Firm News Archive

News

Case Summaries

Criminal Law & Procedure

[05/25] Leider v. Lewis
In a taxpayer action seeking injunctive and declaratory under Code of Civil Procedure section 526a alleging claims of elephant abuse at the Los Angeles Zoo in violation of Penal Code section 596.5, the Court of Appeals' judgment is reversed where: 1) the Court of Appeal's earlier decision did not establish law of the case, and did not bar defendants' new argument that the claim for equitable relief is precluded by Civil Code section 3369; and 2) the 'as otherwise provided by law' exception in section 3369 does not permit equitable relief in a taxpayer action seeking to restrain 'illegal' public expenditures under Code of Civil Procedure section 526a.

[05/24] Fahie v. People of the Virgin Islands
In a petition for writ of certiorari to review a Virgin Islands Supreme Court's decision in a criminal matter in which petitioner was identified as the sole-shooter in a murder by a co-defendant that reached a plea deal with the government, the Court of Appeals holds: 1) the Court does have jurisdiction; 2) the V.I. Supreme Court's ruling on the 'aiding and abetting' instruction was proper; and 3) certiorari was improvidently granted on the harmless error question.

[05/23] Woodfolk v. Maynard
In a 28 U.S.C. section 2254 petition for writ of habeas corpus relief from sentence and conviction of attempted murder, the district court's denial of the petition is vacated and remanded to address the merits of petitioner's ineffective assistance of counsel claim.

[05/23] US v. Martinez-Lantigua
Conviction of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and possession with intent to distribute at least 15 kilograms but less than 50 kilograms of cocaine, in violation of 21 U.S.C. sections 841(a)(1), (b)(1)(A), and 846, are affirmed where: 1) because the entire drug deal was captured on video and audio -- which show defendant inspecting the drugs with his own hands -- there was sufficient evidence to convict; and 2) defendant's claims that there were errors at his trial are without merit.

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Evidence

[05/23] US v. Martinez-Lantigua
Conviction of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and possession with intent to distribute at least 15 kilograms but less than 50 kilograms of cocaine, in violation of 21 U.S.C. sections 841(a)(1), (b)(1)(A), and 846, are affirmed where: 1) because the entire drug deal was captured on video and audio -- which show defendant inspecting the drugs with his own hands -- there was sufficient evidence to convict; and 2) defendant's claims that there were errors at his trial are without merit.

[05/18] US v. Ramdihall
Conviction for conspiracy to commit access-device fraud in violation of 18 U.S.C. sections 1029(a)(1), (a)(3), and (b)(2), and 18 U.S.C. section 371, is affirmed over defendant's meritless challenge to the district court's denial of his pre trial motion to suppress evidence.

[05/18] US v. Hillaire
Conviction for conspiracy to commit access-device fraud, 18 U.S.C. sections 1029(a)(1), (a)(3) and (b)(2), is affirmed over defendant's claim that the district court erred in denying his pretrial suppression motion where: 1) there was no unlawful seizure, and the evidence that defendant seeks to suppress obviously does not constitute the fruits of an unlawful seizure; and 2) the warrantless swiping of the credit cards through a card reader did not violate the constitution.

[05/18] US v. Diaz-Rosado
Conviction of carjacking under 18 U.S.C. section 2119 is affirmed over defendant's challenges to the sufficiency of the evidence on the issue of intent, the admission of an alleged confession, the rejection of a proposed supplemental jury instruction, and the admission of an in-court witness identification.

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Sentencing

[05/19] US v. Coombs
Sentence and conviction of drug-trafficking crimes are affirmed over defendant's claim that the district court erred both in denying his multiple motions to suppress incriminating evidence and in fashioning his sentence.

[05/19] US v. Houston
Sentences for convictions of transporting a from Maine to Massachusetts and back to Maine over an eight-day period with the intent that the minor engage in prostitution, 18 U.S.C. section 2421, are affirmed over defendants' meritless that the district court erroneously applied sentencing enhancements for undue influence and computer use, U.S.S.G. sections 2G1.3(b)(2)(B) and (b)(3)(B), that the government breached the terms of a proffer agreement in its sentencing memorandum, and that the district court failed to adequately weigh the 18 U.S.C. section 3553(a) factors when fashioning the sentence.

[05/19] People v. Fernandez
Denial of two Proposition 47 petitions for resentencing under Penal Code?section 1170.18 is reversed where the trial court relied on an erroneous interpretation of the statute when it denied defendant's petitions.

[05/19] US v. Edwards
Sentence under the Armed Career Criminal Act (ACCA), 18 U.S.C. section 924(e) for guilty plea to multiple federal firearms offenses, 18 U.S.C. section 922(g), is affirmed on different grounds where defendant's armed- assault-with-intent-to-murder conviction counts as his third ACCA predicate.

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