Discipline

Lawyer’s Courtroom Antics Draw One-Year Suspension; Bar Rejects “Stress of Litigation” Defense

A Washington State lawyer was suspended for one year following multiple instances of courtroom misbehavior and making a false report to the police.  See In re Kathryn B. Abele, Wash. Sup. Ct. (Aug. 27, 2015) (en banc). The string of misconduct began during a 13-day trial involving a contentious child custody dispute. During the trial, …

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Drunk Driving Can Lead To Professional Discipline

The Bar cares when you’ve stayed too long at the bar. Attorneys need to be mindful that a conviction for drunk driving may impact their ability to practice law. Practitioners who are subject to the disciplinary jurisdiction of the USPTO, for example, must advise the Office of Enrollment and Discipline within 30 days of any criminal …

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USPTO Suspends Patent Attorney For Neglect, UPL And Failure To Cooperate

On May 15, 2015, the USPTO Director issued an Order suspending Seattle, Washington-based patent and trademark attorney Nam D. Dao for six months for allowing multiple patent and trademark applications to go abandoned without client knowledge or consent, engaging in the unauthorized practice of law, and failing to cooperate with the Office of Enrollment and …

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

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 …

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USPTO Disbars Attorney For Engaging In Pattern Of Client Neglect, Deceit, And Misappropriation

Never lie, never cheat, never steal. – John Wooden Patent attorney Rodney K. Worrel should have listened to the sage advice of UCLA’s legendary basketball coach. The California-based attorney has been excluded from practice before the USPTO for engaging in a pattern of misconduct that involved multiple acts of neglect, deceit, and conversion of client …

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CAFC Disciplines Patent Litigator Who Forwarded Former Chief Judge’s “BFF” Email To Clients

On November 5, 2014, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit issued an order publicly reprimanding IP litigator Edward R. Reines.  See In re Edward R. Reines, 14-MA004 (Fed. Cir. Nov. 5, 2014) (en banc).  The discipline is the latest chapter in an unusual saga surrounding an email to Reines from former Chief Circuit Court Judge …

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After a Decade of Frivolous Litigation, IP Lawyer Finally Ousted From California Bar

It should come as no surprise that California intellectual property lawyer Patrick Missud was disbarred for moral turpitude.  After all, Missud clogged the federal and state courts for years with frivolous lawsuits and bizarre, often outrageous, litigation conduct. On October 1, 2014, a Review Board of the State Bar Court of California adopted a hearing panel’s recommendation …

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Patent and Trademark Ethics – Reciprocal Discipline at the USPTO

In 2013, the USPTO scrapped its old ethics rules based on the Model Code of Professional Responsibility and promulgated “new” rules modeled after the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct. The USPTO recognized it was late to this dance – 49 states and the District of Columbia had already adopted some version of the ABA …

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