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Category Archives: Courts

Federal White Collar Crime Prosecutions At 20 Year Low

“The federal prosecution of individuals charged with white collar crimes is significantly lower than it was 20 years ago, according to thousands of case-by case records analyzed by Syracuse University’s Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC). Records obtained under the Freedom of Information Act show that the overall decline began under President Clinton, and indicate that for the full 2015 fiscal year under President Obama such prosecutions will be at their lowest level since 1995. As categorized by the Justice Department, white collar crime involves a wide range of actions such as health care fraud and the violation of tax, securities, federal procurement and other laws. The decline in such prosecutions does not necessarily indicate that white collar crime is on the wane but may reflect changing and sometimes unannounced enforcement priorities set by the executive branch and Congress. The records indicate that during the first nine months of FY 2015, the government brought 5,173 white collar crime prosecutions. If the monthly number of these kinds of cases continues at the same pace until the end of the current fiscal year on September 30, the total will be only 6,897 such matters, about one third (36.8%) fewer than twenty years ago. To read the full report on the long term collapse of federal white collar crime prosecutions, including total filings and rankings for each federal district, go to http://trac.syr.edu/tracreports/crim/398

New on LLRX – Cut and Paste Opinions: A Turing Test for Judicial Decision-Making

Via LLRX.com – Cut and Paste Opinions: A Turing Test for Judicial Decision-Making  – Ken Strutin argues that cut-and-paste is a laudable method for reducing transcription errors in copying citations and quotations. However, he identifies that a problem arises when it is used to lift verbatim sections of a party’s arguments into a case decision.Continue Reading

Fewer Banking-Related Federal Civil Lawsuits

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse: “The latest available data from the federal courts show that during June 2015 the government reported 18 new “banks and banking” civil filings. This number has been trending downward since new filings peaked at 79 during November of 2011. If filings continue at the same pace during the remainder of thisContinue Reading

Representation Makes Fourteen-Fold Difference in Outcome

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse: “Results in “women with children” cases before the Immigration Court continue to show that the single most important factor determining outcome is whether or not these individuals are represented in their court proceedings.  For the 14,269 cases concluded as of the end of June 2015, the odds of being allowed toContinue Reading

TRAC – Senior Judge Workload Expands

“The workload of federal judges who have retired but voluntarily continue to hear cases has grown by nearly every measure in the past two decades. These senior judges now resolve nearly twice as many cases as they did 20 years ago. The reason for this increase: while the annual number of cases being funneled intoContinue Reading

BP Deep Water Horizon Settlement of 18.7B to states is tax deductible and spread over 18 years

WSJ blog: “BP PLC agreed Thursday to pay $18.7 billion to settle federal and state claims over the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The penalty includes the biggest pollution fine in U.S. history. Here’s what you should know…” See also via New York Times –  BP to Pay $18.7 Billion for Deepwater Horizon Oil SpillContinue Reading

Secret court authorizes continued telephone metadata collection

The Guardian UK: “After a decade in the shadows, a secretive surveillance court that authorises the bulk collection of American telephone records seized on its last chance to show off a little personality on Tuesday [June 30, 2015]. “Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose, well, at least for 180 days,” wrote judge MichaelContinue Reading

National Initiative for Building Community Trust and Justice

“The National Initiative for Building Community Trust and Justice is designed to improve relationships and increase trust between communities and the criminal justice system. It also aims to advance the public and scholarly understandings of the issues contributing to those relationships. In September 2014, Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the Department of Justice has awarded the NationalContinue Reading

Indictment of former House speaker Dennis Hastert

Washington Post – Federal prosecutors on Thursday indicted former House speaker J. Dennis Hastert on bank-related charges. Find out more about the case.

National Journal – Mapping Gay Marriage Since 1996

From No States to All of Them: Mapping Gay Marriage Since 1996 How same-sex marriage became legal in the United States, by National Journal Graphics Staff: “A day ago, same-sex marriage was legal in 36 states and the District of Columbia. Now, it’s legal in all 50. The Supreme Court said in a 5-4 rulingContinue Reading

Supreme Court rejects latest challenge to Affordable Health Care Act

United States Supreme Court – KING ET AL. v. BURWELL, SECRETARY OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, ET AL., (2015) No. 14-114. Argued: March 4, 2015  Decided: June 25, 201 “The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act grew out of a long history of failed health insurance reform. In the 1990s, several States sought to expandContinue Reading

Only 29 Convictions in Federal Hate Crime Cases Since FY 2010

“During the first eight months of fiscal year 2015, the federal government reported the convictions of eight individuals who had been charged with federal hate crimes under Title 8 Section 249 of the U.S. Code, according to the latest available data from the Justice Department. If this activity continues at the same pace, the annualContinue Reading