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Here Comes Trouble: Early Detection and Mitigation of Conflicts of Interest Risks for the IP Lawyer

(1k+ reviews)

Produced on October 26, 2017

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$ 99 Ethics and Intellectual Property In Stock
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Course Information

Time 1h 3m
Difficulty Advanced
Topics covered in this course: Ethics Intellectual Property

Course Description

Lawyers who practice in the field of intellectual property law must navigate through a maze of ethics rules relating to potential conflicts of interest. This presentation, taught by Michael E. McCabe, Jr., and experienced practitioner in the fields of Intellectual Property and Ethics, will focus on helping the IP practitioner and law firm manager to spot conflict issues that are unique to the practice of patent and trademark law, such as identifying who is the “real” client, determining when a client becomes a former client, and determining whether a client representation presents a “subject matter” conflict of interest. The program will also address ways to mitigate the risks associated with such conflicts of interest, including the current viability of advanced conflict waivers.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Understand current and former client conflict scenarios in an IP practice setting
  2. Identify who is the “real” IP client in assessing conflicts
  3. Avoid the “accidental” IP client
  4. Spot conflict issues arising from common business relationships between lawyers and their IP clients
  5. Appreciate how conflict waivers operate
  6. Learn about the current state of the law regarding advanced conflict waivers

Credit Information

After completing this course, Lawline will report your attendance information to {{ accredMasterState.state.name }}. Please ensure your license number is filled out in your profile to ensure timely reporting. For more information, see our {{ accredMasterState.state.name }} CLE Requirements page . After completing this course, {{ accredMasterState.state.name }} attorneys self-report their attendance and CLE compliance. For more information on how to report your CLE courses, see our {{ accredMasterState.state.name }} CLE Requirements FAQ .


Michael McCabe

McCabe Law LLC

Professional Experience

Mr. McCabe is a registered patent attorney with twenty years of experience representing foreign and domestic entities and individuals across a wide array of technologies in patent and trademark matters before the federal courts and the United States Patent and Trademark Office (PTO). He also represents practitioners involved in claims of professional misconduct, attorney discipline, and ethics matters before the Office of Enrollment and Discipline (OED) of the USPTO and the state bars of Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia. 

From 1992 until 1995, Mr. McCabe was a litigation associate at Shapiro & Olander in Baltimore, Maryland, where he represented clients in commercial and insurance litigation matters.

From 1995-1999, Mr. McCabe was associated with the Alexandria, Virginia IP boutique law firm of Lowe, Price, LeBlanc & Becker, where he represented individuals and corporations in patent, trademark and copyright litigation matters. In 1998, Michael joined the Washington, D.C. office of McDermott, Will & Emery, where he was a partner in the intellectual property litigation department focusing on patent litigation. 

From 1999-2011, Michael was a shareholder in the Alexandria, Virginia IP law firm of Oblon, Spivak, McClelland, Maier & Neustadt, P.C., where he continued representing clients in patent litigation. He was one of the founding members of the law firm’s Risk Management Committee, and eventually became its Chairman. In this capacity, Mr. McCabe handled all matters pertaining to ethics issues, malpractice, and professional responsibility for over 100 patent and trademark professionals. He also was elected to the firm’s Board of Directors. This experience proved invaluable in helping Michael understand the complex legal and ethical issues associated with running an IP practice. 

In 2011, Michael became a partner in Funk & Bolton, where he founded the law firm’s Attorney Ethics and Discipline group. At Funk & Bolton, Mr. McCabe focused his practice on representing IP attorneys and patent agents in ethics investigations and disciplinary proceedings before the USPTO. 

In April 2017, Michael founded McCabe Law LLC. His practice continues to focus on representing attorneys and agents in ethics matters and disciplinary proceedings before the USPTO, providing ethics advice and counseling for IP lawyers and law firms practicing in intellectual property law, and in providing in-house CLE programs for law firms and corporations.

Engineering Work Experience

From 1985-1989, Mr. McCabe worked as an engineer at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC), in Greenbelt, Maryland. While employed at NASA/GSFC, Mr. McCabe was a member of the Advanced Development and Flight Experiments Section of the Thermal Engineering Branch, where his group focused on designing, developing and testing of two-phase heat transfer systems for the International Space Station. 

Educational Background

Mr. McCabe received his J.D. magna cum laude in 1992 from the University of Baltimore School of Law, where he was a member of the Law Review and the National Moot Court team.

In 1985, he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Maryland College Park. 

Bar Admissions

  • State Courts – Maryland, District of Columbia and Virginia
  • United States District Courts – Maryland, District of Columbia, and Eastern and Western Districts of Virginia
  • United States Courts of Appeal – Fourth, Eleventh, District of Columbia, and Federal Circuits
  • Supreme Court of the United States
  • United States Patent and Trademark Office (Reg. No. 37,182)

Teaching and Bar Service

  • From 2007-2010, Mr. McCabe was an adjunct professor of law at George Mason University School of Law.
  • In 2011, Mr. McCabe was elected by the Virginia Supreme Court to serve a three-year term on the Virginia Bar Fourth District Committee on Lawyer Discipline. 
  • From 2011-2014, Mr. McCabe served as a faculty member for the Virginia State Bar’s Harry L. Carrico Professionalism Course 
  • From 2012-Present, Mr. McCabe has served as a Guest Lecturer at The Johns Hopkins University


  • Association of Professional Responsibility Lawyers (2013-Present)
  • ABA Business Law Section Professional Responsibility Committee member (2010 – Present)
  • Giles S. Rich American Inn of Court (Member since 2008; Treasurer/Secretary since 2012)
  • Defense Research Institute – Ethics and Professionalism Committee (2014-Present)


Saleh K.

McCabe is great. Love that his presentations are with real world examples and practical, actionable advice.

Thomas T.

Excellent - Thank you!

Fiona D.

Well presented, scary as hell.

Bikash R.

Absolutely first class.

Ross V.

An excellent class.

Charles D.

The subject matter of this instruction was very timely for me.

Chris K.

EXCELLENT summary of issues to consider when taking on any matter, not just IP matters.

John S.

Another good presentation.

Charles R.

a helpful course

Kenneth R.

Validated some of the decisions I, as a general practitioner, had made regarding a prior case (which I won) in which ownership of IP was one of the issues.

Roger A.

Informative and Course Materials are great for reference.

William B.

Mike Mc Cabe always provides an informative program.

Richard G.

Valuable material. Worthwhile course.

Susanne S.

very clear presentation

Richard K. C.

Excellent presentation.

James C.

Really great presentation. Even for lawyers who don't practice in the IP field.

Clarence S.

Excellent presentation of complex area of law.

Joshua C.

Good break down of relevant cases.

Retha M.

Thoughtful analysis of cases.

Tom E.

Good use of case studies.

Dena R.


Jeffrey D.


Joanna S.

Interesting lecture. Great advice on tailoring engagement agreements, client intake questions, although discussed in broad strokes. One of my favorites for this bundle. Excellent speaker.

William M.


Tamber R.

Good case summaries as well as excellent job of including "questions to ask at intake" and other practical advice.

Suzanne K.

The speaker was good, and I liked his insights into the different cases he presented.

peggy g.

Excellent course! Thank you.

Jimmie F.

Great! Fantastic!

Elliot F.

Great presentation. Very helpful coverage in a dangerous space.

david m.

Great information

Jeffrey R.

Made some interesting points that applied to the practice of law in general.

James S.

Very interesting.

Laura M.


Rondal M.

A very good overview of a very broad and difficult topic

Antoine M.

Very precise and informative presentation

Anne W.

Extremely knowledgeable presenter

David G.


Sharon A.

Good presentation

John M.

Good presentation, thanks!

Steven H.

This course was one of the most pertinent and relevant courses I have attended in a long time. The content was very useful.

Kristine C.

Excellent presentation

Sue Ella K.

I have recommended your classes to a number of other lawyers. Most of them have told me that they have really benefited from the courses. I have become impressed with the company's ability to develop well planned and executed courses. I appreciate they keeping track of my courses. I can go to their web page anytime and get access to the materials. Often I print the materials because they are so well prepared. Thank you. Sue Ella Kobak

Mary P.

Excellent. Applicable to all, not just IP lawyers.

Jared B.

Very good. IP is not my area, but the discussion was still clear and interesting.

Joseph L.

The thought-provoking anecdotes are proof why anecdotal evidence is sometimes the most salient.

Amy L.

The slide on what to consider when entering into a representation agreement was especially helpful.

Earl B.

this is the way CLE should be done...

Robert S.

Excellent Presentation

Deanna C.

The presenter was outstanding. Excellent materials

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