In Re: Engage, No. 08-1257. The First decides that the question of whether Massachusetts attorney's lien statute, chapter 221, section 50 of the Massachusetts General Laws, applies to patent prosecution work performed by attorneys is really important and there isn’t any law on the subject, so it certifies it to the Massachusetts Courts.
Seriously, considering that issues that poor people face in bankruptcy, is this really the issue that needs to be certified? Or is it just a way of telling some firms that their feelings matter? There is some language in here regarding the criteria for certification, but it doesn’t seem too precise or helpful to anyone but a court justify a political decision to certify or not certify. In fact, the First seems to admit that the underlying question involves a “policy” judgment, which really means that the First thinks that this issues is a policy one. So who says courts don’t write policy?