The Second Circuit recently held that a state court asset freeze order could be admitted in a prosecution for the activity which led to the entry of the civil order, despite the obvious prejudice to the defendant, because the order was not offered for its truth and because a limiting instruction could cure any prejudice.
A recent Second Circuit decision allows the jury to be made aware of government charging decisions which are inconsistent with its witnesses’ trial testimony, as when the trial defendant is claimed by the prosecution to be the exclusive possessor of a firearm although several other persons were earlier charged with the same possession.
The Eleventh Circuit, joining a unanimous group of appeals courts which have directly decided the question, recently held that it is improper to ask a defendant on cross-examination whether government witnesses, whose testimonies conflicted with his, should be considered liars or untruthful.
In a recent post here we commented on the perplexing affirmance in a recent case in which the Third Circuit agreed that a government cooperating witness could speculate in his testimony regarding what a defendant knew or thought in a given conversation about the accuracy of tax returns signed by that defendant. Even if such… Continue Reading
A vexing problem in trying white collar cases involving alleged group activity is the willingness of judges to allow cooperating witnesses to offer their opinions as to the guilty knowledge of the defendant-participants. Prosecutors elicit cooperator opinion testimony regarding defendants to the effect that “they all knew” of certain fraud or “everyone in the office… Continue Reading