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Supreme Court Initiates Sanctions Against Lawyer Who Let His Client Tell Him How To State The Argument In A Petition

Posted By Cliff Tuttle | February 22, 2015

No. 1,123

In the Matter of Discipline of Howard Neil Shipley, No. 14D2827.

Image: commdiginews.com

Image: commdiginews.com

Live long enough and you can see everything.

Every lawyer has had clients who want to micromanage the case.  Its a serious handicap.  But most of the time, it just makes the task harder.

But not always.

In a rare move, the United States Supreme Court has issued an Order to show cause why sanctions should not be imposed against a lawyer who says that his client insisted upon dictating the content and style of arguments presented in a petition involving a patent matter.  The lawyer, Howard Neil Shipley, has had to hire a leading Supreme Court practitioner to plead his case.  Of course, being sanctioned by the the United States Supreme Court would be a severe blow to any lawyer’s career.

According to the Response to the Order, recently filed, similar sanctions have not been imposed for 50 years.

Read more about it in the SCOTUS Blog.



CLIFF TUTTLE has been a Pennsylvania lawyer for over 45 years and (inter alia) is a real estate litigator and legal writer. The posts in this blog are intended to provide general information about legal topics of interest to lawyers and consumers with a Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania focus. However, this information does not constitute legal advice and there is no lawyer-client relationship created when you read this blog. You are encouraged to leave comments but be aware that posted comments can be read by others. If you wish to contact me in privacy, please use the Contact Form located immediately below this message. I will reply promptly and in strict confidence.

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