Monday, July 30, 2007

U.S. v. Sperow (9th Cir. - July 26, 2007)

When you're arguing in front of the Ninth Circuit, it helps to be accurate, restrained, and thoughtful. First, because they'll like you more. Second, because it'll help your client. Third, because if you're not, the Ninth Circuit may slam you in its opinion. Even if it's only a tiny little slam.

Like this. In which Judge Fisher, in a speedy trial case, says the following: "Contrary to government counsel’s exaggerated assertion at oral argument, Sperow did not 'vanish[ ] from the face of the earth.' Sperow used his real name in some business transactions and to pay taxes. Nonetheless, there is sufficient evidence supporting the district court’s finding that Sperow deliberately concealed his whereabouts."

That's a gentle spanking. Still, if you're Jonathan Haub -- the AUSA in Oregon who argued the case -- that's not exactly how you want to be remembered in the F.3d. For eternity.

Consider that the Lesson of the Day.