Today, the Second Circuit decided cases concerning attorney discipline, an attorney's fee award, criminal sentencing and government benefits.
In US v. Walker, No. 08-3874, defendant appealed his sentence for firearm possession, which the district court enhanced based on a prior state conviction. The court of appeals affirmed, holding that 1) the modified categorical approach applicable in the Second Circuit to prior convictions for statutory offenses also applied to prior convictions for state common law crimes; and 2) defendant's prior South Carolina "strong arm robbery" conviction was a crime of violence under U.S.S.G. section 2K2.1(a)(2).
In In re: Saghir, No. 09-90017, the Second Circuit removed an attorney from the bar of the court of appeals, pursuant to the court's reciprocal discipline rule, on the ground that the attorney was previously disbarred by the Southern District of New York.
Service Employees Int'l., Inc. v. Director, Office of Workers' Comp. Program, No. 08-2515, involved a petition for review of an order of the Benefits Review Board of the Department of Labor awarding claimant compensation under the Defense Base Act for temporary total disability and temporary partial disability. The court of appeals denied the petition on the ground that substantial evidence supported the Administrative Law Judge's finding that claimant's pterygia was caused or aggravated by his working conditions in Iraq.
Rodriguez v. Atkinson, Haskins, Nellis, Brittingham, Gladd & Carwile, P.C., No. 08-4966, concerned an appeal from the district court's order awarding attorneys' fees after an infant compromise hearing. The Second Circuit affirmed the award on the grounds that: 1) the district court did not err in looking beyond the retainer agreement between plaintiffs and their attorneys to the actual work performed by the various attorneys; and 2) the district court did not err in determining that appellant-attorneys did not obtain informed consent from the client for the fee-sharing agreement.