ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct

Liar Liar: What May Ethical Counsel Do When Faced With False Evidence

Two Chicago criminal defense lawyers charged with perjury and obstruction of justice were recently acquitted as reported in the Chicago Tribune. The lawyers had been indicted for allegedly coaching defense witnesses to lie under oath. The prosecution pointed to the existence of question and answer scripts seized in a raid of the lawyers’ offices. The …

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When It Comes To Teaching About Money, Law Schools Fail Miserably

Law schools are failing miserably to teach up and coming lawyers the most fundamental aspects of the business of law.  The absence of such training is particularly troublesome in today’s legal climate, where new law school grads far out number available entry level jobs. This economic reality can drive many newly-minted Esquires to make some …

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“Your Honor, You Are Stupid, You Suck, Please Decide for Me”

With last week’s post on patent attorney Andrew Schroeder, who ran amok in his filings with the USPTO (click), fresh on my mind, I had to chuckle at the blog posted recently in Wordrake (click here), entitled: “Your Honor, You Are Stupid, You Suck, Please Decide For Me.” The post cites several examples of what …

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

“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 …

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OED Discipline For IP Practitioners Who Use “Snitch” Threats For Tactical Gain

  “You’re building a rat ship here. A vessel for seagoing snitches” – Al Pacino, Scent of a Woman You represent a patentee in a highly contentious litigation against an accused infringer.  The parties hate each other, and the gloves came off months ago–if they were ever on in the first place. Then extraordinarily you …

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The “Rat Rule” And USPTO Discipline – Reporting Ethical Violations To OED (Part 1)

“Never rat out your friends. And always keep your mouth shut.” – Robert De Niro, GoodFellas I am of Sicilian ancestry, raised in an Italian household in an Italian neighborhood in Brooklyn.  Despite this upbringing, it was not until I was an adult when I first learned about the “Code of Silence” known as “omertà.” …

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The Ethics of Independence

“Everything that is really great and inspiring is created by the individual who can labor in freedom” – Albert Einstein As we prepare to celebrate the birthday of our country’s independence, I am reminded that we, as lawyers, owe a significant ethical duty to exercise independence in the representation of our clients.  As an attorney, …

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APRL Clarifies Advertising Report Did Not “Slam” Current Ethics Rules

As reported last week, on June 22, 2015, following a two-year study, the Association of Professional Responsibility Lawyers (“APRL”) Board approved publication of the Report of APRL’s Lawyer Advertising Committee.  As explained on the APRL website, “The Report recommends extensive revisions to lawyer advertising rules so they are compatible with modern electronic means of communication. The …

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