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Replacing Rader: Kara Farnandez Stoll Is New Fed. Cir. Nominee

By William Peacock, Esq. on November 13, 2014 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Last week, an en banc panel of the Federal Circuit bench-slapped the other party in the e-mail scandal that led to Chief Judge Randall Rader's retirement. This week, the same court is preparing for a possible new colleague, as there is a nominee to fill Rader's now-vacant seat.

Enter Kara Farnandez Stoll, a partner in the largest firm that practices intellectual property exclusively: Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner LLP (or Finnegan for short). President Barack Obama announced Stoll's nomination Wednesday, and she'll face a post-midterm Republican-controlled Senate during her confirmation process now that the elections are over.

Scouting Stoll: She Is IP

It would be hard to find a more perfect resume to fit the position of Federal Circuit Court of Appeals judge. Stoll was a United States Patent and Trade Office patent examiner for a few years after college before heading to law school. After graduation, she clerked for Judge Alvin Schall of the Federal Circuit before heading to Finnegan.

According to her firm bio, she has represented clients in more than 35 appeals before the Federal Circuit and the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. She's also been a trial lawyer and argued in claim construction hearings. Basically, when it comes to IP, she's done it all -- except sit on the bench.

One more fun note: She represented Akamai Technologies before an en banc panel of the Federal Circuit -- a case that was then elevated to the Supreme Court.

In addition to private practice, the White House press release notes that she has been an adjunct professor at George Mason University Law School since 2008 and was previously an adjunct professor at Howard University School of Law from 2004 to 2008. Stoll is also the Co-Chair of the Rules Committee of the Federal Circuit Bar Association.

Confirmation Chances?

We wouldn't imagine that the Federal Circuit is going to be much of a battleground for judicial nominees, and Stoll's resume is extremely impressive. Patently O says that she "has represented parties on all sides of the patent debate" and would be "a stabilizing force for the court."

Then again, we haven't seen this newly elected Republican-controlled Senate in action. And unlike yesterday's Third Circuit nominee, Stoll hasn't already faced and triumphed over the confirmation process.

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