Quandries and Quagmires: Legal Ethics, Risk Management in Pandemic

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.Attorney Internet Scams, Attorney Mental Health, Civility/Professionalism, Coronavirus ethics, IP Ethics, Legal Ethics, Legal Malpractice, ProfessionalismLeave a Comment

by Charles Lundberg, Esq. Reprinted with permission. Published March 30, 2020 in Minnesota Lawyer. In a span of less than two weeks, the coronavirus outbreak has caused unprecedented disruption in law firms and created a host of new issues for firm general counsel and ethics partners. Here is a sampling of new ethics and risk management issues that have arisen … Read More

Mixing Inventor And Patent Prosecutor Intent To Deceive: CleanTech Muddies Inequitable Conduct Law

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.Duty of Candor, Inequitable Conduct, IP Ethics, Patent EthicsLeave a Comment

Inequitable conduct is supposed to be personal to each individual who owes a duty of disclosure to the USPTO. Thus, just because an inventor may have knowingly and intentionally lied to the USPTO does not mean that prosecution counsel did so as well. Indeed, most prosecutors are in a position where they must rely upon the apparent veracity of their … Read More

Avoiding USPTO Discipline: Five Recommendations for IP Practitioners

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.Competence, Conflicts of Interest, IP Ethics, Malpractice, OED, Office of Enrollment and Discipline, Patent Malpractice, Patent Prosecution Malpractice, Patent Subject Matter Conflicts, USPTO Ethics Investigation, USPTO OED, USPTO Rules of Professional ConductLeave a Comment

The USPTO’s Office of Enrollment and Discipline (OED) exists, in large part, to ensure that patent and trademark practitioner are practicing ethically and in accordance with the Office’s Rules of Professional Conduct.  The OED’s staff includes a dozen attorneys, many of whom have practical experience in the area of IP law.  Whether you have been practicing law for many years … Read More

Federal Court DQs Law Firm in Patent Infringement Case, Rejecting Advance Conflict Waiver

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.Conflicts of Interest, IP Ethics, Legal Ethics, Litigation Ethics, Patent Ethics, Patent Litigation EthicsLeave a Comment

A federal court in Alabama yesterday disqualified a law firm from representing a new client in a patent infringement case against a current firm client. In Southern Visions, LLP v. Red Diamond, Inc. (N.D. Ala. Feb. 26, 2019), the court held that Bradley Arant Boult Cummings (“Bradley”) was ethically barred from representing one client (Southern Visions) against another client (Red … Read More

All In The Family: The Tricky Ethics Of Corporate Affiliate Conflicts

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.Conflicts of Interest, Disqualification, IP Ethics, Litigation Ethics, Litigation Ethics, Patent Litigation EthicsLeave a Comment

If you represent a corporation, do you represent all entities in the corporate family? For example, if you represent a parent company, does that mean you also represent the parent’s subsidiaries? Does it matter if a subsidiary is wholly-owned vs. partially owned? How about if you represent a subsidiary–does that mean you also represent its parent or grandparent entity in … Read More

Colorado Supreme Court Shuts Down Sham “Expert” Patent Law Firm

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.IP Ethics, Lawyer Identity Theft, Legal Ethics, Patent Ethics, Unauthorized Practice of Law1 Comment

On February 6, 2019, the Colorado Supreme Court shuttered a Colorado business, which once billed itself as an “expert patent law” firm, and its owner, for engaging in the unauthorized practice of law. According to the Court’s order (here), Intelligent Patent Services, LLC (IPS) and its non-lawyer owner, Dak Steiert, are enjoined from engaging in the unauthorized practice of law … Read More

Leaving South Tahoe: Will Your Advance Conflict Waiver Survive Sheppard Mullin v. J-M Manufacturing?

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.Advanced Waivers, Conflicts of Interest, Fee Dispute, IP Ethics, Legal EthicsLeave a Comment

On Friday, August 30, 2018, the California Supreme Court ruled that a blanket advanced conflict waiver signed by two current clients, which purported to authorize lawyers from Sheppard Mullin to accept an unrelated representation of one client adverse to another, was void against public policy because the firm failed to obtain informed consent.  Even though the engagement agreement was legally … Read More

Don’t Let The Screen Door Hit You: The Ethics Of Switching Firms

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.Confidentiality, Deceit, IP Ethics, Law Firm Breakups, Patent EthicsLeave a Comment

You are sitting at your desk when the phone rings.  It’s a head hunter. The caller tells you about an amazing opportunity with another firm across town.  That call starts a series of calls and meetings.  Eventually, the new firm offers you a position.  There are, however, two strings attached.  First, the new firm expects you to generate a certain … Read More