Supreme Court rejects double jeopardy appeal in Arkansas case

read about this interesting case involving the double jeopardy law:

Washington (CNN) — An Arkansas man charged with murder will be retried on the most serious offenses after the U.S. Supreme Court concluded Thursday a hung jury in his original criminal prosecution did not prevent the state from getting a second chance at a conviction.

The 6-3 majority rejected the appeal of Alex Blueford, accused of killing his girlfriend’s infant son.

“The jury in this case did not convict Blueford of any offense, but it did not acquit him of any either,” said Chief Justice John Roberts. “When the jury was unable to reach a verdict, the trial court properly declared a mistrial and discharged the jury. As a consequence, the Double Jeopardy Clause does not stand in the way of a second trial on the same offenses.”

Blueford was prosecuted for capital murder, but the death penalty was waived if he were to be convicted. But the trial judge said the Pulaski County jury could also consider three less serious crimes.

During deliberations, the judge asked for a progress report, and the panel’s forewoman in open court announced the jurors had rejected the capital and first-degree murder charges, but could not agree on manslaughter.

They eventually deadlocked, and because of that, the 12 members did not even consider a separate, negligent homicide charge.

The judge then declared a mistrial, but refused to give Blueford a partial victory on the capital and first-degree murder charges. Prosecutors then decided to retry the 29-year-old man on all the charges. The second trial was postponed until the high court could decide whether the defendant’s constitutional rights were being violated.

The Double Jeopardy Clause of the Fifth Amendment prevents trying a person again for a crime after a verdict of not guilty. But state courts around the country are at odds on whether split verdicts on some counts allow retrial on all counts.

At its core, the Double Jeopardy Clause reflects the wisdom of the founding generation … that one acquittal or conviction should satisfy the law.
Justice Sonia Sotomayor, in dissenting opinion

Roberts, writing for the majority, said trial courts could.

“We have never required a trial court, before declaring a mistrial because of a hung jury, to consider any particular means of breaking the impasse — let alone to consider giving the jury new options for a verdict,” he said. Justice Antonin Scalia, Anthony Kennedy, Clarence Thomas, Stephen Breyer, and Samuel Alito supported the decision.

Blueford had argued the jury should have been allowed to “give effect” to the jury’s internal votes of not guilty on capital and first-degree murder.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor agreed.

“At its core, the Double Jeopardy Clause reflects the wisdom of the founding generation … that one acquittal or conviction should satisfy the law,” she wrote in a dissenting opinion.

She added, “This case demonstrates that the threat to individual freedom from reprosecutions that favor states and unfairly rescue them from weak cases has not waned with time. Only this court’s vigilance has.” Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Elena Kagan joined the dissent.

The Little Rock defendant was prosecuted in the November 2007 death of 20-month-old Matthew McFadden Jr. The state said the boy’s brain injuries were comparable to someone being dropped off a building. Blueford told police it was an accident, that he “reflexively elbowed” the child into a nearby chair.

 

http://www.cnn.com/2012/05/24/us/scotus-arkansas-retrial


Double Jeopardy and Breach of Contract Cases

A contract is an agreement between two parties.  Whether this contract is verbal or non verbal if it broken the parties may sue or be sued for breach of contract.  Double jeopardy does not protect a defendant in a civil breach of contract case.  However, “red judicata,” does apply.  Res judicata is when a new breach on the same contract occurs and you can be sued.

 

http://wblawgroup.com/WebbBordson/blog/does-double-jeopardy-apply-in-breach-of-contract-law/

Even If You Didn’t Sign Anything You Can Be Sued For Breach Of Contract

When you enter a written contract it is important to keep a copy of this contract on file to refer to it when needed.  Before signing a contract you should consult a business law attorney.  A legal agreement can be closed in other ways besides signing a contract.  Some examples are: shaking hands, email, or SMS text. In this case you should keep records of these types of closures.

http://wblawgroup.com/WebbBordson/blog/you-can-sue-and-be-sued-for-breach-of-contract-even-if-you-didnt-sign-anything/

Tenant and Landlord Agreement

The most common form of breach of contract from the tenant is non-payment of rent. There are other ways, however, that the tenant can violate the contract.  A lease agreement usually has rules on the length of time a guest may stay, how many guests may stay over, the number of pets allowed, and/or the manner in which the property may be used.  If these terms are violated the tenant may be sued for breach of contract.

 

Taylor Swift Being Sued for Breach of Contract

Even celebrities get sued for breach of contract! read this article we found:

Dan Dymtrow is reportedly suing the 20-year-old singer for millions, claiming he’s owed money for having signed her as a 14-year-old and helping to build her career, according to published reports.

 

The Hollywood Reporter states that the former manager says he deserves at least five to 10 percent commission from Swift’s sales, but her family conspired to fire him before he could collect.

 

“They delayed and delayed [the deal] and got rid of my client and subsequently signed [another] deal and kept his commissions for themselves,” attorney Fernando Pinguelo said, according to the report.

 

Swift’s lawyer counters that Dymtrow’s claim is “ludicrous” because the manager never followed through on the mandatory paperwork to assure himself of such royalties.

 

The two sides have been fighting since 2007, when Dymtrow (who has also represented Britney Spears) first sued the Swifts because he believed they breached a contract by paying him just $10,000 for his work launching Taylor’s career.

No trial date has been set for the latest lawsuit. Swift’s new album, meanwhile, comes out on October 25.

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-31749_162-20019179-10391698.html

Breach Of Contract: What is Required

Suing or getting sued requires three elements.  Much like a camera’s tripod, if one leg is missing the tripod, or case, cannot stand.  The three elements are: the existen, a breach of one or more terms of the contract, and plaintiff must have suffered damages as a proximate result of the breach.

http://wblawgroup.com/WebbBordson/blog/contract-law-attorney-cites-3-elements-for-a-breach-of-contract-case-to-stand/

Breach Of Contract

read the official definition of breach of contract:

breach of contract

n. failing to perform any term of a contract, written or oral, without a legitimate legal excuse. This may include not completing a job, not paying in full or on time, failure to deliver all the goods, substituting inferior or significantly different goods, not providing a bond when required, being late without excuse, or any act which shows the party will not complete the work (“anticipatory breach”). Breach of contract is one of the most common causes of law suits for damages and/or court-ordered “specific performance” of the contract.

 

http://dictionary.law.com/Default.aspx?selected=93