Court Allows Malpractice Suit to Proceed Against Partner Who Copied-And-Pasted “Boilerplate”

January 17th, 2012

From the ABA Journal:

A federal judge in Massachusetts has given a former client of Ropes & Gray the green light to proceed with a malpractice suit over claimed cut-and-paste work done on patent applications by a former partner whose company billed Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory about $10,000 for its work.

Cold Spring contends approval of its patent applications was delayed because unrelated material from another client was inserted into its filings by the company controlled by then-partner Matthew Vincent,Reuters reported.

However, Ropes & Gray had argued that the insertion was boilerplate material is and that copying of text from other applications is routine practice. The firm contended there was no causal connection between the quality of its work and any delay or denial of patents.

The Jan. 13 decision says Vincent resigned from law practice after a disciplinary investigation found his company had billed the 1,000-attorney Boston-based firm’s clients for $700,000 in work that could not be verified.