Voice of IP
Clause 8
Exclusive Interview with Judge Pauline Newman’s Attorney Greg Dolin

Exclusive Interview with Judge Pauline Newman’s Attorney Greg Dolin

When Judge Pauline Newman helped create the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in 1982 to have exclusive jurisdiction over patent cases, no one could’ve guessed the drama that would follow almost 40 years after she joined the court herself.

In April, Gene Quinn broke the news on IPWatchdog about a complaint filed by the Chief Judge of the Federal Circuit against Newman for being unable to effectively discharge the duties of her office.  Days later, Newman showed up and spoke at Fordham Law School’s annual IP conference in New York in a way that completely undermined the foundation of that complaint.  Recently retired Federal Circuit Judge Kathleen O’Malley sat right next to Newman and looked towards her with admiration and affection.  Even if Hollywood’s writers weren’t on strike, they couldn’t have scripted it better. 

However, recent media interviews with Newman revealed that those events were only the tip of the iceberg of this drama.  Newman only discovered something was afoot when the Chief Judge - along with two other Federal judges of a Special Committee formed to investigate Newman – confronted Newman with demands that she resign or take senior status.  “Just go quietly or we’ll make your life miserable,” Newman was told.

A short time later, 88-year old Federal Circuit Judge Alan Lourie showed up at Newman’s Watergate (yes, that Watergate) apartment to also try to convince her to resign.  By that point, he told her, the Chief Judge already managed to convince the rest of their colleagues that Newman was “totally disabled physically, and mentally incompetent.”  When Lourie said he “had no reason to disbelieve” that, Newman signaled for Lourie - her Watergate complex neighbor and colleague for over 30 years on the court– to leave. 

The news of the complaint and Newman’s appearance at Fordham crushed the plan for Newman to “just go quietly.”  Since that time, former Federal Circuit Chief Judge Michel and Rader have publicly sided with Newman.  Michel highlighted “the conflicted process” where “the Chief Judge and the Special Committee [ ] continuing to act as accuser, investigator, prosecutor, and judge” by requesting a request to transfer the investigation to another federal court of appeals.

Yet, noticeably, all of judges on the Federal Circuit and most of her former clerks have remained silent and are avoiding getting publicly involved. 

The one notable exception: Newman’s former clerk Greg Dolin.  In his role as Senior Litigation Counsel at New Civil Liberties Alliance (NCLA), he is leading the legal fight against ousting Newman from the Federal Circuit.  After Dolin filed a lawsuit in district court claiming that the Federal Circuit’s efforts are unconstitutional and convinced Newman to take a cognitive test, both sides agreed to U.S. District Judge Christopher Cooper’s call for mediation.

On this episode, Eli talks to Greg shortly before that mediation is to take place in August with retired D.C. Circuit Judge Thomas Griffith.  They talk about how and why this drama got to this point, how Newman has been able to emotionally deal with the fallout, why this fight is important beyond the Federal Circuit, what a potential resolution might look like, whether Greg and Judge Newman are preparing for impeachment proceedings, and much more!

Voice of IP
Clause 8
The podcast listened to by sophisticated in-house counsel, judges from around the world, IP policymakers, senior USPTO officials, and top patent dealmakers and attorneys to stay ahead of the curve by understanding the personalities and forces shaping IP.
Eli Mazour’s love of talking to people – along with his belief in the importance of America’s patent system – led him to start Clause 8. Clause 8 features conversations that provide strategic insights about how to best deal with various patent-related issues. Some of the previous guests include America’s great innovators, federal judges, USPTO Directors, top IP staffers on Capitol Hill, and Carole Baskin’s attorney from the documentary Tiger King.
It's the #1 podcast about IP and is in the top 2.5% of all podcasts according to Listen Score. The podcast has been covered and cited in many publications, including Bloomberg, Law360, Courthouse News Service, Above the Law, IAM, and Original Jurisdiction.