I am Campaign Manager for Judge Bob Gibson.
Patrick J. O’Shea is running for Circuit Judge of the 18th Judicial Circuit, DuPage County, Illinois. He faces two opponents, including Judge Gibson. O’Shea has appeared before several political groups and has repeatedly made statements concerning his professional qualifications. Among them are the following:
- He graduated from The John Marshall Law School “with honors.”
- He is a registered patent attorney.
- He has conducted patent infringement litigation.
- He presented oral argument in a case before the United States Supreme Court.
We have investigated the truth of his assertions and find that the reality does not match the claims. In particular:
- O’Shea did not graduate from law school “with honors” or with any other sort of distinction. O’Shea received his JD from the John Marshall Law School in 1979 with no special distinction or indication of merit. At John Marshall, before 1989, if a student did well enough and had a high enough class rank, he would have graduated “with distinction.” In or after 1989, he would have graduated “with honors.” O’Shea received neither according to John Marshall Law School.
- O’Shea is not a registered patent attorney. O’Shea apparently took and passed the patent bar examination in 1982, and at that time became registered to practice before the United States Patent Office (USPTO). This is commonly known as becoming a “registered patent attorney.” But sometime between 1982 and the 2000s, O’Shea let his registration lapse. He does not now appear on the Roster of Active Patent Attorneys and Agents kept by the USPTO’s Office of Enrollment and Discipline. In fact, a search of the entire huge web site of the USPTO, www.uspto.gov, does not turn him up at all. There is a Patrick J. O’Shea who IS a registered patent attorney – but he practices in Springfield, Massachusetts. The USPTO has had millions of patents issued since 1982 -- O’Shea is not listed on any of them as an attorney or otherwise. O’Shea appears in no USPTO Official Gazette notices, as he would have been prior to his removal from the active roster. O’Shea does not now practice patent law and is unknown to the local patent bar. His involvement with patents, if any, appears to have ended in the 20th Century, prior to the USPTO’s conversion to electronic record-keeping. Of the more than a million lawyers in the United States, there are fewer than 32,000 active registered patent attorneys – and O’Shea is not one of them.
- O’Shea is not a member of the federal trial bar. Patent infringement litigation is exclusively a federal practice, and all patent infringement actions must be heard in federal district courts. DuPage County is covered by the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division, which sits in Chicago, Illinois. The local rules of the Northern District of Illinois require that all cases brought before it be headed or “first chaired” by members of its trial bar. One can only get on to the trial bar after assisting other attorneys in other trials – an amount of experience that typically takes years to accumulate. Because he is not a member of the Northern District’s Trial Bar, O’Shea could not have conducted any such patent infringement litigation – at least not in this century. Further, O’Shea is not admitted to practice in the Northern District of Illinois at all. This means that O’Shea could not so much as appear on any pleading filed in the Northern District of Illinois, whether first, second, third or umpteenth chair. O’Shea has not appeared in any federal case in the Northern District in recent records, and may never have so appeared. With respect to O’Shea’s claim that he has conducted patent infringement litigation, it strains credulity to believe that O’Shea would have been put in charge of a multimillion dollar piece of federal commercial litigation. It is possible that, early in his career, before electronic records were kept about such things, O’Shea participated in a subordinate role in a patent infringement action – but if this happened at all, it happened decades ago. It is also possible, but unlikely, that the patent infringement action(s) in which O’Shea participated were in some other district. http://www.ilnd.uscourts.gov/home/MemberSearchBar.aspx
- O’Shea is not licensed to practice before the United States Supreme Court. This being the case, we understand that it is impossible for O’Shea to have presented oral argument there. We request that Mr. O’Shea share the case and year he presented oral arguments for proof of his assertion that he argued before the highest court in the land.
O’Shea’s oral statements are embellishments of the truth, implications that experience and qualifications that actually ended decades ago are current and continuing, or simply cannot be verified as true. Whether or not he is, e.g., currently a registered patent attorney doesn’t really bear on his qualifications to become a state court judge – he would never hear a patent case anyway, as the federal court’s jurisdiction of such is exclusive. But his repeated oral embellishments do bear on his fitness for public office, and particularly for judicial office. The public should expect circuit judges with integrity beyond reproach – and O’Shea simply doesn’t measure up.
James F. McCluskey