Firm Overview

Criterion Law is all about well reasoned decision making in legal matters in light of each client’s unique goals and constraints.  Before one can make a good decision in a particular situation, he must have a clear vision of the objective to be achieved in that situation, and the criteria for measuring successful achievement of the objective.  In each case we approach our work by asking some basic questions:  What is a realistic “win” for the client in this particular situation?  How would you measure a “win”?  How much time, energy and expense is reasonably expected to get a “win”?  What approach to a problem is most likely to get a “win” in light of the constraints?

In our view, most large firms focus on doing the absolute best job possible with only modest sensitivity to the real cost of achieving the desired result.  In contrast, most new online and storefront legal solutions focus on the cheapest way to deliver a generic solution that works for most people.

At Criterion Law, we focus on making the right choice for each client in each situation for the right reasons.

Centrally located in Palo Alto—the heart of the Silicon Valley and part of the San Francisco Peninsula—the firm is committed to providing consistently superior, efficient, and timely legal services to its clients both in person and by virtual communication. The firm is dedicated to finding a solution—whether it be judicial, administrative, or negotiated—to every legal problem presented by its clients.

Roots & Values

Originally focused exclusively on litigation, the firm earned a reputation for high-quality, aggressive, no-nonsense litigation in both state and federal courts. Nevertheless, over the past two decades clients have insisted that the firm’s characteristic pragmatism be also applied to corporate, general business and transactional matters. Beyond advice on governance and contracts, this has included the formation of software, hardware, telecommunications, consulting, construction, retail, and professional services companies. Consequently, Criterion Law provides general counsel to several closely held or developing growth businesses that prefer well-reasoned simplicity over legal complexity in their business affairs.

Because of its independence and its reputation for quality, the firm has developed advantageous relationships with corporate legal departments as well as other law firms both within and outside of Silicon Valley. The firm regularly serves as separate counsel to individuals and entities in situations involving potential conflicts of interest, and serves as local counsel in litigation venued in the Bay Area. For example, on numerous occasions, the firm has served as separate counsel to mobile employees in trade secret and unfair competition claims involving large publicly held companies. Similarly, the firm has represented outside directors in shareholder and securities litigation. The firm also serves as litigation counsel in association with other boutique law firms that specialize in matters such as patent prosecution, or real estate and corporate transactional matters. The firm regularly handles patent infringement litigation in conjunction with firms that limit their practice to patent prosecution. The firm has also conducted internal audits and investigations at the request of in-house counsel.

Our Modern Approach

Despite its new look, Criterion Law continues the tradition of quality work, focused on meeting its clients’ needs in a responsive and personal fashion while maintaining the highest commitment to professional excellence. While it retains the characteristic cost-effective quality work that clients can count on, the firm has adapted its practice to the rapidly evolving technological landscape of Silicon Valley by embracing newly available virtual communication technologies. The result–a highly flexible, efficient work process that allows for maximum communication with clients every step of the way.

Cost Effectiveness

Criterion Law prides itself on being an attractive and cost effective alternative to larger law firms. Here at the firm, we strongly believe that quality legal representation by experienced, dedicated, and creative attorneys can be delivered in a cost-effective manner. We recognize that judicious use of resources is essential to maintaining control over complex legal matters and their costs.

Virtual Communication

With the advent of more modern communication technologies, Criterion Law now offers virtual services. Meetings need not necessarily be confined to the four walls of the traditional office—the firm is available virtually at the client’s convenience. Whether a client is at the beach, in the office, or on the road, we are available for virtual meetings to provide personal communication with clients.