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

CAFC Disciplines Patent Litigator Who Forwarded Former Chief Judge’s “BFF” Email To Clients

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct, Discipline, Federal Circuit Ethics Decisions1 Comment

On November 5, 2014, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit issued an order publicly reprimanding IP litigator Edward R. Reines.  See In re Edward R. Reines, 14-MA004 (Fed. Cir. Nov. 5, 2014) (en banc).  The discipline is the latest chapter in an unusual saga surrounding an email to Reines from former Chief Circuit Court Judge Randall Rader.  That email ultimately led … Read More

Domestic Violence Conviction Nets Attorney USPTO Reprimand

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

In a reciprocal discipline matter, the USPTO publicly reprimanded a successful and experienced patent attorney following his criminal conviction for domestic battery. See In re Gortler, No. D2013-06 (USPTO Dir.). Attorney Hugh P. Gortler’s problems began in 2011, soon after he told his wife he wanted a divorce. See In re Gortler, Case Nos. 11-C-2562-DFM (Cal. Bar Ct. Oct. 29, 2012). … Read More

USPTO Disciplines Attorney For Billing $1,000 Hourly “Relationship Fee”

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.Client Funds, Discipline, PTO Ethics Decisions2 Comments

The USPTO settled a disciplinary action filed against a non-patent attorney who billed a client thousands of dollars, at a rate of $1,000 per hour, to prepare a patent application and then, without his client’s knowledge or consent, outsourced the legal work to an unaffiliated patent attorney for a fraction of the fee paid by the client.   In re Lehat, No. D2013-04. This disciplinary action arose … Read More