Friday, July 29, 2005

New blog. Well, OK, it's been around since December 2004, but it's new to me. I've just run across the Second Circuit blog, authored by a group of Federal Public Defenders in New York, New York. I haven't done an exhaustive look at the blog, but it seems to be oriented toward criminal law (understandably, given the identities of their authors). Welcome to the blogosphere, gang.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Parents. Under immigration law, someone subject to coercive family planning policies in his or her native land (or that person's spouse) may seek asylum in the United States. The Second Circuit has held that parents or parents-in-law of such persons are not entitled to seek asylum. The decision in Yuan v. United States Department of Justice can be found here.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Dickens. I usually don't report on criminal cases involving sentencing disputes, but being a big Charles Dickens fan, I could not go without providing you with a link to United States v. Brady, a case where Judge Cardamone starts off with a quote from A Tale of Two Cities. Unfortunately for Brady, the sentence she was given by the District Court, along with the giant downward departure, was remanded because the District Court's factual findings were insufficient to justify the departure. The decision can be found here. The worst of times, indeed! (Of course, further factfinding will be performed by the District Court, which may then warrant the departure, so you never know.)

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Jury decides. A party who demands that a jury consider a claim for lost wages under Title VII will get a jury where the defendant fails to object. That's what the Second Circuit held in Broadnax v. City of New Haven, a case of first impression. A lost wages award is considered to be an equitable remedy, and equitable claims are generally not decided by juries. However, the Court found, agreeing with other circuits, that a failure to object is equivalent to consent under Rule 39(c) of the Federla Rules of Civil Procedure, which allows jury trials even in cases not triable of right by juries if both parties consent. The decision can be found here.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Amend that notice. If you file a notice of appeal from a judgment and the judgment is later amended after a post-trial motion, you had better file a new notice of appeal if you want to appeal from any of the amendments. The plaintiff in Sorensen v. City of New York learned that rule to her regret -- her appeal was dismissed. The decision in that case can be found here.

BTW, you've probably heard of this case. It's about the Danish woman who left her baby in a carriage in front of a restaurant while she was having lunch inside. Evidently, that's common in Denmark.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Circuit split. The Second Circuit has noted that "[t]here is a circuit split on the question of whether the actual use [of the telephone] by the defendant must be an interstate one" for such acts to be covered by 18 U.S.C. 1958. The District Court had answered that question in the negative, in accord with decisions of the Fifth and Seventh Circuits. The Sixth Circuit has taken the opposite view, as had two district courts in the Second Circuit. The Second Circuit agreed with the Fifth and Seventh Circuits.

In that the Sixth Circuit decision was limited to its facts by a later Sixth Circuit opinion, it is unlikely that this issue is likely to go up to the Supreme Court at this time.

The decision in United States v. Perez can be found here.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Quattrone report. Frank Quattrone's appeal of his obstruction of justice conviction was argued in the Second Circuit. The New York Sun published this report of the argument.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Non-attorney Parent representing Minor Child. The Second Circuit, in Tindall v. Poultney High School District, has seemed to take a looser view on non-attorney parents representing their minor children. While, in this case, the Court did not allow the parent to represent the child, it gave more time for counsel to be retained. It also stated that "the rule that a parent may not represent her child should be applied gingerly." The decision does not set out the exact perameters of the rule, so I guess that is an issue for another day. Judge Kearse concurred in part and dissented in part. Her dissent went straight to the issue of non-attorney parents representing their children. She disagrees with the Court's less stringent view. The decision can be found here.