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January 5-8, 2009:
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW, GOVERNMENT LAW, MEDIA LAW, MILITARY LAW
Associated Press v. US Dep’t of Def., No. 06-5352
In a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) action brought by the Associated Press against the Department of Defense, judgment mainly for AP ordering the DOD’s disclosure of, inter alia, Guantanamo detainee identifying information contained in records of DOD’s investigations of detainee abuse at Guantanamo is reversed where: 1) detainees and their family members have a measurable privacy interest in the nondisclosure of their identifying information in such records; 2) the AP failed to show how the public interest would be further served by disclosure of their identities; and 3) thus, the identifying information is exempt from disclosure under the FOIA privacy exemptions.
ATTORNEY’S FEES, PROFESSIONAL MALPRACTICE
Chen v. Chen Qualified Settlement Fund, No. 06-1302, 06-3810
In a case arising from a medical malpractice action which had been settled, denial of attorney’s application for attorneys’ fees is affirmed where: 1) the district court did not abuse its discretion in denying the application based on a finding that attorney engaged in misconduct with respect to the fees and expenses in the case and that he failed to represent his client adequately with respect to the post-settlement proceedings in the district court; and 2) the record did not support his claim of bias
CRIMINAL LAW & PROCEDURE, EVIDENCE, SECURITIES LAW, WHITE COLLAR CRIME
US v. Kelley, No. 06-5536
A conviction for securities fraud and wire fraud is affirmed where: 1) although the use of bogus account statements to lull defrauded investors is not in and of itself sufficient to establish a securities law violation, the use of such statements is relevant as evidence to prove, inter alia, a defendant’s intent to defraud and the extent of the scheme employed; and 2) thus, there was no error in admitting such evidence in this case.
ATTORNEY’S FEES, BANKRUPTCY LAW, CIVIL PROCEDURE, COMMERCIAL LAW, CORPORATION & ENTERPRISE LAW
In Re: Smart World Techs., LLC, No. 08-1721
In the bankruptcy context, pre-approval of a fee agreement under 11 U.S.C. section 328(a) depends on the totality of the circumstances, including whether the professional’s application, or the court’s order, referenced section 328(a), and whether the court evaluated the propriety of the fee arrangement before granting final, and not merely preliminary, approval. In the circumstances of this case, the circuit court rules that: 1) the bankruptcy court’s Retention Order was a pre-approval within the meaning of 11 U.S.C. section 328(a); and 2) no subsequent developments warranted modifying the terms of appellee-firm’s retention. ..
CIVIL PROCEDURE, COMMERCIAL LAW, CONTRACTS, INTERNATIONAL LAW
CP Solutions PTE, Ltd. v. Gen. Elec. Co., No. 07-3444
In a commercial contract dispute, dismissal of plaintiff’s complaint for lack of subject matter jurisdiction is reversed and remanded where: 1) contrary to the district court’s ruling, one of the defendants was not an indispensable party; and 2) thus, that defendant could be dropped as a party so as to preserve diversity jurisdiction.
CRIMINAL LAW & PROCEDURE, SENTENCING
US v. Uddin, No. 07-3121
A sentence for food stamp fraud and theft of public property is affirmed where, despite the absence of data as to the exact amount of loss, the district court’s loss calculation was a reasonable estimate of the loss caused by the defendant, and its forfeiture calculation was not plainly erroneous.
CRIMINAL LAW & PROCEDURE, SENTENCING
US v. Williams, No. 08-1065
In a sentencing appeal arising following the amendment to the Sentencing Guidelines applicable to crack cocaine violations, denial of a motion seeking a reduced sentence pursuant to 18 U.S.C. section 3582(c)(2) is affirmed where: 1) the district court correctly interpreted section 3582(c)(2); and 2) defendant was not eligible for a new sentence under the revised Guidelines because the Guidelines provision underlying the final sentence was not a provision affected by the subsequent amendment to the Guidelines.
CRIMINAL LAW & PROCEDURE, EVIDENCE
US v. Stewart, No. 07-3003
Reasonable suspicion of a traffic violation provides a sufficient basis under the Fourth Amendment for law enforcement officers to make a traffic stop. In a prosecution for being a felon in possession of a firearm, grant of defendant’s motion to suppress evidence seized pursuant to a traffic stop is vacated and remanded where the district court erred by requiring police officers in this case to justify their traffic stop by demonstrating either probable cause to believe that a traffic violation had occurred or reasonable suspicion of a crime more serious than a traffic violation