Ray Niro passed away Monday at the age of 73 in Italy. Most readers will know Ray Niro as the original patent plaintiff’s lawyer. Ray was bigger than life, as was his reputation — both good and bad depending upon where you view the NPE issue from. You can get the details on Ray’s significant litigation history from many places this week — including the Wall Street Journal and touching tributes from his friends, like Gene Quinn. I would not necessarily count Ray as a friend, more a formidable adversary. I was often opposite Ray and his firm defending my clients against his. I heard from him at times outside of cases when he disagreed with my views on NPEs. Differences aside, Ray was a tremendous trial and courtroom attorney. I have been opposite Ray in the courtroom and I have mooted cases as Ray in preparation for trial. Both were a great challenge — opposing Ray’s top notch advocacy and attempting to mimic it. More importantly, he meant the world to his family and the many lawyers that he mentored at his firm. That was easy to see during Ray’s career and it is even more clear from the many tributes that are being written this week.