• Obstruction of Justice

    Barry Bonds, Ramblin’ Man

    The federal appeals court in San Francisco recently reversed baseball player Barry Bonds’s conviction for obstruction of justice. The criminal charge and conviction arose out of testimony that Bonds gave to a grand jury investigating the illegal provision and use of steroids in major league baseball.  As the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals summarized it: During a grand jury proceeding, defendant gave a rambling, nonresponsive answer to a simple question.  Because there is insufficient evidence that Statement C was material, defendant’s conviction for obstruction of justice in violation of 18 U.S.C. 1503 is not supported by the record. Whatever section 1503’s scope may be in other circumstances, defendant’s conviction here must…

  • Due Process,  Parallel Proceedings

    The Old College Try, and The New College Tribunal

    In disciplinary proceedings involving claims of sexual assault, universities continue to find themselves in an intolerable situation, caught in a lawyer-triangle of the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights, student-complainants and the student-defendants. In part, at least, as a result of OCR’s “Dear Colleague” letter to colleges and universities about Title IX and disciplinary proceedings, there has been an upsurge in reported instances of sexual assault on campus. At the same time, there has been a sharp increase in lawsuits brought by student-respondents (that is, the male students who are accused), as this Wall Street Journal article details:  In Campus Rape Tribunals, Some Men See Injustice. The scenario set…