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Tag Archives: United States Court of Appeals

10-2748 U.S. v. Garcia-Oliveros

Sentencing Discretion Where the sentencing court did not address any mitigation factors offered by the defendant, the sentence is vacated. “We have recognized that the need for explanation typically is diminished when a sentence falls within the guidelines range, United States v. Curby, 595 F.3d 794, 797 (7th Cir. 2010); United States v. Harris, 567 F.3d 846, 854 (7th Cir. ...

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09-3940 Sussman v. Jenkins

Habeas Corpus Ineffective assistance The State of Wisconsin’s motion to stay the mandate is denied. “Harrington addresses the situation in which a state-court decision ‘is unaccompanied by an explanation.’ Here, the state appellate court issued an opinion and wrote: ‘We do not address whether counsel’s performance was deficient because we conclude that, even assuming deficient performance, Sussman cannot show prejudice.’ ...

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09-2326 Edwards v. Briggs & Stratton Retirement Plan

Insurance ERISA Where an ERISA claimant failed to file a timely administrative appeal, the plan is not required to consider the appeal. “In this case, the Plan has fixed a clear deadline of 180 days for filing administrative appeals from denials of benefits, and the Plan has the right to enforce that deadline. Also, though counsel for the Plan conceded ...

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10-1239 EEOC v. Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A., Inc.

Employment Race discrimination; EEOC subpoenas Where almost all of a company’s African-American employees are in a predominantly African-American neighborhood, the EEOC’s subpoena requesting information regarding employees who expressed an interest in sales work at other offices was properly enforced. “Nothing in this record suggests that the EEOC has strayed so far from either Thompson’s charge or its broader mission that ...

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10-2729 Zellner v. Herrick

Employment Public employees Where a teacher used school computers to access pornography, summary judgment was properly granted to the school district on his claim that he was terminated for engaging in union activity. “Zellner argues that the history of animosity between the Union and the District—culminating in the December 15 publication of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article, in which Zellner ...

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10-2797 U.S. v. Landwer

Sentencing Sophisticated means enhancement Where a fraud lasted for seven years, the court properly enhanced the sentence for using sophisticated means to perpetrate the scheme. “Landwer’s conduct, however, falls within our interpretation of sophisticated means. Application of the adjustment ‘is proper when the conduct shows a greater level of planning or concealment than a typical fraud of its kind.’ United ...

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10-2436, 10-2468 & 10-2469 U.S. v. Courtland

Sentencing Separation of powers It did not violate the separation of powers doctrine for a sentencing court to educate himself about the crime and prepare a memorandum about it, where the court gave the parties the opportunity to respond to it. “Judges generally are under no obligation to relate all they have learned about a species of crime from whatever ...

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10-1473 U.S. v. Cuevas-Perez

Search and Seizure GPS tracking devices It does not violate the Fourth Amendment for police officers to place a GPS tracking device on a suspect’s car. “The aspects of the search in Maynard that affected the court’s decision are absent here. The 28-day surveillance in Maynard was much lengthier than the 60-hour surveillance in the case before us. Moreover, the ...

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09-3025 Koons v. U.S.

Criminal Procedure Ineffective assistance Where the defendant never informed his attorney of facts giving rise an alleged Fourth Amendment violation, counsel was not deficient. “But even if Koons’s allegations about the search are true, his appeal is foreclosed by the fact that he never informed trial counsel of the facts giving rise to the alleged Fourth Amendment violation. See Strickland, ...

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10-2980 be2, LLC, v. Ivanov

Civil Procedure Personal jurisdiction A state cannot exercise personal jurisdiction over a defendant who only created a website that has 20 users in that state. “The record before us does not show that Ivanov deliberately targeted or exploited the Illinois market. All that be2 Holding submitted regarding Ivanov’s activity related to Illinois is the Internet printout showing that just 20 ...

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10-3318 Lavin v. Rednour

Habeas corpus Appointed counsel When an attorney believes that a claim not certified for appeal is arguable, counsel should move the court to expand the certificate to include the claim. “Counsel has no obligation to argue claims that are not certified for appeal. At least one court, if not two (as when this court has issued the certificate or has ...

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09-3577 Jones v. Basinger

United States Court of Appeals CRIMINAL OPINIONS Habeas Corpus Confrontation Clause Where a state court judge admitted double hearsay against a defendant as substantive evidence to prove the defendants’ guilt, his federal habeas corpus petition should have been granted. “To think that any amount of instruction would enable a jury to disregard the damning substance of an out-of-court statement like ...

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10-1737 U.S. v. Johnson

Sentencing Reasonableness Where the district court did not find that a life sentence was sufficient, but not greater than necessary, to comply with sec. 3553(a)(2), the sentence must be vacated. “The essence of Kimbrough is to permit district courts to depart from the advisory ratio when its application would result in a sentence that is “greater than necessary to accomplish ...

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10-1831 U.S. v. Mitchell

Criminal Procedure Right to counsel It did not violate a defendant’s right to counsel for the court to make disparaging remarks about how many different lawyers he had had. “We agree that it would be constitutionally problematic for a district court to punish a defendant at sentencing for the exercise of his Sixth Amendment right to counsel. But that is ...

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10-2178 U.S. v. Swanson

Criminal Procedure Miranda warnings Where police interrogated a suspect for 45 minutes without reading him his Miranda rights, his incriminating statements should have been suppressed. “When the officers arrested Swanson they presented an arrest warrant stating that he was charged with unlawful possession of a firearm. They simultaneously gave him a court order that directed him to turn over any ...

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10-3062 & 10-3068 BCS Services, Inc., v. Heartwood 88, LLC

RICO Damages Where the plaintiffs alleging bid-rigging in a RICO case made a prima facie case of $5 million in damages, summary judgment was improperly granted to the defendants. “The statistical evidence in this case would be enough, when combined with evidence also presented by the plaintiffs of the average profit they made on the zero-percent liens that they won, ...

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09-3448 Stamat v. Neary

Bankruptcy Denial of discharge Where the debtors made numerous material omissions, displaying a reckless disregard for the truth, they were properly denied discharge of their debts. “Some bankruptcy courts examining ‘ordinary course,’ both in the section 727 context and in others, have found that the payment of living expenses occurs in the ‘ordinary course of affairs.’ See In re Oliver, ...

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09-3017 Mozdzen v. Holder

United States Court of Appeals CIVIL OPINIONS Immigration Removal Even if aliens did not engage in fraud in obtaining I-551 passport stamps, they are removable where they did not obtain them leally. “The Mozdzens argue that they were lawfully admitted in 1999, but the definition of admission for an alien and someone with LPR status differ. For an alien, admission ...

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