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Appeals Involving Criminal Sentencing and the Railway Labor Act Decided

By FindLaw Staff on March 02, 2010 6:59 PM

The Tenth Circuit decided one criminal sentencing matter and one concerning the Railway Labor Act.

In US v. Gonzalez, No. 09-6069, the court of appeals affirmed the denial of defendant's motion to vacate, set aside, or correct his drug distribution sentence, holding that 1) the testimony excerpts presented by defendant, considered either alone or collectively, were far from sufficient to have allowed the jury to find that defendant withdrew from the charged conspiracy; 2) defendant failed to establish that his counsel's rejection of the district court's proffered withdrawal instruction deprived him of his constitutional right to the effective assistance of counsel; and 3) reasonable jurists could not debate whether defendant had a due process right to be present during an in-chambers conference.

Bhd. of Maint. of Way Employees' Div. v. Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway Co., No. 08-2232, was an action by a union claiming that a railroad's proposed sale of a portion of its rail line to the state violated the Railway Labor Act (RLA).

The Tenth Circuit affirmed the dismissal of the action on the ground that the RLA reserved the dispute in this case to the Adjustment Board in the first instance, thus depriving the district court of jurisdiction, and the workers' remedy thus lay in the administrative process before the Adjustment Board.

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