United States v. Robinson, Case 21-3039: Win on a Brady Claim
United States v. Robinson, No. 21-3039, was decided in the United States Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit on June 2, 2023. Ivan Lamont Robinson, the appellant who was a nurse practitioner, was originally convicted of 42 counts of prescribing a controlled substance without a legitimate medical purpose and 2 counts of money laundering. He appealed on the grounds of Brady violations, Napue violations, and insufficient evidence. The district court denied his motions for a new trial and to reverse his convictions. However, the Court of Appeals reversed and remanded the district court’s judgment due to the government’s Brady violation in withholding the Pryor and CCN Reports, which were found to be material and prejudicial to Robinson’s case. The reports were these: The Pryor reports were named for the DEA Agent who memorialized Robinson’s call to the DEA in 2011 to discuss fraudulent prescriptions, and the CCN report was a report from the D.C. Metropolitan Police detailing a specific instance in 2013 when Robinson contacted law enforcement about a pill-seeker. Obviously, these reports cut against the claim Robinson was knowingly pushing drugs to patients outside the normal course of medical care since he was willing to contact law enforcement about suspected illegal activity. The DC Circuit agreed finding it only would have taken “one juror harboring a doubt to change the result.” Id. at 11. The Court considered that the jurors spent more than 2 days before it rendered its verdict showing this was a close case.
Worth mentioning about this case is how Robinson came to learn of these reports. Robinson had requested the Pryor reports on multiple occasions prior to trial but had been told they didn’t exist. Six months after trial the agent disclosed that another agent accompanied her when she came to speak to Robinson and that he may have taken notes. As it turns out, he did and the government then turned them over. I think this is outrageous and shows how diligent you have to be to track down this kind of information.