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Quis custodiet ipsos custodies, the Latin goes. Who watches the watchmen? Today, in certain circles, you might also hear people wondering, "Who judges the judiciary?" Given the fact that the Supreme Court has had a slightly less conservative term and that certain circuits -- we won't name any names -- often rule against conservative interests, many on the right wing are starting to discuss instituting an Inspector General of the Federal Courts to act as a check on supposed judicial activism, corruption or overreach.

The Inspector General of the Federal Courts would investigate alleged misconduct, seek out fraud and waste, and recommend changes in the judiciary -- even to our sleepy Federal Circuit.

Sharon Prost joined the Federal Circuit in 2001 and began service as Chief Judge when Judge Randall Rader stepped down as Chief in 2014. Some of Prost's most important opinions involve smart phone patent infringement litigation, including her dissent in Apple v. Motorola.

Prost also is one of the few circuit court judges who is more famous as a litigant than judge. After working for years in the federal government and putting herself through school at nights, an early '90s custody battle made her famous as a working mother being penalized for trying to balance home life and career.

Ex-Fed. Cir. Judge Rader's BFF Gets Reprimanded in Email Scandal

Everyone remembers the scandal that led to Chief Judge Randall R. Rader's resignation earlier this year, right? The Chief sent an email to his buddy, Edward Reines, a patent attorney at Weil Gotshal's Silicon Valley office. The email related a third-party judge's comments that Reines was "IMPRESSIVE in every way," and Rader added: "I was really proud to be your friend," before encouraging Reines to let others see the message.

Chief Rader stepped aside, but the scandal apparently wasn't over. On Wednesday, the Federal Circuit issued a rare en banc bench-slapping of Reines over his use of the laudatory email -- and forwarded a second friendly gesture between the two pals to the California State Bar for further proceedings.

Did Reines cross the line by taking Rader up on his suggestion to share the email? Or is this much ado about two buddies sharing compliments and concert tickets?

Navajo Nation Gets $554M Settlement Over Trust Mismanagement

The Court of Federal Claims normally only gets mentioned when its cases are appealed to the Federal Circuit Court. But last week, the Court of Federal Claims was in the news thanks to the largest settlement ever obtained by a single Indian tribe against the U.S. government -- $554 million, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Normally not a hotbed of dramatic happenings, the Federal Circuit has been on fire lately. Two recent cases are sure to keep the Federal Circuit anything but quiet.

Starr International Company v. U.S.

Maurice "Hank" Greenberg was AIG's leader for four decades, and his company Starr International Co., was AIG's largest shareholder with a 12% stake, reports Reuters. Claiming the government short-changed AIG shareholders in the 2008 government bailout, Starr sought to depose Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke.

CLE Credit: Intellectual Property and Law Conferences

If you’re hunting for continuing legal education credits — or you just want to learn more about intellectual property law — there are several IP-centric opportunities that you should check out this month: The ABA Intellectual Property Conference, the Robotics and Law Conference, and Patents, Innovation and Freedom to Use Ideas.

5 Things to Know About Federal Circuit Judge Richard Taranto

Here at FindLaw, we understand the pressures of being a legal professional - most of us are recovering lawyers - so we want to help by tossing you that preferred life preserver of the legal profession, the short list. Today’s offering: The Federal Circuit’s latest addition, Richard Taranto.

The Senate is slowly filling the vacancies (and pending vacancies) on the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals. Last week, senators confirmed Richard Taranto as the appellate court’s newest judge. On Friday, Judge Taranto was sworn in. (Beware the Ides of March no more, eh Judge?)

Bowman v. Monsanto Webinar: More on Patent Exhaustion Feb. 22

How much weight should the Supreme Court give to the government's stance on patent exhaustion? Are self-replicating technologies protected by patents?

If you could talk about patent exhaustion until you're literally exhausted, the Intellectual Property Owners Association (IPO) is hosting a webinar this week about Bowman v. Monsanto that you might want to check out.

Obama Nominates Raymond Chen, Todd Hughes to Federal Circuit

There are two new nominees for the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals.

Last week, President Obama announced his latest picks for the IP-focused court: Raymond T. Chen and Todd M. Hughes. Let’s get to know these gentlemen, shall we?

Changing of the Guard: David Kappos Leaving USPTO in January

As the end of President Obama's first term comes to a close, there are going to be a number of leadership changes.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton already announced that she will be leaving the State Department and trying to catch up on her sleep. Secretary of Treasury Timothy Geithner has said that he will not return for the second term. Attorney General Eric Holder isn't sure what his future holds.

And over at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), Director David Kappos is ready to hand the reigns to a worthy successor.