Unauthorized Practice of Law Before the USPTO Results in Suspension

In the recent decision of Matter of Kley Achterhof, an attorney was suspended from practice before the U. S. Patent and Trademark Office in patent, trademark and other non-patent matters for a period of 18 months. The decision addressed the ability of an attorney who did not pass the patent registration exam to engage in …

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Fee Sharing and Insurance Disclosure

Attorneys who enter into fee-sharing agreements must be sure that their agreements comply with the California Rules of Professional Conduct. A California court recently determined that a fee sharing agreement was invalid because one of the attorneys failed to disclose that he did not have professional liability insurance. Take a look at my article on …

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Beware: Recent Guidance on Online Lawyer Referral Services

By Procopio Partner and General Counsel Carole J. Buckner A recent appellate court opinion and an opinion from the San Diego County Bar Legal Ethics Committee provide guidance to attorneys regarding online lawyer referral services. In a word, beware. In Jackson v. Legal Match.com, 42 Cal.App.5th 760 (2019), the court found that the LegalMatch lawyer …

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Serving Two Masters: the California and USPTO Rules of Professional Conduct

It was my pleasure to present to intellectual property attorneys on legal ethics at our January 13, 2020, talk: "Serving Two Masters: the California and USPTO Rules of Professional Conduct." I discussed some of the differences between the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) Rules and California Rules regarding conflicts of interests, including the additional …

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The Latest on the New Rules of Professional Conduct

It's 2019, and attorneys need to be up to speed on the new Rules of Professional Conduct, in particular those addressing the obligations of law firm managers and supervisors. I will be addressing that subject, along with the new California Rule covering the unauthorized practice of law in California, on January 28th at the Federal …

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Complying with the New Trust Accounting Rules

On January 9, 2019, I will be leading a webinar on behalf of the Continuing Education of the Bar for California titled "Complying with the New Trust Accounting Rules." The new California Rules of Professional Conduct expand what fees must be deposited into a trust account. My program will cover what fees need to go …

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A Lawyer’s Road Map Following a Cyberattack or Data Breach

Lawyers have ethical obligations following a cyberattack or data breach involving confidential client information, where such information is misappropriated, destroyed or otherwise compromised, or where the data event impairs the lawyer's ability to perform client services. The ethical obligation of lawyers following a data breach depend on the lawyer's role, level of authority, and responsibility …

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