Legal News

Case Summaries

Criminal Law & Procedure

[06/21] In Re Jose S.
In an action seeking to seal juvenile records, the juvenile court's denial of the motion is affirmed where: 1) a second assault charge was not a separate case; and 2) assault is among the offenses that disqualify the sealing of records.

[06/21] US v. Weaver
Conviction for conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud are affirmed where over defendant's argument that disclaimers of extra-contract representations did not render salespeople's oral misrepresentations immaterial.

[06/21] US v. Diaz-Concepcion
Conviction of firearms and drugs offenses is affirmed over defendant's argument that his plea was not knowing and voluntary because the court failed to explain the charge at the plea hearing, where the attestations by the defendant and those found in the plea colloquy and other court documents and statements were adequate.

[06/21] US v. Ortiz-Vega
In an ineffective assistance of counsel claim arising from a drug distribution conspiracy case, in which defendant claimed that lack of communication from his initial state-appointed attorney resulted in the loss of a better plea deal than the one he eventually accepted, the trial court's decision is reversed and remanded where it was error to delay ruling on the merits of the claims until sentencing.

[06/19] Packingham v. North Carolina
Conviction under a North Carolina law that makes it a felony for a registered sex offender 'to access a commercial social networking Web site where the sex offender knows that the site permits minor children to become members or to create or maintain personal Web pages,' N. C. Gen. Stat. Ann. sections14-202.5(a) and (e), is reversed where the North Carolina statute impermissibly restricts lawful speech in violation of the First Amendment.

[06/19] US v. Burden
Life sentences for convictions of racketeering, violent crimes in aid of racketeering, and conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute more than 50 grams of cocaine base and five kilograms or more of cocaine, are vacated where the district court erred when it implicitly hinged the defendants' life terms of supervised release on the need for retribution--an imperative that is relevant to fashioning a term of incarceration, but not a term of supervised release.

[06/19] Ziglar v. Abbasi
In a putative class action against two classes of federal officials brought by men of Arab or South Asian descent who, following the September 11 terrorist attacks, were detained for periods of three to six months in a federal facility in Brooklyn and later removed from the U.S., alleging violations of Bivens, the Fourth Amendment, the Fifth Amendment and 42 U.S.C. section1985(3), which forbids certain conspiracies to violate equal protection rights, the Second Circuit's judgment affirming in most respects the District Court's decision to allow claims to proceed against the Warden-defendants but reversal as to allow claims to proceed against the Executive Official-defendants is reversed in part and vacated and remanded in part, where: 1) the limited reach of the Bivens action informs the decision whether an implied damages remedy should be recognized here; 2) a Bivens-type remedy should not be extended to the claims challenging the confinement conditions imposed on respondents pursuant to the formal policy adopted by the Executive Officials in the wake of the September 11 attacks; 3) the Second Circuit erred in allowing the prisoner abuse claim against Warden Hasty to go forward without conducting the required special factors analysis; and 4) petitioners are entitled to qualified immunity with respect to respondents' claims under 42 U. S. C. section1985(3).

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White Collar Crime

[06/21] US v. Weaver
Conviction for conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud are affirmed where over defendant's argument that disclaimers of extra-contract representations did not render salespeople's oral misrepresentations immaterial.

[06/13] BPP Illinois v. Royal Bank of Scotland Grp. PLC
In a suit brought by a group of hotel-related businesses, along with their investor and guarantors, alleging fraud claims against a bank and its subsidiaries, the district court's dismissal of the fraud claims is affirmed where the because plaintiffs failed to list their cause of action in a schedule of assets in their now-concluded bankruptcy proceeding, they are barred on judicial estoppel and timeliness grounds.

[06/13] Autoridad de Energia Electrica v. Vitol SA Services, LLC
In a suit brought under a Puerto Rico 'Law 458', which prohibits government instrumentalities and public corporations from awarding bids or contracts to persons (including juridical persons) who have been convicted of 'crimes that constitute fraud, embezzlement or misappropriation of public funds listed in section 928b of this title,' P.R. Laws Ann. tit. 3, section 928, the district court's judgment remanding the case to the Commonwealth Puerto Rico Court of First Instance is affirmed where the forum selection clauses at issue were enforceable, and that the unanimity requirement of 28 U.S.C. section 1446(b)(2)(A) therefore could not be satisfied.

[06/05] IAR Systems v. Super. Ct.
In an action seeking a writ of mandate ordering the trial court to vacate its finding that a law firm should be deemed part of the 'prosecution team' prosecuting defendant/real party in interest for embezzlement, and granting defendant's motion ordering the law firm to disclose material, exculpatory evidence in its possession in accordance with Brady v. Maryland (1963) 373 U.S. 83, the relief is granted where the trial court erred in: 1) imposing a duty under Brady to disclose material, exculpatory evidence directly on the law firm, as opposed to on the prosecution; and 2) in finding the law firm to be part of the prosecution team.

[06/05] Kokesh v. SEC
In a case arising out of an SEC enforcement action, alleging that petitioner violated various securities laws by concealing the misappropriation of money from business-development companies, and seeking monetary civil penalties, disgorgement, and an injunction barring petitioner from future violations, the Tenth Circuit's judgment -- that 28 U.S.C. section 2462's 5-year limitations period applied to the monetary civil penalties but that section 2462 did not apply because disgorgement was neither a penalty nor a forfeiture -- is reversed, where because SEC disgorgement operates as a penalty under section 2462, any claim for disgorgement in an SEC enforcement action must be commenced within five years of the date the claim accrued.

[05/26] Reich v. Lopez
In a suit brought by a consulting firm specializing in fighting government corruption against a Venezuelan energy company, alleging plaintiffs were victims of an effort to discredit them by persons connected to a Venezuelan energy company that was in litigation with one of plaintiff's clients, the district court's dismissal of plaintiff's RICO and state law claims against the principals of the Venezuelan energy company is affirmed where dismissal of the RICO claims under Rule 12(b)(6) was proper because plaintiff failed to allege that the defendants engaged in a 'pattern of racketeering activity.'

[05/25] People ex rel. Harris v. Aguayo
In a civil enforcement action brought by the State of California against appellants for violation of the unfair competition laws (UCL), Bus. & Prof. Code section 17200 et seq., arising out of a complex real estate scam through which appellants acquired and rented real estate belonging to others, the trial court's judgment and award of damages in favor of the People is affirmed over defendants' six arguments on appeal.

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