Archive for the ‘Magistrate Judge Brooke C. Wells’ category

Watch out local music downloaders

July 6, 2007

If anyone in Provo has been illegally downloading music, watch out.

Several music companies have been granted approval by Magistrate Judge Brooke Wells to issue a subpoena to identify the names, addresses and phone numbers of four Provo internet company customers who are being sued for music piracy.

The internet company has already publicly stated they will not contest the subpoena and will fully cooperate.

See link to opinion here.


United States v. John and Susan Ross

December 13, 2006

As previously reported, the Rosses are charged with 47 counts of fraud, theft, money laundering and copyright infringement.

Magistrate Brooke Wells disqualified the Rosses’ attorney (Paul Gotay) for conflicts of interest.  Judge Wells named three conflicts that she said called for disqualification:
   * The Rosses need separate attorneys to represent their individual interests.
   * Gotay gave advice to witnesses who testified before a grand jury that indicted the couple.
   * Gotay himself could be called as a witness because he was involved in a financial transaction with the Rosses.

Gotay has 10 days to appeal the ruling to U.S. District Judge Dee Benson, who is assigned to the fraud case. 

A previously-threatened Motion to Recuse (Magistrate Judge Wells) has not been filed. 

United States v. John and Susan Ross

December 6, 2006

The Rosses have both been indicted on 47 counts of mail fraud, money laundering, theft of government funds and copyright infringement. According to the indictment, while working as the school district’s director for the federal “Title I” program for disadvantaged students, Susan Ross operated a company, which worked with a second company to create unauthorized copies of text books, which were sold to the district at inflated prices. John was allegedly in on the gig as well. The Rosses allegedly pocketed $4.7 million from the scheme.

This case is geting feisty.

Prosecutors have filed a motion to disqualify defense counsel (due to possible conflict of interests).

The FBI has frozen the defense atty’s bank account (which allegedly contains some of the dirty funds).

Defense counsel accused the Judge of bias and declared that he will file a motion to have her recuse herself.

Should be interesting.,1442,650212519,00.html

To footnote or not to footnote, that is the question

September 7, 2006

Reading Magistrate Judge Brooke C. Wells’ latest opinion reminds me of a continuing debate between comentators, authors and judges regarding the writing style of judicial opinions.

There seems to be a growing trend for some judges to put citations in footnotes and to generally abstain from using substantive footnotes.  This argument is advocated by leading author Bryan Garner, as summarized by this article. (By the way, Garner’s lectures and seminars are outstanding if you ever have the chance to attend).

Judge Richard A. Posner, a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, opposes this style, as outlined in this article

Magistrate Judge Wells clearly prefers placing citations in footnotes.

Magistrate Judge Brooke C. Wells – Attorney/client privilege

September 7, 2006

THE SCO GROUP, INC. Plaintiff/Counterclaim-Defendant, v. INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS MACHINES CORPORATION, Defendant/Counterclaim-Plaintiff.

Civil No. 2:03CV0294

2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 62980

September 1, 2006

Magistrate Judge Brooke C. Wells

My first comment on this case is that there are countless lawyers involved. It takes up a full page just to list all the lawyers.

Second comment is that the motion that prompted the order is docket no. 678!! Wow. Lots of lawyers billing lots of hours.  This post is not the place to outline the vast amounts of litigation involving SCO within the District of Utah. Maybe someday.

The present matter involves The SCO Group Inc.’s (SCO) Motion for In Camera Review of Allegedly Privileged Documents. IBM argues that the documents are protected by attorney-client privilege. SCO argues the documents are not privileged, should be produced and should be available for deposition of 30(b)(6) depositions.

The court held in favor of IBM and stated: “IBM has met its burden of establishing the applicability of the attorney-client privilege. And, the court further finds that the documents at issue are protected from disclosure by the attorney-client privilege. Therefore, the documents are not discoverable and do not need to be provided to SCO.”

Judge Tena Campbell – Order regarding competency and involuntary medication

August 29, 2006

 U.S.A. v. Benjamin Archuleta


August 25, 2006 

Judge Tena Campbell has ordered that a Utah man, Benjamin Archuleta, diagnosed with schizophrenia, be forcibly medicated in an effort to make him competent to stand trial on a weapons charge.

Benjamin Archuleta was originally charged with threatening the life of Judge David Sam in 1998. He was found not guilty by reason of insanity and was hospitalized. In November 2000, Mr. Archuleta was released from hospitalization, but later violated those conditions and was comitted to a “half way house” in June 2002. In February 2005, the court terminated the supervision of Mr. Archuleta and he was again released.

In late 2005, the U.S. Marshal Service learned that Mr. Archuleta attempted to purchase a firearm and lied on a required background check form.

Magistrate Judge Wells determined in March 2006 that defendant was not competent to stand trial on the new weapons charge. That same month, the Court ordered a psychiatric evluation regarding the possibility of involuntary medication to restore competency.

Judge Campbell determined that involuntary medication is appropriate since: (1) important governmental interests are at stake; (2) involuntary medication of the defendant will likely further the government’s important interests and will be unlikely to have side effects that will interfere with the defendant’s right to assist trial counsel in his defense, thereby making the trial unfair; (3) involuntary medication is necessary to further the government’s interest, meaning no other less intrusive means will achieve substantially the same results; and (4) administration of antipsychotic drugs is medically appropriate, or in the best interest of the defendant given his current medical condition.

As reported by the Salt Lake Tribune: “(Mr. Archuleta) considers himself to be a political prisoner and has asked for a clean bill of health and a grant of diplomatic immunity.”


Salt Lake Tribune article

Judge Dale A. Kimball / Magistrate Judge Brooke C. Wells – Motion to Dismiss granted

August 28, 2006


Case No. 2:06CV516

2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 60069

August 23, 2006

Judge Dale A. Kimball / Magistrate Judge Brooke C. Wells

Plaintiff, Irving Karl Bigelow pro se, filed suit under 42 U.S.C. § 1985 against the State of Utah, State District Judge John Paul Kennedy, Newton Ghbor a detective with the South Salt Lake Police Department (SSLPD), Carla Armstrong also a detective with SSLPD, Colleen Barrette an agent with the Office of Recovery Services and Thomas Arne. Bigelow alleges violations of his rights in connection with a child abuse investigation and the “false evidence” that led to the removal of his son. Specifically, Bigelow claims violations of his right to fair and equal access, denial of counsel, and conspiracy to commit theft of a child.

Bigelow was seeking a million dollars a day for every day his son is gone.

This matter was referred to Magistrate Wells pursuant to 28 USC § 636(b)(1)(B). In short, the Magistrate recommended that Bigelow’s complaint should be dismissed for failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted.

In reviewing the Magistrate’s recommendation, Judge Kimball noted that: “Mr. Bigelow has not objected to the Report and Recommendation, and the time for doing so has elapsed.”

Motion to dismiss granted.