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March 5, 1995 Federal Appeals Court Ruling, Denying Lawyer F. Lee Bailey's Motion To Delay In His Incarceration Pending An Appeal

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Bailey turned himself in to U.S. marshals March 6 to begin serving a six-month jail term after being held him in contempt of court for failing to obey an order to turn over $2.3 million obtained from a convicted drug smuggler he represented.

IN THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS
FOR THE ELEVENTH CIRCUIT

No. 96-2280

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
Plaintiff-Appellee,

v.

CLAUDE LUIS DUBOC, aka
HARRY SIMPSON, aka
ANTHONY LARKIN,
Defendant,

F. LEE BAILEY, Appellant.

Appeal from the United States District Court
for the Northern District of Florida

Before KRAVITCH, EDMONDSON and CARNES, Circuit Judges.

PER CURIAM:

Appellant F. Lee Bailey has filed an emergency motion for stay pending appeal. The district court has found Bailey to be in contempt and has ordered his incarceration: the incarceration was to begin 1 March. On 29 February, we temporarily stayed the order directing him to be incarcerated.

Since 29 February, we have carefully examined the submissions from the parties (including briefs) and transcripts of hearings. And we have heard oral argument. We now lift our stay and remand to the district court for the limited purpose of setting the time and place for Bailey to report to the United States Marshal.

Where the district court had discretion, we cannot say that it is plain now that the court abused this discretion. Particularly considering the number and nature of the district court hearings, considering the factual determinations underlying the district court's 29 February order, considering that credibility is a matter for the judicial officer who listens to and personally observes the witnesses, and considering the standard of review for factual determinations is under the clearly erroneous rule, we conclude that Bailey has shown less than a substantial likelihood of prevailing on the merits of his appeal. We also cannot say that the equities among the parties or the public interest weigh heavily in favor of the stay.

The appeal on the merits in this case will be expedited. Appellant's brief on the merits shall be due not later than 19 March 1996. The appellee's brief shall be due within 10 days of the filing of the appellant's brief. Appellant then shall have 3 days to file a reply brief. The parties are reminded that we have already read substantial briefs; no need exists to repeat what has already been said. If the appeal is to be orally argued, the parties will be notified speedily.

MOTION FOR STAY DENIED.

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