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

December 2009 Archives

In an action by dentists claiming that defendant health insurer employed a number of practices, such as "improper downcoding" and "improper bundling," as a means of underpaying participating dentists for services they performed, denial of plaintiffs' motion to remand the action is affirmed in part where plaintiffs' allegations implicated not only the "rate of payment" under their provider agreements, but also the "right of payment."  However, the order is reversed in part where a trade association did not have standing to sue under ERISA and thus ERISA did not completely preempt plaintiff-association's claims.

Read Connecticut State Dental Ass'n. v. Anthem Health Plans, Inc., No. 08-15268

Appellate Information

Filed December 30, 2009

Judges

Opinion by Judge Quist

US v. Roberson, No. 09-10519

Defendant's robbery sentence is vacated where defendant's prior Georgia conviction for a walkaway escape did not constitute a predicate "crime of violence" qualifying him for sentencing as a career offender under the Sentencing Guidelines.

Read US v. Roberson, No. 09-10519

Appellate Information

Filed December 30, 2009

Judges

Per Curiam

US v. Lopez, No. 08-13605

Defendant's convictions for encouraging or inducing aliens to enter the U.S. is affirmed where: 1) the district court did not err in including "to help" in the definition of "encourage" in the jury instructions; 2) the trial evidence established that defendant was more than a mere passive boat driver; 3) 18 U.S.C. section 1327 required only that defendant knew the alien he aided or assisted was inadmissible at some point before the alien sought to enter the U.S.

Read US v. Lopez, No. 08-13605

Appellate Information

Filed December 22, 2009

Judges

Opinion by Judge Hull

In re: Baker, No. 09-13144

In the debtor's appeal from the bankruptcy court's order that her Keogh plan was the property of her bankruptcy estate, the order is reversed where the debtor's Keogh plan did not have to be maintained under ERISA for the debtor to claim an exemption under 11 U.S.C. section 222.21(2)(a)(1).

Read In re: Baker, No. 09-13144

Appellate Information

Filed December 22, 2009

Judges

Per Curiam

Wilson v. Island Seas Invs., Ltd., No. 09-10603

In a personal injury action arising out of the death of an individual while on vacation in the Bahamas, dismissal of the action on forum non conveniens grounds is reversed where: 1) it was error for the district court to consider only the contacts that the case had with the Southern District of Florida; and 2) the district court erred in failing to consider, except in regard to whether the Bahamas was an adequate alternate forum, the undisputed financial difficulties the plaintiff would face if the case had to be tried in the Bahamas.

Read Wilson v. Island Seas Invs., Ltd., No. 09-10603

Appellate Information

Filed December 22, 2009

Judges

Opinion by Judge Lawson

Randolph v. McNeil, No. 08-12854

In a capital habeas matter, denial of petitioner's habeas petition is affirmed where: 1) given the overwhelming aggravating evidence, the state courts' conclusion that no reasonable probability had been shown that, but for petitioner's lawyer's alleged lack of investigation, the trial court would have failed to sentence petitioner to death, was a reasonable application of clearly established federal law; 2) the trial court did not clearly err in determining that a juror was credible in testifying that she would apply the law fairly; and 3) a question that potentially injected a non-statutory aggravating factor into petitioner's case was harmless.

Read Randolph v. McNeil, No. 08-12854

Appellate Information

Filed December 22, 2009

Judges

Per Curiam

US v. Banjoko, No. 09-11402

Defendant's conviction for stowing away on a vessel that entered U.S. jurisdiction is affirmed where: 1) intent to be transported to the U.S. was not an element of the 18 U.S.C. section 2199 offense; and 2) Congress intended to apply section 2199 extraterritorially, as indicated by the statute's language.

Read US v. Banjoko, No. 09-11402

Appellate Information

Filed December 23, 2009

Judges

Per Curiam

US v. Langston, No. 08-16356

Defendant's mail fraud, money laundering and wire fraud convictions are affirmed in part where the government properly indicted defendant as an agent of the Alabama Poison Control Center and of the State of Alabama under 18 U.S.C. section 666, and the evidence was sufficient to show that defendant acted in such capacities.  However, the judgment is reversed in part where, as to certain counts, the government indicted defendant as an agent of the State of Alabama under section 666, but he did not act as an agent of the state with respect to those counts.

Read US v. Langston, No. 08-16356

Appellate Information

Filed December 22, 2009

Judges

Opinion by Judge Dubina

US v. White, No. 08-10702

In the government's appeal of the district court's grant of defendant's motion for a new trial in a bribery prosecution, the order is reversed where defendant knowingly and voluntarily waived his constitutional right to be tried in the district in which his offense occurred.

Read US v. White, No. 08-10702

Appellate Information

Filed December 21, 2009

Judges

Opinion by Judge Siler

Rine v. Imagitas, Inc., No. 08-14880

In a class action regarding the disclosure and use of drivers' personal information under the Driver's Privacy Protection Act of 1994 (DPPA), summary judgment for defendant is affirmed where the inclusion of commercial advertising in renewal envelopes was a "legitimate agency function" under the DPPA.

Read Rine v. Imagitas, Inc., No. 08-14880

Appellate Information

Filed December 21, 2009

Judges

Opinion by Judge Fay

US v. English, No. 09-12788

Defendant's sentence for violating the terms of his supervised release is affirmed where, although defendant already served Florida's statutory maximum of five years in prison, the Assimilative Crimes Act's "like punishment" clause did not prohibit the court from sentencing him to an additional 24 months of imprisonment.

Read US v. English, No. 09-12788

Appellate Information

Filed December 16, 2009

Judges

Per Curiam

US v. Griffey, No. 09-11696

Defendant's conviction for failure to register as a sex offender as required by the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA) is affirmed where: 1) because Alabama had not implemented SORNA's requirements into its registry program during the time period charged in the indictment, Alabama did not have a duty to notify defendant of his duty to register; and 2) 18 U.S.C. section 2250(a) did not require that defendant specifically know that he was violating SORNA, but only that he "knowingly" violated a legal registration requirement upon relocating.

Read US v. Griffey, No. 09-11696

Appellate Information

Filed December 15, 2009

Judges

Per Curiam

National Mining Ass'n. v. Sec'y. of Labor, No. 08-14309

In an Administrative Procedure Act challenge to a Procedure Instruction Letter (PIL) promulgated by the Secretary of Labor's Mine Safety and Health Administration, plaintiffs' appeal is dismissed where, given that the whole context of the PIL was in a subject area controlled by individual case-by-case discretion, the PIL was a general statement of policy and, by its very nature, not a binding rule.

Read National Mining Ass'n. v. Sec'y. of Labor, No. 08-14309

Appellate Information

Filed December 15, 2009

Judges

Opinion by Judge Birch

Hopper v. Solvay Pharms., Inc., No. 08-15810

In a False Claims Act action claiming that defendant engaged in an off-label marketing campaign to increase sales of Marinol, a synthetic form of THC, for purposes not approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), dismissal of the complaint is affirmed where the court was unable to discern from the complaint a specific person or entity that was alleged to have presented a claim of any kind, let alone a false or fraudulent claim.

Read Hopper v. Solvay Pharms., Inc., No. 08-15810

Appellate Information

Filed December 4, 2009

Judges

Opinion by Judge Cox

Cummings v. Sec'y., Dept. of Corrs., No. 09-12416

In a capital habeas matter, denial of petitioner's habeas petition is affirmed where defense counsel did not provide ineffective assistance during the penalty phase because defendant clearly instructed counsel not to investigate or present mitigation evidence, and thus the scope of counsel's duty to investigate was significantly more limited than in the ordinary case.

Read Cummings v. Sec'y., Dept. of Corrs., No. 09-12416

Appellate Information

Filed December 4, 2009

Judges

Opinion by Judge Hull

In re: Coady, No. 09-11854

In debtor's appeal from a bankruptcy court's order sustaining creditor's objection to the discharge of debtor's debts, the order is affirmed where: 1) debtor acquired and concealed an equitable interest in his wife's businesses; and 2) the doctrine of continuing concealment provides for situations like this, in which a debtor kept his assets out of a creditor's reach during the look-back period by means of a sham ownership arrangement established more than one year before the bankruptcy petition was filed.

Read In re: Coady, No. 09-11854

Appellate Information

Filed December 3, 2009

Judges

Per Curiam

Mann v. Taser Int'l., Inc., No. 08-16951

In a 42 U.S.C. section 1983 and wrongful death action by the estate of a decedent against police deputies and the manufacturer of a Taser device used by police in apprehending decedent, summary judgment for defendants is affirmed where: 1) plaintiffs' statement of material facts accompanying their opposition to defendants' motion for summary judgment was convoluted, argumentative and nonresponsive, and thus the district court properly excluded it; 2) plaintiffs provided no admissible evidence to support their claim that use of the Taser caused the decedent's death; and 3) plaintiffs provided no evidence that defendants-deputies used excessive force or were deliberately indifferent to a serious medical need.

Read Mann v. Taser Int'l., Inc., No. 08-16951

Appellate Information

Argued: May 27, 2009

Decided: December 2, 2009

Judges

Opinion by Judge Fay