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Legal Briefs – Swindall, Montana and People Coursework

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Updated: Sep 15th, 2022

The assignment for the author of this paper is to read three legal cases. The author of this paper must then give a summary of each case. Each summary will include a procedural section, a rule section, and a case summary. A conclusion will close out the report.

Swindall v. Cox Enterprises – Procedural Section

Patrick Swindall sued Cox Enterprises for libel based on statements made about Swindall in an Atlanta Constitution editorial. The court issued a summary judgment in favor of Cox Enterprises based on the fact that the statements made in the editorial were not libelous. The court rejected Swindall’s assertion that the editorial’s mention of the perjury being related to money laundering was libelous since Swindall was not convicted of that behavior. However, since the statements in question were indeed related to money laundering, this claim was rejected.

Swindall v. Cox Enterprises – Rule Section

A summary judgment was issued in Cox Enterprise’s favor because the statements made in the editorial were factual. The court also rejected the notion that the statements implicitly insinuated Mr. Swindall was involved in activities above and beyond what he was convicted of. The court found that no libel occurred and that there was no basis to find against Cox Enterprises.

Swindall v. Cox Enterprises – Case Summary

The court ruled summarily for Cox Enterprises because the statements made in the newspaper editorial were factually true. Indeed, Mr. Swindall had been convicted in 1981 on nine counts of perjury and those false statements he made did relate to money laundering.

Montana v. Egelhoff – Procedural Section

The defendant appealed his prior conviction to the United States Supreme Court He asserted that his due process rights were violated when the lower court did not allow him to use his drunkenness as a legal defense. The Supreme Court affirmed the conviction and rejected the appeal from the defendant.

Montana v. Egelhoff – Rule Section

Montana has a law regarding criminals who are voluntarily inebriated. The law states that being drunk in no protects a defendant from legal prosecution. As such, criminals are not allowed to raise this matter when tried criminally. When the defendant was tried in Montana, he was prohibited from using his inebriation as a defense. The defendant stated to the Supreme Court that this was unjust. The United States Supreme Court found this argument to be without merit and denied the appeal The defendant’s prior conviction on two counts of murder was affirmed.

Montana v. Egelhoff – Case Summary

Egelhoff committed two instances of murder while he was drunk. He tried to argue in his original trial that his drunken state mitigated his alleged offenses. Montana has a law that states that being drunk while committing of crime will not lead to any mercy from a court. As such, the state of Montana rejected Egelhoff’s attempt to use his drunkenness as a defense. Egelhoff appealed to the Supreme Court on the grounds that the law violated his rights under the United States Constitution. The Supreme Court found that the defendant did not have unlimited discretion to present evidence in his defense and that his due process rights were not violated.

People v. Ribowsky – Procedural Section

The defendant appealed to the appellate division of the New York Supreme Court. He asserted that procedural flaws during his trial should invalidate his convictions on counts of conspiracy in the fifth degree, offering a false instrument in the first degree and perjury in the first degree. The court dismissed the claims made by the defendant. They stated that while some miscues were made by the lower court, the outcome was still correct. The lower court’s judgment was affirmed.

People v. Ribowsky – Rule Section

The appellate court conceded that several miscues were made during Ribowsky’s initial trial. A change of venue was rejected and should not have been. A piece of evidence was displayed during the conclusion of the trial and it was not submitted properly. Also, it was alleged that the indictment against the defendant was too vague. The appellate court conceded that some procedural errors were made but that the conviction was still correct. It was also noted that the indictment was specific enough to be valid.

People v. Ribowsky – Case Summary

The defendant was convicted after he formed a cabal with a number of doctors to inflate or falsify insurance claims. The activities committed included false filings and factually inaccurate statements in court. Indeed, the doctors and Mr. Ribowsky collectively participated in the fraud. The appeal included claims that the criminal indictment was too vague, the prosecutor improperly presented new evidence during his closing argument, and that the jury was instructed in error prior to deliberations. The appeal court said that while errors were made, the outcome of the trial was still valid.

Conclusion

In all three of the cases above, defendants who thought they were treated unjustly by the court were told that they were wrong. Even so, all three defending parties were given the chance to have their say and make their case. In the end, none of them were successful.

References

FindACase | People State New York v. Larry Ribowsky. (n.d.). FindACase™. Web.

Montana v. Egelhoff, 518 U.S. 37 (1996).. (n.d.). Web.

Swindall v. Cox Enterprises Inc. – A01A1856. (n.d.). Web.

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