Mistreatment of Judge Pauline Newman, Hon. William C. Conner Inn 16th Annual Reception and Dinner, and Some Thoughts

“I joined the Conner Inn in large part because its purpose was ‘to advance the education of its members, the bench and bar, and the public in the fields of intellectual property law.’ My guess is that if Judge Conner knew about these patent-related complaints against Judge Newman, he would be turning over in his grave.”

NewmanFirst, my advice is that everyone should go to this upcoming William C. Conner Inn Annual Dinner and, for that matter, all the Inn’s annual dinners. I have enjoyed them on many levels. One of those is that you get to see and meet people you ordinarily would not, including judges, even if you often see judges.

But this one on January 24 is special, because it has a background we hopefully won’t see again.

When I received the Dinner announcement, I was shocked that the primary honoree is Chief Judge Moore of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. Why? Because of the way she has misled the public about her mistreatment of Judge Pauline Newman. The Inn states that the “Mission of the Hon. William C. Conner Inn is to promote excellence in professionalism, ethics (and) civility.” This is truly admirable, but one which must have been lost, overlooked, or ignored this year.

Judge Moore, with the uncivil help of her Federal Circuit cohorts, has made misleading statements about, and in general, treated Judge Pauline Newman very poorly. In fact, they made her life something none of us would wish on anyone. During my two clerkships and afterward, I haven’t seen or heard of any courts or judges who have even mistreated a colleague, let alone treat one as they have Judge Newman. They made claims in their public announcements which even they have since ceased to defend as being true.

Yet, they still have not retracted them. None of Judge Newman’s fellow Federal Circuits judges now speak to her, let alone visit her in chambers. They have taken away her secretary. And they have taken away the love of her life, which was being an active judge.

All of this, why? They claim she is not competent enough to continue being a judge. When did this incompetency start? Can they point to any opinions which show incompetence? To the contrary, her reputation has been excellent and better than that of most if not all the Federal Circuit judges, including Judge Moore.

Has anyone who speaks to her thought she was in any way deficient? No. Ask anyone outside of the Federal Circuit, including former judges of the Federal Circuit, and they have seen no signs of deficiency, let alone incompetency. Has Judge Newman hidden from public view to hide this alleged incompetency? No, she goes to events and speaks on the program and to people individually at the events. In fact, she is going to the Conner Inn dinner. Speak to her there and see for yourself.

So, what are the other possible reasons? Well, she dissents a lot. Is there anything wrong with dissents? No, they’re important. But judges tend to view dissents personally, perhaps even more so than a student with a bad report card. What about Judge Newman’s dissents in particular? Nobody has even tried to make the case that they’re deficient. And the multiple Supreme Court affirmances support that view and actually put salt into the wounds of the Federal Circuit authors of the reversed majority opinions and those judges concurring in them.

It has also been said that Judge Newman takes too long to write those dissents. If you have clerked, you know dissents take much longer than majority opinions.

I am told perhaps some judges don’t like her strong positions on IP and patents, in particular.

What would Judge Conner think about that? He had been a patent lawyer in private practice and the president of what is now called the New York Intellectual Property Law Association. Senator Buckley had urged Nixon to appoint him because he thought the court vacancy should be filled by a patent lawyer. And Nixon appointed Judge Conner to the United States District Court in part because of his expertise in patent law.

Actually, I joined the Conner Inn in large part because its purpose was “to advance the education of its members, the bench and bar, and the public in the fields of intellectual property law.” My guess is that if Judge Conner knew about these patent-related complaints against Judge Newman, he would be turning over in his grave.

As I have said, I have enjoyed the Conner Inn Annual dinners. They are informative and fun and a good place to meet others with similar interests including judges. But, unfortunately, for personal reasons, I will have to miss this one. Let me know what you thought about the Dinner. And tell me what you think about Judge Moore’s talk.

Image Source: Deposit Photos
Author: BlueJay18
Image ID: 253938270


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Join the Discussion

3 comments so far.

  • [Avatar for Anon]
    January 24, 2024 05:01 pm

    If one wants to see some illicit and downright despicable ‘victim-shaming’ of Judge Newman, one can wander over to “that other blog” at https://patentlyo.com/patent/2024/01/pauline-evaluate-yourself.html

    Bonus for anyone willing to slog through the muck: links to Attorney Lat’s fine recent discussion with Judge Newman are there.

  • [Avatar for Pro Say]
    Pro Say
    January 23, 2024 05:53 pm

    Moore is the devil in a robe.

    With all the other CAFC judges being the devil’s minions.

    They’ve turned the CAFC into a joke. A very, very bad joke.

    Indeed, they are to America’s judiciary what Trump is to the Executive Branch.


  • [Avatar for Anon]
    January 23, 2024 03:55 pm

    What compounds this, adding additional insults, are views that anyone defending Judge Newman ‘does not know what’s going on,’ or provides support for her ill-treatment and engage in ‘victim-shaming’ (treating Judge Newman as causing the poor treatment.

    Most all of these are litigator types.

    Most all of the practitioners that I know are solidly behind Judge Newman.

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