>> Business Law and Ethics
1. Fred is drunk and driving his dad's car. Fred is a 21 year old student at Columbia College. Fred rams into a parked car at 10th and Rogers. Thinking no one saw him, Fred moves his car and parks it on an adjacent lot. He sprints to his dorm room in Miller Hall. A neighbor saw the wreck and Fred running to the dorm. Police are called and they arrive ten minutes after the wreck. The officers see several empty beer cans and a bottle of tequila (half full) in the front seat. The tags are traced to Fred's dad, who is called by police. Dad says that Fred is a student at Columbia College. Police run Fred's record and determine that he has two prior DWIs within the past five years. The third DWI in 10 years is a felony. Police contact Columbia College security who leads them to Fred's dorm. Fred is passed out, so security let's them in. The officers smell intoxicants, give Fred some Field Sobriety tests (he fails) and confirm that he was driving the car. Fred is arrested for DWI. It is his third offense, a felony under Missouri law. Fred is given a breath test, which registers at .13 on the scale. During the processing of his arrest paperwork, the officers search Fred's possessions which he brought to the station, and a small quantity of cocaine is found in Fred's pocket. Fred is charged with DWI, leaving the scene, and possession of cocaine. What issues do you see? How should they be resolved?
2. Cole County deputies obtain a search warrant for Mike's trailer for controlled substances. The warrant was based upon information provided by an informant, some officer corroboration, and the fact that Mike has a past record for drug offenses. The deputies execute the warrant. As it turns out, Mike has no past record for drugs, the court clerk made an error. This means the warrant will be found lacking in probable cause by the appellate court. While executing the warrant, they observe large quantities of controlled substances, which they seize. While they are executing the warrant a man drives up and knocks on the door. The officers detain the man during the search. The dog accompanying the officers begins to bark at the man's trunk. The officers open the trunk and see large trash bags with a substance which smells and looks like marijuana. This man (Larry) is arrested for possession of marijuana. Mike is charged with possession of a controlled substance. Are the drugs admissible in Court against Mike? Why or why not? What about Larry's case, are the drugs admissible? Why or why not?
3. Kyle and Mel are detectives in the property crimes unit. They are investigating a case of leaving the scene of an accident. The victim's car suggested an impact on the right front bumper of victim's car. While canvassing a neighborhood on another matter, Mel sees a car parked in a garage. The garage is attached to the house, but the door is open. The car shows physical damage to the left rear quarter panel with smudges similar to those on victim's car. Mel and Kyle approach the garage and take photographs of and samples from the outside of the car. The samples link to the crime, and the resident is charged. Assess the police conduct. Will the evidence be admissible? Why or why not?
4. Police officers received an anonymous tip that a building at 401 S. Main was being operated as a "crack house." Based on that tip, two vice squad officers were assigned to place the above building under surveillance.
The officers viewed the premises from their nearby automobile and observed a fair amount of traffic going in and out of the building over a three day period. One evening, Jim Smith left the above described premises and walked toward the officer's unmarked car. As he approached the car, and seemed to recognize the officers (who were in street clothing), Smith turned, walked in the opposite direction and entered an alley. The officers decided to pursue Smith and stopped him in the alley. Smith was told to lean over the hood of the car with his arms extended, and head kept down. One officer patted down Smith and felt a "suspicious bulge" in his jacket pocket. The officer quickly reached into the pocket and removed a package which contained a couple of ounces of a white substance which on later analysis turned out to be cocaine.
In connection with Smith being charged with the unlawful possession of Cocaine, a "regulated substance," his attorney seeks to suppress the cocaine. What legal issues are involved in this endeavor and, what result would you reach?
5. State police pulled over Banks ostensibly for operating a motor vehicle without a seat belt, a violation subject to a maximum of a $100 fine. Trooper Smith questioned Banks and his passenger Jones about where they were headed. Banks and Jones gave the trooper different answers and Banks seemed nervous, according to Smith. Trooper Smith delayed writing the ticket for some 20 minutes, awaiting a backup unit. He retained Bank's driver's license during the interim. After this unit arrived there were now three troopers, and two patrol cars on the scene. The cars were parked immediately in the front and rear of Bank's car. Smith asked: "Are there any weapons or drugs in this vehicle?" Banks, standing some 10 feet away from his car, said no. Smith then said, "You probably won't mind if we search then, right?" Banks said, "If you gotta do it, do it." A search of the vehicle produced a half pound of cocaine under the front seat and Banks and Jones now seek to suppress this evidence in connection with their forthcoming trial on illegal possession of Cocaine. Discuss all issues that you see with the Police conduct.
6. Federal (DEA) agents received an anonymous tip that one Perez was engaged in a money laundering operation in connection with a major narcotics ring. The anonymous caller said that Perez picked up money from various locations in the City and always took money in a laundry bag to 61 Corona Avenue in the City.
DEA agents placed Perez under surveillance and on two occasions he was observed traveling by cab to various locations where he would enter a building with a laundry bag, then emerge with what appeared to be the same bag, and terminate at 61 Corona Avenue where he would enter with a full laundry bag and then leave without the bag.
During the third surveillance, after Perez made two stops, his cab began to take evasive action with Perez nervously looking out the rear window. Agents decided to close in and forced the cab to the curb. One agent approached the cab with a revolver drawn and four others surrounded the cab. The agent ordered Perez out of the cab and when he emerged, he was handcuffed. An agent asked the cab driver if they could search the cab's interior and trunk and the driver readily agreed. In the trunk, the agents discovered a laundry bag containing $13,000 in cash and ten pounds of marijuana. An agent then asked, "Perez, is this your bag?" Perez said it was but that he was "just carrying it for a friend."
In connection with federal criminal charges, Perez seeks to suppress the bag and its contents. Assess the issues and rule on Perez's motion.
7. Police have a warrant to arrest Terry for murder. He is one of two current suspects in a Homicide. They plan to arrest him at his home, which is a two story house. When serving the warrant, Terry is found upstairs, and he surrenders peacefully. Police go downstairs and open two closet doors. One of the closet doors opened reveals a sawed-off shotgun, the suggested murder weapon. One of the officers proceeds to open a downstairs desk drawer, and observes and seizes a disguise, a passport, and a plane ticket to Argentina. There is no search warrant. What, if any, evidence is admissible against Terry? Why?
8. Jay is an 18 year old (therefore not a Juvenile) taken into police custody as a suspect in a Homicide. The police read Jay his rights under Miranda, and when asked if he understands his rights and wants to talk, Jay says, "I want to talk to my Dad". Police attempt to discourage Jay from speaking with his Dad and they encourage him to spill his guts. They ask Jay again if he understands his Miranda rights and wants to talk and Jay says " I guess so, if it's like you say it shouldn't be so bad" The interrogation begins and Jay confesses to the homicide in a videotaped confession. Included in this confession is a description of the location of the murder weapon and the body of the victim, which were found at the bottom of a pond on Jay's dad's property. Police were in the process of obtaining a search warrant for this pond --which was granted--at the time of Jay's statement. Jay's father is a prominent attorney known to virtually everyone in town ( including the police ) Discuss the issues surrounding the use of Jay's statement and the derivative evidence in the pond. Is anything admissible? Why or Why not?
9. Suspect has been Charged with Controlled Substance Distribution and is in jail awaiting trial on that charge. He is represented by Bart, a prominent local attorney on this controlled substance charge. Bart admonishes the police not to question his client regarding any aspect of the drug offense and police assure Bart that no questioning will take place. One of the informants on this controlled substance investigation has been missing for a week and police believe suspect had something to do with the disappearance. Police place an undercover officer in Suspect's cell block and instruct him to see if he can draw information from suspect on informant's disappearance. Suspect confides to the undercover officer that he is sure that the informant ""won't be seen or heard from again if you know what I mean" However, suspect says nothing else regarding details of victim's fate, but offers that he is concerned about his wife turning on him.
Police next approach suspect's wife who is in the process of divorcing suspect. Some of suspects belongings are still at her house. Police ask if she will consent to a search of her home and to forensic testing of any evidence and she gladly agrees. During the course of this consent search, police locate some helpful evidence, including a sawed off shotgun and a slip indicating suspect has rented a storage shed. Police approach the storage shed owner and request his consent to search suspect's shed. The owner agrees to consent, observing that suspect is in default under his agreement and that he was about ready to deem suspect's shed as abandoned. During the course of searching suspect's shed, police observe a car and numerous boxes of clothing. The car contains signs of a violent act including blood and bone fragments. Possessed with this information, police approach suspect and ask if he would like to discuss informant's disappearance. Suspect agrees and police read him Miranda. Suspect waives his rights and agrees to talk. Police present a detailed theory of informant's murder to suspect, including references to a sawed off shotgun and the storage shed, and falsely tell suspect that all of the scientific evidence points to him as the killer. ( In fact no testing has yet been done) Suspect breaks down and confesses to the murder of informant. Discuss all issues that you see regarding this case , including the admissibility of (1 Suspect's statements to the officer in the cell block, (2)the evidence obtained from the search of wife's dwelling, (3)the evidence obtained from the search of the shed, and (4)the evidence obtained from suspect during his confession to the murder.
10. Local police strongly suspects Shansky of murdering his estranged wife. Months of investigation, however, failed top develop a strong enough case for the Prosecutor to file charges. The prosecutor suggested to Detective Hardy that Shansky be invited in to just talk things over. Hardy called Shansky and said, "we know how upset you must be about your wife's death and how slow we are going. Would you come down and talk to us and maybe we can get another angle? Shansky agreed. When he arrived at the station house, he was introduced to Sharon Caring, described as a social worker involved in victim counseling. Shansky agreed to talk with Caring until the Detective was free. During his talk with Caring, Shansky broke down into tears. Caring presses him for more details and after Caring agrees to confidentiality, Shansky described how he snapped when he realized his marriage was over, and that he thinks he strangled his late wife during an alcoholic blackout. Caring was in fact a police officer who was assigned to get what she could from Shansky. She tells Hardy everything that Shansky said. Hardy enters the room and begins speaking with Shansky. He presents a detailed theory of the homicide to Shanksy. Shansky blurts out, " you know I did it, let's get it over with. Hardy then reads Miranda to Shansky, who signs a Miranda waiver and gives a full written confession. Shansky is charged with his ex-wife's murder. Are Shansky's statements to Caring and Hardy admissible in the homicide trial? Why or why not? Discuss all issues.