Excylyn Hardin-Smith helps clients resolve complex patent litigation and trade secret disputes. She brings meticulous organization and a calm-under-pressure approach to her matters, which span the financial services, software, and health and life sciences industries.

Known as a dynamic presenter and a skilled case manager, Excylyn has played a key role in many impactful litigation matters. In particular, she assisted with Mpay Inc. v. Erie Custom Computer Applications Inc., et al., a dispute in which Fish obtained a favorable summary judgment for several defendants after the plaintiff demanded $280 million in damages. Following the win, Fish won the largest attorney’s fees award under the Copyright Act ever issued in the District of Minnesota.

In recent years, Excylyn has developed a particular focus on issues faced by the financial services industry. She serves as a single point of contact to address any intellectual property concerns her clients may have, from responding to litigation threats to connecting her clients with talented patent and trademark professionals who can effectively protect their IP.

In addition to her litigation work, Excylyn maintains an active pro bono practice that spans criminal justice, employment law, civil rights, voting rights, and women’s rights. When she isn’t practicing law, Excylyn enjoys international travel and amateur photography.

Pro bono activities

Working pro bono alongside the ACLU, Fish represented a class of 12 peaceful protestors who were injured by police officers during the protests following the murder of George Floyd. The plaintiffs alleged that the Minneapolis Police Department used unnecessary and excessive force to suppress their First Amendment rights to assemble peacefully and speak out against injustice. The matter resulted in a settlement that included a $600,000 payment to the plaintiffs and numerous reforms for the MPD. These reforms prohibit the city from arresting, threatening to arrest, or using physical force against lawful protestors, limit the use of chemical agents to disperse protestors, and mandate the use of body cameras by police officers responding to protests.