During his nine years in prime-time broadcasting, Nic Marais spent every day developing crucial communication skills: transforming complicated ideas into interesting stories; maintaining focus in an unpredictable environment; and handling the pressures of live radio before an audience of 1.3 million people. Mr. Marais has interviewed hundreds of sophisticated subjects, with guests ranging from global leaders and Nobel laureates, including Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu and F.W. de Klerk, to internationally acclaimed athletes, authors, singers, and movie stars, including Charlize Theron and Morgan Freeman. As a litigator, Mr. Marais applies his extensive experience to our clients' advantage at every turn—conducting depositions, relating arguments to a judge, and framing complex legal questions in a way that juries will find interesting and relatable.
Before joining Keker & Van Nest in the fall of 2011, Mr. Marais interned at the New York City Law Department's Special Litigation Unit.
Mr. Marais is a 2:53 marathoner, a regular cyclist, and a licensed skydiver. He is fluent in Afrikaans.
Cases of Note
Michael E. Davis, aka Tony Davis v. Electronic Arts Inc.: We are defending Electronic Arts (EA) in a case that will test the limits of the First Amendment as it applies to expressive works. Retired St. Louis Rams quarterback Vince Ferragamo, Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Tony Davis and Dallas Cowboys tight end Billy Joe Dupree filed suit over EA’s avatars of the former players in its Madden NFL series. The plaintiffs are seeking to have the case certified as a class action on behalf of a purported 6,000 former NFL players who allegedly appeared on more than 100 historic teams in various editions of Madden NFL.
SanDisk Corp. v. SK Hynix Inc.: We represented SanDisk in a massive trade secret misappropriation and corporate espionage case. SanDisk, a global leader in flash memory storage solutions, sued competitor SK Hynix for misappropriating approximately ten gigabytes of highly confidential trade secret information and using that information over the course of six years to revamp Hynix’s technology and unfairly compete with SanDisk. We obtained a sweeping preliminary injunction that barred Hynix from any further use or disclosure of stolen SanDisk information, and fought back efforts to dismiss the case, to send it to arbitration, to transfer it overseas, and to remove it from the court that granted the preliminary injunction. Following a series of courtroom victories for our client, the parties reached a confidential settlement and entered into a product supply agreement.
Securities and Exchange Commission v. Executive: The Securities and Exchange Commission launched a securities fraud suit in California federal court against our client, a former vice president of sales. The SEC claimed he grossly inflated his company's revenue in order to raise additional capital from investors. We also defended him in a parallel criminal investigation. We were able to prevent any criminal charges from being filed, and resolved the SEC case for a small penalty.
British Telecommunications v. Comcast Cable Communications, LLC: We served as lead counsel for Comcast in an eight-patent case brought by British Telecom in Delaware federal court. The case targeted Comcast's high speed data and telephony services and video encryption. We also asserted Comcast patents against British Telecom in Texas federal court. In Delaware, we prevailed on six of the eight patents by way of summary judgment and stipulated dismissals, and thereafter reached a very favorable resolution of both litigations.
Co-author with Elliot Peters, “Battening Down the Hatches: Representing a Law Firm in the Stormy Seas of a Criminal Investigation,” Attorneys’ Liability Assurance Society Annual General Meeting 2012.
Awards and Honors
Yale Law School
Winner, best presentation of a case on final trial, Thomas Swan Barristers' Union Mock Trial Competition
Coker Fellow, Legal Writing Instruction
Knight Fellow, Law and Media Program