Monday, January 9, 2012
The Second Circuit Court of Appeals vacated the judgment and remanded a white collar case (United States v. Collins) saying that "the trial court committed prejudicial error when it failed to disclose the contents of a jury note and engaged in an ex parte colloquy with a juror accused of attempting to barter his vote." The three "c"s - judges with last names starting with the letter "C"- Calabresi, Chin and Carney - issued this opinion in a 14-count case involving conspiracy, securities fraud, wire fraud, and bank fraud. The foreman had sent a note to the court "asserting that one juror had attempted to barter his vote and was refusing to deliberate." "The court did not share the contents of the note with the parties or seek counsel's input before it conducted an ex parte interview with the accused juror." The Second Circuit held that the defendant was deprived "of his right to be present at every stage of the trial" and that this "deprivation was not harmless."
See also Chicago Tribune (AP), Winnetka lawyer wins new trial on NYC appeal
Mark Hamblett, NYLJ, Circuit Upsets Fraud Conviction of Ex-Mayer Brown Partner
(esp)(w/ a hat tip to Linda Friedman Ramirez)