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United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
August 14, 2015, Decided; August 14, 2015, Filed
File Name: 15a0185p.06
[*382] [***1] BERNICE BOUIE DONALD, Circuit Judge. When a doctor first enters the practice of medicine, he or she swears to abide by a prime directive of the profession: "First, do no harm." Paul Volkman breached this sacrosanct tenet when he prescribed narcotics to addicts and [***2] individuals with physical, mental, and psychological frailties. A federal jury looked at Volkman's actions and found him guilty of breaking several laws, chief among them the law prohibiting the unlawful distribution of controlled substances. After receiving the jury's verdict, the district court sentenced Volkman to four consecutive terms of [**2] life imprisonment, to be served concurrently with a number of less-lengthy terms.
Volkman appealed his conviction and sentence and we affirmed the district court by published opinion. See United States v. Volkman, 736 F.3d 1013 (6th Cir. 2013). The Supreme Court then granted Volkman a writ of certiorari and vacated our judgment. See United States v. Volkman, [*383] 135 S. Ct. 13, 190 L. Ed. 2d 286 (2014). On remand, we are asked to consider, in light of Burrage v. United States, 134 S. Ct. 881, 187 L. Ed. 2d 715 (2014), whether sufficient evidence of but-for causation supported Volkman's convictions under the Controlled Substances Act. Because we find the evidence of but-for causation sufficient and because Volkman's other allegations of error continue to lack merit, we AFFIRM the district court and resubmit this opinion, amended at Section IV.C, to address Burrage's but-for standard of causation.
Paul Volkman is a former doctor who cast himself as a "pain management physician." Educated at the University of Chicago, Volkman holds an M.D. and Ph.D. in pharmacology from that institution. See Volkman v. United States Drug Enforcement Admin., 567 F.3d 215, 217 (6th Cir. 2009). Before the events leading up to his conviction, he was board-certified in emergency medicine and was a "diplomat" of the American Academy of Pain Management.
Full case includes Shepard's, Headnotes, Legal Analytics from Lex Machina, and more.
797 F.3d 377 *; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 14288 **; 2015 FED App. 0185P (6th Cir.) ***
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. PAUL H. VOLKMAN, Defendant-Appellant.
Subsequent History: US Supreme Court certiorari denied by Volkman v. United States, 577 U.S. 934, 136 S. Ct. 348, 193 L. Ed. 2d 250, 2015 U.S. LEXIS 6591 (Oct. 13, 2015)
Prior History: [**1] Appeal from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio at Cincinnati. No. 1:07-cr-60-3—Sandra S. Beckwith, District Judge.
Volkman v. United States, 574 U.S. 955, 135 S. Ct. 13, 190 L. Ed. 2d 286, 2014 U.S. LEXIS 7013 (Oct. 20, 2014)United States v. Volkman, 736 F.3d 1013, 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 23378 (6th Cir.) (6th Cir. Ohio, Nov. 21, 2013)
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Criminal Law & Procedure, Standards of Review, Abuse of Discretion, General Overview, Trials, Jury Instructions, Requests to Charge, Controlled Substances, Delivery, Distribution & Sale, Elements, Evidence, Evidence, Admissibility, Expert Witnesses, Judicial Discretion, Expert Witnesses, Ultimate Issue, Testimony, Lay Witnesses, Substantial Evidence, Sufficiency of Evidence, Conspiracy, Weapons Offenses, Possession of Weapons, Use of Weapons, Commission of Another Crime, Weight & Sufficiency, Sentencing, Ranges, Penalties, Juries & Jurors, Province of Court & Jury, Weight of Evidence, Appeals, Abuse of Discretion, Proportionality & Reasonableness Review, Sentencing Guidelines, Adjustments & Enhancements, Vulnerable Victims, Clear Error Review, Clearly Erroneous Review, Findings of Fact, Imposition of Sentence, De Novo Review, Special Skills, Factors