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Rulings in Criminal and Employment Cases

By FindLaw Staff on February 19, 2010 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

The Tenth Circuit decided two cases today, one involving the allegedly wrongful termination of a public employee for exercising her First Amendment rights; and the other involving a criminal matter.

In Rohrbough v. Univ. of Colo. Hosp. Auth., No. 07-1498, plaintiff claimed that her employer, a public hospital, fired her in retaliation for exercising her First Amendment rights.  The district court granted summary judgment to defendant.

The Tenth Circuit affirmed, holding that plaintiff's speech was unprotected because it was made pursuant to her official duties as a "Transplant Coordinator" in the hospital's Heart Transplant Unit.

In US v. Lopez-Medina, No. 08-4055, defendant was convicted after a trial of methamphetamine possession.

The court of appeals affirmed, holding that 1) defendant opened the door to further questioning of an officer regarding the information he received from a confidential informant, and thus that testimony did not violate the Confrontation Clause; 2) the district court's fact allocution properly explained the basis for a codefendant's guilty plea and placed that evidence in context; and 3) defendant opened the door for inquiry about his illegal status by testifying about his clean record.

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