Supreme Court to Hear Case about Warrantless Searches of Cellphones

Under traditional Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution juris prudence, law enforcement may conduct a search incident to arrest.  The basis behind this exception to the Fourth Amendment’s warrant requirement is the need to protect police officers and to prevent the destruction of evidence.  The issue is particularly important in the digital age when […]

Supreme Court Upholds Honest Services Fraud, but Vacates Skillings Conviction

In a much anticipated decision, the United States Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the “honest services” theory of mail fraud and wire fraud prosecutions. However, in doing so, the Court vacated the conviction of former Enron executive Jeffrey Skillings. The Skillings case was remanded to a lower court for further proceedings. The Justice Department […]

Big Tobacco Seeks Supreme Court Review of RICO Finding

Three of the nations largest companies are seeking Supreme Court review of the determination that they had engaged in racketeering acts in violation of the federal RICO statute. The appeal is of the decision of a three judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. That court upheld the […]

Supreme Court Clarifies Intent in False Claims Act Suits

In Allison Engine Co., Inc., et al., v. United States ex rel. Sanders et al., the Supreme Court addressed the issue of the level of intent necessary for a False Claims Act (“FCA”) action under 31 U.S.C. Sections 3729(a)(2) and (3). In Allison, the United States Navy signed contracts with two shipyards for the construction […]

Supreme Court Limits Money Laundering in Two Decisions

In two decisions handed down in June 2008, the U.S. Supreme Court has clarified and limited the government’s use of the money laundering statutes. In Cuellar v. U.S, the defendant, driving in Texas toward Mexico, was arrested after a search of his car uncovered $81,000 hidden under the floor boards. The defendant was convicted of […]