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

August 2012 Archives

Does a Jury Oath Really Matter?

At the start of a trial, the judge administers an oath to the jury. The idea behind the oath is to impress upon jurors that they're dealing with a serious matter, and they need to pay attention.

It's kind of a big deal if the jurors aren't sworn in, but an attorney can't just sit on that error in case the trial doesn't go his way, according to a recent Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling.

Broncos' D.J. Williams Loses Failed Drug Test Appeal

Denver Broncos linebacker D.J. Williams lost his NFL suspension appeal in the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday.

Williams challenged the suspension through NFL arbitration and the federal courts. He claimed that the arbitrator in the matter "exceeded his power, engaged in misconduct, disregarded the law, or was biased," reports The Washington Post. Both District Judge Christine Arguello and the Tenth Circuit panel rejected his claims.

Jury Instructions Could Temper Social Media in James Holmes Trial

James Holmes, the alleged movie theatre gunman, is facing 142 charges stemming from the Aurora theatre shooting in July. The charges include 12 counts of first-degree murder, 12 counts of first-degree murder with extreme indifference, 116 counts of attempted murder, one count of committing a crime of violence, and one count of possession of explosives.

Details emerged this week indicating that the prosecution will characterize the shootings as a revenge plot, while the defense will plead insanity, reports the Huffington Post.

If Holmes decides to see the case through to trial, it could be one of the most talked-about cases in recent memory.

Are Ponzi Scheme Proceeds Dischargeable in Bankruptcy?

Let’s say your client made a little money as an investor in (what turned out to be) a Ponzi scheme. The scheme was revealed, and a court ordered your client — though she was never prosecuted in the scheme — to pay back her share of ill-gotten gains.

The she declared bankruptcy.

How would the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals treat her share of the take? Would it be nondischargeable debt?

Why Do Federal Enclaves Matter?

Way back in 1787, when the framers were drafting the Constitution, they included a provision about the application of state laws to federal enclaves. The provision wasn't a big deal like the taxing power, the Necessary and Proper Clause, or the Commerce Clause, but it occasionally pops up in the news.

This week, it popped up in a Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals retaliation claim.

10th Cir: Prison Can Restrict Terrorists' Pen Pals, Books

Prisoners’ constitutional rights are curtailed when they’re serving hard time. For convicted terrorists in U.S. prisons, rights are even more limited.

According to the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, that’s A-OK.

Republicans Filibuster Judge Robert Bacharach's Confirmation

Judge Robert Bacharach has entered the ranks of filibustered judicial nominees, and he wasn’t even a controversial choice.

Judge Bacharach’s nomination was derailed this week due to the Senate’s Thurmond/Leahy Rule. The “rule” is actually a Senate custom: Senators typically do not approve judicial nominations close to a presidential election since a possible new president would want to make his or her own appointments, The Hill reports.