In re Walter P. Tambolini, D2016-17 (USPTO Dir. May 9, 2016)

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.Neglect, UPL, USPTO

Disposition: Two (2)-year suspension, which was unopposed by the practitioner, and which was predicated upon identical discipline imposed by the Nevada Supreme Court.  Final decision here.

Summary: A patent attorney received a two (2)-year suspension from practice before the USPTO as reciprocal discipline arising from discipline imposed in Nevada, in which he was found to have engaged in unauthorized practice of law while his license was administratively suspended for failure to satisfy state CLE requirements. In addition, the attorney failed to communicate and neglected his client in a litigation matter and failed to participate in Nevada’s disciplinary proceedings.

Related Case: In re Tambolini, Case No. 65226 (Nev. 2014)

Related to USPTO Practice?  No

Facts: This matter involved Nevada-based patent attorney, Walter P. Tambolini. The State Bar of Nevada filed a complaint against Mr. Tambolini based upon two (2) grievances.

In one case, Mr. Tambolini was found to have engaged in the practice of law while administratively suspended in Nevada for failing to meet his Continuing Legal Education requirements and swearing in Court documents that he was a licensed attorney in Nevada. In the other case, Mr. Tambolini was found to have failed to competently and diligently pursue a personal injury matter and failed to communicate with his clients.

Mr. Tambolini did not respond to the State Bar in response to the grievances and failed to appear at the disciplinary hearing. The Supreme Court of Nevada found that Mr. Tambolini violated Nevada Rules of Prof. Conduct 1.1 (competence); 1.3 (diligence); 1.4 (communication); 1.15 (safekeeping property); 5.5 (unauthorized practice of law); 8.1 (bar admission and disciplinary matters); and 8.4 (misconduct). Mr. Tambolini was suspended from the practice of law for a period of two (2) years with a requirement that he pay the costs of the disciplinary proceeding.

The USPTO Director filed a complaint for reciprocal discipline and an order to show cause why Mr. Tambolini should not receive identical discipline from the USPTO. Mr. Tambolini failed to respond. Accordingly, the USPTO Director found no genuine issue of material fact and entered an Order suspending Mr. Tambolini from practicing before the USPTO in patent, trademark, and non-patent matters for a period of two (2) years.