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US v. Rodriguez, No. 08-16696

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By FindLaw Staff on December 24, 2010 11:33 AM

Medicare Fraud Conviction Affirmed

In US v. Rodriguez, No. 08-16696, the court affirmed defendant's Medicare fraud conviction where, at the sentencing hearing, defendant did not object to the judge's comment about her national origin, or to anything else for that matter, and: 1) holding that the law did not require objections to statements appearing to indicate bias where there was none would be inconsistent with the law requiring objections where there is bias; and 2) such a holding would substantially undermine the important interests served by the contemporaneous objection rule.

 

As the court wrote:  "This case poses the question of whether there is a vindictive judge or cowardly counsel exception to the contemporaneous objection rule. Unless there is such an exception, the only issue that the appellant is pressing on appeal is barred for failure to object because she cannot meet the requirements of the plain error rule. Disagreeing with the Second Circuit, we hold that the possibility a judge may be unhappy with an objection does not excuse the failure to make it."

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