- Law degree? Check.
- Bar exam passage? Check.
- Business cards with a formal title, or at least an "Esq."? Check.
- Client? Check.
- Case? Check.
- Current state bar membership? Oops.
A reminder to reactivate his long-dormant California bar membership, apparently. It seems that the New York-based Moss had deactivated his only state bar membership some 13 years before filing the case to avoid the annual fee -- and counsel for defendant Guess noticed. Now Guess is requesting access to internal Gucci communications with respect to the case, arguing that they are not covered by attorney-client privilege because Jonathan wasn't a licensed lawyer at the time they were made.
Whether or not the Guess gambit works, and whether or not the court ultimately finds that Guess infringed Gucci's trademarks, this case will be remembered for the error that caused a luxury label to turn its inside counsel out.
Counterfeit Chic's sympathy goes out to Jonathan, whom I've met on a number of occasions and whose dedication to defending Gucci's reputation via IP law was readily apparent. Here's hoping that he'll soon recover from this blow to his own.
And lawyers? Don't play a Guessing game when it comes to your professional prerequisites.