December 17, 2011
"Crony Capitalism and Antitrust"
In August 2011, the United States brought a landmark antitrust lawsuit to prevent the merger of two of the nation’s four largest mobile wireless telecommunications services providers, AT&T Inc. and T-Mobile USA, Inc. But why are so many elected officials asking the Obama administration to intercede in the Department of Justice’s lawsuit to force a settlement? Why are they approving a merger that would likely lead to higher prices, fewer jobs, less innovation, and higher taxes for their constituents? Does it have anything to do with the money they are receiving from AT&T and T-Mobile?
This Essay examines the recent lobbying efforts in the AT&T/T-Mobile merger. AT&T spent $11.69 million on political lobbying in the first six months of 2011. In addition to hefty campaign contributions, it lobbied lawmakers with $52 steaks and $15 gin-and-cucumber puree cocktails.
But lobbyists, as this Essay outlines, are not the problem. The problem is the combination of lax campaign finance rules and antitrust’s prevailing legal standard, a flexible fact-specific rule of reason.
December 16, 2011
Man Bites Dog, Hell Freezes Over, Fifth Circuit Reverses Child Porn Conviction For Insufficient Evidence
The decision was handed down earlier this week in U.S. v. Moreland. The majority opinion was written by Judge Dennis, who was joined by Judge DeMoss. From a practitioner's viewpoint, it is most notable for its discussion of every conceivable mitigating gloss on Jackson v. Virginia. The dissent, by Judge Jolly, had some fun with this: "The record does not reflect whether the jury box had more than twelve chairs, but we do know—and we know for sure—that two more jurors are trying to crowd into the box." The case involved two computers that three different people, including the Defendant, had access to.
December 13, 2011
In the News & Around the Blogosphere
Law.com, The Recorder, Ginny Laroe, 9th Circuit to Consider Whether Employees' Computer Misuse is a Federal Crime
Amanda Bronstad, NNLJ, law.com, Government misconduct in FCPA prosecution cited in related case
Sheri Qualters, NLJ, At 1st Circuit, two ex-lawyers appeal mortgage fraud convictions
December 11, 2011
Dual Sovereignty - New Article
Intersesting new article (available on Lexis and Westlaw) by Dr. Thomas White, JD, PHD. titled, "Limitations Imposed on the Dual Sovereignty Doctrine by Federal and State Governments." He states:
"To ameliorate some of the unfairness inherent in multiple prosecutions by different sovereigns, the federal government and many states have established limitations, or even prohibitions, on subsequent prosecutions after an initial prosecution in which double jeopardy has attached. Part I of this inquiry discusses the dual sovereignty doctrine, focusing on its relationship to the Fifth Amendment prohibition of multiple prosecutions and punishments. Part II addresses the greater potential for multiple prosecutions occasioned by the increasing "federalization" of criminal law. Next, Parts III and IV, respectively, examine how the federal and state governments have addressed (or failed to address) the prospect of multiple prosecutions under the dual sovereignty doctrine. Part V concludes with suggestions aimed at resolving the issues of double jeopardy and dual sovereignty."