Intellectual property attorney Lisa Kobialka is JABA’s newest Lifetime Member. The JABA Lifetime Membership is for members who make a one-time gift of $1,000. Kobialka joins six other JABA Lifetime Members: Gary Eto, Hon. Alan Friedenthal, Diana Iorlano, Barry Morinaka, Bill Seki, and Doug Sugimoto.
A patent litigator and partner in the Menlo Park office of the New York law firm Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel, Kobialka is JABA’s first Lifetime Member from outside Los Angeles.
One might expect a patent lawyer like Kobialka to come from a legal or scientific background but, in fact, she hails from a family of musicians. Kobialka’s Japanese mother is a pianist who came to this country as a Fulbright scholar from the prestigious Toho Gakuen School of Music. Kobialka’s father was the principal second violinist for the San Francisco Symphony. Both parents still teach music. “I’m the only Kobialka who is not a musician,” laughs Kobialka, who nonetheless has an impressive musical background. Holding a masters degree from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, Kobialka has played in the first violin section with the Sacramento Symphony and toured the country with the Merola Opera, affiliated with the San Francisco Opera.
Now an IP litigator, Kobialka compares trial to performance as a musician. “I see my experience engaging a judge and jury as true to my background as a musician,” says Kobialka, who enjoys the challenge of engaging and persuading a jury of laypersons who, like her, lack a scientific or technical background. Kobialka represents various companies in the software, life science, and chemical industries. She litigates in many parts of the country, including in the Delaware, Texas, and D.C. federal courts. Kobialka, who speaks some Japanese, includes several Japanese companies among her clients.
Kobialka is an active member of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA), and her decision to join JABA as a Lifetime member was sparked by conversations with former colleague and JABA President Audra Mori at a NAPABA conference. Knowing that JABA has grown beyond the greater Los Angeles area, Kobialka supports that national expansion and wants to spur that growth.
Kobialka has long supported initiatives to diversify the legal profession, including the judiciary, and she is deeply knowledgeable of the Japanese American internment history. As a law student at the University of San Francisco, Kobialka brought Fred Korematsu to the school and also organized various judicial programs. She believes that JABA serves an important function to support Japanese American, Asian American, and other minority lawyers and to increase diversity in the legal and business communities. Kobialka says, “These efforts are very important to me.”
JABA thanks all its Lifetime Members for their generosity and commitment to the community. To sign up as a new member or to renew your membership, click here.