Wednesday, September 18, 2002

Abuse of Judicial Process Gets Punished

Maybe the lawyers out there will tell me that this is typical, but this story seems pretty remarkable to me. An author named Nancy Stouffer claimed that J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter books plagiarized her books published in the 1980s. Judge Schwartz didn't just find in J. K. Rowling's favor, but fined Stouffer $50,000 for "her submission of fraudulent documents as well as through her untruthful testimony...."

Schwartz also questioned whether [Stouffer] created the "Larry Potter" character before Rowling's series debuted. A title page and other materials supposedly dating back to the 1980s used technology not in existence at the time, he ruled.

In addition, Schwartz found that Stouffer had produced invoices for sales that never took place and submitted an advertisement from the 1980s that was later altered to include the word "Muggles."

Hmmm. This sounds really, really stupid. Stouffer should know better. Now, if she had been an Emory University history professor, she wouldn't have any problems at all!

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