USPTO Suspends Second Ex-Niro IP Attorney For 18 Months

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.District Court Litigation, Duty to Tribunal, IP Litigation Sanctions, Litigation Ethics, Patent Litigation Ethics, PTO Ethics Decisions0 Comments

It’s deja vu all over again: a second ex-Niro IP attorney has received an 18-month suspension from practice before the USPTO. Attorney Paul C. Gibbons, one of four attorneys from the now defunct Niro, Haller & Niro who were sanctioned for vexatious litigation arising from the firm’s representation of NPE Intellect Wireless, settled a disciplinary complaint with the USPTO Director … Read More

USPTO Suspends Former Niro IP Attorney For 18 Months Following Patent Litigation Sanctions

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.District Court Litigation, Duty to Tribunal, IP Litigation Sanctions, Litigation Ethics, Patent Litigation Sanctions, PTO Ethics Decisions1 Comment

The fallout from the Niro, Haller & Niro law firm’s doomed litigation on behalf of Intellect Wireless continues.  For patent litigator David J. Mahalek, the most junior member of the Niro litigation team, the disciplinary shoe of the USPTO did not just drop–it kicked him in the teeth with an 18-month suspension of his law license. Readers may recall that, … Read More

Putting On Your Halo: Patent Litigators’ Ethical Duty To Communicate Change In Willfulness Law

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.Duty to Non-Client, Duty to Tribunal, Patent Ethics, Patent Litigation Ethics0 Comments

Last week, the Supreme Court issued an opinion that significantly altered the legal landscape for proving willful infringement in patent cases. In Halo Electronics, Inc. v. Pulse Electronics, Inc., the Supreme Court rejected the Federal Circuit’s two-part Seagate test for awarding enhanced damages under 35 USC § 284, finding that both the substantive requirement for “objective recklessness” and the “clear and convincing” … Read More

Federal Judge Orders DOJ Prosecutors To Undergo Formal Ethics Training

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.Duty of Candor, Duty to Tribunal0 Comments

Finding federal government attorneys from the Department of Justice engaged in a “calculated plan of unethical conduct”, a federal judge in Texas has ordered hundreds of the agency’s lawyers to receive formal ethics training as a sanction for lying about the status of more than 100,000 migrants.  See Texas v. United States, Civ. No. B-14-254 (S.D. Tex. May 19, 2016) … Read More

Former Prosecutor Who Forged Indictment Wins Jackass of Month Award

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.Duty to Tribunal, Suspension1 Comment

This month’s “Jackass of the Month” award featured many fine contestants.  Each exhibited the qualities of a true jackass — arrogance, intentional disregard of the law, superiority, and narcissim, to name a few. But one attorney stood out head and shoulders above the crowd for his truly loathsome behavior as not only an officer of the court but as a … Read More

Circuit Courts Warn: The New “F-Bomb” In Litigation Is “Frivolous”

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.Duty to Tribunal0 Comments

It pays to be nice. That is the message from two recent Circuit Courts of Appeal decisions that criticized parties for lack of civility because counsel characterized their opponent’s arguments as “frivolous.” In the first case, Bennett v. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co., 731 F.3d 584, 585 (6th Cir. 2013), the Sixth Circuit reversed a judgment in favor of State Farm … Read More

Jackass Of The Month: IP Lawyer Sanctioned For “Maelstrom of Misconduct” In Pro Se Divorce Case

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.Civility/Professionalism, Duty to Tribunal, Patent Attorney Disciplinary Matters, Patent Ethics0 Comments

This month we launched the “Jackass of the Month” award. The award recognizes the IP practitioner whose exceptional or extraordinary conduct befits the title of being, well, a real jackass. This month’s award goes to Anthony J. Zappin, a 30-year-old Ivy League-educated patent attorney.  Zappin was  slapped last week with a reprimand and $10,000 fine by New York State Supreme … Read More

EXTRA EXTRA: Attorney Abides By Rules Of Professional Conduct; No Discipline Imposed

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.Duty to Tribunal, IP Litigation Sanctions, Misrepresentations4 Comments

Attorney disciplinary matters involving illegal, immoral, incompetent, negligent, unprofessional, or unethical behavior by intellectual property practitioners are a frequent source of news in the IP media outlets. When an attorney does not violate the ethics rules, that fact, in and of itself, is rarely the subject of discussion. Then there are those rare occasions where an attorney’s adherence to the … Read More