In This Issue
Murray Law LLC
Murray Law LLC specializes in criminal cases, government investigations and complex civil litigation.
Principal attorney JaneAnne Murray is the author of the New York Federal Criminal Practice Blog, which offers posts on decisions and developments of interest.
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Murray Law LLC
New York, NY 10279
|Roundtable Discussion on Healthcare in Federal Prisons
The Federal Bureau of Prisons maintains that it can adequately treat any medical or mental health condition. But critics say the quality of BOP healthcare is often compromised by inadequate resources, poor staffing and serious, sometimes fatal, delays. Against this backdrop, Murray Law LLC is co-chairing a roundtable discussion (with CLE credit) on Healthcare in New York City’s Federal Prisons at the Association of the Bar of the City of New York on June 26, 2008. Moderated by the Hon. Jed S. Rakoff, it features the Hon. Raymond J. Dearie, BOP representatives, advocates and prison health experts. Click here to read a more detailed description of the program and to obtain details on how to register.
Expanding Criminal Defendants’ Rights to Pre-Trial Disclosure
It is one of the great ironies of the criminal law that in criminal cases, where the stakes are the highest, defendants have less discovery rights than civil cases, and far less than those prosecuting them. Several recent decisions redress this balance. In Tucker, a district court adopted a more liberal standard for authorizing defense subpoenas to non-parties under F.R.Crim.P. 17(c). In Mason, (a case in which Murray Law LLC represented one of the co-defendants), a district court precluded significant incriminating evidence at trial because of the government’s failure to disclose it in a timely manner. And in Rittweger, following its revitalizing Brady decision in Rodriguez, the Second Circuit calls for early disclosure of Brady material where there is no potential of harm to a government witness.
Defending a Client on Multiple Fronts
It is not unusual for a white collar defendant to face multiple government investigations, a situation full of pitfalls for the unwary. In Leonard, where a defendant’s SEC deposition testimony was used to devastating effect at his criminal trial, a district court found no improper collusion between parallel SEC and USAO investigations. In Kerik, a prominent defendant found that his lawyers’ plea-bargaining efforts in a state investigation became not only the basis of a federal prosecution, but also grounds for losing two of his lawyers.
Developments in Cyber-Jurisprudence
Computer crimes and issues relating to computer searches are at the cutting edge of criminal law, as courts apply age-old legal concepts to increasingly sophisticated computer technologies. Chief among recent cases of note is Judge Weinstein’s huge (in size and heart) decision in Polizzi, in which he holds that he erred in not advising a jury of the mandatory minimum sentence applicable in a child pornography possession case. The opinion includes a thoughtful analysis of knowledge and possession when applied to the context of Internet-facilitated communications, and the application of Fourth Amendment principles to computer searches. In Graziano, a district court also tackles the complexities of setting parameters to computer searches.
Developments in Sentencing, Restitution & Forfeiture
While the Supreme Court reaffirmed the centrality of the district court’s sentencing discretion in Gall and Kimbrough, the Second Circuit makes clear in Cutler that that discretion is not limited. The Second Circuit did, however, issue two welcome decisions, Leonard and Confredo, addressing loss calculations under the Sentencing Guidelines that will mitigate some of the draconian sentences called for in white collar sentences. In the plea bargaining context, the Second Circuit in Brumer and Habbas gave some surprising leeway to the government to deviate from the sentencing estimates contained in its plea agreements. On the other hand, in Allen, a district court held that a misleading Pimentel letter may justify a departure below the Sentencing Guidelines. And in Eberhard and Brennan, courts continue to define the scope of the Crime Victims Rights Act and the Mandatory Crime Victim Restitution Act.
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Murray Law LLC launched its blog in September 2007, and now has over ninety postings on decisions and developments of interest. The blog was cited in the New York Law Journal on June 11, 2008, in an article on the Second Circuit’s recent “reverse-Batson” decision in Rodriguez. You can sign up for regular e-mail updates of new content on our blog.