X

Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.
WASHINGTON � A court’s criticism of an attorney � absent some formal judicial action, such as an explicit reprimand � is “simply commentary” in the course of an action and not appealable, at least not in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, ruled a panel of that circuit recently. “We have taken the position that a court’s order that criticizes an attorney and that is intended to be ‘a formal judicial action’ in a disciplinary proceeding is an appealable decision, but that other kinds of judicial criticisms of lawyers’ actions are not reviewable,” wrote Judge William Bryson for the panel. The issue arose in a patent case in which one company asserted that a patent was unenforceable because the attorneys who prosecuted the patent engaged in inequitable conduct by failing to disclose to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office the existence of an earlier lawsuit involving related patents as well as material documents at issue in that lawsuit. The district court ultimately held that the patent was unenforceable because of inequitable conduct. The two parties subsequently settled the litigation. But one of the attorneys who was accused of the inequitable conduct and was not a party to the litigation, sued to intervene to clear his name. The lower court and the circuit panel held he had no standing since he was only a witness in the case at trial and the conduct charged had occurred long before the litigation. The circuit panel, relying on its precedent in Precision Specialty Metals, Inc. v. United States, 315 F.3d 1346 (Fed. Cir. 2003), said, “To allow appeals by attorneys, or others concerned about their professional or public reputations, merely because a court criticized them or characterized their conduct in an unfavorable way would invite an appeal by any nonparty who feels aggrieved by some critical statement made by the court in an opinion or from the bench.” Nisus Corp. v. Perma-Chink Systems Inc. v. Teschner, 2006-1592, 2007-1142.

This content has been archived. It is available through our partners, LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law.

To view this content, please continue to their sites.

Not a Lexis Advance® Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Not a Bloomberg Law Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Why am I seeing this?

LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law are third party online distributors of the broad collection of current and archived versions of ALM's legal news publications. LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law customers are able to access and use ALM's content, including content from the National Law Journal, The American Lawyer, Legaltech News, The New York Law Journal, and Corporate Counsel, as well as other sources of legal information.

For questions call 1-877-256-2472 or contact us at [email protected]

 
Reprints & Licensing
Mentioned in a Law.com story?

License our industry-leading legal content to extend your thought leadership and build your brand.

 

ALM Legal Publication Newsletters

Sign Up Today and Never Miss Another Story.

As part of your digital membership, you can sign up for an unlimited number of a wide range of complimentary newsletters. Visit your My Account page to make your selections. Get the timely legal news and critical analysis you cannot afford to miss. Tailored just for you. In your inbox. Every day.

Copyright © 2021 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All Rights Reserved.