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Criminal Matters, Plus Coal Miners' Suit for Health Benefits

By FindLaw Staff on May 05, 2010 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Parsons v. Power Mountain Coal Co., No.09-1822, concerned an action by two former coal miners to collect retirement health benefits allegedly owed to them by their former employer.  Because the Resolution of Dispute opinions (RODs) deserve the usual deferential review, the judgment of the district court  upholding the arbitrator's judgment in favor of the plaintiffs is affirmed. 

In US v. Dean, No. 08-4439, the court faced a challenge to the  district court's imposition of a career offender sentence enhancement upon a defendant for his drug possession conviction.  In affirming the sentence enhancement, the court held that the district court was justified in its finding that defendant's prior drug felony offenses were separated by an intervening arrest and thus that defendant qualified for a career offender enhancement.      

US v. Bynum, No. 08-4207, the court faced a challenge to a conviction for transporting and possessing child pornography and an imposition of a  192-months' sentence.  In affirming the conviction and the sentence in their entirety, the court held that the FBI's administrative subpoenas did not invade any legitimate privacy interest possessed by defendant, and as such there was no Fourth Amendment violation.  The court rejected defendant's challenge to the sufficiency of the affidavit supporting the search warrant, as well as his evidentiary challenges.  The court also held that the district court did not abuse its discretion in admitting an analyst's testimony to determine the authenticity of child pornography, and even if the court did err in admitting the testimony, any error is harmless.  Lastly, the within-Guidelines sentence is substantively reasonable.     


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