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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

No Sanctions for Attorney Who Submitted Incomprehensible Certiorari Petition

From the Wall Street Journal Law Blog:

The Supreme Court on Monday declined to sanction a Washington, D.C., patent attorney who faced a rare high court sanction over a petition he submitted that was written in almost indecipherable jargon. 
As Law Blog reported earlier, the justices raised eyebrows in December when they demanded that Foley & Lardner LLP partner Howard N. Shipley show cause as to “why he should not be sanctioned for his conduct as a member of the Bar.” 
Supreme Court observers said they couldn’t recall the last time the nation’s highest court singled out a corporate attorney for possible punishment.
I blogged about this petition earlier, and noted that even though patent law can be complicated, the brief -- due to its awkward structure and use of symbols -- is virtually impossible to understand.

Shipley's attorneys described the brief in friendlier terms, characterizing it as "an unorthodox petition that clearly and faithfully reflects the views of the client, right down to the client’s favored locutions and acronyms employed in his other writings about the patent system."

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