Category Archives: Appeal

What Happens If Your Client Dies While the Appeal Is Pending? (Hint: Appeals Matter)

David Brooks apparently lived a rather lavish lifestyle. As the head of a successful body armor company, he was rumored to have thrown a $10 million bat mitzvah party for his daughter that included performances by 50 Cent and Aerosmith. … Continue reading

Posted in Appeal, Criminal Forfeiture, Restitution | Leave a comment

Government Wins Finders Keepers: Criminal Forfeiture Cannot Be Used to Repay a Las Vegas Debt

What happens if a defendant’s cash is subject to forfeiture but he also owes someone else money? Who gets the forfeited cash? In a recent case out of the First Circuit, the court applied the forfeiture statutes to deny a … Continue reading

Posted in Appeal, Criminal Forfeiture | Leave a comment

Should a Court Erase a Prosecutor’s Name from an Opinion about Brady Violations?

I was perusing recent opinions from the courts of appeal for possible blog post ideas when I came across an odd-looking errata sheet. Here’s an excerpt: That’s odd, I thought. I took a look at the original opinion in the … Continue reading

Posted in Appeal, Brady violations, Discovery/Brady, Prosecutorial misconduct | Leave a comment

Fourth Circuit Finally Concedes that the Government Cannot Take Your Stuff Before Trial

A few months ago, I wrote a blog post predicting that the Fourth Circuit would stop allowing federal prosecutors to seize untainted assets before conviction. (Buffing fingernails on shirt.) And now it has. Okay, my prognostication was not exactly out … Continue reading

Posted in Appeal, Continuing education | Leave a comment

Venue Isn’t Boring (I Promise) – The Jeffrey Sterling Case

Venue seems like one of those boring topics we learned in law school that doesn’t have much practical application. But in a recent case out of the Fourth Circuit, a defendant won the dismissal of a charge based on lack … Continue reading

Posted in Appeal, Classifiied information, Venue | Leave a comment

Is the Government Throwing in the Towel on Pre-Trial Seizure of Untainted Assets? A Win in the Fourth Circuit Suggests Yes

Perhaps the most troubling type of criminal forfeiture is the pretrial restraint of untainted assets. The Department of Justice will seize assets, before proving a single allegation of wrongdoing, even where those assets are not linked to the wrongdoing. This … Continue reading

Posted in Appeal, Criminal Forfeiture, Health care fraud | Tagged | 1 Comment

Are You Criminally Liable if Your Business Partner Lies? Or, What the Heck is Misprision of a Felony?

Having a business partner can be a wonderful advantage. But it can also be dangerous if your business partner turns out to be unethical. Karen Olson, a former Alaska executive director of the United States Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service … Continue reading

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Ninth Circuit Sets Some Practical Limits on Obstruction of Justice and Witness Tampering Charges

There has been a lot of talk in the media recently about obstruction of justice. Obstruction of justice is a fascinating topic, to be sure. But whether the President of the United States obstructed justice when he fired the Director … Continue reading

Posted in Appeal, Obstruction, Trade Secrets, Witness tampering | Leave a comment

Fifth Circuit Takes a Goldilocks Approach to False Claims Act Standard for Imputing Knowledge to Corporation

The Department of Justice is always busy prosecuting fraud related to government contracts. The two obvious reasons why this is a DOJ priority are (1) a lot of public money is spent through government contracts, and (2) the size and … Continue reading

Posted in Appeal, civil case, False Claims Act, Government contracting fraud, Kickbacks | Leave a comment

“Restitution for a Reckless Bank? A Dubious Remedy Indeed” – Judge Posner’s Bank of America Smackdown

Judge Richard Posner of the Seventh Circuit—love him or hate him—just wrote a(nother) scathing opinion. He remanded a criminal restitution order, concluding that Bank of America was not entitled to any restitution for fraudulent mortgage loans because of the bank’s … Continue reading

Posted in Appeal, Restitution, Sentencing | Leave a comment