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Civil Procedure and Criminal Matters

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By FindLaw Staff on April 08, 2010 3:36 PM

US v. Leija-Sanchez, No. 09-2672, involved a prosecution for, inter alia, violating 18 U.S.C. section 1959 by arranging and paying for a murder in Mexico.  The court of appeals reversed the dismissal of this charge, holding that section 1959 applied to a murder in another nation designed to facilitate the operation of a criminal enterprise in the U.S.

In US v. Barnes, No. 09-2052, the court of appeals vacated defendant's drug and firearm possession sentence, holding that, without any justification for why one co-conspirator was responsible for a greater quantity of drugs than his fellow co-conspirators, the discrepancy in the district court's factual findings was clearly erroneous.

In US v. Taylor, No. 09-2262, the Seventh Circuit affirmed defendant's drug conspiracy conviction, on the grounds that 1) the government put forth sufficient evidence of defendant's involvement in the conspiracy; and 2) a witness's new statement did not meet the requirements for newly discovered evidence to warrant a new trial.  However, his sentence is vacated where the district court erred in determining the amount of cocaine attributable to the conspiracy.

In US v. Moreno-Padilla, No. 08-4302, the court of appeals affirmed defendant's illegal reentry sentence, holding that 1) defendant failed to demonstrate the inaccuracy of the presentence report; 2) defendant's argument, raised only in a single paragraph in his pro se memorandum, was not sufficiently substantial to have warranted more overt consideration by the district court; and 3) the district court did a thorough job of addressing defendant's concerns about the harshness of the 16-level enhancement.

In US v. Klebig, No. 08-2589, the court of appeals reversed defendant's conviction for possessing an unregistered rifle and an unregistered silencer, holding that 1) defendant's preoccupation with security concerns had nothing to do with his knowledge that the sawed-off rifle at issue was a rifle rather than a pistol, or his intent to use an oil filter as a silencer rather than a flash suppressor, and evidence to that effect was improperly admitted; and 2) to make the point that defendant was very familiar with firearms, it was not necessary to lay two dozen guns out on the floor around the witness box, and such evidence was unduly prejudicial to defendant.

Tamburo v. Dworkin, No. 08-2406, concerned an antitrust and intentional tort action arising out of a dispute over the contents of a dog-pedigree software program plaintiff developed by lifting data from defendants' websites.  The court of appeals affirmed the dismissal of the complaint in part where plaintiff's antitrust claims were not pled with sufficient specificity.  However, the court reversed in part where defendants were alleged to have used their websites--or in the case of the Canadian defendant, blast emails to the online dog pedigree community--to defame and tortiously generate a consumer boycott against plaintiff, knowing that he lived and operated his software business in Illinois and would be injured there.

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