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

January 2011 Archives

Zisser v. Fla. Bar, No. 10-11974

Challenge to Florida Bar Peer Review

In Zisser v. Fla. Bar, No. 10-11974, a constitutional challenge to the confidential peer review part of the Florida Bar's certification rules, the court affirmed judgment for defendants where 1) the district court correctly reasoned that the Rooker-Feldman doctrine deprived it of jurisdiction to decide plaintiff's as-applied challenges; and 2) Shahawy and similar cases did not fit these circumstances because "unlike hospital staff privileges, which provide physicians with the ability to employ their skills at a hospital, board certification provides no such benefit and is irrelevant to an attorney's ability to practice or appear before any court."

 

US v. Townsend, No. 09-12797

Bribery Conviction Affirmed

In US v. Townsend, No. 09-12797, the court affirmed defendant's conviction for accepting bribes where 1) intangibles, such as freedom from jail and greater freedom while on pretrial release, were things of value under 18 U.S.C. section 666(a)(1)(B); 2) the market approach was a valid method for determining the value of an intangible obtained through bribery; and 3) there was enough evidence to support the jury's finding that defendant did help a suspect avoid apprehension.

US v. Townsend, No. 09-12797

Bribery Conviction Affirmed

In US v. Townsend, No. 09-12797, the court affirmed defendant's conviction for accepting bribes where 1) intangibles, such as freedom from jail and greater freedom while on pretrial release, were things of value under 18 U.S.C. section 666(a)(1)(B); 2) the market approach was a valid method for determining the value of an intangible obtained through bribery; and 3) there was enough evidence to support the jury's finding that defendant did help a suspect avoid apprehension.

US v. Diaz, No. 09-15421

Forcible Medication Order Affirmed

In US v. Diaz, No. 09-15421, the court affirmed the district court's order granting permission for the government to medicate defendant involuntarily with anti-psychotic medication to render him competent to stand trial for two armed robberies and other firearm offenses where, given the ample evidence presented by the government that defendant had, repeatedly and for a time period of over a year, refused to take medication, and that alternative treatments would be ineffective, the district court did not clearly err in concluding that the government had shown by clear and convincing evidence that involuntary medication was necessary to render defendant competent to stand trial.

 

Rodriguez v. U.S. Dept. of Homeland Sec., No. 09-14273

Challenge to Denial of Renewal of Plaintiff's Temporary Protective Status

In Rodriguez v. U.S. Dept. of Homeland Sec., No. 09-14273, an action challenging the denial of the renewal of plaintiff's temporary protective status in 2005 because the DHS's Citizenship and Immigration Service (CIS) concluded that plaintiff was ineligible because of his misdemeanor convictions, the court affirmed judgment for defendant where the state court accepted plaintiff's guilty plea, made a "finding of guilt," and imposed a sentence of time served, and this satisfies section 1101(a)(48)'s definition of a formal judgment of guilt.

 

US v. Ruff, No. 09-16304

Appeal from Firearm Sentence Dismissed

In US v. Ruff, No. 09-16304, the court dismissed defendant's appeal from his sentence for firearm and drug offenses, where defendant's appeal waiver was knowing and voluntary, and his sentence was not within either exception to the waiver.

 

Gonzalez v. Sec'y., Fla. Dept. of Corrs., No. 09-15599

Capital Habeas Matter

In Gonzalez v. Sec'y., Fla. Dept. of Corrs., No. 09-15599, a capital habeas matter, the court affirmed the denial of the petition where 1) whether or not petitioner was the "aggressor who had precipitated the shooting" was legally irrelevant to his first-degree murder conviction; and 2) the allegedly erroneous denial of petitioner's peremptory challenge presented only an issue of state law.

 

Doe v. Fulton-DeKalb Hosp. Auth., No. 08-14304

Action For Sexual Abuse by Substance Abuse Counselor

In Doe v. Fulton-DeKalb Hosp. Auth., No. 08-14304, an action claiming that, while being treated for opiate addiction in defendant's methadone clinic, plaintiffs were subjected to sexual harassment at the hands of a substance abuse counselor, the court affirmed partial summary judgment for defendant where 1) the complaint's factual allegations established that the worker acted purely for his own personal gratification and outside the scope of his employment in his mistreating of plaintiffs; 2) the complaint did not allege that any of the individual defendants procured the worker with the intent to injure the plaintiffs, such that any individual defendant would become a joint tortfeasor with the worker; and 3) the district court did not err in rejecting plaintiffs' claim that the worker's hiring constituted negligence per se.

 

US v. Nix, No. 09-15335

Firearm Possession Sentence Affirmed

In US v. Nix, No. 09-15335, the court affirmed defendant's sentence for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon where defendant's prior Fla. Stat. section 843.01 conviction constituted a violent felony under 18 U.S.C. section 924(e)(2)(B)(ii).