Sunday, February 22, 2015

Foley partner Shipley files response to SCOTUS regarding unorthodox amicus brief //Legal Ethics Forum

Legal Times reports that in a rare order the U.S. Supreme Court ordered a lawyer to show cause why he should not be disciplined for filing a bizarre and inscrutable petition dictated by his German inventor client.
Click through for an interesting exchange between John Steele and Stephen Gillers. I read about half the brief. Basically Paul Clement (Conservative Uber lawyer) says he is writing a brief that the client has dictated against his attorney's advice.  If RPC 1.1 Competence means anything it means that you can refuse to do something that makes no sense. You have no obligation to make a fool of yourself.  Clients who want to do that should go pro se or unrepresented. - gwc
Final order  
Download Shipley Response to OSC

Legal Ethics Forum: Foley partner files response to SCOTUS regarding unorthodox amicus brief
Howard Shipley, of Foley & Lardner, responded to the order from SCOTUS that he explain the unorthodox amicus brief that he had filed on behalf of an apparently demanding and idiosyncratic client in a patent case. The amicus brief was jargon-filled, odd in its rhetorical style, and full of super-condensed references. It also suggested that the client was a significant author of the piece -- which SCOTUS guidelines suggest should not be included in briefs.
Shipley's response, available below, politely affirms the right of Shipley to file such an amicus brief and suggests that a technical error (i.e., acknowledging the client's participation in the drafting) should not be grounds for sanctions. (h/t: How Appealing)
What I find particularly interesting is the way that Shipley's response, authored by Paul Clement, discusses the balance between the lawyer's duties to the client and to the court.
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