Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Attorney discipline and the Jackson - McKenna incident

Among other things, the Jackson - McKenna incident has illustrated some aspects of the process of handling complaints against lawyers for (perceived) bad or questionable performance. It was only in the year 2005 that the New Jersey Supreme Court held in the case R.M. v. Supreme Court of New Jersey, 2005 N.J. LEXIS 1140:

A grievant may discuss publicly the fact that he or she has filed a grievance, the content of that grievance, and the result of the process.

Significantly, the New Jersey Supreme Court also wrote:

Shielding dismissed grievances behind a permanent wall of silence does less to "enhance respect" for the legal profession and the ethics process than it does to "engender resentment, suspicion, and contempt."

The murder of patent lawyer McKenna by Jackson illustrates just how much resentment can be engendered over perceived bad acts.

On a separate, but not unrelated, note, Reuters on Dec. 11 observed that the USPTO had rejected the application of Medicines Co. to extend its Angiomax patent beyond 2010 because it was not filed on time. The untimely filing was presumably due to an error by a patent attorney. Reuters further noted: Last week the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill that would have allowed the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to consider patent applications filed unintentionally late. But the Senate adjourned without considering the bill, the company said. Medicines had certain pathways available for error rectification. Joe Jackson resorted to murder of three people.

KPLCTV repeated from the Reuters report: Shares of the Medicines Co. (MDCO.O) fell 10 percent on Monday after the U.S. Congress failed to enact a bill that would have helped the company's bid to extend a patent on its flagship drug Angiomax, a blood thinner.


Post a Comment

<< Home