U.S. Eleventh Circuit - The FindLaw 11th Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion Summaries Blog


White House Withdraws Nomination of Brett Talley

If you heard a big sucking sound out of Alabama, it was not just Roy Moore's loss in his bid for the U.S. Senate.

As President Trump was backing away from his controversial pick, the White House announced it would "not be moving forward" with Trump's nomination of an Alabama lawyer for a federal judgeship.

It had not looked good for attorney Brett J. Talley for a while. The American Bar Association had called him "unanimously" unqualified.

South Florida's Federal Bench to Be Reshaped by Trump

President Trump will reshape the court in the South District of Florida -- and that none too soon, according to some observers.

The Miami Herald says the "unprecedented" number of vacancies gives the President five seats to fill on a federal bench of 13, not including 10 senior judges in South Florida. The newspaper says the high number is rare.

Meanwhile, another report recently named Florida the No. 1 Judicial Hellhole in the country. The confirmation hearings should be interesting....

Sweepstakes Scammers Sentenced

What was the judge thinking when he sentenced four men to prison for a $25 million sweepstakes scam?

The prosecutors asked for a 20-year sentence for Matthew Pisoni and heavy sentences for his co-conspirators as well. But U.S. Judge Darrin Gayles sent Pisoni, the ring-leader, to prison for seven years and his co-defendants for lesser times.

Was it out of sympathy for Pisoni, who lost a son to a drug overdose after the conviction? Was it the miscarriage Pisoni's wife suffered after the trial? Or was it the prosecutors, who used a co-defendant to spy on Pisoni's attorneys?

An Alabama Supreme Court decision from 2015 may have flown under the radar at the time it was issued, but then-Chief Justice Roy Moore's dissent is coming back to haunt the now-Republican Senate candidate.

The majority decision upheld the conviction of a 17-year-old child rapist (that was working at a daycare when he committed his crime) on one charge that required "forcible compulsion" to be proven. But Moore, alone out of the nine justices, dissented based upon a strict textualist approach that seemingly ignored the actual facts and court precedent.

As some commentators have noted, this case probably has less to do with Moore's own history, and more to do with his personal philosophy. Moore's dissenting opinion did not let the defendant off the hook for his crimes and shouldn't be used as evidence that Moore is soft on crime. In fact, one of the charges that resulted in a conviction and 20+ year sentence against the defendant was not even considered on appeal, so it's not like Moore was trying to get the guy out of jail.

FINRA, the securities industry's self-regulating organization, will be able to regulate with a little more impunity now after the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that there is no private right of action for association members to sue the regulatory body when it doesn't follow its own rules.

A broker that was a registered member of a FINRA affiliated broker sought to bring an individual lawsuit against the organization due to an alleged failure to abide by their own rules. Unfortunately for that broker, the appellate court agreed with the district court's dismissal of his case due to there being no law authorizing a private right of action against FINRA.

Lawyers' Feud Stifles Class Action Settlement

It is an old feud with a new twist.

Bock & Hatch used to share work with Anderson& Wanca against companies that sent out unsolicited faxes. The alliance broke up with bad blood years ago.

In Technology Training Associates v. Buccaneers Limited Partnership, that feud is back in the news. Now the case is more about the lawyers than the litigants.

The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals has denied the appeal of Boston Scientific from the $27 million verdict rendered against them in 2014. The verdict stemmed from four consolidated cases as a result of transvaginal mesh implants gone wrong.

While Boston Scientific appealed all four cases initially, it dismissed three of the appeals. Only plaintiff Amal Eghnayem's case, where she was awarded nearly $7 million by the jury, was up on appeal.

11th Circuit: Service Marks Extend to Goods

It's not every day that a judge admits fuzzy reasoning, much less in writing.

But the U.S. Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeal is not hiding from the truth. In reversing a trademark decision, the court said it often "blurs the lines" when analyzing certain claims.

In Savannah College of Art and Design v. Sportswear, it is actually a little worse than that. The judges practically said the precedent makes no sense.

Trump's 11th Cir. Pick Disappoints LGBT Community in 1st Opinion

Justice Kevin Newsom, recently confirmed to the U.S. Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, didn't take long to find controversy.

With his first written opinion, Morrissey v. United States, Newsom said that a homosexual man could not deduct medical expenses for a child he fathered through invitro fertilization. Opponents jumped on the decision as soon as it hit the press.

LGBT advocates said Newsom got it wrong. But it wasn't the first time the justice has taken heat for his opinions.

Statute of Limitations Ends Smoking Case

When William Hecht was a teenager, the Surgeon General warned that smoking caused chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

His mom, who suffered from COPD, warned him as well. After years of smoking, he developed the same condition.

He sued a tobacco company for allegedly concealing that smoking could cause his disease. A jury said it was too late, and a federal appeals court agreed.