Don’t do this

In another ABA Journal posting a Massachusetts lawyer was reprimanded by the State’s Board of Bar Overseers for failing to include ellipses when removing language from a quotation.  The lawyer presented a brief in which the statement of facts consisted of a quote from the court below.  This implied that the quote included all of the facts as found.  However, the attorney failed to note that he has removed certain language from the quote by the use of ellipses.  This amounted to a misrepresentation of the facts to the appellate court.

When the court ruled on the case it stated that “In as brazen a piece of misrepresentation as we have ever seen, Pella deleted certain words, phrases, and sentences without use of an ellipsis, or any other indication of editing…  Defeating one’s hope that the deletions were the result of sloppy copying and proofreading, rather than dishonesty, is the fact that all the information deleted is helpful to Burman, or harmful to Pella.”

A grave ethical breach.  File this under everything I needed to know I learned in 1L.

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