Greenberg Traurig Avoids Former Client’s DQ Motion By Consenting To Withdrawal

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.Confidentiality, Conflicts of Interest, IP Ethics0 Comments

Greenberg Traurig has apparently decided that discretion is the better part of valor.  The law firm has agreed voluntarily to withdraw as counsel from a litigation rather than face a disqualification motion in which it was charged with a conflict of interest for trying to invalidate patents it helped prosecute.  We previously reported here that Greenberg Traurig had “switched sides” … Read More

Atty’s Final Act For Porn Film Copyright Shakedown Scheme: Disbarment

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.Attorney Fraud, Attorney Internet Scams, Copyright ethics, Criminal Conviction, Dishonesty, IP Ethics, IP Litigation Sanctions0 Comments

Once upon a time, John Steele, the founder of the law firm formally known as Prenda Law, believed he had found the perfect recipe for a successful niche copyright law practice. First, monitor certain file-sharing websites containing porn and obtain the IP addresses of individuals who downloaded or attempted to download said porn. Next, file “John Doe” lawsuits for copyright … Read More

Litigators Beware: Bad News Can Trigger USPTO Ethics Investigation

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.IP Litigation Sanctions, Office of Enrollment and Discipline, Patent Ethics, Patent Litigation Ethics0 Comments

Bad news sells.  As the author Douglas Adams observed, “Nothing travels faster than the speed of light with the possible exception of bad news, which obeys its own special laws.” Take IP litigation, for example.  The mainstream IP media regularly reports on both allegations and court decisions regarding issues relating to attorney conduct–or alleged misconduct.  Some of the more common … Read More

To Encrypt, Or Not To Encrypt, That Is The Question

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct, Competence, Confidentiality0 Comments

The ABA has dived head first into the pool of law firm cybersecurity.  On May 11, 2017, the American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility issued Formal Opinion 477 (here), which addresses a broad range of issues that lawyers must consider to protect client confidential information from “nefarious actors throughout the internet.”  Those “nefarious actors”—also known as … Read More

New Lawsuit Accuses IP Counsel Of Attacking Same Patents It Prosecuted

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.Confidentiality, Conflicts of Interest, IP Ethics0 Comments

It is Ethics 101 that a law firm cannot use its former client’s confidential information in a substantially related matter on behalf of a different client directly adverse to the former client, at least not without the former client’s informed consent.  The reason for this common sense rule, which prohibits “side-switching,” is that a lawyer’s duty of confidentiality extends beyond … Read More

PTO Suspends PTAB Atty Who Filed Multiple TM Apps For Cannabis Client

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.Conflicts of Interest, Unauthorized Practice of Law, USPTO Director Decisions, USPTO Ethics Investigation0 Comments

The USPTO has suspended a PTO-employed attorney for thirty (30) days for practicing trademark law before the Office for private clients, in violation of federal conflicts of interest laws.  See In re Tara K. Laux, Proc. No. D2016-39 (USPTO Dir. Mar. 9, 2017).  According to a settlement agreement reached with the OED Director, attorney Tara Laux, who has worked at … Read More

Untying The IP Ethics Knot

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.Continuing Legal Education, IP Ethics, Legal Ethics, Litigation Ethics, Malpractice0 Comments

Do you worry about ethics in your IP practice?  If not, you should.  There is way too much going on out there, and not knowing what is happening can leave you exposed to ethics and malpractice risk. If you can spare 90 minutes, tune in tomorrow from 1:00-2:30 pm EST for the ABA-IPL Landslide Webinar Series, entitled “Identifying and Resolving Ethical … Read More