Email To Bar Counsel To “Go F*#k Yourself!!!” Surefire Way To Attorney Discipline (Even In New Jersey)

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.Civility/Professionalism, Duty to TribunalLeave a Comment

Like voluntarily sticking one’s head into a lion’s den, communicating with Disciplinary Counsel can be a risky proposition.  Whatever the reason for the communication, attorneys should be mindful not only about what they are saying but how they are saying it.  This is not a difficult concept for most to grasp, but the Bar expects attorneys to conduct themselves in … Read More

Putting Teeth Into The PTAB’s Sanctioning Powers: Is Mohawk A Sign Of Things To Come?

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.IP Ethics, Prejudicial to administration of justice, PTAB Discipline, PTAB Ethics, PTAB Sanctions1 Comment

For federal court practitioners, sanctions have long existed as a deterrent to litigation misconduct and a weapon against gamesmanship.  The federal rules of civil procedure provide a range of tools for litigators who believe their opponents are not abiding by their obligations: Rule 11 checks improper pleadings and other court filings; Rules 26, 30 and 37 curb improper discovery and … Read More

USPTO Director Reverses ALJ In Disciplinary Case, Rules In Favor Of Attorney

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.Patent Ethics, USPTO Director Decisions, USPTO OEDLeave a Comment

On August 5, 2016, the USPTO Director issued a Final Order reversing an administrative law judge’s initial decision, which had suspended a practitioner for 18 months. The Final Order held the OED Director violated USPTO precedent and mandatory rules regarding reciprocal discipline—37 C.F.R. § 11.24.  The Final Order is significant because it not only confirms the mandatory nature of reciprocal discipline, … Read More

IPO Hosting Webinar on Conflicts of Interest in Patent Prosecution

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.Conflicts of Interest, Continuing Legal Education, Patent EthicsLeave a Comment

On Wednesday, February 10, 2016, at 2:00 PM EST, I will be participating in a webinar hosted by IPO Chat Channel  on Conflicts of Interest in Patent Prosecution in light of the recent decision of the Massachusetts Supreme Court in Maling v. Finnegan, Henderson.  In Maling, a case of first impression, the court rejected the plaintiff’s argument that representing two … 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

What They Didn’t Teach In Law School: The Ethical Duty Of “Technical Competence”

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct, Competence, Confidentiality, Continuing Legal EducationLeave a Comment

“True wisdom is knowing what you don’t know.” — Confucius One of my former partners, a brilliant patent lawyer who was (and is) widely respected in the patent bar, used his desktop computer for one purpose and one purpose only—as a convenient surface on which to attach yellow sticky post-it notes to himself. To my knowledge, he never turned his … Read More

State Bar Discipline Can Be Hazardous To IP Attorneys’ Right To Practice Before The USPTO (Part 2 of 2)

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.IP Ethics, Reciprocal Discipline, USPTO Director DecisionsLeave a Comment

This is the second of a two-part series on reciprocal discipline in the USPTO.  To read the first part click here. Once the notice requirements set forth in Sections 11.24(a) and (b) have been satisfied, Section 11.24(d) dictates the manner in which the disciplinary hearing shall proceed. In accordance with Section 11.24(d), “the USPTO Director shall hear the matter . . … Read More