U.S. Third Circuit - The FindLaw 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion Summaries Blog

May 2012 Archives

Supreme Court Reinstates Accomplice Conviction

When can a federal court overturn a state court conviction?

In a per curiam decision, the U.S. Supreme Court has reinstated a conviction stemming from a 1995 murder, reversing the Third Circuit Court of Appeal’s decision on the matter. The high court held that it was for juries, and not judges, to decide whether to convict someone based on evidence presented at trial.

Kids for Cash Judge Appeals to Third Circuit Court of Appeals

If you’ve been following the “Kids for Cash” judicial corruption story out of Pennsylvania, then you’d be interested in the latest news involving the “Kids for Cash” judge.

Former Luzerne County Judge Mark Ciavarella Jr. is appealing his conviction to the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, reports The Associated Press. He was convicted on 12 charges of racketeering and was sentenced to 28 years in prison in 2010.

Court Restates Claims Dischargeable in Bankruptcy

Despite a bankruptcy reorganization, Owens Corning Sales LLC can still be liable for its supposedly defective roof shingles, ruled the Third Circuit Court of Appeals last week.

The decision of the Third Circuit Court of Appeals established a new test for determining when a claim exists under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code. Generally, under a bankruptcy, many claims are extinguished or discharged. But some claims survive bankruptcy and others fall into a grey area.

Court Denies Parents of Disabled Child Private School Tuition

Here’s an interesting case from the Third Circuit Court of Appeals involving private tuition rights for a student with disabilities.

The appellate court upheld a district court ruling on the matter, which essentially overturned a ruling by a PennsCylvania Due Process Hearing Officer.

Court Reverses Sentence of Heroin Dealer, Remands Case

The Third Circuit Court of Appeals vacated the sentence of a heroin dealer last week, and remanded the case to the district court for resentencing.

Michael Lowry, 28, was sentenced to 10 years behind bars for dealing heroin. He was caught after attempting to sell the drugs to a police informant. He was indicted on possession with intent to distribute less than 100 grams of heroin and he pleaded guilty.

Judge Louis Heilprein Pollak Passes Away at 89

The Third Circuit sadly lost one if its District Court judges this week.

Louis Heilprin Pollak died Tuesday of heart failure in his West Mount Airy home. He was 89. He leaves behind five daughters and seven grandchildren.

Judge Pollak was nominated in 1978 by President Jimmy Carter. He was best-known for his extensive civil rights work, and many years of service in the legal field as a lawyer, judge, and an academic.

Spurned Wife Loses Appeal for Poisoning Pregnant Mistress

For anyone who has read the book White Oleander (or seen the movie), this Third Circuit Court of Appeals case certainly sounds like a page from that novel. Or alternatively, like a scene from a bad Bond movie.

Bond (that’s Carol Bond) was convicted under the Chemical Weapons Convention Implementation Act of 1998.

Evidence of Lavish Living Exposes Tax Fraud

Here’s an interesting case about tax fraud and the admissibility of evidence.

The Third Circuit Court of Appeals recently dealt with a case involving over half a million dollars in unpaid taxes. When the taxpayers alleged that they had made a willful attempt at paying the tax and that the non-payment was not, in fact, willful, the government threw in damning evidence that hurt the taxpayers’ case.

Court Grants Deportation Appeal After Bankruptcy Fraud

If you follow our numerous appellate court blogs, you’ll know that immigration appeals and deportation appeals aren’t easy to win.

A Jamaican citizen, Nigel Singh, however, had found success when the Third Circuit Court of Appeals overturned his deportation order. The Board of Immigration Appeals had ordered Singh’s deportation after he had been found guilty of bankruptcy perjury. But the Third Circuit Court of Appeals found that the government failed to meet its burden before the BIA.