Friday, October 09, 2009

Plagiarism in the law: gambling in Casablanca?

On Oct. 9, 2009, the Australian reported: Attorney-General Cameron Dick has warned that the plagiarism scandal now racking the Queensland Law Society could tarnish the reputation of all legal practitioners.

On Oct. 6, 2009, a plot element in the TV show NCIS was about a US Supreme Court nominee who plagiarized.

Professor Alan Dershowitz of Harvard Law, in defending Laurence Tribe of Harvard Law (who admitted his plagiarism), noted that law promoted a culture of copying. According to Dean Velvel, "This supposed cultural difference was said to arise from the fact that judges use the language of briefs and of clerks’ memoranda when drafting opinions, and lawyers use the work of assistants."

U.S. District Judge Gladys Kessler copied verbatim from a government brief, including errors in footnotes.

In 1942, Captain Renault said in the movie Casablanca: I'm shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!

See also

**The Australian also noted: Queensland Chief Justice Paul de Jersey said he reiterated his concern about plagiarism, "a concern I have expressed publicly not infrequently".


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