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

Is Working From Home Unethical? Telecommuting And Unauthorized Practice Of Law

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct, Patent Ethics, Unauthorized Practice of Law0 Comments

I have lived and worked in the Washington, D.C. metro area my entire adult life.  Washington is notorious for its traffic. The math for my office commute is simple.  Ten hours per week.  500 hours per year.  For 30 years.  That’s 15,000 hours–or 1.71 years of my life–just going to and from the office. I know I am not alone. … Read More

Lawyer Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Frequent Causes of Discipline

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct, Alcoholism2 Comments

One of the most significant studies of alcohol abuse and mental health disorders among practicing attorneys conducted in the past quarter century has concluded that attorneys are at a much higher risk than other professionals for alcohol use disorder, depression, anxiety, and stress. Researchers from the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation and the American Bar Association Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs … Read More

Liar Liar: What May Ethical Counsel Do When Faced With False Evidence

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct, Misrepresentations0 Comments

Two Chicago criminal defense lawyers charged with perjury and obstruction of justice were recently acquitted as reported in the Chicago Tribune. The lawyers had been indicted for allegedly coaching defense witnesses to lie under oath. The prosecution pointed to the existence of question and answer scripts seized in a raid of the lawyers’ offices. The Q&A scripts were drafted by … Read More

When It Comes To Teaching About Money, Law Schools Fail Miserably

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct, Safekeeping Property0 Comments

Law schools are failing miserably to teach up and coming lawyers the most fundamental aspects of the business of law.  The absence of such training is particularly troublesome in today’s legal climate, where new law school grads far out number available entry level jobs. This economic reality can drive many newly-minted Esquires to make some very difficult life decisions, including … Read More

“Your Honor, You Are Stupid, You Suck, Please Decide for Me”

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct, Civility/Professionalism, Competence0 Comments

With last week’s post on patent attorney Andrew Schroeder, who ran amok in his filings with the USPTO (click), fresh on my mind, I had to chuckle at the blog posted recently in Wordrake (click here), entitled: “Your Honor, You Are Stupid, You Suck, Please Decide For Me.” The post cites several examples of what is purported to be real … Read More

What They Didn’t Teach In Law School: The Ethical Duty Of “Technical Competence”

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct, Competence, Confidentiality, Continuing Legal Education0 Comments

“True wisdom is knowing what you don’t know.” — Confucius One of my former partners, a brilliant patent lawyer who was (and is) widely respected in the patent bar, used his desktop computer for one purpose and one purpose only—as a convenient surface on which to attach yellow sticky post-it notes to himself. To my knowledge, he never turned his … Read More

OED Discipline For IP Practitioners Who Use “Snitch” Threats For Tactical Gain

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct, Duty to Report Misconduct, IP Ethics, OED, Office of Enrollment and Discipline, PTO Ethics Rules, USPTO OED0 Comments

  “You’re building a rat ship here. A vessel for seagoing snitches” – Al Pacino, Scent of a Woman You represent a patentee in a highly contentious litigation against an accused infringer.  The parties hate each other, and the gloves came off months ago–if they were ever on in the first place. Then extraordinarily you catch your opposing counsel in a … Read More