Six (a) Judges should show more concern when they are confronted with a motion that a certain lawyer has plagiarized their legal briefs (Richmond 17). Indeed, many reports claim that lawyers do not mind if their briefs are plagiarized, as it shows a general appreciation of their work. In other instances, judges themselves have plagiarized briefs when preparing their judgments. However, making decisions and writing opinions are key responsibilities of the judiciary and plagiarism means that the judicial officers relinquish their duties thus unacceptable (Richmond 22). Litigants generally expect that judges will give reasonable rulings that are unbiased and impartial. Therefore, lawyers presenting their cases expect that the judge hearing is competent enough to distinguish the false presentations. Judicial plagiarism generally reduces the performance and effectiveness of the court hence judges should pay strict attention.
(b) Judicial plagiarism is in an act of misconduct to the court by the lawyer involved especially because it goes against the code of ethics (AIS 1). The penalty given to Attorney Peter Canon is deserved because he acted against what was expected of him. The public reprimand penalty is reasonable because it is not as severe as disbarment. It suits the particular offence considering the lawyer goes through disciplinary proceedings based on the severity of the offense. The decision of the panel is based on the conclusion of the process and a lawyer may be required to pay off the costs. In future instances if the probation requirements are not met, severer punishments are given to the lawyer to emphasize on the importance in the prior ruling.
(c) The distinction made between Lane’s case and that of Attorney Peter Cannon was in reference to the degree of severity of judicial plagiarism in both cases. In Attorney Peter’s case, the act of plagiarism was noticed due to the failure of using adequate citation and attestation of the use of part of someone else’s legal brief (Stafford 33). This was a mere act of judicial misconduct and one that breached the ethical ideals of a judicial officer. On the other hand, Lane’s case was not a mere instance of poor attestation, instead it was the act of copying seventeen pages of printed information which showed high levels of incompetence in her part as an officer of the court (AIS 2). The ruling of the court, which opted for the public reprimand penalty for Attorney Cannon and the complete disbarment of Lane’s practice, was reasonable because the two offences differed greatly based on the impact they had on the total proceedings of the court.
(d) Public reprimand penalty is one of a lesser severe punishments for judicial misconduct of the lawyers in a court of law (AIS 2). The main reason behind the penalty is to rehabilitate the lawyer by introducing a long a process of questioning and evaluation of the offense at hand, (Angones 8). The purpose of rehabilitation therefore, is to make sure that the lawyer in question and those that participate in the process avoid similar offences in future. According to the book, An Anatomy of Life in the Death Camps by Terrence Des Pres, there are many ways a survivor of a tragic event stores such moments in the memory (Des 12). The process generally touches and restructures what a man is because true image is revealed at the end of the torturous process. In addition, the appearance of the lawyer shows that the process is serious and important process that has the ability to lead to disbarment if repeated (Angones 8). This makes the appearance of the lawyer during the process vital for the general construction of the judicial image.
AIS. Responding to attorney plagiarism, Iowa Supreme Court Attorney Disciplinary Board v. Peter Cannon (2010) Available at https://docs.google.com/document/d/1DzP9O2hmoUHcpD7SYKgNsrB7uVlrFf8qB2zEhiT1ev4/edit?ts=562672a8&pli=1
Angones, Francisco R. The Florida Bar Journal The Goal of the Public Reprimand: Rehabilitation. March, 2008 Volume 82, No. 3, 8 Available at https://www.floridabar.org/divcom/jn/jnjournal01.nsf/Author/E48CF2F9BF399EC5852573FB004CCF7D
Des, Pres T. The Survivor: An Anatomy of Life in the Death Camps. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976. Print
Richmond, Douglas R., Unoriginal Sin: The Problem of Judicial Plagiarism (January 11, 2014). Arizona State Law Journal, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2377813 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2377813
Stafford, Thomas H. J. Academic Dishonesty at North Carolina State University: a Student-Faculty Response. 2006. Print.
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