May 8, 2012
Attorney Accused Of Plagiarizing From ABA
The Illinois Administrator has filled a complaint alleging the following:
At all times alleged in this complaint, Respondent maintained a website for her law firm at the web address www.kyzlaw.com on which she posted articles about topics related to her practice area, as well as topics related to current issues in the news. Respondent was solely responsible for the content posted on that website.
In December 2008 the Illinois State Bar Association ("ISBA") published an articled authored by Helen W. Gunnarsson ("Gunnarsson"), entitled "Real estate and divorce: No more transfer-tax exemption?" On or about March 5, 2009, Respondent published a verbatim copy of Gunnarsson’s article on her website.
Respondent did not identify Gunnarsson as the author of the article and she did not credit the December 2008 ISBA article as the source of the information posted on Respondent’s website. Respondent posted a picture of herself beneath the article followed by the words "About Jane Kim," to create the false impression that Respondent had written the article.
On or about June 16, 2009, in response to a comment posted regarding the article described ...above, Respondent wrote "I control all content and it is solely my own content posted on this site."
Respondent’s statement that it was solely her own content posted on the website was false, and Respondent knew it was false, because she did not author the article described...above.
The ISBA published an article in its September 2011 Illinois Bar Journal authored by Gunnarsson and entitled "The Five Biggest Business Mistakes Lawyers Make." On August 26, 2011, the American Bar Association ("ABA") published an article authored by Debra Cassens Weiss ("Weiss") entitled "Why It’s a Mistake to Be the Cheapest Lawyer in Town." Weiss’ article commented on sections of the ISBA’s article published in its September 2011 Journal.
On or about August 27, 2011, Respondent published an article on her website entitled "Why It Is a Mistake to Hire the Cheapest Lawyer In Town." The article appearing on the kyzlaw.com website contained verbatim excerpts from the article published in the ISBA’s September 2011 Illinois Bar Journal and authored by Gunnarsson, and from the August 2011 article published by the ABA and authored by Weiss.
Respondent did not credit the September 2011 ISBA article or the August 26, 2011 ABA article as the sources of the information posted on Respondent’s website, nor did she credit Gunnarsson or Weiss as the authors of the direct quotes she used in her article. Respondent posted a picture of herself beneath the article followed by the words "about Jane Kim," to create the false impression that Respondent had written the article.
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