Ben Norris 0000-00-00 00:00:00
Finding a Litigation Superstar and Forging a Super Team Bacal Law Group has memorable signage facing onto Camelback at the most iconic intersection in Scottsdale. The law firm also has an equally prominent reputation in Arizona and nationally for its litigation and intellectual property practice. That reputation is increasingly being built upon the results that one of its lawyers, David Mark Andersen, has been providing to the firm’s clients. The managing attorney of Bacal Law Group, Glenn Bacal, can point to many star lawyers whose careers he has helped advance. But the one he feels most strongly about is the lawyer he has practiced with in the last half decade, namely David Mark Andersen. “Identifying extraordinary lawyers to work with is an underappreciated art,” Glenn notes. Glenn feels that his own ability to identify special lawyers like David Andersen arose only because Glenn had been fortunate to have been mentored himself by some of the legends of the bar in Arizona like Orme Lewis. Glenn indicates that David Andersen’s “incredible potential skills as a lawyer and litigator” were apparent almost from day one, which is unusual to say the least. He believes these fledgling skills may have been so pronounced early on because David comes from a large family with a lineage of hard working and talented lawyers. Glenn first began working with David Andersen when Andersen was a summer clerk in 2005. After Andersen finished clerking for a prominent federal judge in Atlanta, he joined the large Arizona firm where Bacal headed the Intellectual Property Group. David and Glenn began working together almost immediately on a wide variety of intellectual property matters. After Glenn set up his own shop in 2010, Andersen decided to come along. Glenn notes that “David’s natural strengths as a lawyer mirror what I have encouraged others to try to be for clients. The proof is in the recognition that our small firm has received in such a short period of time.” Bacal Law Group was named in 2011 by US News and World Report’s Best Law Firms, as one of only three law firms in Arizona in the top tier for trademark law. Bacal and Andersen both see this award as public recognition of the great magic in their collaboration. The other two law firms so named in Best Law Firms have hundreds of lawyers. It’s literally an example of a “David” firm doing well among Goliaths. In its first two years at Bacal Law Group, David has already had many litigation victories. He has served as one of the lead trial counsel in two major IP trials. In one case, he was the principal author of the successful briefs that led to victory in the Court of Appeals. This resulted in a published opinion of the Court involving trade secrets. That decision was later upheld by the Arizona Supreme Court. Blaine Benard, one of the leading litigators at Holland and Hart in Salt Lake City, feels that David Andersen is one of the best young lawyers he has ever worked with. Steve Ward, President of Vievu, a Seattle, Washington company who called upon David Andersen for help in critical business litigation, had great praise for David as being “nothing short of remarkable.” David notes, in turn, that Glenn was recently named a fellow of a prestigious honorary society of trial lawyers, Litigation Counsel of America, adding to a long list of honors. “In working with Glenn, I see over and over how these accolades have been preceded by Glenn’s unyielding commitment of time and effort on behalf of clients. While these recognitions that Glenn and the firm have received represent the effort of decades, we always have a renewed chance to excel with every new client who comes in the door.” David also appreciates the smaller setting of the firm, having worked at large law firms. “Particularly in the last two plus years at Bacal Law Group, I have had so many opportunities to learn so many things that I would not have had in a bigger setting with more distractions and less responsibility,” he observed. “We are focused on our clients and doing our very best on every single assignment. With this platform, without the frills, we are often able to do things better and faster and at much less cost than when we were at big firms.” David and Glenn note that while they both love being in court, they are even prouder of their effectiveness in often keeping their clients out of court. When they must be in court, they each like to rely upon their knowledge of the American Civil War, employing a strategic view of what to them is essentially an intellectual battlefield. They recognize the need to visualize and think through the whole case early on. Bacal Law Group has an especially diverse client base, with clients from all over the world and all over the country. Because both Bacal and Andersen have each lived abroad for years, though on different continents (Glenn in Europe and David in South America), they share a keen appreciation for other cultures, but especially for America’s greatness. When each returned to the U.S. after an extended time out the country, they both recall the urge to kiss the ground in recognition of what a unique and wonderful place America is. Andersen indicates he actually did kneel down and kiss the ground upon his return from Northern Brazil. The Bacal Law Group is intent on being involved in the community. This is illustrated by the firm’s support for charitable efforts like Wounded Warriors, and for educational institutions and charities, to all the things each of them do every weekend. The firm strongly encourages that and recognizes the importance of balance. They view their greatest blessing in life to be their spouses and their children, and they are very active with their immediate and extended families. The weekend represents not just a chance for them to relax a little, but also to refocus their attention on their lives at home and as members of the community. The naming of Bacal Law Group as one of US News & World’s Best Law Firms in America was an eye-opener for Andersen. “While Glenn and I have practiced law together for years, we have to remind ourselves that Bacal Law Group only opened its doors in early 2010. Being named to that prestigious list, and particularly in the first tier in trademark law, so incredibly fast, shows you that the firm is doing many things right in the eyes of our clients and our cocounsel and other lawyers in town.” Glenn emphasizes how much the firm recognition is based upon David’s growing reputation and contributions, and the solid work of their Trademark Administrator, Jamie Tuccio. Bacal Law Group’s practice is diverse but they try to remain al Glenn Bacal ways focused on only those things at which Andersen and Bacal believe they can excel. They view their intellectual property, litigation and appellate practice as being at the highest level, and competing with the best firms. “It is gratifying to hear all the favorable comments David has received from our co-counsel on various trial and appellate matters,” Bacal noted, “Others appreciate that something extra that David brings to his role in litigation.” Andersen in turn recognizes that mentoring has honed whatever skills he was able to bring to the law. “Glenn has taught me to put clients first,” Andersen noted, “Everything we do is directed at meeting the client’s needs and expectations. We understand that clients have a choice, so we aim at the highest quality at a reasonable cost.” And Glenn notes how appropriate it was for a lawyer like himself who was so focused on trademark law to end up working with someone whose middle name coincidentally is “Mark.” Andersen feels blessed at being mentored by Bacal, who wrote an article about mentoring that was published in the Arizona State Bar’s Journal. Many of the attorneys Glenn has mentored are now also prominent in the communities where they live. These Bacal Law Group lawyers also pride themselves as being different from many firms in that they know exactly who they are, and who they will be in 5 and in 10 years. They are grounded. They view their mission to be the very best long term advisors to their clients, and to help them achieve their long term goals. Glenn and David do not feel like they are at a small firm because of the strong connections they have made with other lawyers and law firms. Andersen noted that for many clients, Bacal Law Group has been asked to put together a team of lawyers, prompting them to reach out to many lawyers at many different firms who practice in different areas than they do and with one criteria—the best of the best from a client perspective. They have reached out to lawyers that Glenn knows from years of practice to be among the best in their fields both in the U.S. and internationally, as well as lawyers he and David have heard about, from satisfied clients and other lawyers. In that way, they feel they can serve their clients’ needs beyond their intellectual property core area and without geographical limitation. David notes, “As Glenn has taught me when we were at big firms, often the best lawyer for a particular job may not be the one who just happens to be down the hall.” Glenn learned that by being one of the lawyers who served on the Del Webb Corp. dream team. They picked the best lawyers in town regardless of firm and as a result had a powerful and efficient team. And Glenn learned by that experience and others the importance of building a great team to serve client needs. David believes there is a great synergy not only between him and Glenn, but between where they work, and where they each have been. For example, Andersen went to college and then to law school at BYU in Utah, from which he graduated magna cum laude. Bacal Law Group has strong business ties to Utah. Glenn is a member of the Utah Bar, and the firm has historically had major clients in the Salt Lake area. Both Andersen and Bacal look forward to any opportunities to travel to Utah on business or with family. And their international practice brings them back from time to time to places where each of them had lived for years. David sees his work life as a great blessing. He smiles as he notes how much he and Glenn both look forward to getting into the office each day and tackling whatever issues need to be addressed. It is exciting work. The intellectual variety is one key to Andersen’s satisfaction. “One hour I may be working to get a domain name for my client from another party in a Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution (UDRP) proceeding, and in the next hour I may be working on a tough argument in federal court or in Arizona state court. The issues and forums are diverse, and much of it is riding the wave of new technologies. It’s both an exciting and satisfying time to be practicing intellectual property law,” Andersen observed. David’s years as a co-owner of a small and successful web development business before he went to law school were an equally important part of his preparation to be a lawyer. He indicates “Running and owning a business sensitized me to what clients of law firms are most interested in: getting great value. Every lawyer should run a business before going to law school.” Andersen comes from a family with literally generations of lawyers and lots of peers who are IP lawyers—his grandfather received degrees from both Stanford and Harvard Law Schools and taught at BYU; his father has been a successful lawyer in the East Valley for decades; and two of his eight siblings also practice IP law—he stresses that he tries not ever to take for granted the opportunity to serve others and help them be even more successful in their businesses. Bacal and Andersen agree that their work is generally very positive, and not everyone has that in life. “Working with David has been a revelation to me in so many ways,” Bacal noted. “David did magnificently at BYU Law School, as a clerk for the Chief Judge of the 11th Circuit and as a lawyer from day one. The fact that we have him at Bacal Law Group is something I am thankful for every day. It’s a joy to work with someone so smart and disciplined and creative.” Taking things to a higher level is important to Bacal because the first work environment he ever observed was small, but chock full of very special people who had that talent. Bacal’s father was fortunate to be among the elite in the entertainment business. Bacal remembers how his father, a famous musicologist, was able to work with, and occasionally discover, world class musicians during his decades of entertainment projects on radio and TV as well as for the movies. He recalls how his father rejoiced when the musicians he had hired and gathered around him for particular projects sounded awesome, whether on Name That Tune, Stop the Music or on other projects. “Working together, David and I discovered that we can often come up with an analysis of a case or a dispute that mirrors fantastic music, in hitting the right notes and combining it with a great arrangement,” Bacal observed. “Our collaboration on projects reminds me of the magic found in great orchestras, great bands, and great teams of songwriters like the Sherman brothers. We all want to find those things that allow us to contribute on such a high level. The platform of Bacal Law Group, and working with David and Jamie, among others at Bacal Law Group, has given all of us that opportunity maximally.” Glenn, with degrees from Columbia (B.A. cum laude), Oxford (M.A. in Modern History) and UC Berkeley (JD and MBA), indicates how his years of working with David Andersen have helped him to become even more sophisticated about what makes a great lawyer. After having studied with and having worked with arguably some of the smartest people in the world, Glenn has concluded that merely being smart is no guarantee for becoming a great lawyer. Bacal believes that greatness requires something more, including exceptional common sense and a high degree of empathy for client concerns, on top of innate intelligence. David Andersen is one of those rare lawyers who has it all, according to Bacal. “Mark my words,” Bacal says, “David Andersen will be one of the truly great advocates of his generation.”
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