Client Funds

IP Litigators Beware: Bad News May Be Hazardous To Your Law License (Part 2 of 2)

Bad news on the doorstep.  I couldn’t take one more step.  Don McLean – American Pie In the last year, many “bad news” articles have been published arising from IP litigation. Not surprisingly, a growing number of those articles have been based on exceptional case findings and awards of attorneys’ fees under the Octane Fitness …

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After Confessing To Ethics Violation, Patent Attorney Disbarred For Commingling And Converting Client Funds

“If you tell the truth you don’t have to remember anything.” – Mark Twain Give patent attorney Stephen Robinson at least a little credit – he was honest about being dishonest. The fact he self-reported his ethical violations to the Kansas Bar was not enough to save his state law license.  In re Stephen R. Robinson, No. 107,311 (Kan. Sup. Ct.). Nor …

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Former Siemens Patent Attorney Indicted In $2.4 Million Fraudulent Billing Scheme

“The point is, ladies and gentleman, that greed, for lack of a better word, is good. Greed is right, greed works. Greed clarifies, cuts through, and captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit.” — Gorden Gekko, Wall Street. Maybe “greed works” for some.  For Alexander James Burke, however, greed may end up being his downfall. On October 16, 2014, Burke, …

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USPTO Suspends Ethically-Challenged Patent Attorney

On August 19, 2014, the USPTO Director issued a final order suspending a patent attorney for 20-months based on three separate suspensions issued by the Supreme Court of California. The USPTO added an additional six-month period to the suspension—for a total suspension of 26 months—based on the attorney’s failure to cooperate with the OED’s disciplinary …

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USPTO Disciplines Attorney For Billing $1,000 Hourly “Relationship Fee”

The USPTO settled a disciplinary action filed against a non-patent attorney who billed a client thousands of dollars, at a rate of $1,000 per hour, to prepare a patent application and then, without his client’s knowledge or consent, outsourced the legal work to an unaffiliated patent attorney for a fraction of the fee paid by the client.   In re Lehat, No. …

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Alj Fernández Issues Initial Decision Excluding Patent Attorney Who Kept Fees After Failing To Provide Services

Administrative Law Judge Alexander Fernández issued an initial decision excluding a patent attorney from practice before the USPTO because the attorney accepted fees from a client to prepare a patent application, failed to provide any legal services, and failed to return any of the client’s fee even after the client was awarded a money judgment against the …

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