Sunday, December 22, 2013

United States v. Scop case brief

United States v. Scop case brief summary
846 F.2d 135 (2d Cir. 1988)

CASE SYNOPSIS
Four defendants appealed from convictions entered after a jury trial in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York for mail fraud in violation of 18 U.S.C.S. § 1341, securities fraud in violation of § 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, 15 U.S.C.S. § 78j(b), and conspiracy in violation of 18 U.S.C.S. § 371. Two defendants were convicted of perjury in violation of 18 U.S.C.S. § 1623.

CASE FACTS
Four defendants were variously involved in the initial offering and subsequent trading of the stock of an automobile dealership. Each was indicted and convicted of mail fraud in violation of 18 U.S.C.S § 1341, securities fraud in violation of § 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, 15 U.S.C.S. § 78j(b), and conspiracy to commit those offenses in violation of 18 U.S.C.S. § 371. Two defendants also were charged with making false declarations before a grand jury in violation of 18 U.S.C.S. § 1623.

DISCUSSION

  • At the trial, a government witness was the chief investigator for the Securities and Exchange Commission's regional office. 
  • He based his expert testimony on the documentary evidence and testimony introduced at the trial rather than on his own investigation. 
  • He improperly gave his opinion on the credibility of witnesses, which was prejudicial. 
  • In his testimony, he made statements about the criminal activities that embodied legal conclusions. 
  • The court held that such statements exceeded the permissible scope of opinion testimony under Fed. R. Evid. 704. 
  • The statements were highly prejudicial. 
  • The court reversed all the convictions except for the perjury convictions.

CONCLUSION
The court reversed all the convictions except the perjury convictions because the expert witness's opinions were inadmissible as they contained legal conclusions and an opinion on the credibility of another witness. The court held that these opinions were prejudicial.


Suggested law school study materials

Shop Amazon for the best prices on Law School Course Materials.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Search Thousands of Case Briefs and Articles.