U.S. Tenth Circuit - The FindLaw 10th Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion Summaries Blog

July 2012 Archives

Hasan Loses Order of Battle Appeal in Third Round

Does the order of battle matter when a court is deciding whether a suspect was entitled to a court interpreter at grand jury proceedings that led to his indictment for perjury?

Not in the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Cal. Burglary Not a Crime of Violence? Defendant Wins New Sentence

Burglary may not mean what you think it means.

When Alfredo Huizar pleaded guilty to reentering the U.S. illegally after an earlier deportation, the district court held that Huizar's 1995 California conviction for residential burglary qualified as a "crime of violence," triggering a 16-level enhancement. On appeal, Huizar argues the enhancement wasn't legally authorized and his sentence needs to be reconsidered.

And the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals says that he is right.

Circuit Vacates Attorney Sanctions, Suggests New Path to Penalties

John Olsen talked his way out of a $25,000 attorney sanction in the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals this week, but he shouldn't make plans to spend those Benjamins quite yet.

The appellate court observed that the case, "started out ordinarily enough" with the plaintiff, Melissa Mellott, suing her former employer, MSN Communications, for discrimination, but it quickly morphed from ordinary litigation to extraordinary misconduct "of breathtaking proportions."

Lawyers Urge Inhofe, Coburn to Call for Bacharach Confirmation

In June, The Oklahoman reported that U.S. Magistrate Judge Robert E. Bacharach didn’t have enough Republican support in the Senate to be confirmed for the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals before the November elections because the selection and confirmation process for the seat is taking too long.

Though delaying tactics are common for the party that doesn’t control the White House — the goal is to delay making lifetime appointments to federal courts in hopes their party will regain the White House and the power to fill judicial vacancies — Oklahoma legal leaders are urging the state’s U.S. senators to use their “considerable influence” to end the confirmation stalemate, The Oklahoman reports.

Colo. Judge Questions Appellate Waiver Policy

Judge John Kane wants the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals to be busier.

If you follow the Tenth Circuit docket, you're familiar with the recurring criminal case topics before the court: drugs and child pornography. For as many appeals as the court hears concerning these crimes, think of all the defendants that simply strike a plea bargain and agree to a waiver of appeal.

Will 10th Cir Reinstate DJ Williams Failed Drug Test Lawsuit?

The bulk of the Tenth Circuit's docket is dedicated to reviewing Terry searches and evidence suppression. There are lots of drug appeals in the Denver-based court.

Soon, however, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals will get to tangentially rule on the Denver Broncos starting lineup. Denver Broncos linebacker D.J. Williams is currently appealing the dismissal of his lawsuit over a six-game suspension without pay for a failed drug test, reports The Denver Post.

Leroy Fresquez, a Colorado state prisoner, filed a civil rights action against Jefferson County Sheriff's Deputy Baldwin and six Correctional Healthcare Management (CHM) nurses. His claims stemmed from an alleged delay in receiving medical care after he was assaulted by a fellow inmate.

Did the prison system violate Fresquez's rights? We'll never know; the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals doesn't have subject matter jurisdiction over the appeal because Fresquez didn't file his appeal on time.

Overstock Knows How to Handle a Hostile Work Environment Claim

Overstock.com doesn't just sell discounted goods; it also responds swiftly to a sexual harassment claim.

Tuesday, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed a former employee's hostile work environment claim against Overstock, noting that the online discounter had done exactly what it needed to do to handle the situation.

Five Things to Know About Tenth Circuit Judge Stephanie Seymour

Here at FindLaw, we understand the pressures of being a legal professional - most of us are recovering lawyers - so we want to help by tossing you that preferred life preserver of the legal profession, the short list.

Back in the 80s and 90s, the name Stephanie Seymour was most commonly associated with Guns’N’Roses videos and Vogue editorials. But as Axl Rose’s former girlfriend left modeling behind for domestic er, tranquility, it made room for another Stephanie Seymour, who had been waiting in the wings to reclaim her name.

We’re of course talking about Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals Senior Judge Stephanie Seymour. So to end the week, here are five things to know about Judge Seymour:

Plaintiff Isn't the Only Master of a Complaint

The plaintiff in a lawsuit is generally the master of his complaint, but the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled last week that the defendant can have a say regarding the amount in controversy when it becomes clear that a plaintiff is simply trying to evade federal jurisdiction.

Larry D. Frederick brought a putative class action suit against Hartford Underwriters Insurance Company (Hartford) in Colorado state court; Hartford removed the case to federal court. That's clearly not where Frederick wanted to litigate.