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

June 2012 Archives

Of all the appeals, in all the circuits, in all the country, the Supreme Court chose theirs.

Perhaps that's because the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals was the only appellate court to strike the individual mandate last year.

Drink Up, Atlanta: SCOTUS Denies Lake Lanier Water Rights Review

The Supreme Court refused to dive into an ongoing Lake Lanier water rights dispute this week, leaving Georgia as the big winner in what The Atlanta Journal-Constitution calls “the water wars.”

Florida, Alabama, and Georgia have been arguing over Lake Lanier water withdrawal rights for decades. While the Atlanta metro area relies on Lake Lanier as the primary water source for almost 3 million people, Florida and Alabama argued that Congress never intended for Lake Lanier to provide drinking water.

Court Upholds Buju Banton's Conviction for Cocaine Conspiracy

The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals upheld Jamaican reggae star Buju Banton's conviction for conspiracy to distribute cocaine on Thursday, reports The Associated Press.

Banton, whose real name is Mark Myrie, was convicted and sentenced to 10 years in prison last year in Tampa federal court, shortly after winning a Grammy for Best Reggae Album.

U.S. Can Prosecute MARPOL Violations on Foreign-Flagged Ships

Does the United States has jurisdiction to prosecute a nominated surveyor — i.e., a person who conducts a MARPOL survey on behalf of a foreign nation — for a knowing MARPOL violation while aboard a foreign-flagged ship docked in the United States?

According to Defendant Hugo Pena, it is the responsibility of the Flag State to conduct surveys and issue certificates, and therefore only the Flag State has jurisdiction to prosecute a surveyor for failure to conduct a proper MARPOL survey. The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals disagrees.

In a case of first impression for the court, (and quite possibly the country) the Eleventh Circuit ruled on Wednesday that the United States has jurisdiction to prosecute a surveyor for a MARPOL violation committed in a U.S. ports.

Racially Hostile Work Environment is Bananas. Literally.

An Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals panel ruled this week that banana peels on an employee's truck can form the basis of an employment discrimination lawsuit.

Cue Gwen Stefani's "Hollaback Girl," because this case is about to get bananas. (B-A-N-A-N-A-S.)

Court Upholds Flawed Constructive Possession Jury Instruction

Roderick Cochran was convicted for possessing with intent to distribute five grams or more of cocaine base and possessing with intent to distribute cocaine. The cocaine and cocaine base at issue were discovered when officers searched a residence; Cochran was standing in the driveway of that residence at the time of the search.

At trial, the government argued that, although Cochran lacked actual possession of the contraband, he constructively possessed the drugs.

Courts Says Bama Mugs are 'Mundane Products', Not Protected

Southern football fans love their college teams so much that there’s a market for realistic renderings of famous moments in college sports. Daniel Moore has made a career out of painting those moments, but he’s been battling his muse in court over the last seven years regarding his right to paint her.

In an intellectual property decision this week regarding Moore’s artwork and products featuring original images of University of Alabama sporting events, the Eleventh Circuit ruled that the Bama can’t use threats of copyright infringement to stop Moore from painting the Crimson Tide football team.

Free Webcast: Social Media for Law Firms

Can social media actually help lawyers land new clients? It depends on how you use it.

Thanks to personal blogs, professional blogs, and social networking, we've become a more "social" society while hiding behind our laptops and smartphones. (It's an observation, not a judgment; we're guilty, too.)

Tort Claim Against Bankrupt Graceland to be Resolved in Delaware?

Bankruptcy is a complex legal issue. Throw in a Chapter 11 cross-jurisdictional showdown between a state court and two bankruptcy courts, and it becomes a completely muddled mess.

The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals recently attempted to un-muddle that mess in Alderwoods Group, Inc., et al v. Reyvis Garcia, et al.

'Lewd Assault Act' is a Crime of Violence

The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals held this week that a “lewd assault act” qualifies as a crime of violence to support a sentencing enhancement.

William Cortes-Salazar, a citizen of Colombia, appealed his 57-month sentence for illegal reentry of a deported alien based on a 13-level sentencing enhancement. Prior to his illegal reentry offense, Cortes-Salazar was convicted in Florida for marijuana possession in 1990 and for commission of a “lewd assault act” in 1993, and removed from the United States in December 1995. He later reentered the United States without permission, was indicted for the illegal reentry, and pleaded guilty to the offense.