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Supreme Court OK with B.C. judge who copied one side's submissions in ruling

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  • D R Lindberg
    For anyone interested, here is a Canadian case that casts some light on an issue often raised by critics of Judge Jones s ruling in the Dover Case. Extensive
    Message 1 of 3 , May 24, 2013
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      For anyone interested, here is a Canadian case that casts some light on
      an issue often raised by critics of Judge Jones's ruling in the Dover
      Case.

      Extensive plagiarism by a judge in a judgment is not sufficient reason
      to overturn it, the Supreme Court of Canada says.

      In a remarkable unanimous ruling, the country's highest court says
      wholesale copying by judges is not prohibited and is not a concern
      unless other evidence exists to impugn their integrity and impartiality.

      "The incorporation of large portions of the plaintiffs' submissions in
      the reasons in this case does not justify overturning the trial judge's
      decision," Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin wrote on behalf of the
      bench.

      "To set aside a judgment for failure to attribute sources or for lack
      of originality alone would be to misunderstand the nature of the
      judge's task and the time-honoured traditions of judgment-writing."
      Read more:
      http://www.vancouversun.com/health/Supreme+court+with+judge+copied+side+\
      submissions+ruling/8430439/story.html#ixzz2UFd88X6U
      <http://www.vancouversun.com/health/Supreme+court+with+judge+copied+side\
      +submissions+ruling/8430439/story.html#ixzz2UFd88X6U>

      Hope someone finds this interesting!

      Although the details of the cases and the legal systems of the two
      countries are different, the similarities are enough that comparisons
      might be instructive.

      This case suggests that if the Dover defendants were justified in
      feeling that the judgment against them was unfair because of the
      "plagiarism," they could have appealed. Why didn't they?

      Cheers!







      "To sit alone with my conscience will be judgment enough for me." --
      Charles William Stubbs


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • JamesG
      D R Lindberg: This case suggests that if the Dover defendants were justified in feeling that the judgment against them was unfair because of the plagiarism,
      Message 2 of 3 , May 24, 2013
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        D R Lindberg: "This case suggests that if the Dover defendants were justified in feeling that the judgment against them was unfair because of the 'plagiarism,' they could have appealed. Why didn't they?"

        Perhaps because they didn't think that Judge Jones's extensive copying of the ACLU's "Findings of Facts and Conclusions of Law" constituted actionable plagiarism. By calling attention to Judge Jones's dubious practice, Discovery Institute wasn't so much concerned that what he did constituted plagiarism as that it called into question whether his opinion with respect to the scientific legitimacy of intelligent design was based on the impartial weighing of testimony and other evidence and the independent reasoning expected of judges.

        "Discovery Institute is on solid ground in pointing out Judge Jones' highly questionable practice in this case. While having no legal bearing at this stage, it is highly frowned upon by the federal judiciary for a judge to adopt wholesale the findings and conclusions of a party without making a case for independent investigation demonstrated in the record." - Bruce Green, an attorney with the Center for Law and Policy

        "Judicial opinions are the core work-product of judges. They are much more than findings of fact and conclusions of law; they constitute the logical and analytical explanations of why a judge arrived at a specific decision. They are tangible proof to the litigants that the judge actively wrestled with their claims and arguments and made a scholarly decision based on his or her own reason and logic. When a court adopts a party's proposed opinion as its own, the court vitiates the vital purposes served by judicial opinions. We, therefore, cannot condone the practice used by the District Court in this case." - The Third Circuit Court, commenting in 2004 (in the case of Bright v. Westmorland County) on the actions of a judge who - like Judge Jones - unilaterally adopted the recommendations of one party to the case.

        The Third Circuit also commented in 2005 (in the case of Community Bank of Northern Virginia) that it is "highly disapproved of" for judges to adopt the briefs of parties in a "verbatim or near verbatim" fashion.

        And in 1985 ruling the U.S. Supreme Court noted that "[w]e, too, have criticized courts for their verbatim adoption of findings of fact prepared by prevailing parties, particularly when those findings have taken the form of conclusory statements unsupported by citation to the record."

        http://www.discovery.org/a/3830

        http://www.evolutionnews.org/2006/12/media_roundup_on_judge_jones002949.html

        http://www.evolutionnews.org/2006/12/media_backgrounder_on_kitzmill002952.html
        Jim in Missouri
      • David
        ... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kitzmiller_v._Dover_Area_School_District From above: Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District All eight of the Dover school
        Message 3 of 3 , May 24, 2013
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          --- In OriginsTalk@yahoogroups.com, "D R Lindberg" <dr.lindberg@...> wrote:
          >
          > For anyone interested, here is a Canadian case that casts some light on
          > an issue often raised by critics of Judge Jones's ruling in the Dover
          > Case.
          >
          > Extensive plagiarism by a judge in a judgment is not sufficient reason
          > to overturn it, the Supreme Court of Canada says.
          >
          > In a remarkable unanimous ruling, the country's highest court says
          > wholesale copying by judges is not prohibited and is not a concern
          > unless other evidence exists to impugn their integrity and impartiality.
          >
          > "The incorporation of large portions of the plaintiffs' submissions in
          > the reasons in this case does not justify overturning the trial judge's
          > decision," Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin wrote on behalf of the
          > bench.
          >
          > "To set aside a judgment for failure to attribute sources or for lack
          > of originality alone would be to misunderstand the nature of the
          > judge's task and the time-honoured traditions of judgment-writing."
          > Read more:
          > http://www.vancouversun.com/health/Supreme+court+with+judge+copied+side+\
          > submissions+ruling/8430439/story.html#ixzz2UFd88X6U
          > <http://www.vancouversun.com/health/Supreme+court+with+judge+copied+side\
          > +submissions+ruling/8430439/story.html#ixzz2UFd88X6U>
          >
          > Hope someone finds this interesting!
          >
          > Although the details of the cases and the legal systems of the two
          > countries are different, the similarities are enough that comparisons
          > might be instructive.
          >
          > This case suggests that if the Dover defendants were justified in
          > feeling that the judgment against them was unfair because of the
          > "plagiarism," they could have appealed. Why didn't they?
          >
          > Cheers!
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          > "To sit alone with my conscience will be judgment enough for me." --
          > Charles William Stubbs
          >
          >

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kitzmiller_v._Dover_Area_School_District

          From above:

          Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District

          All eight of the Dover school board members who were up for re-election on November 8, 2005 were defeated by a set of challengers who opposed the teaching of intelligent design in a science class. (The ninth member was not up for re-election.) The school board president subsequently stated that the board did not intend to appeal the ruling.

          David Williams: Some people would have liked to have appealed the case all the way to The Supreme Court if necessary. It was not to be.
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