Sunday December 28, 2014
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Sunday December 28, 2014

Contributors: News - Harmless Error

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    Monday Dec 15, 2014 | 8:44 am

    Portland’s Anthony Chiasson wins insider trading appeal in what could be a landmark case

    As this paper recently reported, an appeals court has overturned Anthony Chiasson’s 2012 insider trading conviction. Chiasson is a Portland native turned hedge fund manager who acted as a Cheverus high school trustee until his insider-trading arrest in 2012. Chiasson was co founder of Level Global Investors a hedge fund which had $4 billion under management until this case shut the fund down. The prosecution alleged that, Chaisson and his codefendants traded on early information […]

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  • Tuesday Dec 02, 2014 | 7:45 am

    Elonis v. U.S.: Is this the end for Maine’s terrorizing law?

    Yesterday, the United States Supreme Court heard oral argument in Elonis v. United States, a case considering the intersection between threats and free speech. The case centers on angry Facebook posts that Anthony Elonis wrote after his marriage fell apart. Those posts got him convicted of violating a federal law that prohibits using interstate communications to threaten another person. He was sentenced to 44 months in prison. His lawyers now argue that […]

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  • Sunday Nov 23, 2014 | 5:23 am

    Missouri and Maine police use of force laws: when is deadly force justified?

    A St. Louis grand jury has been considering evidence against Darren Wilson, the Ferguson Missouri police officer who fatally shot Michael Brown. The grand jury is expected to announce their decision any second now so I thought I would take a look at Missouri’s law-enforcement use of force law and compare it to Maine’s. In some important ways, Maine’s law gives police a broader justification and a bit more deference […]

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  • Tuesday Nov 04, 2014 | 8:14 am

    46,000 prisoners to be resentenced under reduced Federal drug guidelines

    The blog has been on accidental hiatus in recent weeks while me and some friends opened a new law firm. I’m back, and plan to be posting regularly once again. In April, the United States Sentencing Commission approved the 2014 Federal Sentencing Guidelines. Congress had until 11/1/14 to disapprove them and, since they didn’t, the new guidelines are now effective. That might not sound very exciting, but the 2014 guidelines […]

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  • Monday Oct 06, 2014 | 8:12 am

    U.S. Supreme Court opens for business: 1st oral argument & new cases granted

    Today at 10am the U.S. Supreme Court will hear it’s first oral argument of the 2014 term. The case is North Carolina v. Heien and it asks whether a police officer’s mistaken understanding of the law can be the basis for a constitutionally valid traffic stop. You can read my post about the case here, and there’s a much more comprehensive argument preview at SCOTUSblog. Last week, the court granted […]

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  • Thursday Oct 02, 2014 | 12:13 pm

    Supreme Court’s 1st case asks: can cop’s mistake justify a traffic stop?

    This term, the U.S. Supreme Court will begin hearing oral arguments on October 6, 2014. The first case, Heien v North Carolina, presents a pretty cool criminal law issue; it considers whether a police officer’s mistaken understanding of the law can be a valid basis for making a traffic stop. Facts of the case In order to stop a vehicle, a police officer only needs objectively reasonable suspicion of some criminal […]

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    Tuesday Sep 30, 2014 | 11:40 am

    Caius Veiovis: scary looking Mainer gets life on iffy MA murder

    Roy C. Gutfinski Jr. once lived in Augusta Maine and spent 7.5 years in the Maine state prison for aggravated assault. After his release in 2008, he changed his name to Caius Domitius Veiovis (the name, he insists, is NOT based on the Twilight series) and relocated to western Massachusetts. Unfortunately, he got into a bit of a scrape there too. In 2011 Veiovis was arrested for his alleged role in […]

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  • Tuesday Sep 16, 2014 | 1:18 pm

    Posse Comitatus? How a military investigation set a child pornographer free

    The Posse Comitatus Act is an 1878 federal law that prohibits the military from doing domestic law enforcement. The act doesn’t come up that much and defendants seldom actually win because of it. That’s why I was surprised to see the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decision in United States v. Dreyer. The court found a Posse Comitatus violation and tossed out the child pornography that sent Michael Dreyer to prison for 18 […]

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  • Monday Sep 15, 2014 | 1:56 pm

    Interesting items: Haitian sex abuse defamation, executing the innocent

    Two completely unrelated stories caught my attention today. The first draws a strange connection between a Haitian orphanage, clergy sex abuse and a Maine man with an axe to grind. The second considers what a federal judge might do if faced with an innocent man condemned to die. An orphanage in Haiti and a defamation suit in Maine Scott Dolan wrote an interesting piece for this paper discussing a defamation […]

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