Samuel Goldberg has been a Massachusetts criminal defense attorney for 20 years. Prior to that, he was a New York state prosecutor. He has published various articles regarding the practice of criminal law and frequently provides legal analysis on radio and television, appearing on outlets such as the Fox News Channel, Court TV, MSNBC and The BBC Network. To speak to Sam about a criminal matter call (617) 492 3000.

125 Harvard University undergrads are charged with plagarism

This is an emergency mini-blog Attorney Sam’s Take to advise you of a breaking story. It is a story of an offense we do not discuss very often, but as students return to school, we may be hearing it much more.

The offense is plagiarism.

Harvard University is investigating some 125 undergraduates who have been accused of collaborating on a spring take-home final exam in the largest cheating scandal in recent memory to hit the Ivy League.

An allegation of plagiarism is obviously a serious one…particularly in an academic institution. It is the stuff that ends careers before they are started. This, and other acts of cheating, are considered accurate reflection of a lack of ethics…among other things.

As with any serious allegation, it should not be treated as incidental by anyone accused. I have handled such matters on the law school level and can tell you that it can reduce all the money, time and effort spent in the creation of a professional career to ashes. And it can do so very quickly.

We will discuss this more fully in tomorrow’s blog. However, for now, understand that any such allegation should be treated as seriously as an allegation for any crime. Do not try to out-smart the investigators. Consult legal counsel immediately!

The matters at issue here also include the general definition of criminal conspiracies. In other words, the accused can be held responsible for more than just what he, alone, physically copied.

You may be wondering if plagiarizing is a crime.

Good question. Let’s discuss it tomorrow
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To read the original new story upon which today’s blog is based, please go to http://www.boston.com/metrodesk/2012/08/30/harvard-investigates-students-for-cheating-final-exam/xA95LyxfyT2uKICbrNUjcO/story.html

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