Trial Lawyer.
Patrick has honed his trial skills in courtrooms across the country, and spent his early career working alongside renowned trial lawyers, like Ronald J. Schutz. He has since tried a wide range of cases, including patent infringement, breach of contract, personal injury, and felony-criminal defense cases. In 2016, he tried a breach of license dispute over unpaid royalties, and obtained a $5.7 million verdict that settled on appeal for $13.5 million. Many of Patrick’s cases have resolved successfully before trial, driven by his preparation and readiness for trial.
Patrick is passionate about ensuring access to justice for all, not just those who can afford it. From 2015 through 2018, he chaired Robins Kaplan’s Pro Bono Committee. Under his leadership, The American Lawyer ranked the firm as having the fourth-best pro bono program in the country. Law360 and The National Law Journal, among other national publications, also recognized the firm’s program during his tenure. As chair, Patrick led by example. In 2017, he obtained what is reported to be the first-ever verdict in a civil sex tourism case; the jury awarded $950,000 to his client after finding that she had been sexually assaulted in Laos at the age of 14 by a 43-year-old U.S. citizen. He also serves as a Special Assistant Attorney General for the State of Illinois in the state’s suit against the City of Chicago for police misconduct and civil rights violations. The ABA recognized Patrick’s dedication to pro bono work by awarding him its prestigious Pro Bono Publico Award in 2018, and Public Justice named him one of four finalists for Trial Lawyer of the Year.
Lead trial counsel in Covidien v. Esch in which a federal jury in the District of Massachusetts held the defendant, a former Covidien employee, liable for breaching his contracts with Covidien by disclosing and using confidential information to start his own company.
Trial counsel in Megdal Associates LLC v. La-Z-Boy, Inc, (S.D. Fla. 2016), a case in which a federal jury in Fort Lauderdale awarded our client, Megdal Associates, $5.7 million for breach of a technology license agreement. The award was increased to $6 million with the award of prejudgment interest. While the case was pending on appeal, it settled with La-Z-Boy, paying Megdal Associates $13.5 million.
Trial Counsel in Vang v. Prataya (D. Minn. 2017), in which a federal jury found that the defendant had sexually assaulted our client when she was 14 years old in Laos, and awarded $950,000 in damages. This verdict is reported to be the first of its kind in a civil “sex tourism” case—in which an American citizen travels overseas for illicit sexual conduct—brought under the PROTECT Act.
Trial Counsel in Personal Audio LLC v. Apple Inc., a patent infringement case in which a Texas federal jury awarded our client, Personal Audio LLC, $8 million in damages for infringing a patent for an audio player that can download or receive navigable playlists. The jury found that Apple's iPods infringed the patent. The district court then denied Apple's equitable defenses of laches and inequitable conduct following a bench trial, which Mr. Arenz tried as second-chair counsel. The verdict was announced on July 8, 2011, and the district court issued a final judgment in excess of $12 million on August 30, 2011.
Trial Counsel in J.H. v. A.I., an international Hague convention case venued in federal court in the District of Minnesota. After a multi-day bench trial, the Court denied the father’s request to make a 5-year old girl living in the United States with her mother leave the country and live with him in Juarez, Mexico.
Trial Counsel in State v. Martin, a pro bono criminal defense matter in Minnesota state court (Ramsey County). The jury issued a split verdict on two felonies.
Trial Counsel in U.S. v. Indres, a pro bono trial in immigration court. After a contested trial with the federal government, the immigration court denied the government’s request for removal and granted Ms. Indres asylum based on a finding of the political persecution she experienced in Ethiopia.
- Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid, Board Member
- Compatible Technologies International, Board Member
- FBI Citizens’ Academy Alumni Association
- "A Pro at Pro Bono," Mitchell Hamline Alumni Magazine (Winter 2019)
- "Discovery Violations Prompt Adverse Inference Order," Minnesota Lawyer (June 13, 2019)
- '' 'Lawsuit for Chloe' is for High Stakes," Minnesota Lawyer (April 11, 2019)
- "The 2018 Recipients of The ABA Pro Bono Publico Award," American Bar Association (August 27, 2018)
- "Pro Bono Publico Award Winners: Patrick Arenz, Robins Kaplan LLP," Center for Pro Bono (August 15, 2018)
- “Punitive Damage Count Added to Zip-Lining Doctor’s Breach-of-Duty Claim,” Minnesota Lawyer (August 17, 2018)
- “2018 Trial Lawyer of the Year Finalist – Vang v. Prataya,” Public Justice (July 11, 2018)
- "Bar Buzz: Pro Bono Publico Award Goes to Patrick Arenz," Minnesota Lawyer (May 31, 2018)
- "Public Justice Announces Finalists for 2018 Trial Lawyer of the Year Award," Public Justice (May 29, 2018)
- "40 Under 40: Patrick Arenz," Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal (March 23, 2018)
- "First Round of 40 Under 40 Honorees for 2018 Revealed," Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal (January 23, 2018)
- "Covidien Nears OK For Stay Of California IP Suit," Law360 (January 5, 2018)
- "Did the Walt Disney Company and Pixar Steal the Movie Inside Out?" IPWatchdog, (October 2, 2017)
- "Amended Suit Alleging Misappropriation of Blockbuster Inside Out Filed Against Disney," Animation Digital Digest (September 21, 2017)
- "Jury Awards $950K to Former 'Child Bride,'" Minnesota Lawyer (May 18, 2017)
- "Robins Kaplan LLP Secures Landmark Civil Jury Verdict in Sex Tourism Case," Lawdragon (May 16, 2017)
- "Nearly $1 Million Verdict in Sexual Assault of Girl in Laos," The New York Times/Associated Press (May 12, 2017)
- "Minnesota woman wins $1 million in lawsuit against married man who 'raped and impregnated her when she was 14 then trafficked her from Laos'," The Daily Mail (May 12, 2017)
- "Sex tourism victim wins unprecedented civil judgment of nearly $1M," The Star Tribune (May 11, 2017)
- "Pro Bono Happy Hour Podcast," Pro Bono Institute (March 23, 2017)
- "La-Z-Boy Can't Duck $5.8M Royalty Verdict, Fla. Court Says," Law360 (January 6, 2017)
- "La-Z-Boy Failed to Pay Royalties for Electronic Footrest," VerdictSearch National Vol. 15 (November 2016)
- "High Court Won't Rehear Commil's $74M Patent Win Reversal," Law360 (November 28, 2016)
- "Halo – Is it Clarity You’re Looking For?" Managing Intellectual Property (August 17, 2016)
- "Patent Jury Trials At Risk, High Court Told In Cisco Case," Law360 (July 20, 2016)
- "Jury Slaps La-Z-Boy With $5.8M Verdict In Royalty Suit," Law360 (March 16, 2016)
- "Pro Bono Firm of 2015: Robins Kaplan," Law360 (September 17, 2015)
- "Make Sure Your License Agreements Don't Unwittingly Jeopardize Your Standing in Court," Tech Transfer eNews Blog (November 19, 2014)
- "Federal Summary Judgment Practice Changes," Minnesota Lawyer (November 15, 2010)
- "Little Known Rule 502 a Safe Haven for Attorneys," Minnesota Lawyer (August 23, 2010)
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