Spring 2007 appellate brief assignment u.s. v. belfast (prosecutor)


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Spring 2007 appellate brief assignment u.s. v. belfast (prosecutor)

  1. 1. MemorandumTo: Associates in LARW II Section A/B (Last names beginning with K-Z)From: Professor GoeringDate: February 13, 2007Re: Appellate Brief Assignment: United States of America v. Roy M. Belfast, Jr.______________________________________________________________________________ We have been retained by the United States Attorney’s Office to assist with an appellatebrief to be filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. The defendant isRoy Belfast, Jr., a/k/a Charles Taylor, Jr. He recently pleaded guilty in Miami to making a falsestatement on a passport application. On December 6, 2006, the day before he was to besentenced for the passport violation, he was arrested for engaging in torture, conspiring to engagein torture, and carrying a firearm in connection with a crime of violence. The indictment allegesthat all of these offenses occurred in the West African country of Liberia in July 2002. The U.S. Attorney’s Office, specifically Assistant U.S. Attorney Karen Rochlin, needsour help preparing for the appeal. The defendant filed a Motion to Dismiss the Indictment forFactual Insufficiency. He essentially argued that the indictment was not specific enough tosufficiently charge the defendant with torture and conspiracy. However, the indictment clearlycharges the defendant with very specific, detailed, and graphic acts of torture against a singleindividual, although the victim is not identified by name. The defendant also complained in hismotion that the indictment does not specifically name the co-conspirators. Needless to say, thegovernment opposed the defendant’s Motion to Dismiss, and the United States District Court forthe Southern District of Florida held oral arguments on the motion last week. Yesterday, on February 12, 2007, Magistrate Judge Turnoff issued his ruling on themotion. The Report and Recommendation is in the file. Basically, the magistrate judge granteddefendant’s motion to dismiss the torture charge but retained the conspiracy charge. The districtcourt is expected to issue an order within ten days approving the magistrate’s Report andRecommendation. The U.S. Attorney’s Office intends to seek permission to take an immediate appeal fromthe dismissal of the underlying charge of torture. If the government is successful in securingpermission to file its interlocutory appeal, the Federal Appellate Defender’s Office plans to file across-appeal challenging the magistrate’s decision not to dismiss the conspiracy count. I need your help in drafting the appellate brief. The attached file contains all thedocuments in the record that we currently have available. Note that a couple of transcripts aremissing. One is the transcript of the pretrial detention hearing, which was taped on December15. The other is the transcript of the February 5 hearing on the defendant’s motion to dismiss. Ihave contacted the court reporters to order copies of those transcripts, but it may take awhile to
  2. 2. get them for you. In the meantime, you can review the documents in the record and beginpreparing the appellate brief. I have attached a copy of the transcript of the press conference held on December 6,2006, at which the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced the indictment against the defendant forparticipating in the alleged torture of a victim in Monrovia, Liberia. Keep in mind that the pressconference transcript is not evidence and is not part of the trial record. However, it gives yousome helpful background information on the case. Be sure to check the local rules of the Eleventh Circuit for filing appellate briefs. Also,remember that Fed. R. App. P. 28 and 32 govern the filing of briefs in the circuit courts ofappeal, so you must carefully comply with those general rules as well. Please draft the brief for our client. The narrative portion of your draft should be nolonger than 15 double-spaced pages, excluding the Cover Page, Table of Contents, Table ofAuthorities, and Certificate of Service. Your title page, margins, pagination, and other formatissues must be consistent with the local rules of the Eleventh Circuit and the Federal Rules ofAppellate Procedure. We would normally file our brief as appellant on the primary issue (thedismissal of Count Two – the torture count), and then wait for the defendant to respond by filingits cross-appeal on the conspiracy count. However, in the interest of expediency, please goahead and prepare our cross-appellee’s brief on that issue as part of the same appellate brief, butunder a separate argument heading. I will need your draft brief no later than 5:00 p.m. on Friday, March 2, so we can reviewit together and make necessary revisions before the filing deadline in early April. For your draftbrief, you may omit the Table of Contents, Table of Authorities, Summary of Argument, andCertificate of Service. Of course, all of those sections are necessary in your final appellate brief,which should be ready for filing. Thank you for your assistance. PLEASE NOTE: You may discuss the assignment and your research with otherassociates in our firm only (LARW Section A/B), but do not show your written work or yourlegal analysis to anyone but me or my junior partner, Matt Stromberg. The Honor Code appliesto this assignment and all others in this course. If you have questions, please refer to theWashburn University School of Law Honor Code, or ask me for clarification. Feel free to askeither Mr. Stromberg or me if you have any questions about this assignment.