Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Court condemns copying from Wikipedia

A court recently took a lawyer to task for both plagiarism and citing Wikipedia as authority. U.S. v. Sypher, Criminal Action No. 3:09-CR-00085, 2011 WL 579156 (W.D. Ky. Feb. 9, 2011). In that case, a lawyer copied his discussion of the law from the Internet encyclopedia. The court condemned the copying as professional misconduct and reminded the lawyer that Wikipedia is not appropriate legal authority.

(jdf)

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/legalwriting/2011/04/court-condemns-copying-from-wikipedia.html

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A lawyer was cited as engaging in professional misconduct by a federal court for copying and pasting verbatim discussion of the law in a brief from the Internet encyclopedia Wikipedia. Subsequently, the court again condemned the lawyer for not having l... [Read More]

Tracked on Apr 8, 2011 7:51:51 AM

Comments

Is this the Rick Pitino extortion case?

Posted by: JF | Apr 5, 2011 12:40:06 PM

This story fascinates me. Like many such similar stories, I followed the link to read the original opinion and was diverted to WestLaw. While most legal writers may well use WL, I do not. I can usually find the original source with a little digging on official websites (entries on this blog have predictably excellent source citations). So, a mild suggestion: consider linking to public website when available. In the case of this story, the original memorandum opinion can be found on the Court's own website: [http://www.kywd.uscourts.gov/cases/usa_v_sypher/pdf/entry223.pdf] (see p.6, n.4). A more recent opinion revisits the issue, as the attorney in question had apparently not learned his lesson: [http://www.kywd.uscourts.gov/cases/usa_v_sypher/pdf/entry258.pdf] (p.5, n.4).

Posted by: John L. Fritz | Apr 6, 2011 5:16:23 AM

http://www.kywd.uscourts.gov/cases/usa_v_sypher/pdf/entry258.pdf has a typo in its first para., the conviction could not have been in August 2011.... so much for judicial QC.

Posted by: fendertweed | Apr 8, 2011 6:18:07 AM

Really interesting article! For blog posts related to legal writing, check out Continuing Education of the Bar (CEB)'s blog at http://blog.ceb.com/

Also, check out CEB's program Smith on Persuasive Legal Writing, available On Demand and for MCLE credit.

http://www.ceb.com/CEBSite/product.asp?calling%5Fpage=CLEProgramsDisplay%2Easp&catalog%5Fname=CEB&menu%5Fcategory=CLE+Courses&main%5Fcategory=CLE%20Program&sub%5Fcategory=CLE%20Programs%20Practice%20Skills&product%5Fid=MI55574&Page=1

Posted by: Julie Brook | Apr 12, 2011 2:46:17 PM

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Posted by: Gary Melari | Apr 16, 2011 2:55:37 AM

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