James Cole, patent attorney/director, Middleton Reutlinger PSC
Years on the job: 18
Years in the field of law: 18
Describe the primary focus of your practice.
Tell us about your role in that practice. Intellectual Property law with a focus on patent prosecution. My practice primarily involves mechanical patent prosecution, portfolio management, and opinion work.
I am a registered patent attorney with a mechanical engineering undergraduate degree. During my career, I have worked with a wide variety of industry manufacturers including RV and camping, automotive, bedding, printing and peripheral devices, aircraft engines, railroad equipment and air filtration.
What process do you use to make tough decisions at work?
I try to focus on possible outcomes of the various options available. In light of those possible outcomes, what is in the best interest of the client at that time or what is the client’s desired outcome. I try to put myself in the position of the client and ask, what I would I want my attorney to do.
What’s the biggest concern in your industry?
One of the biggest concerns in the legal field in general is that of mental health and well-being of attorneys. Attorneys deal with so much stress and this unfortunately often results in depression, alcohol/drug abuse and other health issues.
By and large, I believe most of the attorneys I know are good people and it is sad to hear of these situations, far too often. I try have a couple of outlets in that I play golf when I can and I try to do some cycling with guys who live in my neighborhood.
Describe a gratifying experience with a client.
When a client calls back and says, “I have a new matter that I need your help with.”
That is a great feeling because they appreciate the work you have done before and either have developed, or are developing, a trust with the attorney. Likewise a referral of a new client from an existing client is also a great feeling.