In Grossmith v. Noonan, No. 09-1900, the First Circuit faced a challenge to the district court's judgment in favor of the defendants in plaintiff's civil rights suit against two police officers arising out of his arrest for shooting his neighbor's dog. In affirming the judgment, the court held that the district court did not abuse its discretion in finding that both parties had made the dog's appearance relevant to the case and admitting the photograph as the photograph of the dog, properly authenticated, was useful to the jury in evaluating the credibility of defendant's testimony and that of others. Furthermore, the court concluded that the district court did not abuse its discretion in admitting testimony about the dog's characteristic behavior and its physical appearance for the same reasons.
US v. Franquiz-Ortiz, No. 09-1815, concerned a challenge to the district court's imposition of a statutory maximum permissible sentence upon revocation of defendant's supervised release for his drug conviction. In vacating the revocation sentence, the court held that the record provides an insufficient basis for review of the procedural and substantive reasonableness of the sentence.
US v. Rivera-Martinez, No. 09-1766, concerned a district court's denial of defendant's motion for a sentence reduction of his 240 month sentence for drug related conviction. In affirming the denial, the court held that, in the absence of explicit countervailing language in the plea agreement, 18 U.S.C. section 3582(c)(2) does not apply and, as such, the defendant, who was sentenced pursuant to a binding C-type plea agreement for conspiring to distribute crack cocaine is not eligible for sentence reduction.
Anaya-Burgos v. Lasalvia-Prisco, No. 09-1079, concerned a plaintiff's suit against an oncologist and others, claiming that the death of his wife was the result of defendants' negligent acts and omissions that induced her to purchase their "cancer vaccine" treatment rather than conventional cancer treatments. In vacating the district court's grant of defendants' motion for judgment as a matter of law, the court held that the plaintiff put forth sufficient evidence including expert testimony, from which a reasonable jury could have concluded - and did conclude - that defendants' breach of the standard of care towards the wife caused her untimely death by inducing her to choose their treatment with promises that it would cure her.