On December 23, 2015, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court issued an opinion dismissing a malpractice complaint filed against an IP law firm for failure to state a claim. See Maling v. Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner, LLP. A copy of the Massachusetts SJC’s opinion is here. For our previous discussions about the facts and procedural posture of this case, please click here (Jan. 2, 2015), here (Feb. 27, 2015) and here (Aug. 24, 2015).
Massachusetts’ highest court held that no actionable conflict of issue existed under Mass. R. Prof. C. 1.7 where attorneys in different offices of the same IP law firm simultaneously represented clients in prosecuting patents on allegedly similar inventions. Each count of the complaint was predicated on the existence of an alleged undisclosed “subject matter conflict.” Finding no such actionable conflict, the Massachusetts high court entered an order affirming a lower court’s judgment dismissing the complaint.