Firm News Archive

News

Case Summaries

Criminal Law & Procedure

[07/18] US v. Ventura
Affirming the sentence in the case of a defendant charged with multiple counts of sex trafficking and related offenses where one charge had been previously vacated and the case returned to district court for a resentencing that resulted in the same term of prison because their sentence of 420 months was well within the 360 month to life guidelines.

[07/14] Alfaro v. Johnson
Reversing the grant of habeas corpus relief because the petitioner failed to exhaust available state court remedies and because the claim was untimely filed.

[07/13] US v. Sierra Pacific Industries, Inc.
Affirming the district court's denial of defendant's motion for relief from judgment where they alleged that the government's misrepresentations throughout the investigation and trial constituted a fraud on the court because the defendant did not demonstrate fraud on the court it discovered before settlement and none of the after-discovered information established fraud on the court within the meaning of the law.

[07/13] P. v. Jeffrey G.
Reversing the trial court's denial of a petition for conditional release by an individual confined to a state hospital for over 20 years where their continued detention was based upon an expert witness's testimony with respect to hearsay evidence upon which they based their opinion, which was determined to be a violation of the subsequently issued Sanchez rule.

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Evidence

[07/10] P. v. Turner
Affirming the lower court's denial of a motion to suppress a firearm and methamphetamines uncovered in an inventory search when the defendant was arrested for leaving a restaurant and a motion to suppress evidence of the defendant's prior possession of the same type of ammunition that was introduced to impeach his specific testimony suggesting the evidence had been planted by the police.

[07/03] P. v. Hopson
Reversing the conviction of a woman allegedly involved in the murder of a housemate who claimed her now-deceased boyfriend was responsible but had her testimony contradicted by the introduction of her dead boyfriend's recorded confession, in which she was implicated. The court held that the introduction of this evidence was a violation of the defendant's Sixth Amendment right to confront witnesses against her.

[06/30] P. v. Resendez
Affirming the judgment in a criminal case where the defendant was convicted of several charges that included gang enhancements, finding that statements by detectives, witnesses, and the defendant himself were sufficient to establish the existence of the gang and the defendant's membership in it.

[06/28] Lambert v. Warden Green SCI
Vacating and remanding the conviction in a criminal case where an expert repeated a co-defendant's incriminating statements, which were stricken from the record since the co-defendant did not testify, to determine whether the defendant's counsel was ineffective and if the Commonwealth used the expert for their hearsay purpose.

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Sentencing

[07/18] US v. Ventura
Affirming the sentence in the case of a defendant charged with multiple counts of sex trafficking and related offenses where one charge had been previously vacated and the case returned to district court for a resentencing that resulted in the same term of prison because their sentence of 420 months was well within the 360 month to life guidelines.

[07/13] Washington v. USA
Denying a motion for leave to file a successive motion to vacate the 20 year sentence of a pro se petitioner, in prison for cocaine trafficking with an enhancement for repeated offenses, who argued that his enhancement was unconstitutional under Mathis, but Mathis was not interpreting the Constitution, it interpreted the Armed Career Criminal Act and precedent, both of which referred to a different enhancement provision than the one that resulted in the defendant's sentence.

[07/10] US v. Ortiz-Carrasco
Affirming the application of a penalty enhancement for death occurring during the commission of an offense in a case involving a plot to smuggle migrants from the Dominican Republic to the United States.

[07/10] US v. Chavez-Cuevas
Affirming the district court's issuance of a sentence prior to adjudicating the guilt of a Mexican national with criminal convictions who repeatedly entered the country without authorization and their application of a 16-level enhancement of the sentence, holding that there was an implied acceptance of the plea by the court and that the enhancement was merited given the nature of the prior conviction for a crime of violence.

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