Judge Newman Suspended for One Year by Federal Circuit

McDonnell Boehnen Hulbert & Berghoff LLP

McDonnell Boehnen Hulbert & Berghoff LLP

In a decision that will surprise no one who has followed the situation in the past six months (see "Federal Circuit Special Committee Recommends One-Year Suspension of Judge Newman"), the Judicial Council of the Federal Circuit has ordered Judge Lorraine Newman to be suspended from the court for one year.

Despite beginning the Order with reference to prior ecomiums from at least two of her judicial brethren, the 72-page Order repeats the allegations made previously against Judge Newman, supplemented with 16 (sometimes) heavily redacted Exhibits and notations that some other supporting exhibits have been redacted in their entirety for confidentiality purposes. Nevertheless, these arguments and supporting exhibits are apparently provided to justify the grounds for the decision, which remain Judge Newman's purported refusal to cooperate with the Special Committee's investigation into her competency (despite the Judge having provided medical and psychological results from her own doctors rather than the Committee's hand-picked ones).

While Judge Newman has shown remarkable stamina and "stating power," at 96 this suspension could be an effective ban from her ever again serving on the bench. This suspension remains subject of course to her on-going lawsuit in the D.C. District Court asserting that the Council's suspension is unconstitutional and a violation of her due process rights (see "Judge Newman and the On-Going Attempts to Remove Her from the Federal Circuit").

A sad day for the Federal Circuit and the U.S. patent system.

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