Avoiding Plagiarism in Legal Documents
Judith D. Fischer
University of Louisville - Louis D. Brandeis School of Law
Kentucky Bench & Bar, Vol. 68, May 2006
University of Louisville School of Law Legal Studies Research Paper Series No. 2008-22
Lawyers may believe they know what constitutes plagiarism in student papers, but the rules about plagiarism in the practice of law are less clear. Forms from form books and law firm files are meant to be copied, so there is no issue of copyright violation. Still, the lawyer who uses such a form must tailor it to the needs of the specific case. And lawyers have been disciplined for filing documents containing language they copied from treatises without attribution. This problem was exacerbated in one case where the lawyer asked for fees for preparing material he had not written. Professionalism means that documents filed with a court must analyze the facts and issues in the pending case, and any material from published sources must be properly attributed.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 3
Keywords: Plagiarism, legal writing, lawyer, attorney, copy, document, brief, filed, court, form book, form file, analysis, client, professionalism, Lane, Iowa
Date posted: June 10, 2007 ; Last revised: May 30, 2008
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