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Author Archives: Staff Report

Employer – employee: Public Employee – Retaliation – First Amendment

Where a university safety officer who applied for a promotion but was passed over sued the university for unlawful retaliation for protected speech claiming he was retaliated against for his complaints about the former chief’s misuse of resources, the officer ...

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Criminal Law: Terry Stop – Bicycle Violation – Prior Convictions

Where officers observed defendant riding a bicycle at night without lights, the conduct violated a state statute and gave the officers reasonable suspicion to stop him, and the officers also acted lawfully in expanding the search and conducting a pat-down ...

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Criminal Law: Sentencing – Revocation Of Probation – Impersonating An Officer

Where a defendant who was arrested for impersonating a federal officer violated a special condition of his probation by refusing to remove official-looking decals from his vehicle and also left the judicial district and failed to report after being notified ...

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Criminal Law: Sentencing – Enhancement – Prior Drug Conviction

Where the government sought an enhanced sentence for a drug defendant based on the defendant’s prior felony drug conviction, the district court properly relied on a detective’s hearsay testimony to find that the defendant committed overt acts in furtherance of ...

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Criminal Law: Sentencing – Crime Of Violence – Escape Conviction

Where a recent U.S. Supreme Court case held that crimes “characterized by a failure to present oneself for detention on a specific occasion” are not violent felonies under the Armed Career Criminal Act, circuit precedent is overturned in part, and ...

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Criminal Law: Sentencing – Constructive Gun Possession – Safety-Valve Relief

Where a defendant in a drug possession case had constructive possession of a gun, the court holds that constructive possession is sufficient to preclude a defendant from receiving safety-valve relief and the defendant’s 120-month sentence is affirmed. Judgment is affirmed. ...

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Criminal Law: Sentencing – ACCA – Arson

Where a defendant received the 15-year mandatory minimum sentence under the Armed Career Criminal Act for a weapons conviction and tampering with a witness, the district court did not err in finding that the defendant’s state conviction for arson was ...

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Criminal Law: Search Warrants – Investigative Thermal Imaging – Indoor Marijuana Plants

Where a defendant convicted in connection with an indoor marijuana growing operation petitioned for rehearing en banc after a thermal-imaging warrant was upheld, the warrant was supported by traditional probable cause based on a totality of the circumstances; the investigating ...

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Criminal Law: Custodial Interrogation – Miranda Waiver – Intoxication

Where officers entered a bedroom and searched after handcuffing a defendant involved in a domestic dispute, the officers’ warrantless search was justified by their safety concerns, and defendant’s Miranda waiver was properly found to be voluntary despite his alleged intoxication ...

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Criminal Law: Controlled Substance – ‘Date-Rape’ Drug – Vagueness

Where a defendant in a drug possession and distribution case contested the scheduling of a date-rape drug as a controlled substance, the statute directed the attorney general to bypass the usual scheduling procedures in order to permanently schedule GHB as ...

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