News & Analysis as of

Implied Threat on Facebook Insufficient to Support Stalking Conviction

Last month, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) held that a Facebook profile may constitute a “threat” within the meaning of the Massachusetts stalking statute. However, a profile that is merely “vaguely ominous or...more

OSHA Violations: Managers and Others May Have Personal Civil and/or Criminal Liability

Historically, there are few criminal convictions for violations of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, and the majority of those violations were related to dishonesty during OSHA inspections and interviews. Though...more

California Federal Courts Reiterate: Unless Computer Hacked, Computer Fraud and Abuse Act Permits Misuse Of Electronic Information

In United States v. Nosal, 676 F.3d 854 (9th Cir. 2012) (en banc), the court held that the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, 18 U.S.C. § 1030, prohibits unlawful access to a computer but not unauthorized use of computerized...more

Summary of California Appellate Decisions -August 2015

Insurance; Duty To Defend; Insurance Coverage; Intentional Acts; Sexual Misconduct - Gonzalez v. Fire Insurance Exchange (2015) 234 Cal.App.4th 1220, 184 Cal.Rptr.3d 394 (WL 960927) - Facts: This is an...more

Federal Appeals Court Reverses Conviction of Mental Health Program Director

In a recently released decision, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit reversed the conviction of a former community mental health program director who was convicted after trial of conspiring to commit...more

Big win for SFO in LIBOR trial – Tom Hayes sentenced to 14 years. More SFO prosecutions to come in financial sector?

The conviction of Tom Hayes in the first UK LIBOR trial is a watershed moment. It’s a big win for the SFO, although it must be said that a more damning book of evidence could not be imagined. The judge’s sentencing remarks...more

Court Awards Grandparents Partial Custody of Grandchildren Over Mother's Objection and Court Holds that Minor Criminal Convictions...

In June 2015, the Pennsylvania Superior Court, in K.T. v. L.S., provided partial child custody to the children's paternal grandparents over mother's objection....more

Felony Conviction Bars Whistleblower from Pursuing Qui Tam Case

A relator convicted of criminal conduct is precluded from sharing in related FCA recoveries, irrespective of degree of culpability. On July 16, a US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit panel upheld the dismissal from...more

500,000 Lines of Source Code: The New “Intangible Property”

Sergey Aleynikov’s six-year trade secret odyssey through all possible configurations of litigation, civil and criminal, federal and state, may at long last have come to an end after the New York Supreme Court recently...more

California Employment Law Notes - July 2015

Employee's Inability To Work For A Particular Supervisor Does Not Constitute A "Disability" - Higgins-Williams v. Sutter Med. Found., 237 Cal. App. 4th 78 (2015) - Michaelin Higgins-Williams worked as a clinical...more

Big sweepstakes scam artists don’t cry

According to the Edmonton Sun newspaper, Nigerian-born Richard Mmah Chukwu, a resident of Edmonton, was recently convicted of implementing a multi-million dollar sweepstakes scam. Chukwu was found guilty in the Canadian...more

When Theft is not a Federal or State Crime

In the most recent ruling in a lengthy and procedurally complex criminal case, a New York trial court dismissed a computer programmer’s criminal conviction under New York’s Unlawful Use of Secret Scientific Material law for...more

Another Aleynikov Trade Secrets Case Ends with Narrower Statute

In 2009, Sergey Aleynikov was a computer programmer employed by Goldman Sachs to write high-frequency trading code. He accepted an offer to join a new Chicago-based company, Teza Technologies. Before he left Goldman Sachs,...more

The Supreme Court Takes the BIA to Task

Yesterday, in an opinion authored by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the U.S. Supreme Court brought a measure of hope to non-citizens facing deportation on the basis of certain minor criminal convictions. In Mellouli v. Lynch,...more

Supreme Court Decides Elonis v. United States

On June 1, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court decided Elonis v. United States, No. 13-983, holding that to support a conviction under a federal statute that makes it a crime to communicate a threat, prosecutors must prove a mental...more

Supreme Court Decides Mellouli v. Lynch

On June 1, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court decided Mellouli v. Lynch, holding that a legal permanent resident may not be deported for a state-law drug conviction unless that conviction necessarily involves a drug covered by the...more

Fourth Circuit Upholds Federal Criminal Conviction for Accessing Former Employer's Database

The federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) was primarily intended to deter and punish database hacking by third parties. Employers involved in disputes with former employees have attempted to use CFAA in response to...more

The Second Circuit Defines Tippee Liability and The Personal Benefit Test

Todd Newman and Anthony Chiassons, remote tippees, three to four steps removed from the source of the inside information about pending earnings announcements for Dell, Inc. and NVIDIA, were convicted of insider trading. In...more

Court strikes down California’s “collect on arrest” DNA collection law

In November 2004, California enacted a law requiring that anyone arrested for a felony have their DNA collected. This amounted to a significant expansion of the prior law that allowed for collection of DNA after conviction. ...more

Justices Scalia and Thomas Amenable to Reexamining Deference to SEC Statutory Interpretations

Like Prince Charming searching for the foot that fit the glass slipper, Justice Scalia recently issued a statement advising that he and Justice Thomas would be receptive to granting certiorari to a petition properly...more

The Burden of Corporate Probation May Follow an Antitrust Conviction

The Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice (the “Division”) has announced a major policy shift. When a company has been convicted for a criminal antitrust offense, the Division may seek to impose the significant...more

Collateral Damage: Criminal Convictions and the Lasting Consequences

Prosecutors and often even judges do not appreciate the collateral consequences of a criminal conviction, regardless of whether it results from a trial or a plea agreement. While the direct consequences of conviction are...more

Mandatory Jail Means Mandatory Jail under New Driving While Suspended Statute

As noted in an earlier post on this blog, New Jersey recently enacted a statute that made driving with a suspended license an indictable offense in certain circumstances, requiring a mandatory minimum period of incarceration...more

California Supreme Court Upholds Red Light Camera Conviction

Declines to Adopt Special Authentication Rule and Finds Camera Evidence Not Hearsay - In a case briefed and argued by Best Best & Krieger LLP attorney Kira L. Klatchko, the California Supreme Court held, in a unanimous...more

Eleventh Circuit Clarifies Loss Amount Calculation for Securities Fraud Sentencing

The US Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit recently vacated and remanded a defendant’s sentence because the US District Court for the Southern District of Florida inappropriately added a sentencing enhancement after...more

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