Law Firms

Seyfarth Shaw Malpractice Defense Claims Catch-22 Similarities


Lawyers for Seyfarth Shaw claim in a dismissal motion that a $75 million malpractice suit is “distressingly similar to Joseph Heller’s novel Catch-22.”

Seyfarth’s motion does not explain how the suit is like the Heller book, the Recorder reports. But it says “the allegations against Seyfarth [are] muddled, and, when analyzed with care, the chronology of the complaint makes no sense and renders the underlying story incoherent.”

Also named as a defendant is law firm Burnett, Burnett & Allen, the legal publication says.

The malpractice suit was filed by two inventors of snowboard bindings who hired the law firms to press a patent infringement claim against a ski company. The suit claims former Seyfarth partner Jack Slobodin prepared an erroneous claim chart detailing the alleged patent infringement, then blamed the problem on an attorney previously handling the matter, according to the Recorder account.

The suit quotes from a memo Slobodin allegedly sent to the chairman of Seyfarth’s intellectual property practice group when the inventors were in talks to hire the firm for their infringement suit. It reads, “If [the defendant] is interested in settlement, we [Seyfarth Shaw] can make a relatively large fee without putting too much into the case,” according to the Recorder story.

The suit has been removed to federal court for the Northern District of California.

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