U.S. v. Dunkel, No. 89-1841

CourtUnited States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (7th Circuit)
Writing for the CourtBefore POSNER and EASTERBROOK, Circuit Judges, and DUMBAULD; PER CURIAM
Citation927 F.2d 955
Parties-637, 91-1 USTC P 50,216 UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. James C. DUNKEL, Defendant-Appellant.
Decision Date08 March 1991
Docket NumberNo. 89-1841

Page 955

927 F.2d 955
67 A.F.T.R.2d 91-637, 91-1 USTC P 50,216
UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
James C. DUNKEL, Defendant-Appellant.
No. 89-1841.
United States Court of Appeals,
Seventh Circuit.
Submitted Feb. 7, 1991.
Decided March 8, 1991.

John G. McKenzie, Asst. U.S. Atty., Lisa K. Osofsky, Office of the U.S. Atty., Rockford, Ill., for plaintiff-appellee.

Donald W. MacPherson, MacPherson & McCarville, Phoenix, Ariz., for defendant-appellant.

Before POSNER and EASTERBROOK, Circuit Judges, and DUMBAULD, Senior District Judge. *

PER CURIAM.

James C. Dunkel, who decided that income taxes are voluntary and elected not to contribute, was convicted of tax evasion and wilful failure to file tax returns. Consistent with this circuit's precedents, the district court withdrew from the jury certain defenses that are objectively unreasonable. We affirmed Dunkel's conviction. 900 F.2d 105 (7th Cir.1990).

United States v. Cheek, 882 F.2d 1263 (7th Cir.1989), barred seven of Dunkel's theories. When reversing that decision, Cheek v. United States, --- U.S. ----, 111 S.Ct. 604, 112 L.Ed.2d 617 (1991), the Supreme Court removed two items from the list but left the other five. It held that district judges may rebuff defenses based on erroneous constitutional beliefs (such as that the 16th Amendment was not properly ratified) but that defendants may argue that their mistaken interpretations of the

Page 956

tax laws (such as that wages are not income) defeat the mental state necessary to the offense, no matter how unfounded those beliefs may be. The Supreme Court then told us to reconsider Dunkel's case in light of Cheek. --- U.S. ----, 111 S.Ct. 747, 112 L.Ed.2d 768 (1991).

The government contends that Dunkel's conviction is not affected by Cheek. First, the prosecutor contends, Dunkel waived any objection to the district court's ruling by burying it in a single unreasoned paragraph of his brief on appeal. A skeletal "argument", really nothing more than an assertion, does not preserve a claim. United States v. Giovannetti, 919 F.2d 1223, 1230 (7th Cir.1990). Especially not when the brief presents a passel of other arguments, as Dunkel's did. Judges are not like pigs, hunting for truffles buried in briefs. But claims of waiver may themselves be waived, Wilson v. O'Leary, 895 F.2d 378, 384 (7th Cir.1990), and the United States did just that--not in this court, but in the Supreme Court of the United States.

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1868 practice notes
  • State v. Trail, No. 14–0887.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • October 7, 2015
    ...does not preserve a claim.... Judges are not like pigs, hunting for truffles buried in briefs.’ ”) (quoting United States v. Dunkel,927 F.2d 955, 956 (7th Cir.1991)).16 In State v. Rygh,206 W.Va. 295, 524 S.E.2d 447 (1999), we declined to address this issue because it was not properly befor......
  • Chambers v. Sears, Civil Action No. H–08–3676.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 5th Circuit. United States District Courts. 5th Circuit. Southern District of Texas
    • April 30, 2010
    ...417 F.3d 495, 501 (5th Cir.2005) (“Judges are not like pigs, hunting for truffles buried in briefs.”) (quoting United States v. Dunkel, 927 F.2d 955, 956 (7th Cir.1991)). Further, the Court has no obligation to raise and analyze a party's position in the absence of that party's meaningfully......
  • Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co. v. Cadbury Adams Usa LLC, No. 04-cv-0346.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 7th Circuit. United States District Court (Northern District of Illinois)
    • June 26, 2009
    ...cites to some deposition testimony, but Wrigley did not furnish that testimony to the Court with its opposition. United States v. Dunkel, 927 F.2d 955, 955 (7th Cir.1991) ("Judges are not like pigs, hunting for truffles buried in briefs."). In any event, not every error automatically invali......
  • Cazorla v. Koch Foods of Miss., L.L.C., No. 15-60562
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (5th Circuit)
    • September 27, 2016
    ...417 F.3d 495, 501 (5th Cir. 2005) (“Judges are not like pigs, hunting for truffles buried in briefs.”) (quoting United States v. Dunkel , 927 F.2d 955, 956 (7th Cir. 1991) ). It is also dubious: if anything, the fact that Congress explicitly permitted disclosure pursuant to court order in o......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
1837 cases
  • State v. Trail, No. 14–0887.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • October 7, 2015
    ...does not preserve a claim.... Judges are not like pigs, hunting for truffles buried in briefs.’ ”) (quoting United States v. Dunkel,927 F.2d 955, 956 (7th Cir.1991)).16 In State v. Rygh,206 W.Va. 295, 524 S.E.2d 447 (1999), we declined to address this issue because it was not properly befor......
  • Chambers v. Sears, Civil Action No. H–08–3676.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 5th Circuit. United States District Courts. 5th Circuit. Southern District of Texas
    • April 30, 2010
    ...417 F.3d 495, 501 (5th Cir.2005) (“Judges are not like pigs, hunting for truffles buried in briefs.”) (quoting United States v. Dunkel, 927 F.2d 955, 956 (7th Cir.1991)). Further, the Court has no obligation to raise and analyze a party's position in the absence of that party's meaningfully......
  • Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co. v. Cadbury Adams Usa LLC, No. 04-cv-0346.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 7th Circuit. United States District Court (Northern District of Illinois)
    • June 26, 2009
    ...cites to some deposition testimony, but Wrigley did not furnish that testimony to the Court with its opposition. United States v. Dunkel, 927 F.2d 955, 955 (7th Cir.1991) ("Judges are not like pigs, hunting for truffles buried in briefs."). In any event, not every error automatically invali......
  • Cazorla v. Koch Foods of Miss., L.L.C., No. 15-60562
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (5th Circuit)
    • September 27, 2016
    ...417 F.3d 495, 501 (5th Cir. 2005) (“Judges are not like pigs, hunting for truffles buried in briefs.”) (quoting United States v. Dunkel , 927 F.2d 955, 956 (7th Cir. 1991) ). It is also dubious: if anything, the fact that Congress explicitly permitted disclosure pursuant to court order in o......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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