Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Former CAFC clerk admonished

Violation of Rule 50

The violation here involved a former law clerk assisting on a matter that was pending during the clerk’s employment. In particular, the former clerk, now an attorney in private practice, provided advice surrounding a response brief to a combined petition for rehearing. The matter on which the former clerk provided advice was pending during the clerk’s employment at the court.

Two days after the response brief was filed, the Rule 50 violation was brought to the court’s attention. Counsel provided three sworn affidavits stating that the error was “inadvertent” and explaining the circumstances. The firm’s conflicts manager explained that the former clerk submitted his Disqualification List, but the firm’s conflicts team “innocently and inadvertently” failed to identify the particular matter on the former clerk’s conflicts report. The former clerk provided a sworn statement that he had no recollection of the matter from his time at the court, and relied on the conflicts staff for his clearance. The responsible partner provided a sworn statement that the former clerk “did not contribute in any way to the text of the brief, either substantively or typographically.”


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