Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Call For Papers: “Race AND Gender AND Policing”

FR: Program on Race, Gender & Policing
University of Nevada, Las Vegas
William S. Boyd School of Law

TO: Scholars of Law, Criminology, or Related Matters

We are pleased to announce a call for papers for a special issue of the Nevada Law Journal on “Race AND Gender AND Policing.” Guest-edited by the faculty board of UNLV Boyd School of Law’s Program on Race, Gender & Policing, this issue will bring together scholars of Law, Criminology, and related fields for an interdisciplinary conversation centered on the simultaneous analysis of race and gender and policing. We construe this topic broadly as encompassing all forms of surveillance and control, including but not limited to aspects of local law enforcement, national immigration policies, and school discipline rules that reflect or construct assumptions about both race and gender.

Interested parties should submit abstracts of at least 375 words (we encourage longer abstracts and draft papers are permitted) to [email protected] with the heading “Call For Papers.” Submissions may be Essays of approximately 6,250 words or Articles of significantly greater length. Abstracts are due on or beforeMay 5, 2020. We will notify people of their acceptance by May 20, 2020. Complete first drafts of Essays will be due August 20, 2020. Submissions will be published in Volume 21, Issue 3 of the Nevada Law Journal, which will print in April 2021.

The Program on Race, Gender & Policing explores the relationship between race, gender, and the ways people are policed. Policing refers to not only the activities of law enforcement officers, but also the ways that other actors, such as immigration officials, prison officials, schools, and private civilians, participate in surveillance and control. The Program seeks to foster interdisciplinary research and concrete reforms in Nevada, the nation, and beyond. Our goal for this symposium is nothing less than to produce an issue that becomes the best statement of how race and gender and policing come together.

Potential paper topics include, but are in no way limited to, the following:

· Analyses of how police officers view both race and gender;
· Constitutional issues surrounding policing of both race and gender;
· Criminalization of Latinx identities;
· Police assaults against women of color;
· Policing of LGBTQ+ in Asia;
· Differential race and gender effects of private patrolling of space;
· Policing of Native women;
· Racial profiling and masculinities;
· Disappearances of women in Mexico, the U.S., Canada, or elsewhere;
· Disparities in policing in schools;
· Differential racial effects of low rape clearance rates;
· [Anything else addressing a form of policing and both race and gender].

We also encourage activists and practitioners to write accounts of their activities and cases that bring together issues of race and gender and policing. Regardless of an author’s topic, the editors will carefully review all proposals and make selections based on quality and relevance. We encourage both veterans of this topic and emerging scholars to submit proposals.

If you have any questions, please contact Frank at [email protected]

With gratitude,

Boyd Law Professors Stewart Chang, Frank Rudy Cooper, & Addie Rolnick,
Nevada Law Journal Editors John McCormick-Huhn & Gillian Block


March 25, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, March 20, 2020

NACDL Coronavirus Resources

NACDL created a resource page to assist criminal defense attorneys here.


March 20, 2020 in Defense Counsel, News | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, March 19, 2020

He Did What?

See Robert Faturechi & Derek Willis, Senator Dumped Up to $1.7 Million of Stock After Reassuring Public About Coronavirus Preparedness. ProPublica.

See also Michelle Ye Hee Lee & John Wagner, Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.), head of powerful committee, sold large amount of stocks before sharp declines in market, Wash Post

Should it be sufficient that his office says that he filed "financial disclosure form for personal transactions"? 


March 19, 2020 in Insider Trading | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Should Congress Be Allowed to Obtain President Trump's Financial Information?

The Supreme Court on March 31st will hear oral arguments in the cases of Trump v. Mazars USATrump v. Deutsche Bank, and Trump v. Vance, the first two of the cases consolidated for argument.  

The question in the Mazars case is whether the Committee on Oversight and Reform of the U.S. House of Representatives has the constitutional and statutory authority to issue a subpoena to "the accountant of President Trump and several of his business entities" that "demands financial records belonging to the President." The question in the Deutsche Bank case is "whether three committees of the House of Representatives had the constitutional and statutory authority to issue subpoenas to third-party custodians for the personal records of the sitting President of the United States."  The question in the Vance case is whether a subpoena issued by NY's DA against the President as part of "a criminal investigation that, by his own admission, targets the President of the United States for possible indictment and prosecution during his term in office," "violates Article II and the Supremacy Clause of the United States Constitution." 

For background on the cases see Amy Howe's terrific introduction as part of a Scotus Blog Symposium on these three cases. (here).  Also check out the other symposium pieces as they come online on the Scotus Blog here.

There are many amici briefs on these cases that provide unique points that highlight issues not covered in the main briefs.  I want to focus on one amici brief - The Brief of Financial Investigation and Money Laundering Experts in Support of Respondent Committees of the U.S. House of Representations.  The brief is filed by Jonathan J. Rusch as well as Steven E. Fineman and Daniel Chiplock of Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Berstein, LLP.  This brief provides important history that "there is nothing unusal about Congressional investigations of the financial affairs of presidents and their family members."  They note that what is unusual here is the fact that the President has "consistently demonstrated his resolute opposition to the disclosure of financial information relevant to Congress's concern." Obtaining this information from two banks is therefore needed. 

To prohibit these subpoenas would mean that a President could engage in conduct that could never be scrutinized. It is sad to see a President failing to allow scrutiny of this information - information that would be coming from banks and not take up Presidential time. After all - if there is nothing improper, the subpoenas would provide that proof for all to see the propriety of the President's conduct. It is more troubling to see a resistance to important money-laundering initiatives that have come from both the executive and legislative branches of government.


March 10, 2020 in Investigations, Money Laundering, News, Privileges | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, March 5, 2020

Court Will Review Unredacted Mueller Report - "Candor" and "Credibility" Matters

U.S. District Court Reggie Walton issued an order today stating that he would review in camera the unredacted version of the Mueller Report to determine whether the withheld material comports with FOIA exemptions.  But the Court's Order also sends a message on the importance of truthful transparency.  The court in comparing the redacted Mueller Report with Attorney General Barr's comments states in part:

"The Court has grave concerns about the objectivity of the process that preceded the public release of the redacted version of the Mueller Report and its impact on the Department's subsequent justifications that is redactions of the Mueller Report are authorized by the FOIA."

"The speed by which Attorney General Barr released to the public the summary of Special Counsel Mueller's principal conclusions, coupled with the fact that Attorney General Barr failed to provide a thorough representation of the findings set forth in the Mueller Report, causes the Court to question whether Attorney General Barr's intent was to create a one-sided narrative about the Mueller Report - a narrative that is clearly in some respects substantively at odds with the redacted version of the Mueller Report."

"[t]he Court cannot reconcile certain public representations made by Attorney General Barr with the findings in the Mueller Report. The inconsistencies between Attorney General Barr's statements, made at a time when the public did not have access to the redacted version of the Mueller Report to assess the veracity of his statements, and portions of the redacted version of the Mueller Report that conflict with those statements, cause the Court to seriously question whether Attorney General Barr made a calculated attempt to influence public discourse about the Mueller Report in favor of President Trump despite certain findings in the redacted version of the Mueller Report to the contrary.

These circumstances generally, and Attorney General Barr's lack of candor specifically, call into question Attorney General Barr's credibility and in turn, the Department's representation that 'all of the information redacted from the version of the [Mueller] Report released by [ ] Attorney General [Barr]' is protected from disclosure by its claimed FOIA exemptions."

The Order can be found from the link on the Electronic Privacy Information Center's webpage here.


March 5, 2020 in Government Reports, Judicial Opinions, Obstruction, Prosecutors | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Criminal History of Economic Crimes - Sentencing Commission Report

The US Sentencing Commission recently issued a Report of Federal Economic Crime Offenders.  The key findings of this Report (here) are telling, specifically these -          

  • The application of guideline criminal history provisions differed among the different types of economic crime offenders.
  • The extent of prior convictions differed among the different types of economic crime offenders.
    • About half of all federal economic crime offenders had at least one prior conviction in their criminal history.
    • Prior convictions were most common among counterfeit and forgery (71.1%), identity theft (70.4%), credit card fraud (68.7%), and financial institution fraud (68.6%) offenders.
    • Prior convictions were least common among computer-related (29.6%) and government procurement (25.4%) fraud offenders.
  • Federal economic crime offenders did not “specialize” in economic crime.
    • Convictions for prior economic offenses were not the predominant types of prior convictions. 
    • Fourteen percent of federal economic crime offenders had convictions for prior economic offenses only, to the exclusion of other types of convictions. 
    • Convictions for prior “other” offenses, such as DUI and public order, were the predominant types of prior convictions.

Here are my comments on this Report:

  1. 2B1.1 Excludes Many "Shortcut" Offenses Used in White Collar Prosecutions - It is important to note that when focusing on economic crimes, the Sentencing Commission is evaluating crimes sentenced under 2B1.1 of the Guidelines and 2B1.1 does not include many white collar offenses.  For example, it excludes most of the "shortcut" offenses that are used by prosecutors in many white collar cases - crimes such as perjury, false declarations, and obstruction of justice.  Prosecutors will often use these "shortcut" offenses as they are more easily proved than a complicated financial crime.  These "shortcut" crimes typically will be sentenced under 2J1.2 or 2J1.3. It also excludes insider trading, which is not sentenced under 2B1.1, but rather 2B1.4.  Using these other offenses may give prosecutors a sentencing advantage in that unlike 2B1.1 which starts at a base level of 6 or 7, these other offenses start with a 14 base level. 
  2. 2B1.1 Excludes RICO Even Though the Underlying Conduct May Be Fraud - 2B1.1 also excludes those economic crimes that might have been charged as RICO.  Mail fraud and wire fraud are two heavily used predicate acts used under RICO. If charged as just the fraud offense they would be under 2B1.1, but because of RICO they come under a much higher offense category under 2E1.1, with a base level of 19.  Of course with all these offenses, the amount of fraud or other factors may increase or mitigate the sentence.  
  3. More Research is Needed - The Report's showing of such a strong difference in prior offenses dependent upon the type of activity (e.g. identity theft at 70.4% v. government procurement at 25.4%) is very telling.  Might collateral consequences make a difference - one may not be able to commit government procurement repetitively because of government exclusion provisions? Or is the type of offender for these crimes making the difference. Additional research should be conducted to looks beyond the prior crimes to study the offenders themselves.
  4. 2B1.1 as a Category Needs Re-evaluation - Many of the economic crimes are thought of as white collar offenses, but the list of what might be considered white collar may be broader (e.g. regulatory and environmental offenses). It is time to again re-evaluate 2B1.1 and consider the possibility of splitting the offenses being sentenced here to better reflect a correlation of the wide range of criminal history. With judicial discretion now available, this may account for the high number of departures below the guidelines in white collar cases.
  5. Re-evaluate the term White-Collar Crime - In looking at the term "white collar crime" from  its roots of Sutherland's coining the term and use of  socioeconomic status, to its current focus on a violation of specific statutes, does there need to be a closer scrutiny of DOJ charging practices and categorizing criminal activity.  Clearly sentencing premised on socioeconomic status would be improper, but is a better delineation of the offenses needed here. Is the thief who steals credit cards for the commission of fraudulent acts the same as the individual committing government procurement fraud?  Perhaps the activity is the same fraud or theft, but the individual doing these acts seems to have a different criminal history, if any.   
  6. Thank You Sentencing Commission - Most of all, I applaud the Sentencing Commission for conducting this important study and issuing this Report. It is a first step in looking at how best to deter white collar crime. 


March 3, 2020 | Permalink | Comments (0)