Logourl black
From our private database of 14,100+ case briefs...

United States v. Covino

United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
837 F.2d 65 (1988)


Facts

Alfred Covino (defendant) was the director of network services at NYNEX Mobile Communications Company (NYNEX), a telephone-service provider and cell-site builder. Great Northeastern Building and Management Corporation (GNBM) was a small, three-employee company half-owned by Robert Brennan. GNBM had been hired by NYNEX to build cell sites in a contract that accounted for about 90 percent of GNBM’s business. As director, Covino had control over the selection, supervision, and payment of the contractors that were hired to build cell sites. Covino learned that a former GNBM employee had improperly billed $3,200 to a NYNEX credit card. Covino showed the bills to Brennan and warned Brennan that it would not be good if Covino’s superior found out about the bills. Brennan offered to pay the bills, but Covino said that he would handle the bills himself. Shortly thereafter, Covino asked Brennan for help in building a sun deck for Covino’s home. Covino reminded Brennan about the improper bills, and as a result, Brennan agreed to build the deck at a low cost. Ultimately, Brennan built an entire sunroom for Covino, expending more than $20,000. Covino later induced Brennan to pay for other improvements on Covino’s house and demanded various cash payments totaling to $85,000. At the time, GNBM was almost entirely dependent upon its construction contract with NYNEX. Covino was charged with a violation of the Hobbs Act, 18 U.S.C. § 1951, which criminalizes extortion by the wrongful use of fear of economic loss. At trial, Brennan testified that he feared Covino would use his position as director to destroy GNBM if Brennan did not comply with Covino’s demands. Covino was convicted and moved for judgment of acquittal notwithstanding the verdict. The district court granted the motion, citing insufficient evidence of the use of wrongful fear. Covino appealed from other related convictions, and the government cross-appealed from the district court’s Hobbs Act acquittal.

Rule of Law

The rule of law is the black letter law upon which the court rested its decision.

To access this section, please start your free trial or log in.

Issue

The issue section includes the dispositive legal issue in the case phrased as a question.

To access this section, please start your free trial or log in.

Holding and Reasoning (Winter, J.)

The holding and reasoning section includes:

  • A "yes" or "no" answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

To access this section, please start your free trial or log in.

What to do next…

  1. Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.

    You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 97,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.

  2. Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.

    Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.

Here's why 218,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 14,100 briefs, keyed to 189 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
  • The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
  • Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
  • Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.