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KVN Scores Another Victory in DuPont Trade Secrets Case

Daily Journal
02/28/2013

In a victory for defense lawyers, a magistrate judge ordered federal prosecutors Wednesday to identify which documents - out of a huge trove of discovery produced - they plan to use at an upcoming criminal trial.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Nathanael Cousins told government attorneys they have 60 days to identify which documents, of the five terabytes of discovery, they intend to use against Walter Liew and others for allegedly conspiring to steal trade secrets from DuPont Co.

In another victory for the defense, earlier that morning, Cousins authorized the pretrial release of Liew, after he offered an increased bond of $2 million from the $200,000 he had previously proposed. Justice Department attorneys will appeal his release. Liew and his wife Christina Liew were indicted in July 2011 and charged with 12 counts of economic espionage and witness tampering for allegedly stealing and selling trade secrets related to a valuable white pigment from DuPont to Chinese manufacturing companies.

Nineteen months after the original indictment, attorneys from Keker & Van Nest LLP argue they need key documents identified to move forward in defending their clients.

"We're not asking them to cover every single base," said Keker associate Katherine M. Lovett during the Wednesday hearing. "We are willing for them to supplement in good faith. We just want them to give us something to get started." The government has sought to wait to turn over those documents until the end of March, when attorneys say they plan to issue a superseding indictment that may change the charges. Cousins noted unusual complicating aspects of the case, such as the huge amount of discovery, the translation of many of the documents written in Chinese and the additional charges the government plans to bring.

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Walter Liew is represented by Stuart Gasner, Simona Agnolucci and Katherine Lovett.

Stuart Gasner centers his practice in the areas of white collar criminal and securities defense, intellectual property litigation and complex corporate disputes. A federal prosecutor before joining Keker & Van Nest, Mr. Gasner has tried more than 20 cases to verdict before juries across the United States.

Simona Agnolucci specializes in complex litigation, including intellectual property matters, securities cases, and commercial disputes. She has represented major brokerage companies and investment advisors, as well as cutting-edge Internet and smartphone companies. Ms. Agnolucci has litigated cases before state and federal trial courts and has substantial experience in appellate matters across various substantive areas of the law.

Armed with a keenly observational and analytical nature, Katherine Lovett crafts arguments which resonate with judges and juries alike. As a law clerk, and as an intern for the Missouri State Public Defender’s office, the Fair Trial Initiative, and the Southern Center for Human Rights, she learned how to weave legal theory with artful narratives to persuade both jurists and the general public.