(The Return of) Ignatz, by Sam Heldman

Thursday, August 01, 2002

Eleventh Circuit 7/31/02 Two cases:

Rebel Enterp. v. Palm Beach Sheriff is about the apparently cut-throat world of wrecker services competing to be the first at the wreck scene. Believe it or not, if you read this opinion you will find that there have been at least two recent Supreme Court cases about this field, in light of federal legislation about it. This case holds essentially that the Sheriff did not have authority under Florida law, without action by the County Commission, to create a scheme to govern wrecker services. Therefore the Sheriff can't threaten Rebel with arrest for listening to the police scanner and zooming to wrecks.

U.S. v. Brown affirms cocaine convictions: (1) No race-based jury strikes by the prosecutor; (2) the denial of defense counsel's motion to withdraw could not be reviewed, because the denial was by a Magistrate and had not been first appealed to the District Court; (3) though the DEA witness's testimony about the value of the drugs was hearsay, this was not reversible error where there was no objection and where the witness was testifying as an expert (because information properly relied on by experts is admissible under Fed. R. Evid. 703); and (4) the exclusion of a defense exhibit was not an abuse of discretion.

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