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Administering Ethical and Admissible Pretext Investigations


Gain an understanding of recommended guidelines for the best practices on various jurisdictions to avoid ethical drawbacks.

The professional responsibility rules governing lawyers, including the actions of their agents, prohibit deceptive behavior in the course of their professional conduct. Failure to abide by the rules can result in professional discipline as well as evidence suppression and other sanctions in court actions. However, Rule 11 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure requires attorneys signing a pleading to certify that based on a reasonable inquiry, the factual contentions have or will have evidentiary support. Trademark, copyright and counterfeiting cases present special considerations, as it is often necessary to investigate the suspected conduct surreptitiously to catch the perpetrators red-handed before filing litigation. The tension between the nondeception ethics rules and conducting pretext investigations has not been resolved uniformly by the courts or disciplinary commissions around the country. This topic will explain how the rules have been applied in various jurisdictions, and will suggest guidelines on best practices to avoid ethical pitfalls. It will also include instructive war stories from the trenches by an experienced investigator.

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Administering Ethical and Admissible Pretext Investigations


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Administering Ethical and Admissible Pretext Investigations


Robert W. Sacoff

Robert W. Sacoff

Pattishall, McAuliffe, Newbury, Hilliard & Geraldson LLP

  • Partner with Pattishall, McAuliffe, Newbury, Hilliard & Geraldson LLP
  • Focuses on trademark, copyright and unfair competition law and litigation for more than 30 years
  • Has spoken and presented papers at many seminars and workshops on trademark and unfair competition law
  • Regularly listed in professional reviews such as World Trademark Review, Legal 500, International Who's Who of Trademark Lawyers, Martindale-Hubbell, Illinois Super Lawyers, International Who's Who of Business Lawyers, and Leading Lawyers
  • J.D. degree, Northwestern University School of Law; member, Northwestern Law Review
  • Served as Chair of the ABA Section of Intellectual Property Law, and President of the AIPPI U.S. Group
  • Can be contacted at 200 S. Wacker Drive, Suite 2900, Chicago, IL 60606, by phone 312-554-7934 or email [email protected]
Ken Taylor

Ken Taylor

Com Laude USA

  • Director of Business Development at Com Laude 2014-present
  • Chairman and CEO Marksmen (a world leader in Brand Protection Services) 1998-2014
  • Licensed Private Investigator in North Carolina and California since 1998. In that time, directed more than 75,000 worldwide IP related investigations and acquisitions
  • Actively involved with various IP, anti-counterfeiting and Internet organizations since 1998 including INTA, IPO, PTMG, MARQUES, ICANN, AIPLA and the IACC
  • Frequent speaker on ethical investigations since 2000 at INTA, as well as at various state IP law association group meetings and law firm partner retreats around the country. His presentations have qualified for CLE in NC, DC, NY, CA, CO, GA, MN, WA, AZ, FL, PA, TX, NV, NJ, CT, AL
  • Can be contacted at 1751 Pinnacle Drive, Suite 600, McClean VA, 22102, by phone 919-271-5111 or email [email protected]
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Administering Ethical and Admissible Pretext Investigations

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