A partner in a Longview law firm has been selected to serve as the second U.S. magistrate judge for the Waco division of the Western District of Texas.

U.S. District Judge Alan Albright chose Derek Gilliland, 50, from dozens of applicants and a group of 10 finalists recommended by a search committee.

The Judicial Conference of the United States authorized a second magistrate judge for the Waco division after Albright transformed his court into a national leader in patent litigation, with about a quarter of the nation’s patent litigation being filed in Waco, the Waco Tribune-Herald reported.

Gilliland’s firm, Sorey & Gilliland, has an office in Longview and one in Waco. The firm handles a mix of civil cases with a heavy emphasis on intellectual property law.

Gilliland previously handled numerous cases in the Western District and tried a patent infringement case in 2013 with Albright, according to a statement from Sorey & Gilliland.

“I anticipate Derek will quickly become an invaluable asset,” Albright told the Waco Tribune-Herald. “Derek has enormous experience in the courtroom both with patent and non-IP cases, and he already enjoys the respect of lawyers who will be appearing in front of him.”

Gilliland leads Sorey & Gilliland’s intellectual property litigation practice. He has decades of experience representing clients in disputes involving patent infringement, trademark and copyright violations, trade secret infringement and other areas of patent law, according to a statement from Sorey & Gilliland. He also handles other types of civil litigation, including personal injury, products liability and contract disputes.

“I am incredibly honored to have been given this opportunity and am very much looking forward to working with Judge Albright in this capacity,” Gilliland said. “While I will miss working on behalf of our clients, I know that when I move to Waco, I can do so with the utmost confidence they remain in great hands.”

Gilliland attended law school at Baylor University School of Law and previously practiced law in Waco for several years.

He is set to take the bench in April.

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