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October 5, 2009

"Appeals court in NYC upholds Rigas' sentencing"

The title of this post is the headline of this AP article, reporting on this sentencing ruling in a high-profile white-collar sentencing appeal handed down late today by the Second Circuit.  Here are the basics:

A federal appeals court in New York has upheld prison sentences given to a father and son who built Adelphia Communications into a cable television powerhouse.

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan on Monday agreed that prison terms given to 84-year-old Adelphia founder John Rigas and his son Timothy were appropriate. Defense lawyers had argued that the father's 12-year sentence and the son's 17-year prison term were more years in prison than some terrorists serve.

Because I filed an amicus brief arguing that the district court's sentencing work was procedurally unreasonable, I am disinclined to comment on the particulars of this panel ruling.  But readers, of course, should feel free to discuss the ruling (which address a number of notable white-collar sentencing issues).

October 5, 2009 at 10:55 PM | Permalink


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Prof. Berman: For the law students. This is real world lawyering.

1) A link to your brief.

2) How many hours did you put into research and into writing?

3) Who paid for your time?

4) Do you have a method of approaching such an assignment? Where do you start? What steps follow the start?

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Oct 6, 2009 1:38:22 PM

These questions are not easily answered in this blog space, though I do not mean to hide anything. I have filed amicus briefs in a number of sentencing cases, and I also do both paid and pro bono litigating and consulting on legal matter to which I think I can usefully contribute. I view my efforts doing what you call "real world lawyering" to be akin to some of my blogging and policy-oriented writings --- i.e., I find my engagement in all these settings helps improve both my teaching and my traditional scholarship. I also hope it provides a service to the legal community and the broader world as well.

Posted by: Doug B. | Oct 6, 2009 5:31:32 PM

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In the body of your email, please indicate if you are a professor, student, prosecutor, defense attorney, etc. so I can gain a sense of who is reading my blog. Thank you, DAB