Judge Robinson Sanctions Violation of Model Rule 4.2

Microsoft Corp. v. Alcatel Bus. Sys., C.A. No. 07-090 (D. Del. Dec. 18, 2007).

This case dealt with a violation of Model Rule of Professional Conduct 4.2 by two attorneys from a prominent national firm. The attorneys purchased, on the open market, an Alcatel Communications System that contained certain features at issue in the patent litigation. The system was installed at the attorneys’ Washington D.C. offices, and one of the technicians working on the installation identified himself as an employee of Alcatel-Lucent, one of the originally-named defendants in the case. The employee helped install the system, trained the attorneys on how to use the system, and engaged in ongoing conversations with the attorneys about the administration, use, and configuration of the system. The Court noted that the employee was one of only a limited number of engineers at Alcatel with the experience and training to install the system.

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