Tagged: Criminal Cases

N.J. Judge Dismisses Potential Juror for Attempting to “Friend” Defendant on Facebook

As recently reported by The Press of Atlantic City, on November 4, 2010, the Honorable Raymond Batten, J.S.C., dismissed a potential juror after defense counsel advised that the juror attempted to “friend” his client on Facebook. The potential juror was dismissed from serving in the trial of Atlantic City Councilman Marty Small, LuQuay Zahir and ten others who are accused of voter fraud during the councilman’s unsuccessful bid for mayor in 2009

Federal Judge Rules Government Failed to Preserve Text Messages and Orders Adverse Inference Instruction in Criminal Case

On October 21, 2010, in the highly publicized New Jersey government corruption case U.S. v. Suarez, et ano., No. 09-932, 2010 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 112097 (D.N.J.), the Honorable Jose L. Linares, U.S.D.J., held that the FBI had a duty to preserve Short Message Service electronic communications (i.e., text messages) exchanged between its agents and their cooperating witness, Solomon Dwek, during the course of the investigation of defendants Anthony Suarez (mayor of Ridgefield, NJ) and Vincent Tabbachino (former Guttenberg, NJ councilman and police officer). Despite the lack of evidence of bad faith on the part of the government, because the text messages were not preserved, the Court found clear prejudice to defendants and ordered that the appropriate sanction was a “permissive” adverse inference jury instruction.