April 22, 2019

Archives for June 19, 2013

U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado Seeks Attorneys for Civil Case Pro Bono Panel

The United States District Court for the District of Colorado announced formal adoption of a pilot program that creates a panel of attorneys who agree to accept pro bono appointments to represent pro se litigants of limited financial means in civil cases before the court. Common case types include employment discrimination, Social Security disability appeals, prisoner’s rights (§ 1983 or Bivens), civil rights, and consumer rights/credit reporting/foreclosure cases. Attorneys can choose which types of cases they are willing to take. Appointment orders to members of the Panel will begin July 1, 2013.

The court is seeking applicants to the Civil Pro Bono Panel — attorneys, law firms, and clinical legal education programs at law schools — that are willing to accept appointments in these cases. The Application Form is attached to the end of the Civil Pro Bono Pilot Program Plan. Interested attorneys may submit a completed application either by mail to the Clerk of the Court, United States District Court, Attn: Edward Butler, Legal Officer, Alfred A. Arraj U.S. Courthouse Annex, 901 19th Street, Denver, Colorado 80294; or may submit the application by e-mail to: COD_ProBonoPanel@cod.uscourts.gov.

As a means to reimburse attorneys who accept cases as volunteers, the Pilot Program includes provisions for the Faculty of Federal Advocates (FFA) to manage the reimbursement of expenses, funded in part by grants to the FFA from the court. Funding for the grants will derive from an increase in attorney admission fees and a one-time renewal fee for current members of the Bar. Reimbursement of expenses is not guaranteed.

Members of the U.S. District Court Bar may submit payment of the one-time $50 renewal fee and completion of the Court’s Renewal Application Packet beginning July 15, 2013. Additionally, the attorney admissions fee increase to $211 from $186 will commence on that date. Check the U.S. District Court website for more information regarding completion of the Renewal Application Packet (Renewal materials and payment of the fee will be completed electronically through the website). All members of the U.S. District Court Bar are expected to pay the renewal fee by August 15, 2013.

 

Tenth Circuit: Criminal Justice Act Provides Counsel Necessary for an Adequate Defense, Not an Unlimited Defense

The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals published its opinion in United States v. Clark on Tuesday, June 18, 2013.

Defendant-Appellant Richard Clark was charged and convicted of multiple counts relating to his participation in a “pump-and-dump” securities fraud scheme. He asserted several claims of error, with many arguments the same as those unsuccessfully made by his co-conspirator in United States v. Gordon, 710 F.3d 1124 (10th Cir. 2013).

Clark argued “‘[t]he government violated [his] constitutional rights to due process and a fair trial’ in its pre-indictment decision to place a caveat on his home, without notice.” The Tenth Circuit found Clark had failed to preserve these arguments, but even under plain error review, they failed.

Clark challenged the sufficiency of the evidence on all of his counts of conviction: conspiracy to commit wire fraud, securities fraud, and money laundering; wire fraud; securities fraud; and money laundering. The court found there was sufficient evidence for any rational factfinder to determine that Clark had committed the acts resulting in conviction so his arguments were without merit.

Clark also claimed that he was denied a fair trial when the district court rejected his request under provisions of the Criminal Justice Act (CJA), 18 U.S.C. § 3006A, to appoint substitute or additional counsel with expertise in securities law. The attorney who had represented him for over two years moved to withdraw due to nonpayment of legal fees but the district court denied the motion. Later, the attorney filed the CJA motion for substitute or additional counsel. The court found no abuse of discretion in the trial court’s denial. His attorney was a highly experienced criminal defense lawyer who had no conflict of interest. The CJA provides counsel necessary for an adequate defense, not an unlimited defense, so an additional attorney was not necessary based on the facts of this case.

Clark objected to the district court’s decision not to sever his trial from that of Mr. Gordon, his co-defendant. He argued that the admission of inculpatory out-of-court statements by Mr. Gordon violated his Confrontation Clause rights under Bruton. Because the statements were not testimonial, the court rejected this argument, as well as his other severance-related arguments.

Finally, the court found no abuse of discretion in the trial court’s ends-of-justice continuance under the Speedy Trial Act. The Tenth Circuit affirmed Clark’s conviction.

Tenth Circuit: Unpublished Opinions, 6/18/13

On Tuesday, June 18, 2013, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals issued one published opinion and two unpublished opinions.

Murdock v. Astrue

United States v. Mitchell

No case summaries are provided for unpublished opinions. However, published opinions are summarized and provided by Legal Connection.