Thursday, September 20, 2007

US v. Sargent, No. 06-30498 (9-20-07). A disgruntled mail employee hatched a scheme to get back at the Postal Service. He took the Postal Statements that bulk mailers submit to the Postal Service which estimates the cost and amount. With no postal statements, the mail went out seemingly without payment. Neither rain, nor snow, nor lack of statements kept the mail from going out. The Postal Service was very unhappy and, unsurprisingly, charges of theft from the Postal Service (1707) and theft of goverment property (641) were brought. A bench trial took place, and the defendnat was convicted. But wait, the government could not prove, or so argued defendant, that the value was over $1,000 because the Postal Statements had no face value and no worth. They were estimates for accounting purposes supplied by the mailers. The 9th (Wallace) agreed and reversed.

Congratulations to AFPD Mary Geddes, D. Alaska.

US v. Sinerius, No. 06-30327 (9-20-07). The 9th (O'Scannlain) held that Montana's sexual abuse statute was a predicate offense under a categorical analysis for enhancement purposes for the federal child pornography statutes.

US v. Grace, No. 06-30472 (9-20-07). In this complex interlocutory appeal, the 9th reversed the district court's order dismissing a knowing endangerment count and its use of the civil definition of asbestos rather than the criminal one. The 9th also dealt with a myriad of issues of what an expert can or cannot rely on in forming an opinion about a series of tests about pollution.


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