Lessons in Ethics: Lying About CLE Attendance Is Just So Wrong

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.Continuing Legal Education, Moral turpitide, Reciprocal Discipline1 Comment

An IP attorney continued his legal education the hard way.  He falsely represented to the California Bar that he had completed the mandatory minimum of 25 hours of continuing legal education.  In truth, he had completed zero hours of CLE.  The result: a one-year suspension. This matter involved California-based patent attorney Jens Edward Hoekendijk.  In order to remain as an … Read More

USPTO Director Reverses ALJ In Disciplinary Case, Rules In Favor Of Attorney

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.Patent Ethics, USPTO Director Decisions, USPTO OED0 Comments

On August 5, 2016, the USPTO Director issued a Final Order reversing an administrative law judge’s initial decision, which had suspended a practitioner for 18 months. The Final Order held the OED Director violated USPTO precedent and mandatory rules regarding reciprocal discipline—37 C.F.R. § 11.24.  The Final Order is significant because it not only confirms the mandatory nature of reciprocal discipline, … Read More

USPTO Reciprocally Excludes Patent Lawyer Based On State Court Disbarment

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.Client Funds, IP Ethics, Patent Ethics, PTO Ethics Decisions, Reciprocal Discipline0 Comments

 On July 15, 2015, the USPTO Director entered an order excluding Richard Polidi from practice before the Office.  The USPTO Director’s disciplinary action came after the Director of the Office of Enrollment and Discipline (OED) filed a complaint for reciprocal discipline predicated on Mr. Polidi’s disbarment from State Bar of North Carolina. Based on public documents filed in the North Carolina disciplinary … Read More

State Bar Discipline Can Be Hazardous To IP Attorneys’ Right To Practice Before The USPTO (Part 1 of 2)

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.IP Ethics, Reciprocal Discipline, USPTO Director Decisions0 Comments

Consider the following – a patent attorney is investigated and charged by her state bar for violating the state’s code of ethics.  The patent attorney believes her state law license is not particularly relevant or necessary because 100% of her practice is dedicated to patent prosecution.  Therefore, to make the state bar matter “go away” with as little pain as possible, … Read More