U.S. Third Circuit: July 2011 Archives
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July 2011 Archives

Police Officers Can Collect DNA Samples from Arrestees

The Third Circuit Court of Appeals ruled this week that police officers may collect DNA samples from persons under arrest, finding that a DNA sample is no more than a fingerprint "for the twenty-first century." The court emphasized the government's compelling interest in identifying suspects and the unique attributes of DNA evidence to support its decision.

Civil rights groups, including the ACLU, argue that collecting a DNA sample is more invasive than fingerprinting an arrestee, and a violation of privacy, while proponents of DNA sampling maintain that the practice is constitutional because arrestees have a low expectation of privacy.

Four Corners Theory Applies to Offer of Judgment

After years of hypnotherapy, you finally suppressed the painful memories of law professors droning incessantly that an agreement is governed by the "four corners" of the document. But, if you're planning to negotiate a Rule 68 offer of judgment in the Third Circuit, it's time to drag that phrase out of the inner recesses of your subconscious.

The Third Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on Tuesday that a Rule 68 offer of judgment is restricted to the terms that are memorialized - you guessed it - in the four corners of the agreement.

It must be appeals week in Bid Rig III. Another New Jersey politician who found himself tangled in the FBI’s sting is now appealing before the Third Circuit Court of Appeals.

For those of you that are unfamiliar with Bid Rig III, it was a sting operation carried out by the FBI several years back. The operation was aimed at catching New Jersey area politicians who were corrupt, by sending in an FBI informant. The informant, Solomon Dwek, posed as a real estate developer and offered bribes in exchange for promises to contact.

Lawyers for the burlesque-dancer turned mayor from New Jersey are appealing the jury instructions in her corruption trial. The appeal is now before the Third Circuit Court of Appeals and oral arguments were heard before a three-judge panel in June.

Seventy-six year old Leona Beldini is facing three years of jail time and was convicted last year on charges of corruption and bribery in the massive sting operation dubbed “Bid Rig III.”

One Third Circuit Court of Appeals case may be going to the Supreme Court soon. Earlier this month, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on two cases involving off-campus speech by students, namely, their conduct on social media websites.

In both cases, the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals ruled for the students. Now, the lawyers for the Blue Mountain School District have announced plans to file a writ of certiorari with the U.S. Supreme Court.