Mary Prendergast is an associate in MoFo’s Washington, D.C. office. Her practice focuses on intellectual property and commercial litigation, representing clients in the medical devices, pharmaceuticals, electronics, software, semiconductors, and telecommunications sectors. She has extensive experience overseeing the day-to-day strategy and management of complex litigation from pre-suit investigation through trial and appeal.
Are you an active member of any diverse legal organizations or industry groups? If so, how do you leverage that experience in your practice?
I am a member of the Women in IP Law Committee of the American Intellectual Property Association (AIPLA), which focuses on promoting women in IP, an area which has historically lacked gender diversity. I also have been involved with Chiefs in Intellectual Property (ChIPs), which works to advance women in tech, law, and policy. Both groups have afforded me fabulous networking opportunities with women at different levels of seniority in a variety of industries.
Why do you feel MoFo’s IP Litigation Group stands out from similar practices at other firms?
The thing about MoFo’s IP Litigation Group that I feel sets us apart is that we may not all have science degrees, but we are all trial lawyers. We recruit attorneys who will thrive in the courtroom, regardless of whether they are an engineer or a political science major. Our varied backgrounds lead to diverse viewpoints. For example, my previous career in advertising taught me the value (and difficulty) of getting across a complex idea in a simple way — something that is vital in any jury trial, and particularly those dealing with difficult technical concepts (like most of the cases we handle).
How does having a diverse practice group benefit the clients and/or industries you serve?
Juries are diverse, and the faces we present to a jury should be as well. Having the right person present a difficult witness, for example, can make all the difference in how that witness is perceived by the judge and the jury. Different lawyers will form connections with different judges, different jurors, and different witnesses, and all of those relationships are vital to ensuring the best outcomes for clients.
Read more from MoFo’s team of diverse IP litigators.