Monday, September 24, 2007

Guns. The Second Circuit heard arguments in City of New York v. Beretta USA Corp., a case involving whether New York City should be able to go to trial in its efforts to force gun manufacturers and distributors to put a lid on the illegal sale of firearms.

The New York Law Journal's coverage of this oral argument can be found here.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Crawford. The Second Circuit upheld a grant of a petition for habeas corpus, holding that Gregg Becker's Sixth Amendment right of confrontation had been violated by the admission of 11 guilty plea allocutions at his trial. The Supreme Court in Crawford v. Washington had held that out of court testimonial statements cannt be admitted against a defendant unless the declarant is unavailable and the defendant had a prior opportunity to cross-examine him.

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

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Solomon Amendment. The Second Circuit has held that the Solomon Amendment, which withholds certain federal funding to universities of which any part does not allow military recruiters, does not violate the First Amendment rights of the faculty of a university.

The decision in Burt v. Gates can be found here.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Fraternal. A fraternity tried to prevent the College of Staten Island from inforcing its policy of not recognizing student groups that discriminate on the basis of sex. The district court had granted a preliminary injunction, but the Second Circuit held that the balance of interests favored the College and reversed.

The decision in Chi Iota Colony of Alpha Epsilon Pi Fraternity v. City University of New York can be found here.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Oral argument. Looks like the Second Circuit is putting some limits on oral argument, at least temporarily. Time will tell if this interim rule becomes permanent.
Appeal Dismissed. The Second Circuit dismissed an appeal where the appellant filed the appeal within 30 days of a corrected judgment, but not within 30 days of the original judgment. Because the corrected judgment did not alter the substantive rights of the parties affected by the first judgment, the time of appeal runs from the time of the first judgment. In this case, a law clerk had purportedly told the appellants' attorneys that an appeal would lie from the second judgment, which the appellate argued required the "exceptional circumstances" doctrine to apply. The Court, however, noted that the "exceptional circumstances" doctrine had been abrogated by the Suprme Court and that parties should not be seeking legal advice from judges or judicial staff.

The decision in In re American Safety Indemnity Co. (American Safety Indemnity Co. v. Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors) can be found here.
Exclusionary Rule. The Second Circuit has held that the exlusionary rule doe not apply to 18 U.S.C. 3109, a statute that empowers federal officers to break into a house to execute a search warrant after being refused admission.

The decision in United States v. Carvajal can be found here.
Another New Blog. I have to add my usual caveat. This is not a new blog. It is a blog that I have just discovered, and which I think my readers might like. Take a look at Wayne Schiess's legal-writing blog. And thanks to Law Dawg Blawg for tipping me off to its existence. Law Dawg Blawg is another fine blog you should check out if you haven't already done so. It's been on my blog roll for ages.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

No expert. Derrick Bell's attorney failed to retain a medical expert regarding the reliability of the complaining witness's identification -- the only evidence tying him to the crime. The Second Circuit held that such a failure constituted constitutionally deficient representation, warranting the grant of a writ of habeas corpus.

The decision in Bell v. Miller can be found here.