Author Archive | Allegra Glashausser

Thursday, July 14th, 2016

Your emails are a bit safer from the government’s eyes…so long as they are stored outside of the United States

In a big privacy and technology ruling, the Second Circuit vacated an order holding Microsoft in civil contempt for failing to comply with a warrant demanding user content that was stored in Ireland. The circuit concluded that US courts are not authorized to enforce “Stored Communications Act” warrants requesting electronic communications stored abroad. As Judge Lynch pointed out in his concurrence, if Microsoft stores your electronic communications abroad your privacy is now “absolute as against the government,” but, of course, your “privacy is protected against Microsoft only to the extent defined by the terms of their contract.”

And, in other news today, Johnson litigation continues…

Last year, in Johnson v. United States, the Supreme Court held the residual clause of the Armed Career Criminal Act was void for vagueness. Last month, the Supreme Court granted cert in United States v. Beckles to decide whether Johnson applies retroactively to …

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Friday, April 1st, 2016

No, it’s not an April Fools Joke: Solitary Confinement Settlement Approved

solitaryNo opinions or relevant summary orders from the Second Circuit today.

But, big news from SDNY on solitary confinement: Yesterday, Judge Scheindlin approved a settlement in Peoples v. Annucci that will overhaul solitary confinement in New York state prisons. The settlement is about what is called the “SHU,” which is pronounced like “shoe,” and is an abbreviation for “Special Housing Units.” The agreement should, among other things, end this type of solitary confinement for more than 1,100 people, limit the duration of time people have to stay in solitary, and eliminate the use of solitary as punishment for minor violations. Judge Scheindlin wrote that the settlement is the “best example of the power of impact litigation to redress conditions that affect the most vulnerable members of our society.”

It should, however, be noted that while this is a big change, it does not do everything. Some class members objected that …

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Wednesday, March 23rd, 2016

Circuit Affirms Higher Sentences Imposed After Remand and Below-Guidelines Sentence Imposed on Cooperator

Two summary orders today.

First, United States v. Tanaka: To understand this one, a short backstory is needed: In 2010, Mr. Tanaka and Mr. Vilar were sentenced to 60 months and 108 months of prison time, respectively. Both were fined $25,000. Fast forward to 2014, when both men were resentenced after a successful appeal. But, things weren’t better this time around: Mr. Tanaka got 72 months and Mr. Vilar, 120 months. The fine was increased by 400% to $ 10 million. What changed in between? Mr. Tanaka and Mr. Vilar argued nothing…except that they were successful on appeal and had defended themselves against a government civil suit. They argued their increased sentences were vindictive.

However, the Second Circuit disagreed. The court found that their increased sentences were not based on the exercise of their legal rights, but on their “anti-social conduct following their initial sentence.” The court affirmed the …

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Wednesday, March 16th, 2016

Second Circuit Updates – March 16, 2016 – Home Confinement as Condition of Supervised Release, Sentencing Enhancement for Using Gun in a Robbery, Scope of Cross Examination

Three short summary orders today:

First up, United States v. Fiume: In this case, the sentencing court imposed “GPS tracking” as a condition of Mr. Fiume’s supervised release, but never stated that it was also imposing home detention, a “separate and additionally burdensome condition.” Nonetheless, a condition of home detention appeared in Mr. Fiume’s written judgment. The circuit vacated the home detention condition and remanded for the written judgment to be corrected. The circuit otherwise upheld Mr. Fiume’s 10-month prison sentence as reasonable.

Next up, another sentencing case, United States v. Crum. Here, Mr. Crum argued that the sentencing court should not have enhanced his weapon possession sentence on the basis that the weapon had been used in a robbery. The circuit disagreed, finding the enhancement was not clearly erroneous based on a witness’s 911 calls about a gunpoint robbery by two men, one wearing black and one …


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Categories: cross-examination, sentencing, supervised release

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