Yates v. United States

Brief of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers as Amici Curiae in Support of Petitioner John Yates.

Brief filed: 07/07/2014


Yates v. United States

United States Supreme Court; Case No. 13-7451

Prior Decision

Decision below 733 F.3d 1059 (11th Cir. 2013).


Petitioner's conviction under Sarbanes-Oxley exemplifies overcriminalization through an unconstitutional expansion of the law. Executive expansion of 18 U.S.C. § 1519 to include red grouper furthers the overcriminalization epidemic. Red grouper are not “tangible objects” under Sarbanes-Oxley. Even if Sarbanes-Oxley applies to fish, Yates’ conduct did not impede, obstruct, or influence a federal investigation. Overcriminalization places a growing burden on the administration of justice, often resulting in ludicrous federal convictions for conduct that, traditional, falls outside constitutionally anticipated federal purview.

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William N. Shepherd, Holland & Knight LLP, West Palm Beach, FL; Barbara E. Bergman, Albuquerque, NM.