Legal Blog: Appellate Practice

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Could I Be Prosecuted for Using Facebook at Work? Supreme Court to Decide.

In April 2020, the Supreme Court agreed to hear Van Buren v. United States.  This case raises questions about what constitutes criminal “computer misuse” under 18 U.S.C. § 1030(a).  The petitioner, Mr. Van Buren, was convicted under 18 U.S.C. § 1030(a) after accepting a loan in exchange for personal records obtained through a police database.  As a police officer, Mr.

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Lynch v. Dimaya, Where The Johnson Court Is Headed, And How It May Get There

Last Tuesday, the Supreme Court heard oral argument in Lynch v. Dimaya, a case challenging the constitutionality of 18 U.S.C. § 16(b), which defines the term “crime of violence.”  As a firm, we frequently encounter these issues in our practice, and as a result have been closely following the Dimaya case. You can read our post: “Violent Felony” And “Crime

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“Violent Felony” And “Crime of Violence”: What Johnson v. United States Can Mean For Other Federal Criminal Statutes Involving Violent Crimes

In 2015, the Supreme Court decided Johnson v. United States. The decision struck down part of the federal Armed Career Criminal Act of 1984 (“ACCA”), which defined a legal term: “violent felony,” used for some federal crimes. As noted in a recent article from the Washington Post, hundreds, if not thousands, of prisoners can expect to have their prison sentences reduced

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Thoughts on the Fourth Circuit’s Ruling in the McDonnell Case

For a while things were going well for former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell’s appeal of his convictions for corruption related offenses.  The Court allowed him to remain out of custody while the appeal was pending and the panel who heard his case – Judges Motz, King, and Thacker – was pretty favorable by Fourth Circuit standards. But the Court ruled

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