The Jurisdictional Power of the "Case-Within-A-Case" Doctrine in Patent Legal Malpractice Litigation

The Federal Circuit?s recent precedential decision, Warrior Sports, Inc. v. Dickenson Wright, P.L.L.C. (issued on January 11, 2011), demonstrates (once again) the sheer power and ability of the “case-within-in-case” doctrine to jurisdictionally transform a state law malpractice claim into a case arising under federal patent law.

In an unusual twist, the Warrior Sports plaintiff and defendants agreed that the federal court could exercise federal question jurisdiction over the patent legal malpractice claim. But the federal court judge (the Hon. Gerald E. Rosen from the Eastern District of Michigan) was not convinced. He issued a show cause order requiring the plaintiff to establish why the state law claim should not be dismissed for lack of federal subject matter jurisdiction.

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