Wednesday, April 30, 2014
The Tenth Circuit explains the rather Talmudic distinction between a material omission, which requires the government to prove the defendant's duty to disclose, and a half-truth, which imposes no such requirement on the government. The case is U.S. v. Charles Homer Chip Sharp (10th Cir. 2014) (omission in mail fraud). I'm surprised that no academic has done a study on the number of white collar defendants named Chip and Skip.
The Third Circuit's current willful blindness instruction is a vast improvement over its old one. It survives a valiant and brilliant attack from appellate guru Peter Goldberger in U.S. v. Abdur Razzak Tai.
Here's a novel idea. Before a defendant can be sentenced, the jury has to actually render a guilty verdict. The Fourth Circuit provides remedial instruction in U.S. v. Saul Ramirez-Castillo.