Monday, March 25, 2013

Applicants Sought for Position of Judicial Law Clerk for U.S.District Judge Raymond P. Moore

Newly appointed U.S. District Judge Raymond Moore is seeking two law clerks. The information regarding the posting is as follows:

Judicial Law Clerk for U.S. District Judge Raymond P. Moore
JSP Grades 11 - 13
Vacancy Announcement: 2013-06-USDC
Opening Date: March 25, 2013
Closing Date: April 12, 2013 5:00 p.m.

Applications will be reviewed as received, interviews will be scheduled as soon as possible, and an employment offer will be extended to the most qualified candidate on or after closing date. Expected start date is May 1, 2013.

The U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado is currently recruiting for two law clerk positions in the Chambers of U.S. District Judge Raymond P. Moore. Duty station is located at 901 19th Street, Denver, Colorado. The judicial law clerk position is a full time permanent position (80 hours biweekly) and is eligible for federal government benefits.

The judicial law clerk researches issues of law, attends trials and other court proceedings, schedules hearings, monitors the progress of cases, and drafts memoranda and proposed orders for the judge’s consideration. The caseload in the jurisdiction is heavy, and the types of cases presented are varied, often involving novel issues of law. There is daily interaction with the judicial officer and other law clerks concerning legal and court-related issues.

Required Qualifications:
To qualify for the position of judicial law clerk on the personal staff of a federal judge, a person must be a law school graduate (accredited by the American Bar Association) and must have the following experience:

JSP Grade 11 (annual salary $61,612)
Law school graduate
Bar membership not required

JSP Grade 12 (annual salary $73,848)
At least 1 year of legal work experience.
Must be a member of the bar of a state, territorial, or federal court of general jurisdiction
Previous experience as a federal law clerk is preferred.

JSP Grade 13 (annual salary $87,815)
At least 2 years of legal work experience.
Must be a member of the bar of a state, territorial, or federal court of general jurisdiction
Previous experience as a federal law clerk is preferred.

JSP Grade 14 (annual salary $103,771)
At least 3 years of legal work experience.
Must be a member of the bar of a state, territorial, or federal court of general jurisdiction
Two years of federal law clerk experience is required to be appointed at or promoted to the JSP 14 level.

Legal Work Experience:

Legal work experience is progressively responsible experience in the practice of law, in legal research, legal administration, or equivalent experience received AFTER graduation from law school. Major or substantial legal activities while in military service may be credited, on a month-for-month basis whether before or after graduation, but not to exceed one year if before graduation from law school.

The successful candidate will possess the following:
* have litigation experience (federal court experience is preferred)
* possess strong research, writing, and organizational skills
* be able to synthesize large volumes of information and work under time pressure
* be independent, self-starting, and committed to the judicial process
* prior federal clerkship experience is strongly preferred

How To Apply:

Submit U.S. Courts application form (found at under Employment Opportunities which is found on the left side margin of the site). In addition to the U.S. Courts application form, please submit a resume, writing sample, and two letters of reference to:

Human Resources Division
Attn: 2013-06-USDC
1929 Stout Street, Suite C102
Denver, CO 80294

Application materials will also be accepted via fax at 303-335-2495 or by email at
Please note vacancy # 2013-06-USDC on the fax cover sheet or in email subject line.

Information for Applicants
This position may be considered as a career law clerk appointment eligible for full federal government benefits, including retirement benefits, or a term law clerk appointment eligible for full federal government benefits excluding retirement benefits. Term law clerks may be appointed for a maximum of four years taking into consideration any previous federal law clerk experience.

Only qualified applicants satisfying required qualification standards as specified in the vacancy announcement will be considered for an interview for this position.

Applicants that do not submit all required materials, as stated in the How to Apply section of the vacancy announcement, will not be considered.

This vacancy may be cancelled without notice, multiple positions may be filled from this vacancy, and additional positions may be filled within 60 days of a closed vacancy utilizing the same applicant pool. This vacancy may be revised and re-posted with the approval of the judicial officer. Successful employment with the U.S. Courts is based on acceptable performance and is an at-will employment opportunity as determined by the Court Unit Executive.
Due to increasing commuter costs, the high cost of parking in the downtown Denver area, and the decreasing availability of downtown parking; the U.S. Courts provide each permanent employee with an RTD Eco Pass. This Eco Pass provides unlimited transportation on RTD buses and Light Rail in and out of the downtown Denver area. The Eco Pass is an employee benefit provided annually depending upon available funding.

Please see under Employment Opportunities for an overview of the federal government benefit package.

Electronic Funds Transfer (direct deposit) of pay is required.

As a condition of employment, the selected candidate must successfully complete a background check or investigation. Retention in the position will depend upon a favorable suitability determination. Employment will be considered provisional until background check is completed and favorable suitability is determined.

Applicants must be a U.S. citizen or eligible to work in the United States. The federal immigration and appropriations law significantly limits the circumstances in which the federal judiciary may employ a non-citizen of the United States. Therefore, the U.S. Courts is responsible for ensuring that all new employees are eligible to work in the United States by reviewing one of the employment eligibility documents specified on the Form I-9 (Employment Eligibility Verification) before placing the selected candidate on federal payroll. Proof of eligibility status will be required.

The Court requires employees to adhere to a code of ethics and conduct as well as specific employee policies and performance expectations.

The federal courts are Equal Employment Opportunity employers.

Thursday, March 21, 2013


The 10th has a new member: the Honorable Robert E. Bacharach. He moves up from magistrate judge for the Western District of Oklahoma, which position he held for 14 years. Before that for 12 1/2 years he was with a big law firm which specialized in commercial law.

The 10th Circuit website now has a checklist for briefs.

Unpublished Decisions

U.S. v. Gray. 2013 WL 792707 (3/5/13) (Wyo.) (unpub'd) - The 10th discusses a circuit split as to whether there must be a nexus between the crime of conviction and reckless endangerment to justify a reckless endangerment enhancement under § 3C1.2. The 10th declines to address the issue because it thinks there was a nexus in this case. The defendant must have known that the police were stopping him to detain him for his meth-related activities, since he had been a CI whose identity was inadvertently released and who had been engaging in drug activity, including possessing meth in the car he was driving when he recklessly endangered folks.

U.S. v. Mowery, 2013 WL 828827 (3/7/13) (N.M.) (unpub'd) - Although defense counsel may have given the defendant "bad advice" concerning the initial 15-year 11(c)(1)(C) plea offer [i.e., counsel advised rejecting the plea because he could get a better deal; the defendant ultimately got a deal that resulted in a 24-year sentence] and may have been "inattentive" during the sentencing hearing, it was indisputable that counsel performed reasonably. I'm not making this up.

Expansive Reading of Bank Fraud Statute Conflicts with Other Circuits; Change-of-plea Notice Stops Speedy Trial Clock

U.S. v. Loughrin, 2013 WL 856577 (3/8/13) (Ut.) (Published) - A very scary case if you're worried about the feds taking over what one would think would be state crimes. In this case, the defendant altered stolen checks to make purchases at a Target store. He would then return the purchases for cash. The 10th holds that to convict the defendant of bank fraud under 18 U.S.C. § 1344(2) the government did not have to prove he intended to defraud a financial institution. All it had to do was show he obtained by false pretenses money that was under the custody or control of a bank. It was enough that the defendant intended to defraud Target. Unlike § 1344(1), which prohibits defrauding a financial institution, § 1344(2) does not require proof that a bank was at risk. The provision's language focuses on the defendant's conduct. The 10th recognizes its holding conflicts with the holdings of other circuits and that its interpretation "may cast a wide net for bank fraud liability," but "that's the plain language."

On the Speedy Trial Act front, the 10th holds that a change-of-plea notice counts as a pretrial motion to stop the speedy trial clock, even though it prompts no extra work in the form of briefs. It does unsettle expectations and require consideration of certain factors, like the factual basis. In this case, the defendant changed his mind about pleading. The time in between the notice and the defendant's announcement of his change of heart was excluded from the clock. Also, the defendant waived an argument that a particular continuance order was inadequate because he had not raised that particular problem below. Not even plain error review was appropriate under the Act. The 10th holds that a district court could not use new findings made after the fact to justify an old continuance order. But the government's motion to amend the old order stopped the clock from running. And the facts were compelling to justify a continuance of two months for the government to re-subpoena and reschedule its witnesses [after the defendant changed his mind about pleading] and debrief and prepare the testimony of the codefendant who decided to turn on the defendant. "While perhaps the government didn't need the full two months---indeed, it originally only asked for one month---the facts don't indicate the district court acted arbitrarily or capriciously in excluding those days from the Act's clock." The trial court's continuance order, although it could have been more thorough and explicit" was good enough, given the court's probing inquiries at the hearing on the continuance motion.

Wiretap Affidavits Sufficient; Title III Suppression Doesn't Apply to GPS Data

U.S. v. Barajas, 2013 WL 781789 (3/4/13) (Kan.) (Published) - The affidavits used to justify wiretaps were sufficient to show that traditional investigative techniques were ineffective or wouldn't be effective if tried. The goal of uncovering the size and scope of a drug conspiracy may justify a wiretap. The 10th was not sure there was probable cause for pinging [i.,e. having cell phone providers find out where phones are located via GPS]. While there could be probable cause even though the affidavits didn't mention pinging, there was no explanation in the affidavits stating how the defendant's location would reveal information about the conspiracy's workings. But good faith saves the day for the government. The 10th could see a minimally sufficient nexus between the illegal activity and the place to be searched. The officers could reasonably think there was probable cause because the agents knew a man named "Samy" was involved, but couldn't identify who that was until they located him through the GPS pinging. Because the law is unsettled on the matter, the agents could reasonably believe they could get GPS data through a wiretap order. The agents' knowledge of the gap between the affidavit, which did not mention pinging, and the wiretap order, which did, gave the 10th "more pause," But the 10th couldn't bring itself to "say the gap was intentional." Also of note, the 10th says the Title III suppression remedy, which only applies to wire and oral communications, does not apply to GPS data. So the 10th didn't have to answer the "murky" question, which has created a circuit split, whether the good faith exception applies to Title III violations.