United States v. Nelson

852 F.2d 706 (1988)

From our private database of 45,900+ case briefs, written and edited by humans—never with AI.

United States v. Nelson

United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
852 F.2d 706 (1988)

Facts

Nelson (defendant), the city attorney for New Brunswick, New Jersey, was involved in a purchase of property by the city. An assistant U.S. attorney (AUSA) secured grand jury subpoenas to investigate allegations of corruption in New Brunswick. Nelson learned about the investigation and altered the closing statement to account for monies withheld from the seller’s closing proceeds. Shamy (defendant), a lawyer whose associate represented the seller at the closing, falsely told prosecutors he had written a letter to Nelson proposing that Nelson withhold from the sale proceeds legal fees the seller owed to Shamy and keep the funds as repayment of a racetrack gambling loan. Nelson received a grand jury subpoena and produced Shamy’s fabricated letter and the altered closing statement. The AUSA left the government before presenting any evidence to the grand jury. Nelson and Shamy were charged with conspiracy to obstruct justice and obstruction of justice based on the fabricated letter and altered closing statement. At trial, Nelson and Shamy sought to demonstrate that the grand jury subpoenas secured by the AUSA before the letter and closing statement were produced did not establish a pending grand jury investigation. The AUSA testified that he had not scheduled time for the case in the grand jury, had no recollection of inspecting the subpoenaed records, and could not recall whether the records were delivered to the grand jury before his departure. The court barred further inquiry, explaining that there was a judicial proceeding pending if there was a sitting grand jury. Nelson and Shamy were convicted and appealed, arguing that the trial court unreasonably limited their cross-examination.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Greenberg, J.)

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 735,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Berkeley, and Northwestern—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students.

    Unlock this case briefRead 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.

    Learn about our approachRead more about Quimbee

Here's why 735,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 45,900 briefs, keyed to 984 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.

Access this case brief for FREE

With a 7-day free trial membership
Here's why 735,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
  • Reliable - written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students
  • The right length and amount of information - includes the facts, issue, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents
  • Access in your class - works on your mobile and tablet
  • 45,900 briefs - keyed to 984 casebooks
  • Uniform format for every case brief
  • Written in plain English - not in legalese and not just repeating the court's language
  • Massive library of related video lessons - and practice questions
  • Top-notch customer support

Access this case brief for FREE

With a 7-day free trial membership