The family of the late Donald Duvall, former chief administrative law judge for the International Trade Commission, filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against a Washington law firm yesterday accusing the firm of unlawfully taking credit for Duvall's work.
Duvall's widow, Kathryn Duvall, accused Washington-based Kenyon & Kenyon of conspiring to not give Duvall credit on the latest edition of a legal text he first wrote more than 20 years ago. In the complaint, filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, Kathryn Duvall called the firm's claims that the updated text no longer included her husband's writings "frivolous" and said the firm was trying to cut her family off from future royalties.
The firm and four individual attorneys are named as defendants. Partner Edward Colbert, who isn't a defendant, said that they were "taken aback" by the complaint. He said the publisher, and not Duvall or his family, owned the copyright to the text, and that the firm wrote the latest edition at the request of the publisher. The text had been "substantially altered" over the years, he added.