Is Rick Casey "borrowing" without attribution again? (upated)

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Sedosi Alhambra noticed something interesting about the latest offering from Chronicle metro/state editorialist and gossip columnist Rick Casey.

In the column, Casey effectively uses a decision by an Austin bankruptcy judge to criticize the recent Congressional reworking of bankruptcy law.

It’s not a bad read. A couple of excerpts are of interest, though:

FRANK Monroe used to be a bankruptcy lawyer at a prominent Houston firm.

Now he’s a bankruptcy judge in Austin.

An angry bankruptcy judge in Austin.


“This Court views this requirement as inane,” Monroe wrote in his memorandum of opinion. “However, it is a clear and unambiguous provision obviously designed by Congress to protect consumers.”

Quoting that last sentence out of context does not begin to convey the sarcasm with which it was clearly written.

Earlier in the memorandum, Judge Monroe began warming up: “Those responsible for the passing of the Act did all in their power to avoid the proffered input from sitting United States Bankruptcy Judges, various professors of bankruptcy law at distinguished universities, and many professional associations filled with the best of the bankruptcy lawyers in the country as to the perceived flaws in the Act.

“This because the parties pushing the passage of the Act had their own agenda. It was apparently an agenda to make more money off the backs of the consumers in this country.”

Monroe wrote that “to call the Act a ‘consumer protection’ Act is the grossest of misnomers.”

Here’s Tom Kirkendall’s post on this topic from a week ago. Kirkendall cites the same text as Casey, then concludes:

Moreover, he’s just getting warmed up in the foregoing passage. Read the whole thing. Steve Jakubowski comments and provides more context here.

Jakubowski’s blog provides the following background:

To put this opinion in its context, you need to know something about Judge Monroe, former member of the great Houston-based bankruptcy firm of Sheinfeld, Maley & Kay, which dissolved in 2001 (ironically, according to one partner, “because of the resurgence of bankruptcy as a very hot practice area”). Judge Monroe practiced at SM&K continuously starting fresh out of the University of Texas law school in 1969, even serving as its managing partner for several years. His investiture as bankruptcy judge occurred on March 31, 2002.

As Sedosi notes, it’s interesting that Casey uses much the same information as two legal bloggers who wrote on this topic a week ago, and even a key term that Kirkendall used to characterize the very same excerpt.

Perhaps it’s a coincidence. Indeed, it surely must be a coincidence, because after Casey got caught brazenly ripping off whole phrases from the work of others and presenting it as his own nearly two years ago, one would think he’d be careful at least to rephrase his “borrowing” more carefully. If he is indeed still borrowing.

UPDATE (02-03-2006): Rick Casey covers another topic (Governor Perry’s so-called “65% plan”) from a reliably lefty point of view in his Friday column. As Sedosi notes, this same criticism has already been offered by a number of lefty blogs. The Chronicle‘s metro/state editorialist/gossip columnist may need a vacation if the best he can do is recycle old blog posts. Or he may need to retire.

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