Supreme Court Spares Patent Attorney From Discipline

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.Patent Attorney Disciplinary Matters, Supreme Court EthicsLeave a Comment

Talk about a close call.  Patent attorney Howard Shipley is no doubt breathing a sigh of relief today after the Supreme Court dismissed its December 8, 2014, Order to Show Cause why Mr. Shipley should not be sanctioned. The Court issued its rare Show Cause Order after Mr. Shipley filed what his counsel characterized as an “unorthodox” petition for writ of certiorari.  Mr. Shipley admitted the … Read More

IP Counsel Who Blindly Follow Client “Instructions” Risk Loss Of Law License

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct, Competence, Office of Enrollment and Discipline, Patent Attorney Disciplinary Matters, Supreme Court Ethics, Unauthorized Practice of LawLeave a Comment

Intellectual Property law firms often receive substantive documents, including original applications and amendments, with “instructions” from their client to file the paper in the USPTO, essentially as is. And just as often, IP counsel dutifully follow their clients’ orders and simply have a non-lawyer “clean up” the document so it “looks” right and, without any substantive review by counsel, sign and … Read More

SCOTUS Threatens Sanctions Against Patent Attorney: Is USPTO Ethical Discipline Next?

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.Competence, Discipline, Supreme Court Ethics2 Comments

Last week, the United States Supreme Court turned more than a few heads when it issued an attorney discipline order against Howard Shipley – a partner at Foley & Lardner, LLC – for his conduct relating to a (denied) petition for writ of certiorari.  The Supreme Court is demanding that, within 40 days, Shipley show cause “why he should not be sanctioned” … Read More