Sunday, August 24, 2008

1LS: Having Trouble With LRW?


Aren't those group assignments annoying? Don't you wish that there were a quicker way?

Actually, there is. And soon-to-be Vice Preisdent Joe Biden found it (link to a 1987 NYT article):

A law school faculty report, dated Dec. 1, 1965, . . . concluded that Mr. Biden had ''used five pages from a published law review article without quotation or attribution'' and that he ought to be failed in the legal methods course for which he had submitted the 15-page paper.

The plagiarized article, ''Tortious Acts as a Basis for Jurisdiction in Products Liability Cases,'' was published in the Fordham Law Review of May 1965. Mr. Biden drew large chunks of heavy legal prose directly from it, including such sentences as: ''The trend of judicial opinion in various jurisdictions has been that the breach of an implied warranty of fitness is actionable without privity, because it is a tortious wrong upon which suit may be brought by a non-contracting party.'' Just One Footnote.

Seriously, we're just kidding - while this sort of thing might fly at Syracuse, or even at Harvard, it won't here, and you'll be out of here so fast you won't even have time to collect your softball mitt and popped-collar-polo. But see:

In a letter defending himself, dated Nov. 30, 1965, Mr. Biden pleaded with the faculty not to dismiss him from the school.

Wha? Come on man. Well at least he learned his lesson and never plagarized anything again . .

Who says we ain't fair and balanced? Seriously, who?

Also, on a related note, when this breaks (again) how much will the public "get" it? Not defending Biden, but they might understand just what a pain legal writing is (the same way they don't get that being law review pres is . . . kind of a big deal).

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