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Asinine litigator gets hers

New Jersey 2003

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#1 Rov Judicata

Rov Judicata

    Crassly Irresponsible and Indifferent

  • Islander
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Posted 06 June 2003 - 05:38 AM

http://www.newsday.c...p-regional-wire

Quote

CHERRY HILL, N.J. -- A high school student who won a lawsuit to be named sole valedictorian has admitted she did not properly attribute information in three articles and two essays she wrote for the Courier-Post of Cherry Hill.

Blair L. Hornstine, 18, explained her actions in a column published in the newspaper Tuesday, but she did not apologize.

"I am not a professional journalist. I was a 17-year-old with no experience in writing newspaper articles," she wrote. "Upon reflection, I am now cognizant that proper citation allows scholars of the future to constantly re-evaluate and re-examine academic works."

Hornstine borrowed liberally from several sources, including U.S. Supreme Court decisions and President Clinton, the newspaper said. One essay contained whole paragraphs nearly identical to a Clinton proclamation.

One essay in question, published in March on nuclear tensions in North Korea, was named best essay of the month by the Courier-Post.

Warren Faulk, a lawyer who consulted with Hornstine after she was told her writings were not properly attributed, said she was not given a copy of the ethics standards the Courier-Post claims she violated.

However, Courier-Post executive editor Derek Osenenko said Hornstine had signed a work agreement with the newspaper that said she would only submit original work.

Courier-Post spokesman Carl Lovern Jr., said the newspaper learned of the problems with Hornstine's writing when a reporter read the articles as part of research for a story about the teenager.

The paper told Hornstine that it would consider running a column in which she explained her actions. Her letter was published in the weekly teen section, Static _ the same place the articles in question were published.

The newspaper also ran an editors note listing the pieces in which she did not attribute her sources.

"After very careful analysis in this case, we believe key information in these articles and essays needed such attribution," Courier-Post executive editor Derek Osenenko said Wednesday.

Lovern said Hornstine's writings came before she sued the Moorestown public school district in federal court last month to prevent two other students from being named valedictorian along with her.

Hornstine, who completed many of her courses over the last two years with tutors because of an immune deficiency, argued that she should be the only valedictorian because she has the highest grades.

The school district argued that the shared honors were fair because Hornstine took many classes at home did not take courses required by non-disabled students, such as gym.

Hornstine prevailed in that lawsuit. A $2.7 million lawsuit against the school district is still pending in state court for punitive damages, legal fees and costs.

The lawsuits have not done much for Hornstine's popularity in the town. Her family has told police they have received death threats and their home has been vandalized.

She also faces controversy at Harvard University, where she has been accepted and intends to enroll next fall. She has been a frequent target of critical columns in The Harvard Crimson, the student newspaper.

Nearly 1,400 people _ some of whom say they are associated with the university _ have signed an online petition asking Harvard to rescind its offer to admit Hornstine.

Harvard admissions officials did not respond to a message left Wednesday by The Associated Press.

Hornstine's father, state Superior Court Judge Louis F. Hornstine, said Wednesday that his daughter was out of town. He declined to comment.

Edwin J. Jacobs Jr., the lawyer representing Blair Hornstine in her case against the school district, said there's nothing to the lack of attribution in her newspaper pieces.

"It was a whole lot of nothing. She wrote some fluff pieces for a kid-chat column," he said. He said his client explained her mistakes in Tuesday's paper and there's nothing more to it.

"We have more important things to deal with," he said.

It wouldn't be amusing, if she hadn't been so anal about not being named a co-valedictorian..... but to whine about something so petty while writing plagiarized articles?
St. Louis must be destroyed!

Me: "I have a job and five credit cards and am looking into signing a two year lease.  THAT MAKES ME OLD."
Josh: "I don't have a job, I have ONE credit card, I'm stuck in a lease and I'm 28! My mom's basement IS ONE BAD DECISION AWAY!"
~~ Josh, winning the argument.

"Congress . . . shall include every idiot, lunatic, insane person, and person non compos mentis[.]" ~1 U.S.C. 1, selectively quoted for accuracy.



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