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

December 2017 Archives

Court Revives Officer's Tase-Me-Not Case

Jacqueline Lewis had a good reason not to get tased as part of her police training.

Nobody wants to get tased, but Lewis had another reason. She had a minor heart condition, and her doctor said she should not be subjected to the shock devices.

So the Union City Police Department didn't tase her; it fired her. She sued and asked for a jury to decide her case, and the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals saw it her way in Lewis v. City of Union City.

Medicare Fraudster's Conviction Affirmed

For the defendant in a multi-million dollar fraud case, it was not a good sign when a juror walked into deliberations wearing a T-shirt that said, "American Greed."

After the jury returned a guilty verdict, the defense attorney filed a motion to interview the juror to find out if he had pre-judged the case and influenced other jurors. The trial judge denied the motion, and an appeals court affirmed.

In United States of America v. Nerey, the U.S. Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals said the juror's T-shirt message was not enough to prove he was unfair. After all, the court noted, it's a television show.

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?