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Aubergines 2015


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Bend It Like… Silicon

FlexTech-AllianceWho knew that SFF&W lawyers were flexible and electrifying?! Well, maybe this statement is a bit of a stretch, but it sure describes our client FlexTech Alliance who has just received one of the largest Federal awards to stand up and manage the new $150 Million Flexible Hybrid Electronics Manufacturing Innovation Institute.

The Institute, whose hub will be located here in Silicon Valley with geographic and technological nodes across the country, will bring together the best and brightest minds from industry to academia, from venerable institutions to scrappy start-ups, to cooperatively advance the art of electronics integrated into bendable, stretchable, conformable and all other things-able materials.

SFF&W intellectual property lawyer Erica Roman spearheaded the development and negotiation of the intellectual property policies underlying FlexTech’s winning proposal during this national competitive process, which will serve as the road map for how all these disparate parties will work together towards a common goal. SFF&W corporate lawyer Tom French provided counsel regarding the structure of the Institute and its agreements with the Department of Defense and the United States Air Force. For more information on this new Institute or how to get your company involved, visit www.FHEMII.com.



2015: A Space Odyssey


No one can seriously argue with the notion that Silicon Valley and San Francisco in particular are currently experiencing a commercial real estate boom. Huge construction cranes are everywhere. Rents are soaring. And many massive new projects have yet to even break ground. The technology sector’s dynamic growth is unquestionably powering this building boom. SFF&W real estate lawyer Rachel Rosati Warner recently completed the negotiation of a significant office lease in San Francisco for the new global headquarters of a rapidly growing tech client. It was the second largest office lease in the SF/SV area this year. (Only Uber’s HQ lease was larger and, were it not for the 50,000-plus overworked lawyers on its payroll, its office lease would have ranked only fifth in size.).



The Right To Free Speech, Anonymously


Did you know that the right to speak anonymously is protected by the US Constitution? It is. The United States Supreme Court has repeatedly affirmed this right.

“Anonymity is a shield from the tyranny of the majority…It thus exemplifies the purpose behind the Bill of Rights and of the First Amendment in particular: to protect unpopular individuals from retaliation…and the hand of an intolerant society.” (McIntyre v. Ohio Elections Committee, a 1995 US Supreme Court decision.)

Those are very powerful words. They are also fighting words. Today, the Internet has become a huge and vitally important platform in which millions of people seek daily to communicate freely and anonymously on review sites, in chat rooms, and on websites generally. Lawsuits challenging anonymity rights on the Internet are growing at an astonishing rate.

SFF&W litigation lawyer Bill Frimel is currently leading the opposition to an appeal taken to the California Court of Appeal from a trial court ruling by a party who unsuccessfully sought to obtain the identity of a person who made unflattering comments on our client’s public review website. This matter is expected to be decided in the coming months.



Valley Veteran Launches Meal Delivery Startup in Ethiopia
Offers Meals To A Surprisingly Diverse And Urban Clientele

tolo-foodOur client Tolo Food was recently founded by Silicon Valley startup veteran and Ethiopia-born native Tesh Tesfaye. It offers food delivery from over 50 restaurants in Ethiopia’s capital city, Addis Ababa.

Addis is a booming and cosmopolitan city, in part because of the presence of two important organizations: The United Nations maintains its Africa office there, as does the African Union. Each organization has a large employee base stationed in Addis, and they each bring a broad range of food tastes. SFF&W corporate lawyer Tim French formed Tolo and documented its initial funding transaction.

President Obama visited Ethiopia in June. And, yes, POTUS visited Tolo’s website while in Addis. His food selection: Chicago-style pizza.
Chinese, Mexican, Canadian (no joke), French, American, Italian and, of course, traditional Ethiopian cuisines and a host of cuisines of other African nations are available. Visit Tolo’s site at http://get.tolofood.com/addisababa.



When Your Criminal Lawyer’s Been Jailed on Murder Charges, Can He Still Represent You?


A prominent criminal lawyer in Modesto, California was recently jailed on murder charges involving an alleged contract murder. This seemingly significant inconvenience has apparently not dimmed the lawyer’s enthusiasm for continuing to maintain his law practice while he is detained. The State Bar of California is not pleased with this development, and has initiated proceedings to take over his practice. Click here to read more http://www.turlockjournal.com/archives/30023/

An old adage holds that “The law is a jealous mistress.” To that, we add, “Amen”



Shout-Outs, Abrazos and High-Fives

“I’m gonna tell you straight-away: SFF&W is my go-to law firm. They always punch above their weight.”

— Brunehilde (“Bam-Bam”) Manischevitz, 27, Dog Patch, San Francisco. UFC professional boxer, naked cage fighter and holistic life coach. Principal endorser, Maltzman’s Magnificent Tiger Balm and Sweeney’s Industrial Strength Underarm Deodorant for Especially Athletic Persons.

SFF&W client since 2013.



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