The leading source of attorney, court and law firm news
- Published on Monday, 26 August 2013 20:28
The Minnesota Supreme Court rejected a prosecutor's effort to reinstate the conviction of an HIV-positive man accused of passing the virus to another man, ruling Wednesday that the statute under which he was convicted was ambiguous.
Groups supporting gay rights said the ruling affirms the need for government to respect the personal and private decisions of consenting adults regarding sexual intimacy. The prosecutor contended the case was never a civil rights issue, but rather about protecting the public from people who know they're infected but practice unprotected sex anyway.
The high court affirmed a Court of Appeals decision that reversed the attempted first-degree assault conviction of Daniel James Rick, 32, of Minneapolis, who learned he was HIV positive in 2006. He had consensual sex several times starting in early 2009 with a man identified in court papers as D.B., who tested positive that October.
A jury acquitted Rick in 2011 under the first part of a Minnesota statute that applies to cases involving sex without first informing the other person that the defendant has a communicable disease. But it convicted him under another section that the Supreme Court ruled Wednesday applies only "to the donation or exchange for value of blood, sperm, organs, or tissue and therefore does not apply to acts of sexual conduct."
- Published on Monday, 12 August 2013 22:47
One of two suspects in a weekend double homicide and child abduction was expected to be arraigned Monday in Massachusetts.
Malcolm Crowell, 22, was to appear on a fugitive-from-justice warrant, according to the clerk's office at Fall River District Court.
Crowell and Daniel Rodriguez, 27 or 28, were arrested Sunday in the two slayings and the abduction of 2-year-old Isaiah Perez, who was later found unharmed after a nationwide Amber Alert was issued.
The bodies were discovered about 5:20 a.m. Sunday at a home in suburban Johnston, a town of 30,000 residents less than 10 miles from Providence. The names of the dead were not immediately released, but Johnston Police Chief Richard S. Tamburini said one of the victims was the child's mother.
The boy was found around 8:15 p.m. in Providence after a police officer there spotted him walking around a housing project by himself.
Deputy Police Chief Daniel Parrillo said it was unclear whether the boy's abductor was living in the home, was a guest or was uninvited.
- Published on Thursday, 18 July 2013 06:50
A person's legal status in the country can't be used in civil cases by attorneys to intimidate or coerce under a new rule approved by the Washington Supreme Court last week.
Since 2007, advocates have been working to make the change to the Rules of Professional conduct that attorneys licensed in the state must adhere to following. The lobbying began after members of the Latino/a Bar Association of Washington had seen attorneys and, in some cases, judges discuss a person's legal status in the country openly in court to intimidate.
"We thought it was unethical to do," said Lorena Gonzalez, who was president of the attorney association at the time. "We looked at the rules there was silence on the issue."
The rule does not affect criminal cases, but does cover civil matters, such as family disputes, personal injury claims, workplace cases, medical malpractice and other fields.
- Published on Tuesday, 02 July 2013 18:18
A stock trader nicknamed "the Octopussy" because he had access to so many sources of inside information was properly convicted and sentenced to 10 years in prison, a federal appeals court concluded Monday.
The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the conviction of Zvi Goffer and two others in a case the government had once touted as the biggest insider trading prosecution in history.
In all, more than two dozen defendants were convicted, including a one-time billionaire whose hedge funds had commanded as much as $7 billion.
The Israeli-born Goffer was convicted with two others in 2011 in a conspiracy to pay bribes to two lawyers at a Manhattan law firm. The government said Goffer and others earned more than $10 million illegally.
Goffer, whose nickname is a reference to a James Bond film, was sentenced to 10 years in prison after prosecutors said he arranged to pay two attorneys nearly $100,000 in 2007 and 2008 for inside tips on mergers and acquisitions. Prosecutors said Goffer's network used prepaid cellphones to avoid detection and destroyed them after each successful tip.
His lawyers challenged his conviction and sentence on several grounds, including that wiretap evidence should have been suppressed, that jury instructions were erroneous and that Goffer was punished for refusing to plead guilty.
A three-judge panel of the Manhattan appeals court noted the novelty of using wiretaps in a securities fraud case as it rejected defense arguments that the law permitting wiretaps does not list securities fraud as an offense for which it can be used.