Insights: News 2019 Colorado Super Lawyers Pro Bono Spotlight on Giving

Super Lawyers

One Tuesday last June, while Karam Saab was writing a letter arguing with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office over one of his clients’ rejected inventions, he received an urgent email. A single mother from Guatemala was being held at an ICE detention facility in nearby Aurora; immigration officials had separated her from her 10-year-old adopted daughter, who was at a New York facility.

As a patent attorney, Saab had little experience with such cases. But he rushed to the suburbs to meet the woman, who spoke Q’anjob’al, a Mayan language known to about 75,000 people in the world. He found an interpreter for her second language, Spanish, and they prepped for a bond hearing three days away. "Fly by the seat of your pants," Saab says. "It’s one thing if a major corporation doesn’t get one of their patents filed by a certain date. It’s a different story if a mom doesn’t get reunited with her daughter. A different form of stress."

Saab, 37, and his IP-litigator colleague, Matt Holohan, 40, are sitting at a conference table in open-collar shirts on a casual Friday at Kilpatrick Townsend in downtown Denver. Before getting his law degree, Saab was an engineer who worked on military jets for a defense contractor; Holohan earned a physics degree prior to law school. They’ve worked together for years, consulting now and then on each other’s cases and bonding in 2018 at a firmwide charity drive in which their teams finished last and, as a punishment, had to smash eggs on each other’s heads.

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