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

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 Ethics1 Comment

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

Anonymous, Inc.: Lawyers, Ethics And Money Laundering Featured On 60 Minutes

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.Confidentiality, Legal Ethics0 Comments

For those of you who are not convinced about the importance of legal ethics in modern society, I urge you to watch yesterday’s broadcast of the story entitled Anonymous, Inc., which was shown on CBS’s 60 Minutes. The venerable weekly news program used a fake client representative, wired with a hidden camera and a false story, who worked his way into … Read More

What They Didn’t Teach You In Law School: Representing Client With Diminished Capacity

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.Communications, Competence, Confidentiality0 Comments

In recognition of Mental Health Awareness Week, the focus this month on “What They Didn’t Teach You in Law School” is on representing a client with diminished mental capacity.  According to the leading mental health organization in the country, 1 in 5 adults in the United States suffer from some form of mental health condition or disorder.  Thus, it is … Read More

Get Out Of Town: The Ethical Perils Of Outsourcing IP Services

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.Competence, Confidentiality, IP Ethics, Outsourcing, Patent Ethics0 Comments

Many IP lawyers engage other lawyers or nonlawyers as independent contractors, directly or through intermediaries, to provide various legal and nonlegal support services. The outsourcing market, often referred to as the “legal process outsourcing” market or “professional employer organization” market, is a multi-billion dollar industry. While there is nothing per se unethical about a lawyer outsourcing legal and non-legal services, ethical … Read More

Lawyers Need To Know When It’s Time To Shut Up

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.Confidentiality, Patent Ethics0 Comments

I was on a long flight recently and had the misfortune to have to sit behind two lawyers for several hours.  For almost the entire duration of the flight, the attorneys were involved in a detailed discussion about what was obvious (to me anyway) to be a client matter.  They were discussing an upcoming deposition, strategical issues, and client communications.  … 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