Eighth Circuit Finds That Judge Who Opined from Bench That the Federal Criminal Justice System “Sucks” and Is “Really Harsh” Tainted Proceedings and Necessitates Resentencing

It is a hard rule that a judge “must not participate in [plea] discussions,” Fed. R. Crim. P. 11(c)(1). In United States v. Harrison, No. 19-2234 (8th Cir. Sept. 10, 2020), a judge committed plain error by talking a criminal defendant out of a plea deal by assuring him – incorrectly – that he wouldContinue reading “Eighth Circuit Finds That Judge Who Opined from Bench That the Federal Criminal Justice System “Sucks” and Is “Really Harsh” Tainted Proceedings and Necessitates Resentencing”

District Court Abused Its Discretion by Failing to Appoint Counsel for Minor Child in First Amendment Case, Holds Eighth Circuit

In Crozier v. Westside Community School Dist., No. 19-1312 (8th Cir. Sept. 2, 2020), the Eighth Circuit reaffirmed the general rule that parents may not represent their minor children pro se in federal court, but under the particular facts of this case hold that the district court ought to have appointed counsel for the minor.Continue reading “District Court Abused Its Discretion by Failing to Appoint Counsel for Minor Child in First Amendment Case, Holds Eighth Circuit”

Testimony About Anonymous Crime Tip Written on a Traffic Cone Outside Suspect’s Home Was Inadmissible Hearsay, But Not Grounds for Reversal, Holds Eighth Circuit

In United States v. Bartunek, No. 19-1584 (8th Cir. Aug. 12, 2020), the Eighth Circuit holds that it was error for a police investigator to testify about a message left anonymously outside a suspect’s home – a traffic cone with the word “chimo” (for “child molester”) written near the bottom. The conviction stands, though, becauseContinue reading “Testimony About Anonymous Crime Tip Written on a Traffic Cone Outside Suspect’s Home Was Inadmissible Hearsay, But Not Grounds for Reversal, Holds Eighth Circuit”

“Inherent Power” Sanction Against Second Failed TRO Motion Upheld by Split Eighth Circuit Panel

An internecine battle for control of the Eagle Forum – Schlafly  v.  Eagle Forum, No.  19-2174 (8th Cir. July 30, 2020) – leads to a $9,851.25 attorney’s fees sanction under the district court’s “inherent power,” an award affirmed by a divided Eighth Circuit panel.    Plaintiff Andrew L. Schlafly, son of Eagle Forum founder PhyllisContinue reading ““Inherent Power” Sanction Against Second Failed TRO Motion Upheld by Split Eighth Circuit Panel”

Eighth Circuit Holds That Deadline Under 26 U.S.C. §6330(d)(1) for Filing Petition for Review in Tax Court Is Jurisdictional

In Boechler P.C. v. CIR, No. 19-2003 (8th Cir. July 24, 2020), the Eighth Circuit holds that the 30-day period under 26 U.S.C. § 6330(d)(1) for filing an appeal from an IRS determination in the U.S. Tax Court is jurisdictional. Under Article III, Section 1, Congress has the power to create and limit the subject-matterContinue reading “Eighth Circuit Holds That Deadline Under 26 U.S.C. §6330(d)(1) for Filing Petition for Review in Tax Court Is Jurisdictional”

Threats Made By Client Against Judge During Attorney-Client Communications Not Covered By Federal Attorney-Client Privilege

In United States  v.  Ivers, No. 19-1563 (8th Cir. July 23, 2020), the Eighth Circuit affirms the conviction of a defendant who allegedly made threats of violence against a federal judge. Some of the testimony admitted by the prosecution was from two lawyers assigned to represent the defendant in an insurance case by a court-basedContinue reading “Threats Made By Client Against Judge During Attorney-Client Communications Not Covered By Federal Attorney-Client Privilege”