Garner’s practice focuses on intellectual property and technology, and he is the Co-Chair of Intellectual Property Practice. His undergraduate work in computer science adds value to a range of counseling, transactions, and disputes. Garner’s experience includes handling intellectual-property and technology legal matters for: a leading multibillion-dollar computer-peripherals and consumer electronics company; a NYSE-listed reprographics company that is the largest in the U.S.; a Fortune 500 and Nasdaq 100 retailer that is the second-largest company in its industry sector; a Fortune 500 and NYSE-listed energy company; two transportation planning and coordination agencies; several public transit agencies; the world’s largest nut processing and marketing company; the producer of the longest-running hit musical revue in theater history; and a number of other businesses, emerging companies, associations, and individuals. Garner also has extensive experience in niche areas such as serving as outside general counsel to industry trade associations and standards organizations and in representing and working with governmental entities on intellectual-property and technology issues. Overall, his approach emphasizes responsiveness and working toward solutions tailored to a client’s specific goals.
While Garner has significant experience with large-scale litigation, one of his value propositions is the client orientation and efficiency he brings to defending cases that dictate balancing a vigorous defense with the amount of exposure. Many law firms concentrate on “bet the company” intellectual-property cases where cost is no object—and are less experienced with or less interested in other cases—for example, where there are “only” seven or eight digits of claimed damages. Garner, on the other hand, thrives in partnering with his clients to manage cases in line with the business directives. As one example, in leading the defense of a particular patent-infringement lawsuit seeking several millions of dollars in damages, Garner was able to keep the total legal fees and costs for approximately 15 months of work to under $200,000—after which the case was successfully settled. In several situations, clients have moved cases from other law firms to Garner because of his ability to manage fees in relation to the client’s assessed value of the case.
Within the firm, Garner serves on the Management Committee and has been instrumental in helping the firm pursue its diversity goals. He has also served as the Chair of the firm’s Emerging Companies Group, which focuses on early-stage and middle-stage companies and on technology matters; on the firm’s Recruiting Committee; and on the firm’s Strategic Planning Committee, through which he was a contributing author to the firm’s strategic plan.
Garner has written and spoken extensively on intellectual property law, technology issues in law, and diversity in the legal profession. He is active in the community and has served in leadership positions for intellectual property professional associations and for minority bar associations and other diversity-focused organizations. Among other things, he has served as President of the Asian American Bar Association of the Greater Bay Area and Co-Chair of the Board of Directors of the California Minority Counsel Program. Garner has also led workshops for law students of traditionally underrepresented backgrounds to teach study skills, exam writing, and job interviewing and worked on a number of pro bono legal matters.