Thursday, December 06, 2012

Federal Circuit -- PREGIS CORP. V. KAPPOS

Substantial evidence for obviousness claims.

Third party cannot file suit under APA to challenge PTO denial of patent.  Patent Act specifies Article III review channels.


Federal Circuit -- IN RE YAMAZAKI

When the initial patent is subject to a terminal disclaimer, that disclaimer modifies the underlying duration of the patent, and a subsequent statutory reissue is therefore subject to it.


Ninth Circuit -- USA V. MARC KEYSER

Sending out fake anthrax in the mail is not protected speech under the First Amendment, given the intent to threaten.

Envelope addressed to "manager" satisfies statutory requirement that it be addressed to a natural person.

No error in declining jury instruction requiring acquittal if no one would actually believe that the package contained the toxin.

An instruction requiring jurors to look beyond the literal words of the mailing sufficed for the statutory requirement that the words be taken in context.

Reasonable, if brief, discussion of reasonable person standard.

Extremely problematic statement in prosc's closing ultimately inconsequential.

Court erred in imposing govt cost sentencing bump for unconvicted offenses.



State Appeals Court holding - that trial court did not err in barring deft from asking witness if the prosecutor had threatened her with perjury if she changed her story - was an unreasonable application of federal Sixth Amendment jurisprudence.

 Dissent - Harmless error under Confrontation Clause


Eighth Circuit -- United States v. Randeep Mann

Absence of a sitting grand jury in the jurisdiction automatically converts Speedy Trial Act 30 day indictment clock to a 60 day clock.

One set of counts passes Blockberger test, since interstate commerce term is different in the two statutes; another passes, as one statute requires certain property to be in the US; a third does not, as effective date of statute is an affirmative defense, not an element. 

Possessing illegal machine gun is not multiplicitous with not registering (illegal) machine gun.  Circuit split flagged.

Bill of particulars did not constructively amend indictment.

Joinder proper, except for charge relating to grenades purchased seven years before and not used.  No prejudice, though.

Sufficient evidence.

Evidence at trial not variance from indictment.

No error in murder sentencing bump, as the grenade bomb was intended to do precisely that.

Head of the state medical board - an organization not funded by the state - is a state officer for purposes of sentencing bump.

Allegation in PSR insufficient to impose sentencing bump.

Error in imposing sentencing bump for altered serial numbers, as grenades don't have serial numbers.

Concur/Dissent - no proof that the car used was also used in interstate commerce.

United States  v.  Randeep Mann

Sixth Circuit -- Southeast Waffles, LLC v. U.S. Dep't of Treasury/IRS

Fraudulent transfer statutes do not classify noncompensatory tax penalties as potentially fraudulent transfers.

Southeast Waffles, LLC v. U.S. Dep't of Treasury/IRS

Sixth Circuit -- Marcus Middlebrook v. Robert Napel

State appeals court did not unreasonably apply relevant federal law when holding that trial court had sufficiently investigated charges of jury misconduct.  One juror was alleged to have told the others that the deft's associates were quite dangerous, and that they should watch their back.

 No Scotus precedent on premature adjudication claims, so no AEDPA basis for collateral attack.

Marcus Middlebrook v. Robert Napel

Fifth Circuit -- Robert Morris v. Mike McAllester, et al

An early termination of probation does not constitute an exoneration sufficient for a S1983 suit.

Dismissal of collateral attack on conviction for mootness due to the termination of probation does not change the equities of the exoneration.

Restoration of civil rights is not exoneration.

Robert Morris v. Mike McAllester, et al

Fourth Circuit -- US v. Patrick Caporale

District Court erred by holding that a certain disorder could never be a qualifying disability under the civil confinement statute, but no clear error in the holding that petitioner was insufficiently likely to re-offend.

US v. Patrick Caporale

Fourth Circuit -- US v. Daniel Brown

Police officers properly seized laptop from EMT's ambulance, despite warrant only being for the building -- exigency allows discretion.

Court did not err in striking the lesser-included offense from the conviction prior to sentencing.

US v. Daniel Brown

Third Circuit -- Marie Ann Fuges v. Southwest Financial Services

Safeco FRCRA safe-harbor does not require parties to have made their reasonable interpretation ex ante - the court merely inquires at the time of trial whether the interpretation is reasonable.

Property reporting company's interpretation of FCRA (holding itself to be no regulated by the statute) was not objectively unreasonable.

Marie Ann Fuges v. Southwest Financial Services

Second Circuit -- MAN Ferrostaal, Inc. v. M/V Akili

Vessel's in rem liability for damage to cargo is common-law, not statutory.  Statute assumes the fact of liability, it doesn't create the cause of action.

Even if vessel is outside of the statutory description, common-law liability can still attach.

Terms of charter party bar waiver of in rem liability.

Entirety of terms of statute or agreement referenced between parties attach, regardless of Appliciability Provision in the referenced agreement.

Bailment theory allows in personam liability.

MAN Ferrostaal, Inc. v. M/V Akili

Second Circuit -- United States v. Ferguson

Public safety exception justified non-Mirandized interrogation, as deft had fired gun into the air in a public place -- interrogation was an hour later, no firm rule on time lapse for public safety exception to apply.

United States v. Ferguson

First Circuit -- US v. Jones (12/5)

Where a tip comes in on a car, and corroboration establishes that the people most likely to be in the car have been implicated in drug investigations, there's enough reasonable suspicion for a stop.

No de facto arrest upon convergence of multiple vehicles, agents with drawn weapons, and handcuffs.

No clear error in trial court's holding that drugs were in plain sight.

Massachusetts assaulting a police officer statute is a valid predicate for career offender status.

If a deft is resentenced after parole violation, the two sentences are summed for assessing the lookback period for career offender status.

Deft's priors appropriately considered, despite scrivening errors in records.

US v. Jones

First Circuit -- US v. Neris-Ruiz (12/5)

 Appeal waiver in plea upheld.

Ineffective assistance dismissed without prejudice.

US v. Neris-Ruiz
Compiled by D.E. Frydrychowski, who is, not incidentally, not giving you legal advice.

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