Tuesday, October 04, 2011

U.S. v. Blechman, 2011 WL 4060250 (9/14/11) (Kan.) (Published) - The 10th holds the d. ct. erred in admitting AOL and PACER records indicating to whom the particular accounts belonged because that information was hearsay. While witnesses testified the records were prepared in the regular course of business, the relevant information was unverified user-input information, i.e., it was provided by an outsider to the business who was not under a duty to provide accurate information. The businesses did not have a policy of verifying the information's accuracy. Nor was there proof the businesses had a sufficient self-interest in the information's accuracy. But the error was harmless. Several other pieces of evidence connected the defendant to the e-mail address, including the signature block, And the PACER evidence related to an uncharged scheme in another state, while there was plenty of evidence of the defendant's involvement in the charged scheme [which was filing false documents for bankruptcies to delay home forfeitures]. In a concurrence, Judge Hartz contended the evidence would have been admissible had it been admitted solely for the limited purpose of showing that someone had used the defendant's name to set up the accounts. Distinguishing a 1993 10th Circuit case, Judge Hartz says that, now that jurors would appreciate how prevalent identity fraud is, the jurors might be capable of using the evidence only for its proper nonhearsay purpose.

U.S. v. Cordery, 2011 WL 3805760 (8/30/11) (Utah) (Published) - I mistakenly previously reported this important case establishing that it is plain error to lengthen a term of imprisonment for rehabilitation purposes was unpublished. It's actually published.

U.S. v. Flores-Olmos, 2011 WL 4059044 (9/14/11) (Okl.) (unpub'd) - It was okay for the officer during a valid traffic stop to ask the defendant about his immigration status, even though the question was unrelated to the reason for the stop and the officer had no reasonable suspicion the defendant was unlawfully here. The defendant did not establish the stop was motivated by racial profiling in violation of equal protection.