Thursday, February 05, 2009

Another Civilian Habeas Corpus Petition

Here is a link to the habeas corpus petition of a civilian contractor, David Breda, filed as a result of confinement on UCMJ charges. According to the petition, the format and language of which seem vaguely familiar, Breda is in confinement at Al Asad Air Base, Iraq. Breda, a "full-fledged U.S. civilian," again that phrase seems vaguely familiar, is being held in pretrial restriction in lieu of arrest pending charges.


John O'Connor said...
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John O'Connor said...

Habeas corpus? More like Habeas Copyus.

Having spent about 90 hours on the two habeas corpus petitions we wrote from scratch on this issue, pro bono, you can imagine I was a little bit irritated to see that another set of lawyers essentially copied almost THE ENTIRE PETITION that we wrote and filed it as their own. Most of the hjeadings are the same. Most of the text is the same. The only changes of any significance are to swap out our client's name for theirs and to insert a small amount of his facts where they differed from our clients' facts.

I would be embarrassed if I were the lawyers who copied almost all of someone else's brief and filed it in their own name here.

Anonymous said...

You should bill the time to their client.

Phil Cave said...

The only issue I see is whether or not the attorney's in the new filing billed the client for 90 hours of legal research and work, as opposed to the like two or three hours to update, "write," etc.
If the filing is identical, then you can take comfort in having identified all of the right cases, issues, and arguments -- good job!
I'd be embarrassed to be whining on this though.
Way to go David; you didn't bill 90 hours did you?

John O'Connor said...

Maybe it's whiny, but I see a difference between using the argument and research from someone else's brief (which is permissible) and copying someone else's prose for thirty-five pages.

Cloudesley Shovell said...

This article--
applies copyright laws to lawyer briefs and discusses the public policy implications.

I'd be interested to see that lawyer's bills to his client. Any charges north of an hour or so to cut and paste his client's name and unique facts ought to be canceled or paid over to the true authors to avoid any accusation of fraud.

Apparently it was too hard for the copycat to just call up the original authors and ask permission, or even give credit where credit is due. There's a word for people like that: asshat.

Anonymous said...

Some "candor" to the Court....

So, how many of you know the lead counsel?