Archive | Brady

Friday, July 15th, 2016

Second Circuit Updates – July 15, 2016

The Record of the Psychiatric Evaluation of a Rape Complainant was Material Under Brady and State Court’s Ruling to the Contrary was Unreasonable Application of the Kyles standard.

(Full disclosure: Colleen Cassidy, today’s blogger, briefed and argued this case)

In Fuentes v. Griffin, Docket NO. 14 – 3878, the Second Circuit (KEARSE, J.), held that the state prosecutor’s suppression of the rape complainant’s psychiatric evaluation (the “Record”) violated Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83 (1963), and that the state court unreasonably applied the materiality standard of Kyles v. Whitley, 514 U.S. 419 (1995), in rejecting that claim. The state trial was a closely contested rape case with a consent defense, in which a sexual encounter on the roof of the complainant’s building was undisputed and the only issue was whether it was rape or consensual. The only witnesses to the encounter were the complainant and the defendant-petitioner …

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Categories: Brady, Kyles, sex offenses

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Sunday, August 26th, 2012

Brady Violation Allows Defendants to “Squawk” Away

United Statesv v. Mahaffy, No. 09-5349-cr (2d Cir. August 2, 2012) (McLaughlin, Parker, Wesley, CJJ) 

This, the court’s most recent Brady decision, presents a truly shocking instance of prosecutorial misconduct.

Factual Background

The Brady violation was here was  straightforward: the defendants were employees of brokerage houses and a day trading firm called A.B. Watley, accused of securities fraud by running a “frontrunning” scheme. Here’s how it worked: the brokerage houses had “squawk boxes” which, during the day, would transmit internal communications about, amongst other things, client trading orders. The squawks would allow the firms’ traders to find a client to take the other side of the trade. In the scheme, the brokerage defendants would place phone receivers over their squawk boxes and transmit the squawks directly to Watley employees, who would then place trades in the squawked securities before the brokerage houses could execute the customer orders. Watley hoped …

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Sunday, September 28th, 2008

Mea Exculpa

United States v. Spadoni, No. 06-4970-cr (2d Cir. September 25, 2008) (Pooler, Hall, CJJ, Gleeson, DJ)

Here, the defendant successfully argued that the government’s suppression of exculpatory and impeachment material warranted a new trial.

Background

Spadoni was the general counsel for an investment firm, Triumph, that did business with the State of Connecticut. He was a friend of Paul Silvester, who was, for a time, Connecticut State Treasurer. One of Silvester’s duties was to make investment decisions for state pension funds.

In 1998, Silvester asked Spadoni for a campaign donation. By law it could not go to his own campaign, so instead Spadoni donated $100,000 to the state Republican Party. Silvester lost the election, but before he left office decided to invest $150 million in state pension funds with Triumph.

In connection with this investment, Silvester asked Spadoni to pay a one percent finders fee to two of his associates, …

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Categories: Brady, Giglio, Uncategorized

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Thursday, May 1st, 2008

Government’s “Question[able],” “Troub[ling]” and “Disingenous” Conduct Results in an Affirmance. Huh?

United States v. Blech, No 05-3600-cr (2d Cir. April 23, 2008) (Sotomayor, Parker, Hall, CJJ).

Two defendants who were convicted of securities and related frauds appealed on the ground that their cases were misjoined, and one advanced a Brady claim. The court affirmed, but only out of apparent deference to the district court’s findings under the “abuse of discretion” standard.

The Severance Issue

This case went to trial on a thirteen-count indictment that alleged two separate fraud schemes. The first involved appellant Brandon, who, along with others, defrauded customers of Credit Bancorp of more than $200,000,000. The second scheme involved appellant Wexler, who also defrauded Credit Bancorp customers, but in a different way. The district court denied their severance motions, and both were convicted.

The defendants’ severance claim was unusually strong. Although the two schemes shared some participants, and both targeted Credit Bancorp customers, they were otherwise completely distinct. Nevertheless, …


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