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Decision in Criminal Matter, Plus Corporate Veil Piercing of Credit Counseling Org.

By FindLaw Staff on July 27, 2010 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Zimmerman v. Puccio, 09-1416, concerned a challenge to the district court's grant of plaintiffs' motion for summary judgment in a class action lawsuit against defendant-Cambridge Credit Counseling Corporations (Cambridge) and other corporate defendants, pursuant to the Credit Repair Organizations Act (CROA), and unfair or deceptive acts or practices in violation of the Massachusetts Consumer Protection Act.  In affirming the judgment, the court held that Cambridge was a credit repair organization within the meaning of CROA.  Further, the district court unambiguously held defendants liable for misleading representations under section 1679b(a)(3) of CROA, and that finding of liability is affirmed based on the court's corporate veil-piercing analysis.  The court also held that because defendants' liability under section 1679b(a)(3) fully supports the district court's grant of summary judgment, defendant's liability under section 1679b(a)(4) and their attendant arguments about summary judgment standard and corporate veil-piercing need not be reached.

Torres v. Dennehy, 09-1522, concerned a challenge to the district court's denial of defendant's petition for habeas relief from his 1997 convictions for the murder of his girlfriend's fifteen-year-old child and for charges growing out of the alleged abuse of her two other children.  In affirming the district court's denial of the petition, the court held that defendant's ineffective assistance of counsel claim fails because the elicitation issue was resolved on the merits against defendant, and it does not matter whether counsel ought to have raised it earlier. Further, defendant's argument that his Miranda waiver was invalid need not be reached, since it depends on the assumption that the interview was itself a Sixth Amendment violation.

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