LOS ANGELES - A California appeals panel on May 16 found that a junior high student's violent Facebook post was properly deemed a criminal threat under state law because it reasonably communicated a threat of death or bodily injury to identified targets, leading it to affirm a juvenile court's conviction and sentence (In re A.F., No. B270864, Calif. App. 2nd Dist., 2017 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 3323).
GALVESTON, Texas - The Texas Department of Criminal Justice on April 26 filed an amended complaint against the Food and Drug Administration, asking a Texas federal court to declare that the FDA's impoundment of a drug for lethal injections is unlawful (Texas Department of Criminal Justice v. United States Food and Drug Administration, et al., No. 17-1, S.D. Texas).
DETROIT - Consumers who purchased Volkswagen vehicles with software designed to cheat emissions tests cannot seek restitution from the auto manufacturer as part of criminal proceedings brought by the federal government against the company because it would unduly prolong the sentencing process, a federal judge in Michigan ruled April 21 (United States of America v. James Robert Liang, et al., No. 16-cr-20394, E.D. Mich.).
ATLANTA - A fingerprint specialist may testify based on his qualifications and reliable method on the identification of a man charged with the violation of procuring naturalization and citizenship contrary to U.S. law, a Georgia federal judge held April 18 (United States of America v. Olu Kanni Sanyaolu, No. 16-cr-126, N.D. Ga., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 59294).
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - In a criminal case, a Drug Enforcement Agency special agent may not provide expert opinion testimony regarding drug code generally because the agent was not properly designated as an expert witness, a New Mexico federal judge ruled April 17; however, the special agent may provide lay opinion testimony "limited to his personal perceptions of the investigation and intercepted communications" (United States of America v. Fidal Abdeljawad and Ashley Watson, No. 15-cr-3394, D. N.M., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 58122).
DEERFIELD, Ill. - Baxter International Inc. on April 14 reported that an employee has received a grand jury subpoena pursuant to an antitrust criminal investigation taking place in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Stipulations of dispositiveness are binding in appeals from conditional no contest pleas, the Florida Supreme Court ruled April 13, allowing a man to appeal the denial of his request to exclude testimony about the results of chemical field tests under Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals Inc., 509 U.S. 579 (1993) (Roger Dennis Churchill Jr. v. State of Florida, No. SC16-654, Fla. Sup., 2017 Fla. LEXIS 829).
ALBANY, N.Y. - A New York State Court of Appeals majority on April 4 upheld an appeals court's ruling that Facebook Inc.'s motion to quash warrants seeking user information per the Stored Communications Act (SCA) was properly denied, finding that the order, which was in conjunction with a criminal investigation, was nonappealable (In the Matter of 381 Search Warrants Directed to Facebook Inc., No. 16, N.Y. App., 2017 N.Y. LEXIS 767).
LOS ANGELES - In reversing a lower court in part, a California appeals panel on March 8 held that although a directors and officers liability insurance policy's "Willful Misconduct Exclusion" barred coverage for losses brought about by fraud or criminal acts, the exclusion did not apply to defense expenses (Mitchell J. Stein v. Axis Insurance Company, et al., No. B265069, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., Div. 1, 2017 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 1628).
NEW YORK - Convicted hedge fund manager Raj Rajaratnam has failed to show that his trial counsel in his criminal proceedings was ineffective by failing to bring certain arguments on appeal of Rajaratnam's conviction for insider trading, a federal judge in New York ruled March 3 in denying a pair of motions to vacate Rajaratnam's sentence and civil forfeiture (Raj Rajaratnam v. United States of America, No. 15-5325, related to: 09cr1184, S.D. N.Y., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 30726).
DETROIT - Takata Corp. on Feb. 27 pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud in Michigan federal court and agreed to pay $1 billion in criminal penalties in a case in which the air bag maker was charged with misleading consumers into believing that their air bags were safe when the air bags were prone to exploding during car crashes, leading to deaths and injuries, according to a press release from the U.S. Department of Justice (United States of America v. Takata Corp., No. 2:16-CR-20810, E.D. Mich.).
PHILADELPHIA - In a Feb.27 filing in Pennsylvania federal court, Andrea Constand, who has accused Bill Cosby of sexual assault, opposes a former Pennsylvania district attorney's motion to compel production of documents from her 2005 suit against Cosby, asserting that the documents are irrelevant to her present defamation/false light claim against the former DA (Andrea Constand v. Bruce Castor, No. 2:15-cv-05799, E.D. Pa.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A tribunal for the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) on Feb. 23 rejected a corporation's request for provisional measures in a case filed against the Oriental Republic of Uruguay, refusing to suspend or end a criminal investigation in Uruguay of two of its expert witnesses (Itabla Corp. v. Oriental Republic of Uruguay, No. ARB/16/9, ICSID).
AUSTIN, Texas - Expert testimony from three medical doctors on the subject of abusive head trauma was reliable, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals ruled Feb. 15, upholding a woman's conviction in a bench trial for first-degree-felony injury to a child after an infant under her care sustained serious internal head injuries (Jennifer Banner Wolfe v. The States of Texas, No. PD-0292-15, Texas App., Crim., 2017 Tex. Crim. App. LEXIS 215).
ANNAPOLIS, Md. - The Maryland Court of Appeals on Jan. 27 affirmed the Court of Special Appeals' holding that a nonprofit insured did not cause actual prejudice to an insurer by providing late notice of a claims that it committed criminal acts in prosecuting a lawsuit against the owner of Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus (National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, Pa. v. The Fund for Animals Inc., No. 18, September Term, 2016, Md. App.; 2017 Md. LEXIS 63).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - State Street Corp. will pay more than $64 million in criminal penalties to the U.S. Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission to settle charges that it engaged in a scheme to defraud a number of its clients by "secretly applying commissions to billions of dollars of securities trades," according to a Justice Department press release issued on Jan. 18.
ASHEVILLE, N.C. - Baxter Healthcare Corp. has agreed to pay $18.15 million in criminal and civil penalties to resolve allegations that it continued to manufacture and sell intravenous (IV) solutions made in a clean room outfitted with moldy air filters, the U.S. Justice Department announced Jan. 12 (United States of America v. Baxter Healthcare Corporation, No. 17-10, United States of America v. $8,000,000 in Funds, et al., No. 15-cv15, and United States ex rel. Christopher Wall v. Baxter International, Inc., et al., No. 13-42, W.D. N.C.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Orthopedic device maker Zimmer Biomet Holdings Inc. and an indirect subsidiary will pay $30.4 million to resolve criminal charges that they violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) by paying bribes to people in Mexico and for violating a 2012 deferred prosecution agreement (DPA) for earlier FCPA violations, the U.S. Justice Department announced Jan. 12 (United States of America v. Zimmer Biomet Holdings, Inc., No. 12-cr-80, United States of America v. JERDS Luxembourg Holdings S.A.R.L., No. n/a, D. D.C.).
PHILADELPHIA - On Dec. 14 and 15, separate criminal and civil complaints were filed in federal courts by the federal government and 20 states against two former executives and six generic drug manufacturers accusing them of conspiring to fix the prices, rig drug bids and allocate markets for the antibiotic doxycycline and the diabetes drug glyburide (United States of America v. Jeffrey Glazer, No. 16-cr-506, United States of America v. Jason Malek, No. 16-cr-508, E.D. Pa., The State of Connecticut, et al. v. Aurbodino Pharma USA, Inc., et al., No. 16-2056, D. Conn.).
CHICAGO - A trial judge did not err in allowing testimony from a cellphone record expert that placed a man at the location of illegal gun purchases in one state with illegal sales in another state, the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed Dec. 9 (United States of America v. David Lewisbey, No. 14-2236, 7th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 21935).
BOSTON - Six former executives and managers of drug maker Insys Therapeutics Inc. were indicted Dec. 6 for racketeering, mail fraud and wire fraud conspiracy for allegedly bribing medical practitioners to prescribe Subsys, a fentanyl-containing pain drug, and for defrauding medical insurers, according to a criminal information unsealed Dec. 8 (United States of America v. Michael L. Babich, et al., No. 16-cr-10343, D. Mass.).
BOSTON - A trial judge did not err in admitting expert testimony concerning the absence of fingerprints on a gun that a jury found a defendant had possessed, the First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held Dec. 1, affirming a man's conviction of being a felon in possession of a firearm (United States of America v. Verissimo Tavares, No. 14-2319, 1st Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 21491).
BOSTON - A defendant facing federal murder charges in connection with the New England Compounding Center (NECC) fungal meningitis outbreak on Nov. 25 asked a Massachusetts federal court to continue his January trial, saying he is at a disadvantage because he only recently got access to discovery from the personal injury multidistrict litigation that is likely to be used against him (United States of America v. Glenn Chin, No. 14-cr-10363, D. Mass.).