Angela Munoz-Kaphing knew from way back that she wanted to be a part of the legal business.
“I started thinking about it in high school,” she recalled. “My mom was a paralegal who worked for a solo practitioner and she loved what she did. My sister and I would go in to work with her on weekends sometimes. That was a big influence on me.”
Munoz-Kaphing parlayed that interest into a dual undergraduate degree in psychology and legal studies, and later a J.D. from the University of Minnesota. Now an associate at Robins Kaplan, she represents and advises plaintiffs and defendants in complex patent litigation in areas such as memory and processor design, microchip fabrication processes, digital video recorder technology, software and hardware design and GPS-related technology.
“After I came to Robins as a summer associate, I found I really liked the intellectual property group,” she said. “Ron Schutz and Becky Thorson — who’s now on the federal bench — were a big influence.”
A signature case for Munoz-Kaphing was when she served on the trial team representing TiVo against Verizon. TiVo alleged Verizon’s FiOS service and products infringed three TiVo patents, and Verizon counterclaimed with six patents related to various set-top box features — all but one of which it dismissed.
As the midlevel associate, Munoz-Kaphing was a primary contact for TiVo and was charged keeping the day-to-day activities moving forward. The case settled before trial, and the success led TiVo to bring in the firm for e-discovery needs that TiVo had in other cases.
“That was an important case for me,” said Munoz-Kaphing. “I’ve always been interested in science and technology, but in our group at Robins, a technical background isn’t necessary. They want people who can tell a good story, and who can tell a jury what’s behind the underlying science.”