Attorney-Client Sex: A Bad Idea That’s Also Unethical

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct, Conflicts of Interest, Legal Ethics, Moral turpitide1 Comment

For decades, regulators and courts have ruled that sex with a client during the course of the professional relationship is unethical. Nonetheless, lawyers continue to flout precedent and are frequently disciplined for engaging in sexual relations with their clients. Some cases of impermissible attorney-client sex are no brainers–such as the attorney who insists on a “legal services-for-sexual services” fee arrangement. … 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

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

OED Investigates TM Attys Who File Altered Or Fake Specimens: The China Syndrome

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.Communications, Competence, Legal Ethics, Office of Enrollment and Discipline, Trademark ethicsLeave a Comment

What does the Chinese government’s decision to pay its citizens to apply for and register trademarks with the USPTO have to do with IP attorney ethics?   Plenty, as it turns out. As recently reported by the American Bar Association, see article doctored-trademark-specimen, the USPTO is experiencing “a plague of fake, doctored and digitally altered specimens” filed with new Section 1(a) … 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

ABA Approves Changes To Attorney Advertising Ethics Rules

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct, Advertising, Legal Ethics, Social Media Ethics, Solicitation1 Comment

The American Bar Association’s House of Delegates approved on Monday an overhaul to its ethics rules governing attorney advertising and solicitation.  The ABA vote on Monday capped a four-year effort to modernize ethics rules promulgated in the 1980s–long before the Internet forever changed how lawyers market their services and communicate with prospective clients. The ABA’s vote was spurred on by … Read More

Ethical Considerations for Young Lawyers

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct, IP Ethics CLE, Legal EthicsLeave a Comment

Many situations arise in the work place where young lawyers find themselves facing real ethical dilemmas. For example, your supervisor has asked you to do something that you believe may violate the Rules of Professional Conduct.   Or you become aware that another lawyer has engaged in conduct already that may be unethical.  Or a close friend or family member has … Read More

Untying The IP Ethics Knot

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.Continuing Legal Education, IP Ethics, Legal Ethics, Litigation Ethics, MalpracticeLeave a Comment

Do you worry about ethics in your IP practice?  If not, you should.  There is way too much going on out there, and not knowing what is happening can leave you exposed to ethics and malpractice risk. If you can spare 90 minutes, tune in tomorrow from 1:00-2:30 pm EST for the ABA-IPL Landslide Webinar Series, entitled “Identifying and Resolving Ethical … Read More