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Federal New Releases

New Releases
from Federal Courts

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Civil rights -- Racial discrimination -- Employment -- Municipal corporations -- Consent decree -- Enforcement -- Limitation of actions -- Laches -- 1982 consent decree which required city to hire equal number of blacks and whites until ratio of black firefighters to white firefighters reflected the ratio of black citizens to white citizens in the city cannot be enforced some fifteen years after city unilaterally, without notice and without court's approval, stopped following the decree -- Moreover, even if enforcement were not barred by laches, changes in law and changes in fact would make reinstatement of 1982 decree or enforcement of decree problematic and impractical -- Motion to hold city in contempt is denied -- City's motion to dissolve consent decree and dismiss case is granted
VIEW OPINION

Bankruptcy -- Exempt property -- Homestead -- Debtors' liquidation of non-exempt assets and construction of their “dream home” while on verge of defaulting on significant commercial debt was done with intent to hinder, delay, or defraud creditors -- Trustee's objection to homestead exemption sustained -- Homestead exemption reduced in amount equal to value of non-exempt assets the debtors liquidated within ten years pre-petition pursuant to 11 U.S.C. section 522(o)(4)
VIEW OPINION

Bankruptcy -- Jurisdiction -- Article III allows bankruptcy judges to adjudicate claims for which litigants are constitutionally entitled to an Article III adjudication when the parties knowingly and voluntarily consent to adjudication by a bankruptcy judge -- Consent to adjudication by a bankruptcy court need not be express, but must be knowing and voluntary
VIEW OPINION

Criminal law -- Federal funds bribery -- Honest services mail fraud -- Conspiracy -- Obstruction of justice -- No error in denying motion for new trial based on U.S. Attorney's alleged continued participation in prosecution after voluntarily disqualifying herself based on possible conflict of interest -- Law of the case -- Appellate court's determination in co-conspirator's separate appeal that there was no evidence that U.S. Attorney influenced the prosecution team binds defendant on this appeal -- Sentencing -- Federal guidelines -- Bribery -- Relevant conduct -- District court's failure to make specific factual findings that certain conduct was relevant to offense of conviction did not preclude appellate review where it is clear from record what evidence the district court relied upon in calculating sentence -- District court did not clearly err in its consideration of relevant conduct -- District court did not err in granting obstruction-of-justice adjustment or systemic and pervasive corruption upward departure based on loss of public confidence in state government
VIEW OPINION

Criminal law -- Wire fraud -- Conspiracy to commit wire fraud -- Discovery -- Government's failure to comply -- Defendant was not prejudiced by government's failure to inform him of an aspect of its plea agreements with three of his co-conspirators in which government agreed to recommend loss amount under advisory guidelines based only on fraudulent transactions identified at time of plea agreements -- Appeals -- Court has jurisdiction to review order denying post-appeal motion to dismiss or, alternatively, for new trial and evidentiary hearing based on defendant's arguments that government violated Brady v. Maryland and Giglio v. United States, despite defendant's failure to file separate notice of appeal from denial of motion
VIEW OPINION

False Claims Act -- Limitation of actions -- Qui tam action alleging fraud by defense contractors and related entities providing logistical services in Iraq -- Wartime Suspension of Limitations Act, which suspends “the running of any statute of limitations applicable to any offense” involving fraud against the United States, applies only to criminal offenses, not to civil claims -- FCA's “first-to-file bar,” which precludes a qui tam suit based on facts underlying a pending action, does not keep new claims out of court in perpetuity, but only while related claims are still alive
VIEW OPINION

Patents -- Infringement -- Inducement -- Knowledge of, or belief in, a patent's validity is not required for induced infringement under 35 U.S.C. §271(b) -- A defendant's belief regarding patent validity is not a defense to a claim of induced infringement
VIEW OPINION

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