U.S. First Circuit - The FindLaw 1st Circuit Court of Appeals News and Information Blog

November 2017 Archives

Independent Contractor v. Employee Battle Wages On

In boxing, fighters learn the old one-two.

It's one punch followed up quickly by another, like a left jab followed by a right cross, or another combination. The combination isn't as important as the execution; it has to be as automatic as a reflex to punish the opponent before he has a chance to react.

That's what's happening to the defendant in Djamel Ouadani v. TF Final Mile LLC.

A recent case out of the First Circuit Court of Appeals may inspire a new rule of thumb: Attorneys that blame voluntary commitments to their church as a reason for missing a deadline are, per se, acting in bad faith.

All kidding aside, an experienced bankruptcy practitioner actually tried to claim that their duties with the church as a music director during the week of Easter were so onerous that they blew a deadline for filing an appeal. Unfortunately for the pious-to-a-fault lawyer, the bankruptcy court, the district court, and the circuit court all agreed: Having a commitment to your church will not support a finding of excusable neglect.

Murder-for-Hire Failed Twice

Andrew Gordon wanted a hit man to kill his wife.

Only problem was, he confided in someone who tipped off police and the would-be "hit man" turned out to be an undercover officer. So Gordon sought another hit man to kill the undercover officer and the tipster.

But you just can't get good help these days, and the second potential conspirator squealed on him. Gordon got 20 years in prison.

Captain's Appeal Goes Down With Cocaine Shipment

If you're going to smuggle drugs, be sure to obey all traffic laws.

We're talking transportation regulations, like boating laws that say a ship's captain must turn on navigation lights at night. That's what brought down a captain on the waters between Venezuela and Puerto Rico.

That, and the bricks of cocaine he left on deck. Police saw the drugs and arrested him and his crew for breaking other trafficking laws.

Court: FBI Child-Porn Search Validated

Using a technology originally designed to protect government communications, the dark web hides all sorts of criminal activity.

On Playpen, users got access to the child porn site without detection -- so they thought. But the FBI seized Playpen and installed tracking software, resulting in hundreds of user-arrests.

A trial judge said a search warrant was invalid in one case that could have unraveled everything, but an appeals court reversed in United States v. Levin. Turn-about, as it were, was fair to Playpen users.