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Reducing Stress and Avoiding Mistakes in the Post-COVID-19 Era

Level: Advanced
Runtime: 93 minutes
Recorded Date: June 18, 2020
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  • Understanding Mental Health and Addiction Crisis in the Legal Profession
  • Crafting a Wellness Toolkit: ABA Task Force
  • Defining Ways to Maintain Wellness During COVID Pandemic
  • Appreciating Relationship Between Wellness and Ethics
  • Instilling Best Practices Particularly for Remote Working
  • Identifying Resources
Runtime: 1 hour, 33 minutes
Recorded: June 18, 2020


The COVID-19 pandemic may be the most stress-inducing event IP lawyers and law students have ever faced. Even before the pandemic, the organized bar began to recognize that we, as a profession, have a significant health problem. Still, the last two months have brought unprecedented changes to every aspect of our society, increasing anxiety and fear. Lawyers are losing their jobs by the thousands. Law firms and corporate legal departments are delaying hiring, placing newly-minted lawyers in limbo. New law graduates do not even know when they will be able to take the bar exam, let alone start to practice. And no one knows how, or when, this will end.

Expert panelists will provide insights to help you, legal employers and law students cope with the unique health challenges the pandemic may cause. In addition, best legal practices for reducing mistakes, including organizational tips, attention to deadlines and docketing, maintaining competency particularly with new technologies, managing client expectations and their own economic concerns, and the dangers of “dabbling” in unfamiliar practice areas.

This program was recorded on June 18th, 2020.

Provided By

American Bar Association
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Michael E. McCabe, Jr.

Managing Partner
McCabe & Ali, LLP

Michael E. McCabe, Jr. is a registered patent attorney specializing in ethics advice and representation of intellectual property professionals before the Office of Enrollment and Discipline (OED) of the U.S Patent and Trademark Office and in related State Bar matters in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia. Michael has proudly represented more IP professionals in ethics matters before the USPTO than any other lawyer or firm. His practice encompasses every type of ethics proceedings before the USPTO, including character and fitness inquiries, ethics investigations, settlements, disciplinary trials, and appeals. He has represented over 200 patent and trademark practitioners in the U.S. His clients' matters involve the gamut of IP professionalism issues, including ethics and disciplinary inquiries resulting from criminal misconduct or convictions, reciprocal state bar proceedings, and scores of matters relating to the provision of patent or trademark legal services.

He is the creator of IPethics & INsights, an award-winning law blog Michael started in 2014 as a resource for the intellectual property bar as well as law firm risk managers, in-house counsel, and legal malpractice insurers. He is regularly invited to speak at bar association meetings and for private clients on all types of matters relating to best practices in patent and trademark law and to assist his attorney and other legal professional clients when an ethics investigation is commenced or disciplinary complaint is filed.

Patent and trademark attorneys and in-house IP counsel frequently engage Michael for help in identifying problems in their practices, either internal to an organization or with clients or others. Michael is a team player who works constructively with his attorney clients to develop practical solutions while ensuring their practices comply with the standards of professional conduct governing intellectual property practitioners. He has helped guide his patent and trademark lawyer clients faced with ethics and liability issues on most every procedural matter that can arise in an intellectual property case, including ethics and disciplinary issues arising from claims or adjudications of inequitable conduct, sanctions orders, Rule 11 and Rule 37 violations, fee-shifting orders under Octane Fitness, disqualification orders, protective order violations, client complaints, conflicts of interest, missed deadlines, and other alleged improper behavior that can arise in an IP practice. Michael has had the pleasure of representing some of the country's most respected IP lawyers and law firms whenever their professional behavior or ethics are called into question.

Michael has practiced law for over 27 years, with a strong background in federal litigation. From 1992 until 1995, Michael was a litigation associate at Shapiro & Olander in Baltimore, Maryland, where he represented clients in commercial and insurance litigation matters in federal court and before state and federal agencies.

From 1995-1999, Michael was associated with the Alexandria, Virginia IP boutique law firm of Lowe, Price, LeBlanc & Becker, where he represented individuals and corporations in patent, trademark and copyright litigation matters. In 1998, Michael joined the Washington, D.C. office of McDermott, Will & Emery, where he was a partner in the intellectual property litigation department focusing on patent litigation in district courts and before the International Trade Commission.

From 1999-2011, Michael was a partner and shareholder in the Alexandria, Virginia IP law firm of Oblon, Spivak, McClelland, Maier & Neustadt, P.C., where he focused his practice on representing domestic and foreign clients in the United States patent litigation. It was at Oblon that Michael first became exposed to the cross-section of intellectual property and ethics law, handling real-time issues on behalf of his firm. Michael was one of the co-founders of Oblon's Risk Management Committee and eventually became the Chairman of that Committee. In this capacity, Michael handled all matters pertaining to ethics, malpractice, liability insurance, and professional responsibility issues for 140 patent and trademark professionals and 300 non-practitioners. He was elected to the Oblon firm’s Board of Directors. This experience proved invaluable in helping Michael understand the complex legal and ethical issues associated with effectively supervising and managing a global Intellectual Property practice that regularly obtains thousands of patents and trademarks each year.

In 2011, Michael became a partner in Funk & Bolton, where he founded the law firm’s Attorney Ethics and Discipline group. At Funk & Bolton, he focused his practice on representing IP attorneys and patent agents nationwide in ethics investigations and disciplinary proceedings before the USPTO.

In April 2017, Michael founded McCabe Law LLC, which later merged into McCabe/Ali. His practice continues to focus on representing attorneys and agents in ethics matters and disciplinary proceedings before the USPTO, providing ethics advice and counseling for IP lawyers, government attorneys, in-house counsel, and law firms practicing in intellectual property law. He has spoken at hundreds of conferences, including for national and international organizations as well as local state bar meetings. Michael is often quoted in the legal news media on developments in matters involving ethics, professionalism, inequitable conduct, malpractice, conflicts of interest, and numerous other topics of interest for intellectual property practitioners.

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April M. Barton, J.D.

Dean and Professor of Law
Duquesne University School of Law

April M. Barton joined Duquesne University School of Law in July of 2019 as its 13th dean. Under her leadership, the Law School continues to excel in bar passage, outpacing state averages, and has brought in one of the strongest classes in recent memory, with a two-point across the board increase in LSAT metrics. The Law School remains grounded in its Catholic and Spiritan Mission while embracing a new shared vision for the future focused on three pillars of interdisciplinary learning, leadership development, and community well-being. These three pillars continue to guide Duquesne's innovation and path forward.

She previously held various positions at Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law, most recently as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. Barton successfully launched initiatives on leadership development, including a student Lawyers as Leaders program and a new course, Leadership and Management Skills for Lawyers. At Villanova, Barton taught courses in administrative agency rulemaking, computer law, the First Amendment and regulation in cyberspace, and digital law. She previously served as the director of the JD/MBA and JD/MPA joint degree programs.

In addition to authoring Best Practices for Building a High-Tech Law School: The Process of Designing Educational Spaces published by the ABA's Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar, Barton's work has been published in the Washington University Law Review and the Minnesota Journal of Law, Science and Technology. She has presented and moderated discussions on innovations in law school teaching, law school distance learning, technology, and classrooms of the future. Barton also has testified before the U.S. Congressional Commission on Online Child Protection and the European Commission for Democracy through Law, Venice Commission, in Brussels.

Barton also served as an attorney with the Federal Trade Commission's Bureau of Consumer Protection in the Division of Marketing Practices, where she worked on policy and law enforcement issues related to internet fraud and deception.

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Shruti Chopra

Morrison Cohen, LLP

Shruti Chopra, an Associate in Morrison Cohen’s Corporate Department and Intellectual Property Group has been appointed Chair of the Young Lawyers Action Group and Vice-Chair of the Information Technology Committee of the American Bar Association (ABA) Section of Intellectual Property Law (ABA-IPL) for the 2019-2020 association year, which begins on September 1, 2019. She has also been reappointed as Co-Chair of the Privacy, Cybersecurity and Digital Rights Committee and Vice-Chair (Diversity) of the India Committee, both part of ABA’s Section of International Law.

Shruti was previously selected as a Young Lawyer Fellow by ABA-IPL for a three-year term in 2018-2019 for her achievement, contributions, and commitment to ABA-IPL and the practice of law. In her role as a Fellow, Shruti actively works to increase young lawyer engagement, mentor future fellows and new members, and develop emerging leaders of ABA-IPL.

In her practice at Morrison Cohen, Shruti provides advice on legal and commercial issues to early stage and high-growth companies on a variety of commercial transactions involving intellectual property, privacy and technology, and works on the intellectual property, technology, privacy and data security aspects of mergers, acquisitions, divestures, venture capital investments, private equity, and debt financing transactions. Shruti also works on matters relating to the development, licensing, transfer and commercialization of intellectual property, technology, and data assets.

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Laurie J. Besden

Executive Director
Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers of Pennsylvania, Inc.

Laurie Besden is the Executive Director of Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers of Pennsylvania, Inc. (“LCL”). Since 2011, she has served as LCL’s Deputy Executive Director overseeing LCL’s Helpline operations and serving as the primary contact for intervention requests, expanding LCL’s law school outreach, and increasing LCL’s presence within the organized Bench and Bar. As the newly appointed Executive Director, Ms. Besden is now responsible for LCL’s administrative and financial operations as well as Judges Concerned for Judges (judges’ assistance program).

She received her B.A. in Criminology and Criminal Justice from the University of Maryland, College Park, MD (1995) and her J.D. from The Dickinson School of Law of the Pennsylvania State University (1999).

Ms. Besden was the 2015 recipient of the Montgomery Bar Association’s Henry Stuckert Miller Award for her dedication to public service in the legal profession.

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Emil J. Ali

McCabe & Ali, LLP

Emil J. Ali provides legal representation of professionals across many regulated industries to limit, defend, and deflect liability in regulatory and professional conduct investigations, enforcement actions, arbitrations, and court cases. His diverse experience affords him the ability to provide advice and counsel to licensed professionals including investment advisors, broker-dealers, registered representatives, and attorneys.

Emil formerly investigated and assisted in the prosecution of attorney misconduct at the United States Patent and Trademark Office, Office of Enrollment and Discipline (OED). While at the OED, he helped to promulgate the USPTO Rules of Professional Conduct, which are based upon the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct. His unique experience affords him an understanding of the regulation of the legal profession. Emil has routinely presented and written regarding best practices for professionals to avoid regulator complaints. He also provides guidance to law firms and attorneys regarding employment transitions and the related conflicts. Additionally, Emil is an adjunct professor of law at Lewis and Clark Law School in Portland, OR.

Emil spent time at the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia as a Special Assistant United States Attorney. There, he worked closely with Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation to prosecute a variety of crimes in the District of Columbia.

Emil previously worked for the United States Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration where he regulated group health plans and promulgated regulations under the Affordable Care Act. His experience at the DOL allows him to help clients understand the complex provisions of ERISA, including fiduciary obligations, and the Affordable Care Act. Emil also managed the commercial regulatory affairs program at Providence Health Plan where he led a team of professionals to provide regulatory compliance assistance for a multi-billion-dollar health insurance issuer.

Emil has represented clients before the SEC, various state securities regulators, state accountancy boards, medical and osteopathic boards, the USPTO, and within state and federal courts. Emil regularly counsels clients on a wide range of other corporate compliance and general counsel matters and acts as outside general counsel to a number of companies.

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