Brandon E. Vaughn becomes the 103rd president of the Hennepin County Bar Association (HCBA) on July 1. Vaughn is a partner at Robins Kaplan, where he represents victims of medical malpractice, and individuals injured by others due to no fault of their own.
In addition to his involvement with the HCBA, Vaughn has been an active part of the local legal community, having taken on leadership roles in the Minnesota Association of Black Lawyers, Minnesota Association for Justice, and Twin Cities Diversity in Practice. Nationally, he served as secretary and vice chair of the Young Lawyers Division of the National Bar Association. He also was named a Leadership Council on Legal Diversity Fellow in 2017.
Born in Chicago, Vaughn attended law school at the University of Wisconsin. After spending two summers at Robins as a summer associate, Vaughn became a full associate at the firm after passing the bar.
Corporate & Securities attorney Ashley Olson has joined Maslon LLP, enhancing the firm’s capabilities in a key area of practice. Olson brings a demonstrated passion for advocacy, excelling at finding practical and business-forward solutions to complex legal issues.
Before beginning her private practice, Olson served as a law clerk to Hennepin County District Judge Patrick Robben, an experience that informed her business-oriented approach to advising clients. Throughout law school, she clerked at the Minneapolis City Attorney’s Office, where she worked directly with internal clients on litigation matters.
Olson earned her law degree from the University of St. Thomas School of Law, graduating in the top 10% of her class. She completed her bachelor’s degree magna cum laude at the University of Minnesota, majoring in English with a minor in management.
Merchant & Gould P.C., a national intellectual property (IP) law firm that has helped innovators around the globe since 1900, has announced the next generation of leadership for its Patent Design & Trade Dress Group.
Loretta L. Freeman, Atlanta partner, and Ryan C. Smith, Ph.D., Minneapolis partner, will co-chair the practice group, demonstrating a forward-looking view of the firm’s more-inclusive leadership team.
The Patent Design & Trade Dress Group serves all clients, regardless of industry or specific technical needs, helping obtain and enforce utility patents, utility models, design patents, trademarks, trade dress, copyrights and trade secrets. Intellectual property spans a wide group of disciplines, as does Merchant & Gould’s Patent Design & Trade Dress Group, providing a holistic and integrated approach to help clients secure their protected position in the marketplace.
Freeman focuses on preparing and prosecuting patent applications in the mechanical arts space and in industries such as telecommunications, hydraulics, aerospace fields and manufacturing. She also helps businesses with design-heavy legal needs, such as those in retail, protect the appearance and aesthetics of their products. Freeman also provides counseling in intellectual property matters relating to product development and marketing, including freedom to operate, state of the art, non-infringement, and invalidity analysis and opinions. She specializes in developing sound IP portfolio management strategies, leveraging the value and protection of trademarks, design and utility patent applications.
Smith focuses on chemical, life science and consumer product technologies. He concentrates on patentability assessment, filing and prosecuting U.S. design and utility applications, managing international patent portfolios, IP due diligence, licensing and merger and acquisition due diligence. Smith uses his experience to help his clients strategically navigate the patent process from product concept to commercialization.
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