The Court announced today the appointment of Washington attorney Jay T. Jorgensen to brief and argue Greenlaw v. United States (07-330) in support of the judgment below. The Justices granted certiorari last Friday to review whether a federal appeals court can order a district court to increase the length of a criminal sentence in the absence of an appeal or cross-appeal by the government.

The petitioner, Michael (a.k.a. “Mikey”) Greenlaw was sentenced to more than 36 years in prison following his conviction on numerous drug- and firearm-related offenses. Greenlaw appealed the sentence as unreasonably long and, though the government did not cross appeal, a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit sua sponte found the district judge should have imposed a higher sentence. After Greenlaw filed a petition for certiorari, the federal government concurred that the appellate panel erred in ordering a higher sentence, and recommended the Court grant, vacate and remand the case for further review.

Jorgensen, a partner in Sidley Austin’s Washington office, clerked for former Chief Justice William Rehnquist in the October 1999 term. Kevin (see picture in column at right) of Howe & Russell is counsel of record for the petitioner.

Posted in Greenlaw v. U.S., Everything Else