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

Recently in Ethics Category

Folks in Kansas know, when it rains, it pours. And Kris Kobach, the state's Secretary of State, was just doused with a loss in federal court over the state's voter ID law, as well as some rather embarrassing court ordered sanctions against him personally.

And if you're thinking it's a repeat of his prior embarrassing actions in the same case, perhaps not surprisingly, you'd be wrong. But if you've been following the case, then you know, this was just the logical ends, given there was a contempt order issued over non-compliance with the court's order.

Former Oklahoma Senate Leader Must Be Resentenced, 10th Circuit Orders

Michael Morgan, an Oklahoma attorney and former leader of the Oklahoma Senate was sentenced in 2012 to probation arising out of a charge bribery. Since the Tenth Circuit found that the punishment was "grossly at odds" with sentencing guidelines, he will now be resentenced. Basically, the Tenth Circuit determined that the lower court gave the defendant an easy pass.

When Michael Morgan was convicted for bribery, the jury acquitted him of about 60 other criminal counts. Morgan asked for a new trial alleging that the prosecution failed to disclose "tacit agreements" with a witness, insufficiency of evidence and failure to properly instruct the jury. Unfortunately for him, the 3 judge-panel disagreed and found that the jury's conviction of Morgan was based on sufficient factual evidence and further described the trial court's order of Morgan's probation as "little more than a slap on the wrist."

Some lawyers just don't get it. They think that their JD entitles them to sue anytime, anywhere, anyone. Well, the Tenth Circuit literally laid down the law and has barred an ex-lawyer from filing any more pro se actions to the Tenth Circuit.

Circuit Vacates Attorney Sanctions, Suggests New Path to Penalties

John Olsen talked his way out of a $25,000 attorney sanction in the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals this week, but he shouldn't make plans to spend those Benjamins quite yet.

The appellate court observed that the case, "started out ordinarily enough" with the plaintiff, Melissa Mellott, suing her former employer, MSN Communications, for discrimination, but it quickly morphed from ordinary litigation to extraordinary misconduct "of breathtaking proportions."