U.S. First Circuit - The FindLaw 1st Circuit Court of Appeals News and Information Blog

January 2013 Archives

It is Pellucid That the Praxis of Appealing a Plea is Arduous

It is enough to make you defenestrate your lunch. By going beyond the exigible using supererogatory vocabulary, Judge Selya just took the simple matter of appealing a plea bargain and made it far more complicated.

Glen Rivera-Orta pleads guilty to leading a drug ring. The plea calls for a few levels of enhancement and a downward departure. The judge sentences him to the nadir of the range. Like many defendants, he suffers buyers’ remorse shortly thereafter and tries to appeal. Only, he waived the right to appeal as part of the deal itself.

First Circuit Covers The Basics, From 403 to Improper Closings

Ever read an opinion and think this would be perfect for a casebook?

United States v. Efrain Matias will not go down in legal annals as a seismic shift in criminal procedure. However, it does provide a good review of some basics, from 401 and 403, to borderline improper statements in closing.

Matias was a drug dealer. He regularly bought weed, in bulk, from Ruiz. Ruiz is a snitch. He told Matias that due to a drug debt, both himself and his family were in danger. As a result, he’d really like to sell some cocaine to Matias. After a few aborted attempts and a lot of recorded conversations, Matias finally agreed to buy twenty-two kilos of blow and met Ruiz, along with an undercover agent, with $214,000 in cash.

Half-Measure in Trademark Nominal Use Case: No Clear Test

In the penultimate episode of Breaking Bad's third season, Mike warns the chemistry teacher turned meth-cooker protagonist, "No more half-measures, Walter." Half-measures leave behind loose ends and can lead to confusion or worse.

Though we're certain that the judges of the First Circuit have very demanding schedules, they ought to take a day off and watch a few episodes. In a per curium decision released last week, they passed when given a chance to clear up confusion regarding the proper test for nominal use of a trademark. While some might laud them for exercising judicial restraint, others will wonder if it would have been more prudent to clarify the law once and for all.

Affirmed Again: Court Upholds Abortion Clinic Buffer Zone

The First Circuit Court of Appeals rejected a third challenge to the Massachusetts abortion clinic buffer zone law this week, calling the plaintiffs' First Amendment claims a "salmagundi of arguments, old and new."

The statute at the center of the dispute is Mass. Gen. Law ch. 266, § 120E 1/2, which states that "no person shall knowingly enter or remain on a public way or sidewalk adjacent to a reproductive health care facility" (RHCF) within a designated and clearly marked buffer zone.

This week, the First Circuit Court of Appeals reminded us to dot all the i's and cross all the t's when filling out immigration documents.

Jin Qing Wu, a Chinese citizen, entered the U.S. without inspection back in 1999. In 2007, Wu married a U.S. citizen and filed an application to adjust his status to lawful permanent resident.

Since Wu entered the country without inspection, however, there was an additional requirement he had to meet.