Category: Federal Criminal Procedure

April 28, 2016

Feds Open The Gates and Seize the Domain Names

Does the federal government have the right to seize a domain name without notice? With growing frequency, the feds have seized the domain names of thousands of websites for alleged criminal wrongdoing. The latest example is the seizure earlier this week of 67 website domain names for the alleged illegal sale and distribution of counterfeit… Read More

April 15, 2016

Good News: The Feds Can’t Freeze Your Assets to Stop You from Hiring a Lawyer

Republished with permission from FEE.org, originally published April 12, 2016 There are limits to what the government can take from you. The Supreme Court recently ruled that the Constitution forbids the government from freezing a defendant’s “untainted” assets in advance of prosecution. The ruling is a significant victory for those caught in the government’s crosshairs. It… Read More

March 7, 2016

Even Bad Guys Have Rights

This article first appeared February 29, 2016, on FEE.org – you can access this version here. Remember Martin Shkreli, the “pharma bro” notorious for raising the price of his company’s life-saving drug by some 5,000 percent? Did you know he was recently arrested for securities fraud (completely unrelated to the drug hike)? It didn’t take long… Read More

February 26, 2016

Police Make iPhone Public Enemy No. 1

FBI Director James Comey took a rare break from the posturing typical of investigators and prosecutors in the current showdown between Apple and the FBI.  While prosecutors argue that Apple’s privacy concerns are a smokescreen to avoid “assist[ing] the effort to fully investigate a deadly terrorist attack,” Comey posted a statement over the weekend in… Read More

February 19, 2016

FBI Recruits Apple to Help Unlock Your iPhone

It is a well-known maxim that “bad facts make bad law.”  And as anybody even casually browsing social media this week likely has seen, the incredibly tragic facts surrounding the San Bernadino attacks last December have led to a ruling that jeopardizes the privacy rights of all law-abiding Americans. First, it is important to clearly… Read More

August 19, 2015

Government Dismisses Its Case After Warrantless Airport Laptop Search

    The government has voluntarily dismissed its case against Jae Shik Kim, the South Korean businessman for whom Ifrah Law obtained a motion to suppress in federal court.  In 2012, Mr. Kim was stopped by federal agents as he tried to board a plane to South Korea from LAX.  The government seized his laptop… Read More

May 11, 2015

Laptops, Border Checks and The Fourth Amendment

Photo: “LAX-International-checkin” by TimBray at en.wikipedia.   Developments in law are sluggish compared to the rapid rate of technological advancement, and courts must constantly apply old legal principles to technologies which were not contemplated at the time the laws were enacted.   Recently, technology has been at the forefront of privacy rights debates, in light of… Read More

March 26, 2015

Fifth Circuit Rules Only a Seaman Can Commit Seaman’s Manslaughter

A recent decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit Court serves as a good reminder that criminal statutes say only what they say, and that it is up to the legislature to revise statutes to expand their scope if the legislature cares to do so. The opinion, United States v. Kaluza,… Read More

March 17, 2015

Bureaucracy Unlimited

This article first appeared on FEE.org – you can access this version at https://fee.org/freeman/detail/bureaucracy-unlimited Big Gov and Big Biz. Are they holding hands, shaking hands, or boxing? It depends on the day and the issue. But while Big Biz hardly seems like a sympathetic character, Big Gov always has the upper hand. Remember Arthur Anderson? Perhaps… Read More

February 27, 2015

SCOTUS Rules No Felony for Throwing the Little Ones Overboard

This week, the United States Supreme Court resolved some fishy matters on which prosecutors sought to base a federal felony conviction. The case, Yates v. United States, arose from a offshore inspection of a commercial fishing vessel in the Gulf of Mexico. During the inspection, a federal agent found that the ship’s catch contained undersized… Read More