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

Arizona Bar IP Section Hot for Ethics

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.Continuing Legal EducationLeave a Comment

On Friday, May 15, I was honored to be a presenter at the Annual Meeting of the Intellectual Property Law Section of the Arizona Bar, held in beautiful Scottsdale, Arizona.  Roberta Tepper of the State Bar of Arizona and I went a full two hours, providing the section members with treasured ethics CLE credits. The IP Bar in Arizona is a remarkable group of practitioners.  … Read More

SCOTUS Threatens Sanctions Against Patent Attorney: Is USPTO Ethical Discipline Next?

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.Competence, Discipline, Supreme Court Ethics2 Comments

Last week, the United States Supreme Court turned more than a few heads when it issued an attorney discipline order against Howard Shipley – a partner at Foley & Lardner, LLC – for his conduct relating to a (denied) petition for writ of certiorari.  The Supreme Court is demanding that, within 40 days, Shipley show cause “why he should not be sanctioned” … Read More

USPTO Disbars Attorney For Engaging In Pattern Of Client Neglect, Deceit, And Misappropriation

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.Discipline, Patent Attorney Disciplinary Matters, PTO Ethics DecisionsLeave a Comment

Never lie, never cheat, never steal. – John Wooden Patent attorney Rodney K. Worrel should have listened to the sage advice of UCLA’s legendary basketball coach. The California-based attorney has been excluded from practice before the USPTO for engaging in a pattern of misconduct that involved multiple acts of neglect, deceit, and conversion of client funds. Administrative Law Judge Alexander … Read More

Sony Alleges Conflict Of Interest, Wants Acacia In-House And Outside Patent Litigation Counsel DQ’d

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.Conflicts of Interest, District Court Litigation, IP EthicsLeave a Comment

Motions to disqualify opposing counsel are not uncommon, especially in patent litigation. In many cases, disqualification is sought based on an alleged former client conflict of interest. Former client disqualification motions normally allege that an attorney working in the law firm representing one of the parties to a litigation previously represented the opposing party in a “substantially related matter.” Under … Read More

Fired Trademark Attorney And Husband Arrested For Stabbing Law Firm Managing Partner

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.Moral turpitideLeave a Comment

Job counselors always seem to be full of advice for people who are fired from their jobs.  “Go out gracefully” and “don’t burn bridges” are common suggestions for the newly-unemployed. Recently-fired intellectual property attorney Alecia Schmuhl might have benefitted from such words of wisdom.  Instead, she sits in a jail cell charged with malicious wounding and abduction while her victims–the managing partner of her former firm … Read More

After the Protostorm – Court Restricts Intellectual Property Firm’s Spending Following $8 Million Malpractice Judgment

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.Malpractice, Patent Malpractice1 Comment

In the wake of a multi-million patent malpractice verdict against Antonelli Terry Stout & Kraus LLP, a federal judge has imposed “temporary” financial restrictions on the Virginia-based IP firm. Protostorm LLC et al. v. Antonelli Terry Stout & Kraus LLP, No. 1:08-cv-00931 (E.D.N.Y.) As discussed in our October 13, 2014 post, Protostorm LLC engaged the Antonelli firm to file a patent application on … Read More

A Modern Day Bonnie and Clyde—Former IP General Counsel and His Spouse Accused Of Racketeering, Theft In Alleged $5 Million Patent Search Billing Scheme

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.Civil RICO, Civil Theft, District Court Litigation, Moral turpitide2 Comments

Mary and Jason Throne are not really Bonnie and Clyde. According to a recent lawsuit, however, Jason Throne, who worked for 20 years as a senior patent counsel for Hunter Douglas, and his wife Mary, carried out a fifteen-year fraudulent patent search billing scheme that might have impressed the notorious bank-robbing duo of days yonder. And in the process of allegedly … Read More