Lawyer Is Reprimanded In an Email Controversy

The nation’s leading patent court has ordered a “public reprimand” of a prominent patent lawyer in a coda to a bizarre saga that earlier this year led the court’s ranking judge to give up his post.

In an order last week, the 11 active judges of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit reprimanded Edward Reines of Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP for attempting to solicit clients with an email sent to him in March by Randall Rader, then the chief judge of the court.

Mr. Reines didn’t respond to a request for comment.

According to the order, shortly after Mr. Reines argued two patent cases earlier this year at the Federal Circuit, Mr. Rader let him know by email that other judges thought he had done well.

With Mr. Rader’s blessing, Mr. Reines shared the email with others partly, according to the order, to try to drum up business. In May, news of the email led to Mr. Rader resigning his position as chief judge. Weeks later, Mr. Rader resigned from the bench.

Last Wednesday, the court issued a public reprimand of Mr. Reines for violating an ethical rule. The court raised several points that, in its eyes, justified only a reprimand, including that Mr. Reines recognized what he did was a mistake and had apologized for it.

—Ashby Jones

Judge Refuses to Dismiss Dewey Criminal Charges

A judge has refused to dismiss a criminal case over alleged accounting fraud at defunct law firm Dewey & LeBoeuf LLP but ruled that a low-level former employee will be tried separately from the firm’s three former top leaders.

All four men were indicted in March on charges that they cooked the firm’s books and lied to lenders and investors about the firm’s financial state. They have denied the allegations. Dewey’s 2012 collapse was the largest law-firm failure in history.

On Friday, New York State Supreme Court Justice Robert M. Stolz granted a motion by defendant Zachary Warren to sever his case from that of the senior leadership: former Chairman Steven Davis, former Executive Director Stephen DiCarmine and former Chief Financial Officer Joel Sanders. But the judge let the indictments against all four stand, as well as 106 of the original 111 counts.

In a written statement, a lawyer for Mr. Warren said “this was a very good day for the defense.”

A lawyer for Mr. Davis declined to comment and an attorney for Mr. Sanders didn’t respond to a request for comment. “While we are disappointed, it was certainly not unexpected,” a lawyer for Mr. DiCarmine said.

—Jennifer Smith

Chief Justice Salutes Magna Carta’s Birthday

Chief Justice John Roberts spent Wednesday afternoon looking backward—799 years, actually, to the foundation of Anglo-American self-rule. The Magna Carta is marking its 800th birthday next year and the Library of Congress is celebrating.

“It was a vital symbol during our revolution,” he said, noting that a Massachusetts colonial seal, engraved by Paul Revere, depicted “a militiaman with a sword in one hand and a copy of Magna Carta in the other.”

In 1939, after the outbreak of World War II, the British government entrusted a copy of the Magna Carta to the Library of Congress for safekeeping.

Some 150 Supreme Court opinions—including one of Chief Justice Roberts’s own—have mentioned the Magna Carta, he said.

But he said: “If you’re citing Magna Carta in a brief before the Supreme Court of the United States, or in an argument, you’re in pretty bad shape....We like our authorities a little more current.”

—Jess Bravin

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