Via Above The Law, we see that VP Joe Biden signed a Syracuse University Law Student’s Bluebook with the apt message “Pay Attention.”
He should have taken his own advice when he was a law student at Syracuse, as he plagiarized his law review note.
The New York Times reported in 1987:
The file distributed by the Senator included a law school faculty report, dated Dec. 1, 1965, that concluded that Mr. Biden had ”used five pages from a published law review article without quotation or attribution” and that he ought to be failed in the legal methods course for which he had submitted the 15-page paper.
The plagiarized article, ”Tortious Acts as a Basis for Jurisdiction in Products Liability Cases,” was published in the Fordham Law Review of May 1965. Mr. Biden drew large chunks of heavy legal prose directly from it, including such sentences as: ”The trend of judicial opinion in various jurisdictions has been that the breach of an implied warranty of fitness is actionable without privity, because it is a tortious wrong upon which suit may be brought by a non-contracting party.” Just One Footnote
In his paper, Mr. Biden included a single footnote to the Fordham Law Review article.
In a preview of things to come, the young Joe Biden defended himself by saying, if I wanted to cheat, I wouldn’t have been so blatant. (Yes, that was really his defense).
In a letter defending himself, dated Nov. 30, 1965, Mr. Biden pleaded with the faculty not to dismiss him from the school.
”My intent was not to deceive anyone,” Mr. Biden wrote. ”For if it were, I would not have been so blatant.”
At another point, the young Mr. Biden said that ”if I had intended to cheat, would I have been so stupid?”
”I value my word above all else,” the impassioned letter said. ”This is a fact which is known to all those who are or have been acquainted with my character.”