2006 White Collar Amicus Briefs

Claiborne v. United States & Rita v. United States, U.S. Sup. Ct., Nos. 06-5618 & 06-5754, filed 12/18/06, argument 2/20/07. Federal Sentencing Guidelines, Post-Booker. NACDL Amicus curiae brief in support of the petitioners, combining questions presented: Is it consistent with the Supreme Court’s decision in U.S. v. Booker (2005), either to require that a sentence which constitutes a substantial variance from the sentencing guidelines be justified by extraordinary circumstances or to presume that a within-the-guidelines sentence is “reasonable”? Authors: Miguel A. Estrada and David Debold, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP, Washington, DC.

Stolt-Nielsen v. United States, U.S. Sup. Ct., No. 06-97, filed 9/20/06. Amicus curiae brief of the Washington Legal Foundation, the National Association of Manufacturers and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers in support of petition for certiorari. Argument: The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit erred in holding that under the Separation of Powers doctrine, federal courts lack the authority to enjoin federal prosecutors from breaching a binding contractual obligation “not to bring any criminal prosecution” of a company and its executions who cooperated in a federal investigation. Authors: Daniel Popeo and Richard A. Samp, Washington Legal Foundation, Washington, D.C.

United States v. Kay, 5th Cir., Case No. 05-20604, appeal after remand by 359 F. 3d 738 (5th Cir. 2004) (No. 02-20588), original case below 200 F.Supp.2d 681 (S.D.Tex. Apr. 18, 2002), brief filed 10/6/06. FCPA---Proof of Knowledge of Illegality---Fair Warning---Due Process----Rule of Lenity---Prohibition Against Federal Common Law Crimes. Brief of Amicus Curiae National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers in Support of Appellants. Argument: The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) requires proof of knowledge of illegality. The FCPA, as applied, denied appellants fair warning. Authors: John D. Cline and Peter E. Davids, Jones Day, San Francisco, CA; William E. Rittenberg, Rittenberg, Samuel & Phillips, LLC, New Orleans, LA.

United States v. Valdes, D.C. Cir., No. 03-3066, filed July 3, 2006. NACDL Amicus brief in support of appellant on rehearing en banc. Previous decision: 437 F.3d 1276 (D.C. Cir. 2006). Argument: In a prosecution of a public official for accepting an "illegal gratuity" under 18 U.S.C. § 201, the definition of "official act" should be narrowly construed; a broad application of § 201 would over-criminalize ethics transgressions and criminalize de minimus ethical lapses, burdening the criminal justice system and possibly leading to the absurd result of criminalizing innocent gift-giving between citizens and public servants. Authors: Blair G. Brown and Barak Cohen.

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