Bar Counsel Imposes Discipline For “Personal” Misconduct & Legal But Unethical Behavior

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.Patent Ethics, PTO Ethics Decisions, PTO Ethics Rules, USPTO Director Decisions, USPTO OED2 Comments

Many members of the public, and some attorneys themselves, believe that if they do not lie, they do not steal, and they do not cheat, then their conduct necessarily complies with the Rules of Professional Conduct.  This is a false assumption.  Others believe that an attorney’s “transgressions” in her personal life will not affect her ability to practice law.  This … Read More

Get Out Of Town: The Ethical Perils Of Outsourcing IP Services

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.Competence, Confidentiality, IP Ethics, Outsourcing, Patent EthicsLeave a Comment

Many IP lawyers engage other lawyers or nonlawyers as independent contractors, directly or through intermediaries, to provide various legal and nonlegal support services. The outsourcing market, often referred to as the “legal process outsourcing” market or “professional employer organization” market, is a multi-billion dollar industry. While there is nothing per se unethical about a lawyer outsourcing legal and non-legal services, ethical … Read More

Lawyers Need To Know When It’s Time To Shut Up

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.Confidentiality, Patent EthicsLeave a Comment

I was on a long flight recently and had the misfortune to have to sit behind two lawyers for several hours.  For almost the entire duration of the flight, the attorneys were involved in a detailed discussion about what was obvious (to me anyway) to be a client matter.  They were discussing an upcoming deposition, strategical issues, and client communications.  … Read More

Law Firms Tell Mass. Supreme Court No Subject Matter Conflict In Patent Prosecution Unless Claims “Identical” Or “Mere Obvious Variants”

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.Conflicts of Interest, Malpractice, Patent Ethics, Patent Malpractice1 Comment

On August 20, 2015, eleven law firms filed a joint amicus brief in the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts in Maling v. Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner.  In Maling, the Massachusetts high court requested amicus briefing on whether Finnegan Henderson’s concurrent representation of two different clients who were allegedly seeking patent protection at the same time on similar inventions, … 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 DisciplineLeave a Comment

 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

IP Litigators Beware: Bad News May Be Hazardous To Your Law License (Part 2 of 2)

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.IP Litigation Sanctions, Patent Ethics, Patent Litigation Ethics, Trademark Ethics, USPTO OEDLeave a Comment

Bad news on the doorstep.  I couldn’t take one more step.  Don McLean – American Pie In the last year, many “bad news” articles have been published arising from IP litigation. Not surprisingly, a growing number of those articles have been based on exceptional case findings and awards of attorneys’ fees under the Octane Fitness standard. Other “bad news” IP … Read More