Hey, we all do it, right? We reuse old legal documents to save time and money, typically clients' money. And once in a while, you'll forget to change a name or a gender-based pronoun somewhere around page 12. It happens.
But this goes a bit further than that: The Second Circuit has been copying and pasting what is arguably a misstatement of an immigration standard -- social visibility -- in a long series of unpublished opinions. After a law professor pointed this out in 2012, the court stopped. But recently, someone taking the copy-and-paste shortcut brought the snippet back from the grave, using it in three more cases this year.