Federal appeals judge to retire, teach IP classes after controversial email to patent lawyer

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A federal appeals court judge who recently stepped down from a leadership role after a controversial email praising a patent attorney’s skills has now announced his retirement from the bench, effective at the end of the month.

Judge Randall R. Rader of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit told the Wall Street Journal Law Blog (sub. req.) he decided he wanted to explore other career opportunities after stepping down as the court’s chief judge at the end of May with the intention of remaining as an active judge on the court.

“The bottom line is that I was NOT happy after vacating the chief position, and then awoke to realize that I should leave while I am YOUNG and brimming with enthusiasm about the prospects of improving world legal systems,” he said in an email to the Law Blog, adding: “With that in mind, my plan for the future is to TEACH.”

Having previously taught intellectual property courses at a number of universities with great enjoyment, this is what he now plans to focus on, Rader told the WSJ: “In sum, this is my chance to do what I love, and I am going to seize it!”

Earlier this year, Rader wrote an email to Edward Reines of Weil Gotshal & Manges that praised Reines’ appellate skills. Rader encouraged Reines to share his endorsement with others. Reines had previously appeared before the Federal Circuit in cases involving Microsoft and Medtronic, and Rader had originally participated in those two cases, but later recused himself from them.

See also: “Federal Circuit’s chief judge resigns leadership post after email controversy”

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