Category: Federal Criminal Procedure

February 25, 2015

Court Reins In Prosecutorial Overreach in Insider Trading Cases

In an effort to reinstate powers stripped from them by the Court of Appeals in U.S. v. Newman and Chiasson, prosecutors have sought a rehearing of the landmark Second Circuit decision which severely curtailed the scope of insider trading cases. The case is one which has already seen a dramatic reversal, so it is perhaps… Read More

February 18, 2015

The Government’s [Subpoena] Power is Not Infinite

It’s not every day that a federal court likens an Assistant U.S. Attorney’s argument to that “of a grade schooler seeking to avoid detention.” But, in a recent opinion, Judge Emmet G. Sullivan of the D.C. District Court did just that. In so doing, he reminded us that—despite the government’s (admitted) routine abuse of its… Read More

December 1, 2014

Remote Search Warrants and the Continued Threat to Privacy Rights

What were you doing Wednesday, November 5, 2014? If you are a staunch Republican, you might have been toasting the election results from the day before, dreamy-eyed and dancing. If you are a staunch Democrat, you might have been scratching your head profusely, thunderstruck and quiet. People across the country were talking politics and policy… Read More

November 24, 2014

Smart is the New Tough: A Changing Approach in America’s War on Drugs, Crime?

Fact: the United States incarcerates its citizens at the highest rate in the developed world. Indeed—save one small chain of islands, whose entire population is just a fraction of our prison population—the United States’ incarceration rate is the highest on the planet.  And nearly half of our approximately 1.75 million inmates are serving time for… Read More

November 13, 2014

Where to Draw the Line With Undercover FBI Operations

Several news publications have been making much ado about a tactic the FBI used in 2007 to locate an individual suspected in a series of bomb-threats to Washington state high schools. The FBI created a fake news article, falsely representing it as an Associated Press publication, and sent a link to the suspect’s MySpace account…. Read More

April 30, 2014

Another SDNY Judge Finds the U.S. Federal Sentencing Guidelines Wanting

In a sentencing hearing yesterday in the Southern District of New York, yet another judge reached the conclusion that the quasi-mathematical formulaic approach of the United States Sentencing Guidelines fails to account adequately for differences between criminal defendants.  But, in this case, the result was to the detriment of the individual being sentenced in that… Read More

December 20, 2013

First Circuit Reverses District Court Order Granting New Trial

Appellate courts do not often reverse a trial judge’s decision to grant a new trial, so we took notice when the First Circuit did so in United States v. Carpenter.  Given the case history, the First Circuit decision should help to answer an important question:  How much leeway do prosecutors have when summarizing evidence in… Read More

December 11, 2013

Taking Advantage of a Video Poker Glitch Can Land you in Jail in Nevada

Last month, federal prosecutors in Nevada filed a motion to dismiss an indictment that shined a bright light on overly broad federal criminal statutes and the abuse of prosecutorial discretion in using them. John Kane and Andre Nestor were each charged in an indictment in January 2011 with one count of conspiracy to commit wire… Read More