Yates v. United States
United States Supreme Court
135 S.Ct. 1074 (2015)
John Yates (defendant), a commercial fisherman, caught undersized red grouper in federal waters in the Gulf of Mexico in violation of federal conservation regulations. To prevent federal authorities from confirming that he had caught the fish, Yates ordered a crew member to toss the fish back into the water. As a result, Yates was charged with violating a provision of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (Act), 18 U.S.C. § 1519, which criminalized the destruction or concealment of any record, document, or tangible object to obstruct a federal investigation. At trial, Yates argued that § 1519 did not apply to throwing fish overboard in a commercial-fishing context. The government disagreed and claimed that fish were a tangible object within the purview of § 1519. Yates was convicted and sentenced to 30 days of imprisonment. Yates appealed. The court of appeals affirmed. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari to review.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Ginsburg, J.)
Dissent (Kagan, J.)
What to do next…
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.
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 175,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 14,000 briefs, keyed to 188 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.