Legal Ethics

Supreme Court Leaves In Place 11th Circuit's Reversal of $600K Prosecutorial Misconduct Sanction


The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to reconsider a federal appellate court’s reversal of a $600,000 sanction imposed by a judge on the Department of Justice over what the judge considered prosecutorial misconduct.

The top court’s decision Tuesday not to hear an appeal by the acquitted defendant, Dr. Ali Shaygan, leaves in place a decision (PDF) by the Atlanta-based 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals last year finding that the trial judge abused his discretion by sanctioning the DOJ for what the appellate court called an “objectively reasonable,” albeit unsuccessful, prosecution. The appellate court also expressed concern that the trial judge had sanctioned the prosecutors without adequate due process, the Associated Press reports.

Among other issues, the trial judge blasted the government for secretly investigating Shaygan’s defense team on suspicion of witness-tampering.

The Blog of Legal Times provided a copy of Shaygan’s reply brief (PDF) in an article last month discussing the issues in the supreme court appeal

Additional coverage:

ABAJournal.com: “Federal Judge Sanctions US $600K for Secretly Taping Defense Lawyer”

ABAJournal.com: “11th Circuit Nixes $600K Sanction Against Federal Prosecutors Who Secretly Probed Defense Counsel”

ABAJournal.com: “Coalition of Nearly 70 Former Judges, Prosecutors Urge High Court to Hear Gov’t Misconduct Dispute”

ABAJournal.com: “NYT Editorial Urges Supreme Court to Decide Reach of Law Designed to Curtail Prosecutor Abuse”

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