U.S. Second Circuit - The FindLaw 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion Summaries Blog

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Court Rejects Hedge Funder Case Against U.S. Attorney

David Ganek, who ran a $4 billion hedge fund, would have you believe this is a day that will live in infamy.

With his lawsuit thrown out by a federal appeals court, Ganek appealed to the court of public opinion. He said government agents -- including former U.S. Attorney Preet Bahara -- lied to get a search warrant of his offices.

"This is a dangerous day for private citizens and a great day for ambitious, attention-seeking prosecutors who are now being rewarded with total immunity even when they lie and leak," Ganek said in a statement.

He was half right, anyway.

Court Throws Out 'Official Acts' Convictions for Ex-NY Senate Leader Skelos

Sometimes, you just have to count your lucky Skeloses.

Dean Skelos, former New York state Senate majority leader, and his son Adam Skelos have won a reprieve from their corruption convictions. The U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals said jury instructions in United States v. Skelos were faulty.

But for an intervening decision by the U.S. Supreme Court in an unrelated case, the Skeloses might be wishing upon a different star. They were each looking at six years in prison.

Fake Dead Sea Scrolls Writer Bound for Jail

It was enough to shake a lawyer's faith in God, if not the legal system.

Raphael Golb, a disbarred attorney, committed the heresy of challenging the origins of the Dead Sea Scrolls. He also faked emails to discredit scholars who said the Essenes, a Jewish sect, wrote the ancient scripture.

His evil plot failed, however, and hell soon followed. The U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed 10 counts against him for false impersonation in Golb v. Attorney General of the State of New York.

Federal Courts Have No Jurisdiction to Expunge Convictions

A federal district court in Brooklyn has no authority to expunge a valid conviction of a woman who said her arrest record had prevented her from securing a job as a health aide. The Second Circuit opinion did take sympathy on the woman and suggested that Congress should consider allowing federal judges to have the ability to erase old convictions.

Microsoft Doesn't Have to Turn Over Emails on Foreign Servers

The U.S. government cannot not legally compel Microsoft to hand over customer emails stored in Irish servers under the Stored Communications Act, the Second Circuit ruled yesterday. It's a major win for both tech and for privacy advocates.

It is believed that Microsoft is the first company to challenge a domestic search warrant over data held in another country, according to Reuters.

The Second Circuit upheld the conviction of five former employees for Bernie Madoff this week. In a summary order issued Wednesday, the court rejected arguments challenging the sufficiency of the evidence against then and the behavior of federal prosecutors.

The defendants were directors, portfolio managers, and computer programmers who had aided Madoff in the Ponzi scheme which landed Madoff a 150-year prison term and lost investors an estimated $17 billion dollars.

Gambino Capo's 1981 Murder Convictions Upheld by 2nd Cir.

The Second Circuit upheld the murder convictions of Bartolomeo Vernace, ruling that the three decades-old murders might have started over a spilled drink dispute, but they certainly did not hurt the mafioso's reputation as a violent mobster.

The circuit's ruling marks a major victory against the Gambino crime family which has, over the years, suffered diminished power and influence.

Conviction(s) Overturned! Bond Trader's Misrepresentations 'Immaterial'

Ex-Jeffereies & Co. trader Jesse Litvak will get another day in court thanks to the ruling of the Second Circuit's Court of Appeals which essentially made Litvak a free man, at least temporarily.

The misrepresentation and fraud case has been one of the most followed cases on Wall Street in that it potentially marks the limitations of how far "materiality" can be stretched, and by whom.

Cop Who Fantasized About Cannibalism Is off the Hook

More than two years after a New York jury found 'Cannibal Cop' Gilberto Valle guilty on counts of conspiring to kidnap and eat women and for illegally using his access to a police database to scope out potential victims, Valle has been cleared of all charges.

The particular case is perhaps one of the more gruesome "thought police" cases to reach national recognition.

New York and Connecticut gun control laws prohibiting the possession of assault weapons and large-capacity magazines do not violate the Second Amendment, the Second Circuit ruled Monday. The laws were passed following the December, 2012, school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut. In the attacks, 20-year-old Adam Lanza used three semiautomatic weapons to kill 20 children and six adults, firing 156 shots in less than five minutes.

The ruling upholds the core provisions of both laws, which were some of the only gun control legislation successfully enacted after the Sandy Hook attacks.