May 2012

AZA Wins Three of Texas’ Top 2011 Verdicts on Both Sides of the Bar

Houston law firm scores wins in IP, tort and contract litigation

HOUSTON – The complex commercial litigation and intellectual property law firm Ahmad, Zavitsanos, Anaipakos, Alavi & Mensing P.C., or AZA, is being recognized for winning three of the top 10 verdicts in Texas during 2011.

The firm helped secure the state’s second-largest IP verdict, which also ranked as the third largest verdict overall in Texas Lawyer’s listing of the 2011 Top Texas Verdicts to be published this month. The firm also won the state’s second largest intentional tort verdict and fourth largest defense verdict last year.

“These results shine a bright light on the versatility of our courtroom-ready lawyers,” says John Zavitsanos, a founding partner of AZA, which recently bolstered its ranks to 25 lawyers based on new hires from big law firms. The firm has added eight skilled attorneys since 2010.

AZA attorneys Demetrios Anaipakos, Amir Alavi and Steven Mitby helped win the state’s third-largest jury verdict in 2011 for Versata Software Inc. in a patent infringement case involving pricing technology. Jurors in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas unanimously awarded Versata $260 million in lost profits and $85 million in reasonable royalties after finding that SAP America Inc. continued to infringe the Versata patent after an SAP “design around” that was ineffective. The total award in Versata Software Inc., et al. v. SAP America Inc., et al., No. 07-CV-00153, was slightly less than $392 million after adjustments to the verdict amount and the addition of prejudgment interest.

Just one week earlier, on May 6, 2011, Mr. Zavitsanos, Todd Mensing and Kinan Romman secured a nearly $1.1 million verdict for the son of Fort Bend County Chief Deputy Sheriff Craig Brady in a libel case against a local newspaper and reporter. In Wade Brady v. LeaAnne Klentzman and Carter Publications d/b/a The West Fort Bend Star, No. 03-CV-129531, a Fort Bend jury found that The Fort Bend Star and reporter LeaAnne Klentzman libeled Wade Brady in a Jan. 15, 2003, article by making false allegations about his behavior and falsely claiming that Brady’s father covered for him when he was charged with a crime.

In October 2011, Mr. Zavitsanos and Elizabeth Pannill Fletcher secured a defense verdict for Mistras Group Inc. (NYSE: MG) following a trade secret case that included an award of $750,000 in attorneys’ fees. Mistras, a New Jersey-based company that assesses the safety of large corporate and infrastructure components such as refineries and bridges, was wrongly accused by Texas-based Sentinel Integrity Solutions of interfering with an employment agreement and obtaining confidential information when it hired a former Sentinel employee. A Harris County District Court jury cleared Mistras and its employees in Sentinel Integrity Solutions Inc. v. Mistras Group Inc., et al., No. 2010-11229.

Ahmad, Zavitsanos, Anaipakos, Alavi & Mensing P.C., or AZA, is a Houston-based law firm that is home to true courtroom lawyers with a formidable track record in complex commercial litigation, including energy, intellectual property, securities fraud, construction and business dispute cases. AZA is one of only 32 firms in the U.S. to be recognized as “awesome opponents” in a nationwide poll of corporate general counsel who were asked to name the law firms they hope their companies never have to face in court. In fact, AZA has been hired on many occasions by the same companies the firm has prevailed against at trial. Read more at http://www.azalaw.com.