Monday, February 28, 2005

Is something going on? I've noticed that Findlaw has not been updating its Second Circuit opinions since mid-February. And ever since the Second Circuit News blog disappeared (for no reason that I can find), the only place to find Second Circuit opinions is on the Second Circuit website. That would be OK, except that when you link to an opinion, you don't seem to get the URL for the opinion. The address, at least on my computer, remains the general Second Circuit website URL. If anyone knows another way to get cites to Second Circuit opinions, please let me know.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Governmental attorney-client privilege. A federal grand jury subpoenaed the testimony of Anne C. George, the former chief legal counsel to the Office of the Governor of Connecticut. The investigation regarded possible criminal violations by Connecticut public officials and employees and by private parties with whom the state had done business. The grand jury was seeking to obtain testimony about the contents of confidential communications between Ms. George and the governor and members of his staff. The district court entered an order compelling Ms. George to testify, holding that in that the testimony was necessary to the grand jury, the governmental attorney-client privilege must yield because the interests served by the grand jury's fact-finding process outweigh the interest served by the privilege. The Second Circuit reverse, holding that the attorney-client privilege applied and refused to fashion a balancing test or otherwise establish a rule whereby a generalized asserton of privilege must yield to the demonstrated, specific need for evidence. The decision in United States v. Doe can be found at the Second Circuit website. I will try to get you a better site at a later date.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Here's an interesting article on the Second Circuit's reaction to the Supreme Court's sentencing guideline cases.

Monday, February 07, 2005

Off-topic, but interesting. Justice Doris Ling-Cohan has issued an order, holding that a provision of New York law, forbidding same-sex marriage is unconstitutional under the New York constitution, although the effect of the order is stayed for 30 days so that New York City can appeal, which it will. A copy of the decision can be found here. It's not about the Second Circuit, but it's darn interesting. (And it's 62 pages!)

Sunday, February 06, 2005

No appeal from a magistrate judge's order. Mathew J. Harrison pleaded guilty of conspiring to distribut marajuana. After the plea, the district judge assigned him counsel and released him on $5,000 bond with certain conditions of release. Harrison broke these conditions on several occasions. Because of these violations, the magistrate judge revoked his bail. Harrison made three separate motions for reconsideration to the magistrate judge, which were denied. Harrison filed a notice of appeal from the magistrate judge's detention order. The Court noted that a magistrate judge's ruling on bail is not final and cannot be appealed to the Court of Appeals because it is subject to review by the district court. Hence, the Second Circuit lacked jurisdiction to hear the case and dismissed the appeal. The case in United States v. Harrison can be found here. What surprises me is that Harrison's attorney did not seem to know that he should have seen review from the district court first.