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

December 2013 Archives

Will Calls for Diversity Halt 11th Cir. Appointments Deal?

We knew that the rumored deal had been struck, and that the bipartisan nominees were pending, and we heard some rumblings about diversity concerns a few months back.

Even still, the latest out of Georgia came as a bit of a surprise. On Monday, civil rights leaders called for President Barack Obama to withdraw his nominees for judicial vacancies in the Eleventh Circuit, particularly two nominees in for Georgia-based federal district courts, citing one candidate's approval of a Confederate battle emblem on the state flag, and another candidate's support of a controversial state voter ID law.

Rumored Bipartisan Deal for 11th Cir. Seats Just Went Through

Who says there's no compromising in today's Washington D.C.?

Way back in September, we passed along a rumor that the White House was mulling over a "West Wing"-like deal to fill the numerous vacancies in the Eleventh Circuit. The Democrats would get their long-desired nominee, Jill Pryor, who was blocked by Georgia's Republican senators last year, while the Republicans would get their choice, Judge Julie Carnes, an extremely qualified district court judge appointed to the bench by President George H. W. Bush.

Judge Pryor's nomination has been pending for over a year. Judge Carnes's nomination was announced this morning.

Speaking of the district court, President Obama's list for those vacancies, sent to the Senate today, includes the Democrats' rumored choice, as well as the Republicans' rumored three choices.

Deference Dooms Dubious Murder for Hire Conviction: Brady or Lazy?

Here's what we know: Forrest "Jerry" Harris, Jr. was murdered. John Barfield hired either the defendant, Ernest Downs, or his former friend, Larry Johnson, to do the killing.

Johnson took a deal for immunity and fingered Downs. Barfield told his cellmate that Johnson did it, but the snitching cellmate's claims seem to have been ignored until after trial. Downs's attorney, Richard Brown, took an unethical contingency fee for the case, and presented no defense because he thought his client, and two alibi witnesses, were going to commit perjury (or because he was motivated by that contingency fee).

Everything about this conviction stinks. And yet Downs remains on death row.

Rule Changes: 11th Cir. Hikes Fees, Adopts Fed. Changes, and More

Did you wonder how that whole shutdown nonsense was going to affect you? If you guessed "fee hikes," you get a cookie. Well, not really, those aren't in the budget. But you do get to pay more for filing a case in the Eleventh Circuit, unless, of course, you work for a government agency.

(Government causes shut down. Government gets free cases. Private citizens pay the tab. God Bless 'Merica.)

And if you were just settling in to Eleventh Circuit practices, procedures, and rules, we have more bad news: the rules just changed, both locally and federal system-wide.