California State Bar Investigation Concluded Against Headline Grabber Reines
Rockstar, rainmaker and Weil, Gotshal & Manges managing partner Edward Reines has escaped discipline by a California State Bar investigation concerning his well publicized friendship with former United States District Court Circuit Chief Judge Randall Rader.
The United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit referred Reines case to the California State Bar investigation last November. According to recently filed documents in other cases, the state bar closed its investigation file on Reines in July. The state bar adjudiated that no further action was called for.
No representatives of the California State Bar investigation could comment on the investigation. Attorney Reines also declined to be interviewed on his discipline case.
The Federal Circuit publicly reprimanded Reines in November for publicly sharing an glowing email from Chief Justice Rader. Reines effusively showed off the email to his friends and family. Most importantly Reines used the email as part of his promotional materials for approximately 35 current or prospective law firm clients. Rader conveyed that another Federal Circuit judge had been impressed with Reines’ stellar verbal client advocacy skills. This unnamed judge reportedly signed the email “your friend for life.” Judge Rader resigned from office a little while later, after acknowledging “conduct that crossed the lines.” The Federal Circuit later admonished Reines, saying he was implying that he held a special relationship with the then-chief judge.
The Federal Circuit also raised a second and separate issue involving Reines’ provision of a concert tickets and backstage access to Rader. At the time Reines had major litigation pending before the federal court. The Federal Circuit said it was not passing judgment on the Reines’ conduct. However the matter was instead referred to the California State Bar Court.
“On July 14, 2015, the State Bar of California investigation was completed into the matters referred to it by the Federal Circuit in its November 5, [2014,] order, determined that no action was warranted, and closed its file,” Reines stated in an Aug. 12 declaration in support of pro hac vice status before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board.
The motion was granted a few days later, making it possible for Reines and Weil Gotshal to join Knobbe, Martens, Olson & Bear as co-counsel for Illumina Inc. in an interference with economic gain proceeding.
Reines has stated in the past that Rader was well-known for his flamboyant and aggressive style with attorneys. Reines represented that the judge encouraged him to share the effusive email with friends and clients. He did so out of ego gratification at the compliment for his argument skills. Reines stated he showed off the email to promote his lawyering skills and not to improperly suggest that he had Judge Rader in his coat pocket.
Reines was not suspended from law practice and continues to appear regularly before the Federal Circuit. He is scheduled to argue three major cases before the court before the year is up. The litigation includes the defense of $1.4 million in an attorney’s fee award he obtained for NetApp Inc. Also a Patent Trial and Appeal Board appeal for Illumina subsidiary Verinata Health Inc. in which Reines will engate in civilized warfare tactics against well-known Stanford Law School professor Mark Lemley.