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Pupil barrister hit with £1,000 fine after plagiarising skeleton argument in moot competition

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Bar Standards Board refuses to reveal the chambers at which Samuel Campbell practises

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A pupil barrister has been handed a £1,000 fine from his regulator after engaging in “dishonest” conduct by submitting someone else’s skeleton argument into a moot competition.

According to the Bar Standards Board’s (BSB) disciplinary findings, pupil barrister Samuel Campbell “obtained copies of the skeleton arguments of other counsel in his chambers for the purpose of a pupil’s moot”.

Campbell, who was only called to the bar in July 2014, then proceeded to submit a skeleton argument that was “almost entirely copied” from a member of his chambers as part of the moot competition.

The incident — that took place in February — will have almost certainly damaged Campbell’s chances of securing tenancy, with his set or any other.

Despite being found guilty by a BSB Professional Conduct Committee earlier this month, the regulatory body refused to reveal to Legal Cheek at which chambers Campbell was currently a pupil, only confirming that he was a member of Inner Temple.

Reprimanded and ordered to pay a fine of £1,000, the committee concluded that Campbell’s actions amounted to a breach of the regulatory rules, in that he failed to “act with honesty and integrity”.

A BSB spokesperson said:

Barristers are expected to act with honesty and integrity and in this case the barrister did not meet this standard. The finding serves as a warning to barristers that such actions can result in a disciplinary finding.

36 Comments

The Bounder

Inner? Say no more. Bunch of crooks 😉

(14)(6)

Anonymous

Typical Lincoln’s comment.

(16)(1)

Anonymous

The pot calling the kettle black.

(0)(0)

Anonymous

Muppet

(0)(0)

Anonymous

Wonder who ratted on him.

(13)(0)

Anonymous

This is pathetic, even by the BSB’s standards. There are plenty of other issues they can tackle, yet they choose this one.

(16)(7)

Anonymous

Hi Samuel!

(22)(4)

Anonymous

It’s dishonesty. Its exactly the sort of thing the BSB should be dealing with.

(13)(2)

Quo Vadis

And a Princess Royal Scholar too, by the looks of things! Ouch.

(6)(0)

Anonymous

His career will not be helped by the fact that this LC article comes up on a Google search of his name.

(10)(0)

Salacious Truth

Ah yes, Mr Aldridge, the rat bastard. I bet he secretly tugs away in mad joy over another legal career he helped wreck.

Is this call because you’re a failed lawyer yourself, dear Alex?

(19)(14)

But wait, there's more

Make that Tom as well.

(3)(6)

Anonymous

You ok Sammy boy?

(6)(1)

Sammy Sundae

Dats it, imma rek u weak beta knt.

(3)(0)

retiredbrief

I thought the whole point about skeleton arguments was to adopt the best ones and use them yourself.
Ah, it was a competition, not a real case, hmm…

(22)(0)

Anonymous

When searching for his name on the Barristers’ Register of the Bar Standards Board, he does not come up. I have tried different permutations of searches to see if there is a record to no avail according to the website this should mean he is not “authorised to practise in England and Wales” or he does not “have a current practising certificate” is that not concerning?

(1)(4)

Anonymous

Not if he’s 1st six.

(9)(0)

Anonymous

You can choose not to be on the searchable register, cant you?

(0)(0)

Anonymous

What is more concerning is that you waste your time looking for this guy and actually worry about his absence from the register.

Get a job!

(0)(0)

What?

You searched for his name?! Some people really don’t have a life lol

(6)(0)

Randall

All law is plagiarisation, its not like we make this stuff up ourselves. Its all copied from cases, textbooks, articles etc.

(2)(6)

Anonymous

Hi Samuel. Was that your defence before the BSB?

Because it’s so stupid, I don’t think it even deserves to be dignified with a proper response!

(14)(3)

Anonymous

Stupid idiot. Why on earth would you make such a stupid move? You already have pupillage; you don’t need any more mooting success for your CV!

(19)(0)

Anonymous

A pupil’s moot meaning a moot between the pupils in chambers? If so his own chambers shopped him.

(5)(0)

Anonymous

How on earth did the BSB get hold of this?

Could it be that his Chambers didn’t want to keep him on so shopped him as an example to others?

(8)(0)

Anonymous

That would be a silly move, surely? Many people must know the chambers – it would reflect badly on chambers. Imagine if this LC article title was “X chambers pupil disciplined” – such bad PR for chambers

(2)(0)

Anonymous

To coin a phrase: plagiarism is the sincerest form of professional flattery.

(3)(0)

Anonymous

Can someone explain how there was content from another member of chambers for a pupil to copy for a pupil’s moot?

Don’t they set a new moot problem so that there’s nothing to copy? And if not, was someone from the chambers doing the same moot? I can’t really see how this happened…

(0)(1)

Anonymous

Chambers moot for pupils?

(0)(0)

Sandman

Most likely the moot was based on a case that a barrister from that chambers had had.

Hence the skeleton that could be copied word for word.

(1)(0)

Anonymous

This pupil gets fined £1000 for being daft whereas another barrister gets fined £300 for talking to a juror about a verdict and then telling said juror evidence was withheld from them. Hardly parity.

(19)(0)

Anonymous

well said

(1)(0)

Anonymous

I bet he was at a tax chambers. I can imagine their moots are impossible and he just felt inadequate. But then again he should have stopped doing tax and done something less difficult instead.

(1)(1)

Skellytune

I’m going with him having lifted something whilst assisting someone who wasn’t his pupil master – a trick learnt from his pupil master.

This would have been too much shame and what might have been dealt with internally will have resulted in the forming of a committee the “Ben 10” – 5 Silks and 5 juniors – which after much intended deliberation and 18 attempts to get a meeting in the diary over 7 months will have appointed a sub-committee of 3 who recommended reporting him.

Harsh lesson at such a tender point in a career, but in my own words plagiarised by the mighty house of pain, it ain’t a crime if you don’t get caught, it ain’t a hooky skelly for a moot if you is properly taught.

I will be supporting Cat Stevens on his Glasgow pub tour in Feb 2016.

(0)(0)

Anonymous

I understood pretty much nothing of what you wrote.

(10)(0)

Disgusting of Tonbridge Swells

Name the Chambers! Someone must know!

It can only be that they shopped their own pupil to the BSB.

There’s more to this than meets the eye!

(5)(0)

Comments are closed.