Criminal Law and Procedure

    • 14 Dec 2015

    Supreme Court Grants Cert In Domestic Assault Predicate-Offense Dispute

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — (Mealey’s) The U.S. Supreme Court today agreed to decide whether domestic violence convictions in tribal court in which the defendant did not have counsel can be used to satisfy the predicate-offense element of 18 U.S. Code Section 117(a), [subscribers can access an enhanced version of this statute: lexis.com | Lexis Advance ], which makes it a federal crime to commit domestic assault in...
    • 3 Nov 2015

    Department of Justice’s Pursuit of Individual Criminal Liability for Corporate Misconduct: The Yates Memo

    By Frank E. Sheeder Cooperation credit is a critical issue for corporations that become embroiled in investigations or enforcement activity. In both the criminal and civil contexts, it is the only way to mitigate the financial impact of corporate wrongdoing. It can mean the difference between surviving a government investigation and staying in business at all. Now, the corporation’s very existence could hinge...
    • 20 Oct 2015

    D.C. Circuit to Decide Scope of Judges’ Authority in Approval Process for Deferred Prosecution Agreements

    A federal judge exceeded his authority when he rejected a deferred prosecution agreement (DPA), [subscribers can access an enhanced version of this opinion: lexis.com | Lexis Advance ], entered into earlier this year by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and a Dutch aerospace company, the DOJ and company collectively argued before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. The appeal comes at a time...
    • 7 Oct 2015

    DOJ Provides Guidance On Prosecution Of Individuals

    The Department of Justice (DOJ) long has required entities seeking credit for cooperating with its investigations to provide what it terms “full and truthful” cooperation. In policies memorialized over time, DOJ has been careful to encourage companies to voluntarily come forward, yet has refrained from identifying exactly what it means to be “cooperative.” DOJ now has provided further guidance...
    • 4 Sep 2015

    The Risks of Using Criminal Statutes to Collect Construction Debts

    By John Lockard The failure to make payment on a construction contract may not only result in a claim for money damages in a civil lawsuit, but it may also result in a violation of a criminal statute. For example, Code of Virginia Section 43-13, [subscribers can access an enhanced version of this statute: lexis.com | Lexis Advance ], makes it a felony to use funds received for a particular construction project for any...
    • 26 Aug 2015

    Not Quite El Chapo's Escaping Through A Tunnel Under His Shower, But Still An Escape From "Custody”

    There have been two high-profile prison escapes in recent weeks -- one in Mexico and one in upstate New York. In United States v. Small , the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, [subscribers can access an enhanced version of this opinion: lexis.com | Lexis Advance ], dealt with a third escape that was much lower-profile but still interesting. It presented the question of whether an individual could be guilty...
    • 25 Aug 2015

    Is A Locked, Fenced-In Parking Lot A "Structure"? It is in New Jersey

    By Peter J. Gallagher ( @pjsgallagher ) I was in law school during the Bill Clinton/Monica Lewinsky drama. When the pundits seized on Bill Clinton's grand jury testimony about what the "meaning of 'is' is," I recall one of my professors saying that lawyers make distinctions like that every day. In practice, I have learned that this is true. At depositions and in court, lawyers often argue over...
    • 6 Aug 2015

    Non-US Companies and Executives at Risk from US RICO Law

    By Kevin Walsh , Douglas Walter Mateyaschuk , Richard F. Hans , and Jean-Pierre Douglas-Henry More frequently than ever before, American plaintiffs and prosecutors are using US laws to target conduct that has little, if any, connection to the United States. Potential exposure to criminal and civil liability under US law must now be considered by businesses no matter where they are headquartered and operate. Mitigating...
    • 27 Jul 2015

    Structuring Trips Up Speaker Hastert

    By Robert J. Higdon Jr. Former Speaker of the United States House of Representatives Dennis Hastert entered the well of a courtroom in the Northern District of Illinois recently to enter a plea of not guilty to charges that he structured more than $900,000 in cash withdrawals from his own bank accounts and then lied to the FBI about them. The not guilty plea commences the formal criminal proceedings against him...
    • 15 Jul 2015

    New Wyoming Law Criminalizes “Unlawful Collection of Resource Data”

    A recently passed Wyoming law, [subscribers can access an enhanced version of this bill: lexis.com | Lexis Advance ], now criminalizes certain kinds of data collection: specifically, unauthorized collection of natural resource data. The new Wyoming Senate Enrolled Act No. 61 outlaws the collection of “resource data”[1] on any “open land” – private, state, or even (under some interpretations...
    • 14 Jul 2015

    The FIFA Prosecution & the Strategy Behind the Federal Criminal Indictment

    By Robert J. Higdon Jr. On May 27, 2015 the United States Department of Justice unsealed several charging documents involving the Federation Internationale de Football Association (“FIFA”). These documents included four Bills of Information, each charging a single individual, and one Bill of Indictment charging 14 additional defendants. While the Justice Department has brought a number of specific...
    • 13 Jul 2015

    DOJ Warns Extradition ‘Safe Havens’ Fading and Promises More Extradition Fights

    The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) continues to push the extraterritorial reach of U.S. criminal laws. In the recent months, DOJ has demonstrated that its international enforcement efforts in the white-collar criminal front will include aggressive use of extradition requests for foreign nationals who participate in crimes impacting United States commerce. However, a recent decision by an Austrian Court demonstrates...
    • 24 Jun 2015

    Prosecutors Strike Out on Barry Bonds as Ninth Circuit Narrows Obstruction Strike Zone

    By Sanjay Bhandari, Henry E. Hockeimer, Jr., and Charles A. Stillman The indictment and trial of famed baseball slugger Barry Bonds for perjury and obstruction of justice drew nationwide attention. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals’ April 22, 2015, en banc decision reversing Bonds’ obstruction conviction should also draw attention for the spotlight it shines on the potential for government overreach...
    • 23 Jun 2015

    State Net Criminal Law Update: Nearly Half of States Made Criminal Sentencing Changes in 2014

    Twenty-three states enacted 51 bills last year dealing with sentencing and criminal penalties, according to the State Sentencing and Corrections Legislation database provided by the National Conference of State Legislatures and the Pew Charitable Trusts’ Public Safety Performance Project. At least seven of those bills -- Hawaii’s HB 1926 and HB 2205, Kansas’s HB 2490, Louisiana’s HB 732, Rhode...
    • 23 Jun 2015

    State Net Criminal Law Update: Prison Reform Boosted by Alliances of Conservatives and Liberals

    In rare displays of bipartisanship, state legislative coalitions of liberal Democrats and conservative Republicans are overhauling sentencing procedures and making other important changes in criminal justice laws. Legislatures in Alabama and Maryland last month passed laws that will shorten many prison terms, while the Massachusetts legislature is mulling a measure that would abolish mandatory minimum sentences. ...
    • 12 Jun 2015

    How a Criminal Defense Lawyer Can Help You

    (Image credit: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/b7/Law3.jpg) People or organizations embroiled in lawsuits due to accusations of criminal misconduct need to engage the services of a attorney to defend themselves. It is the duty of a lawyer to carry out research, do the paperwork, prepare for and argue a case on behalf of his clients, and defend them from the criminal charge levied against them. ...
    • 13 May 2015

    This Is Real Law: The Power of Knowledge: Publishing Legal Information to Fight Arbitrary Detention

    You’re in a police cell. It’s dark, and it reeks of sweat and urine. If you’re lucky, you aren’t hurt. Even if you are injured, provided it’s not serious, you might have other things on your mind. If you’re a lawyer, journalist or experienced activist, for example, you might be more angry or indignant than alarmed, especially if this is happening to you in the United States, where...
    • 11 May 2015

    Indigent Corporations Are People Too! New Jersey Court Holds That Indigent Corporations Are Entitled To Appointed Counsel, Just Not Public Defenders

    By Peter J. Gallagher ( @pjsgallagher ) Anyone who has watched Law & Order or any other police procedural probably knows the Miranda warnings by heart, including the part about the perpetrators having the right to an attorney and the right to have an attorney appointed to represent them if they cannot afford one. But, did you ever stop to consider whether an indigent corporation that is charged with a crime...
    • 29 Apr 2015

    Criminal Asbestos Case Against Tennessee Salvage Company

    By E. Lynn Grayson U.S. District Judge Ronnie Greer sentenced five people to prison terms in federal court in Greeneville, Tennessee, this week for conspiring to commit Clean Air Act offenses in connection with the illegal removal and disposal of asbestos-containing materials at the former Liberty Fibers Plant in Hamblen County, Tennessee, the Justice Department announced. A&E Salvage had purchased the plant out...
    • 23 Apr 2015

    Roadmap to Prison: Lessons Learned from the Criminal Prosecution of Alpha Ambulance's Leaders

    No one running an ambulance company ever planned to go to prison for doing his or her job. But that is a real possibility if the government knocks on the door, and the owner or manager is dishonest in his or her response to the inquiry. CMS contractors are increasing the number of audits they are performing of ambulance companies. Similarly, HHS-OIG and the Department of Justice are increasing the number of ambulance...
    • 6 Apr 2015

    Insurance Fraud Results in Eight Years in Prison: Plea of Guilty to Insurance Fraud Stands

    When a party pleads guilty to multiple crimes in open court and with the advice of competent counsel he or she can expect to spend time in jail or prison and to have no opportunity to withdraw the plea. However, in People v. Dobson , Not Reported in Cal.Rptr.3d, 2015 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 824 (Cal.App. 4 Dist., 2/3/15), [ enhanced version available to lexis.com subscribers ], the defendant attempted to withdraw his plea...
    • 23 Mar 2015

    White House Task Force on Sexual Assault Advises Colleges on Working with Law Enforcement

    By Olabisi L. Okubadejo and Rachel M. Keene In its April 2014 report , the White House Task Force to Protect Students From Sexual Assault promised to release a sample Memorandum of Understanding to provide guidance to institutions of higher education that wish to increase coordination among campus security, local law enforcement, and other community groups that provide services to individuals who experience sexual...
    • 3 Mar 2015

    Another Criminal Conviction Under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act for Wind Farms

    By E. Lynn Grayson PacifiCorp Energy has agreed to pay $2.5 million to settle charges arising from bird deaths at two of its wind farms located in Wyoming. PacifiCorp pled guilty in Wyoming federal court to two misdemeanor violations of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, [ enhanced version available to lexis.com subscribers ], and was sentenced to five years' probation. The company also agreed to institute a compliance...
    • 26 Feb 2015

    Compounding Pharmacy Co-Owner Pleads Guilty to Misdemeanor Criminal Violations of the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, acting through the U.S. Department of Justice appears to have relied on the Park Doctrine, [ enhanced version available to lexis.com subscribers ], to hold a corporate officer of a compounding pharmacy criminally responsible for the pharmacy's violations of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FDCA). As discussed in an earlier Duane Morris Alert , the Park Doctrine, also...
    • 25 Feb 2015

    Federal Prosecutors Charge NECC Employees with Second Degree Murder: A Shot Across the Bow to Healthcare Companies Navigating Uncertain Regulatory Environments

    Federal prosecutors charged the head pharmacist and the president of New England Compounding Center (NECC), a now-bankrupt Massachusetts compounding pharmacy, with second-degree murder and racketeering in the U.S. District Court District of Massachusetts on Tuesday, December 16. The charges relate to NECC’s 2012 distribution of contaminated steroid injection vials in twenty states. The contaminated vial distribution...