Hon. Gregory M. Sleet (Ret.) joins JAMS after serving 20 years on the bench of the United States District Court for the District of Delaware, including seven years as chief judge. Judge Sleet presided over 6,400 civil cases, including 2,002 patent cases, and wrote more than 1,200 opinions. He presided over 151 trials, including 74 patent trials (40 bench trials and 34 jury trials).
Before taking the federal bench in 1998, Judge Sleet acquired varied experience in civil and criminal litigation and corporate legal work. He served as a United States Attorney for the District of Delaware from 1994-1998. He served as in-house counsel in the legal department of Hercules Incorporated (1992–1994) and as deputy attorney general for the State of Delaware (1990–1992). Prior to that, he practiced law in Philadelphia for 14 years, six of those as an assistant public defender with the Defender Association of Philadelphia.
Expertise in Patent Disputes
Judge Sleet gained deep experience in a wide range of commercial cases during his tenure on the district court. He is especially known for his expertise in patent litigation, covering a range of industries, including medical devices, biotech/pharmaceuticals, consumer products, computer hardware/electronics, software, industrial/construction and chemicals. He is a sought-after speaker on patent litigation, participating on panels at RPX, the Rocky Mountain Intellectual Property and Technology Institute, the Sedona Conference, the USC Gould School of Law, the New York Intellectual Property Law Association’s (NYIPLA) symposium on patent litigation, the Practising Law Institute and many others. Beginning in 2006-2007, Judge Sleet served as an adjunct professor, teaching patent litigation, at Rutgers Law School, Widener University School of Law and, most recently, Duke University School of Law.
During his 20 years on the federal bench, Judge Sleet presided over and resolved by settlement, trial or judgment thousands of civil cases involving antitrust, banking, bankruptcy, civil rights, class actions, business/commercial, construction, employment/labor, environmental, government/public agency, insurance, intellectual property, maritime/admiralty, medical malpractice, pharmaceuticals and medical devices, products liability, securities and tax.
Judge Sleet’s civil docket included some of the country’s most complex federal litigation, including:
- Antitrust: Presided over multi-week jury trial, with extensive post-trial practice involving claims of various Sherman Act violations by the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP); presided over numerous matters involving claims of monopolization by the misuse of patent rights
- Bankruptcy: Wore a wide variety of hats as a judge in Delaware, a leading venue for some of the nation’s largest chapter 11 cases, from the handling of so-called “first days” through adversary proceedings, reorganization plan confirmation and appeals from rulings of the Bankruptcy Court
- Class Actions: Presided over numerous class action disputes in a variety of areas, such as securities fraud, actions brought on behalf of consumers and others; frequently presided over approval of final settlement of these matters
- Employment: Presided over several trials and many actions involving claims of employment discrimination
- Intellectual Property
- Patent Litigation: Presided over numerous, frequently multi-week, ANDA trials involving a wide variety of pharmaceuticals, including Copaxone (glatiramer acetate), the top-selling treatment for multiple sclerosis; Hemlibra, an important drug for the treatment of hemophilia; a drug for the treatment of schizophrenia; and many others; presided over actions involving new and groundbreaking biosimilars (large-molecule drugs) involving such important treatments for cancer as the branded drugs Avastin and Herceptin
Presided over many jury trials involving a wide variety of technologies, including mechanical devices such as in-door refrigerator ice makers, auxiliary power units (small jet engines that power an airliner while it’s docked at the gate), a dispute between major manufacturers of vacuum cleaners over suction power claims, medical devices such as transcatheter heart valves, a seminal invention in the area of knee replacement, electronic devices, computer technology, software design, machines used in the television and film industry that enable the remote creation of content for television news and entertainment and theatrical films, the design of safety features involving products used by babies and toddlers, and the design of feminine napkins
- Trademark: Presided over jury trial in a false and misleading advertising and unfair competition action which resulted in a large award of compensatory and punitive damages and many other Lanham Act disputes
- Maritime: Presided over many maritime matters involving a wide variety of claims such as claims of commercial loss, personal injury and emergency actions to arrest ships while in port
- Multi-District Litigation (MDL): Presided over at least six MDL actions involving a variety of ANDA and other patent claims