A new ethics blog is heralded as the first of its kind

IPethics & INsights Law Blog finds a niche and fills a void in the intellectual property community
By: IPethics & INsights Law Blog
BALTIMORE - Oct. 9, 2014 - PRLog -- The law firm of Funk & Bolton, P.A. announced the launch of its Intellectual Property Ethics Law Blog, IPethics & INsights Law Blog, a forum for issues concerning legal ethics, professional discipline, disqualification and malpractice in the field of intellectual property (IP) law. "There are no other blogs that specifically target the IP ethics audience and catalog the information in a user-friendly way," said Michael E. McCabe, Jr., chair of the firm’s Attorney Ethics & Discipline Practice Group and creator of the blog. "The IPethics & INsights Law Blog offers, in one location, an education in and an analysis of ethics and professional discipline decisions regarding IP law," added McCabe. The blog will report on disciplinary decisions from relevant regulatory agencies including the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), state bar regulators and federal and state court decisions involving disqualification and malpractice.

“The blog is my answer to the oft asked client question, 'how has the bar handled this type of situation in the past and what type of discipline should I expect',” explained McCabe of the blog’s genesis. “The published disciplinary decisions were both cryptic and un-cataloged; therefore, locating the most basic information was time-consuming and frustrating. I was unable to easily answer my own clients’ questions. Further, because decisions are teaching moments, the lack of an analytical nexus of information meant that practitioners could not, effectively, learn from the mistakes of their peers. I decided it was high time to correct this.”

IP Ethics & Insights is an invaluable resource for IP practitioners and all concerned with IP ethics issues,” said Lisa Dolak, Angela S. Cooney Professor of Law at Syracuse University College of Law. "The analysis and summary of decisions will improve the quality of lawyering and alert those interested in intellectual property law about where the dangers lie, mistakes made by others, lessons learned from those mistakes, and how to improve the practice of IP law for the benefit of the public, the bench and the bar."

Serving the needs of the IP community, “the blog is a warehouse of information for patent and trademark practitioners who are subject to multiple sets of ethics rules and may be disciplined in the state bars in which they practice as well as the USPTO’s Office of Enrollment and Discipline (OED), which has nationwide jurisdiction and has become increasingly aggressive in its enforcement activities,” said McCabe. Expected to be the most popular posts on IPethics & INsights are what McCabe refers to as "The Five C’s of Ethics," Competence, Conflicts, Communications, Candor and Cash. Additional categories have already been added enabling readers to focus in on the subjects that are most relevant to their interests.

Still in its infancy, IPethics & INsights is being heralded as a breakthrough concept: "I have not seen anything else like it on the web," said R. David Donoghue, of Chicago’s Holland & Knight, a respected expert on patent law. "I am adding it to my feed reader; it is very interesting," said Donoghue, who pens the well-known Chicago IP Litigation Blog.

“Attorney Michael McCabe shares his expert insights, delivering concise but carefully written summaries of the latest IP ethics-related news and developments, as well as links to all of the key relevant ethics-related resources,” said Dolak, whose research focuses on issues at the intersections of patent law and judicial procedure and patent law and legal ethics. “It is a welcome addition to my regular reading list.”

“Speaking to us through the eyes of a litigator, Mike’s blog teaches by ‘case study,’ providing clear backdrops on the circumstances leading to the ethical challenges that ultimately occurred,” said Stephen A. Becker, Partner at Washington, D.C.’s McDermott Will & Emery LLP. “Supplemented by his insightful commentaries, the blog enables us to have a clear appreciation of how those challenges may have been avoided,” added Becker who authored Patent Applications Handbook, published by Thompson Reuters.

The blog is expected to quickly grab the attention of IP boutique law firms, General Practice law firms with IP practice groups, state and federal bar disciplinary counsel, law firm general counsel, academics and students in the field of IP law as well as the legal malpractice underwriting community that insures IP lawyers and law firms.

IPethics & INsights is maintained by the Attorney Ethics & Discipline Practice Group of Funk & Bolton which represents law firms, attorneys and patent agents nationwide in a range of ethics and disciplinary matters, including investigations by the OED, defense of USPTO disciplinary proceedings, IP malpractice defense, and counseling relating to risk management, best practices, and ethical compliance.

Funk & Bolton, P.A. is a Mid-Atlantic-based law firm providing a full range of legal services in the fields of insurance benefits litigation, insurance regulation, insurance coverage and claims, government relations, local government law, creditors’ rights and bankruptcy, intellectual property, environmental law, family law and attorney ethics and discipline.

Cari Shane

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