U.S. Tenth Circuit - The FindLaw 10th Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion Summaries Blog

January 2011 Archives

Dronsejko v. Grant Thornton, No. 09-4222

Securities Fraud Action Against Accounting Firm

In Dronsejko v. Grant Thornton, No. 09-4222, a securities fraud class action against an accounting firm claiming improper revenue recognition that materially overstated a corporation's revenues and earnings, the court affirmed the district court's denial of plaintiffs' Rule 60(b) motion where the complaint failed to give rise to a cogent and compelling inference that defendant's actions constituted an extreme departure from the standards of ordinary care, or that no reasonable accountant would have made the same decisions if confronted with the same facts.


US v. Yeley-Davis, No. 10-8000

Methamphetamine Conviction Affirmed

In US v. Yeley-Davis, No. 10-8000, the court affirmed defendant's conviction and sentence for conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute, and to distribute, over 500 grams of a mixture or substance containing a detectable amount of methamphetamine where 1) because neither defendant's cell phone records nor their authenticating documents were testimonial, no Confrontation Clause violation occurred; 2) defendant's mandatory life sentence pursuant to 21 U.S.C. section 841(b)(1)(A) did not violate the Eighth Amendment; and 3) admitting lay testimony about how cell phones worked did not have a substantial impact on the outcome of the case, and therefore the error was harmless and did not warrant reversal.


US v. King, No. 09-5179

Drug Trafficking Conviction Affirmed

In US v. King, No. 09-5179, the court affirmed defendant's conviction for possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug-trafficking crime where the government presented ample evidence showing that defendant constructively possessed the rifle found in the trunk of defendant's car.


Regional Air, Inc. v. Canal Ins. Co., No. 09-6090

Appeal From Costs Award

In Regional Air, Inc. v. Canal Ins. Co., No. 09-6090, both parties' appeal from an award of costs in favor of plaintiff, the court vacated where 1) in its Okla. Stat. section 3629 analysis, the district court appeared implicitly to consider the appraisal award part of its judgment, and should have explicitly recognized that in awarding costs; 2) defendant thus had abundant notice that plaintiff was incurring storage costs and expected defendant to pay them; and 3) the district court's interest award and remand this matter for the court to recalculate its award starting from the date or dates plaintiff's storage cost losses reflected in the verdict were payable pursuant to the provisions of the parties' contract.


McClendon v. Albuquerque, No. 09-2095

Dismissal of Appeal from Order Withdrawing Approval of Settlement

In McClendon v. Albuquerque, No. 09-2095, defendants' appeal from the district court's order withdrawing approval of a settlement in a class action lawsuit concerning conditions inside Albuquerque's jails, the court dismissed the appeal where an order withdrawing approval of a class action settlement agreement does not qualify as a "final decision" subject to appeal under 28 U.S.C. section 1291.

Prison Legal News v. Exec. Offc. for US Attys., No. 09-1511

FOIA Action Regarding Prison Murder Photos

In Prison Legal News v. Exec. Offc. for US Attys., No. 09-1511, a Freedom of Information Act action, the court dismissed in part plaintiff's appeal from the district court's order exempting from mandatory disclosure a video depicting the aftermath of a brutal prison murder and autopsy photographs of the victim, with respect to the portion of the appeal pertaining to records that had been released by Executive Office for United States Attorneys.  However, the court affirmed in part where the disclosure of the death-scene images in this case could reasonably be expected to constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy of the victim's family.


US v. Flonnory, No. 10-6037

Fraud Conviction Affirmed

In US v. Flonnory, No. 10-6037, the court affirmed defendant's conviction for obtaining money through false pretenses, holding that 1) the government presented enough evidence at trial for a rational juror to conclude beyond a reasonable doubt that the transfer of the check at issue occurred on U.S. land; 2) the district court did not abuse its discretion in refusing to give the jury an additional instruction on speculation; and 3) any error in the calculation of defendant's Guidelines range was harmless.