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The Federal Arbitration Act comes into play once again, this time in a case from the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals. Last month, you'll recall, the Arkansas Supreme Court struck an arbitration agreement that wasn't mutual -- the phone company, Alltel, could enforce the arbitration clause against customers, but not the other way around.

The Eleventh Circuit in Inetianbor v. CashCall, Inc. affirmed the district court's refusal to compel arbitration due to a forum selection clause and a forum that was unavailable.

Bargain-basement airline company Spirit Airlines is known for a lot of things. Some of them include very cheap fares; others include nickel-and-diming and a "Draconian" cancellation policy (according to The Atlantic) that allows Spirit to cancel a customer's reservation, without notice, and without compensation, if the customer isn't at the boarding gate 15 minutes before the flight (even if he's already checked in).

Bryan Ray was fed up with this. Not only did he file a class action against Spirit, but he made his a civil RICO claim. That's right: He said Spirit was engaged in "racketeering," and the predicate crimes were mail and wire fraud due to Spirit's penchant for charging ancillary "fees" that placed the final price of a ticket well beyond what the customer was told it would cost.

This is an important case to check out if you work in the debt collection industry, or you work against the debt collection industry.

Two plaintiffs, with nearly identical back-stories, had outstanding medical bills. Neither paid their bills. Both accounts were referred to Franklin Collection Service, Inc., after the original healthcare providers tacked on a "collection fee" of 30 to 33.3 percent. Franklin had agreements with both providers that awarded it 30 percent of whatever it collected.

The difference? One plaintiff, Calma, signed an agreement that allowed for "all costs of collection including reasonable interest, reasonable attorney's fees (if suit is filed) and reasonable collection agency fees," while the other, Bradley, signed an agreement that agreed that he would be responsible for the "costs of collection."

Court Lets Atlanta Water Dispute Flow Into Mediation

Atlanta, the city best known for its "Real Housewives" cast and streets with peachy names, could soon have a new claim to fame as the city with the most legal battles involving water rights.

Earlier this year, the Supreme Court refused to hear the tri-state battle between Florida, Alabama, and Georgia over Atlanta's dependence on Lake Lanier as its primary water source.

This week, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against Atlanta in a separate aquatic dispute over the southern mega-city's water contract with its neighbor, Sandy Springs.

Donkeys and FCC Orders: Court Lacks Jurisdiction to Hear Fee Case

In September, Eleventh Circuit Judge J.L. Edmondson called out fellow Circuit Judge Ed Carnes for his lengthy opinions. (While Judge Carnes' writing may be verbose, we gravitate toward his opinions because he is easily the most engaging writer on the Eleventh Circuit bench.)

This week, Judge Carnes authored a 25-page opinion explaining why a disgruntled Alabama telecomm customer can't recover improperly assessed fees from AT&T. In true Carnes fashion, rife with analogies about donkeys in lions' hides, Carnes explains why the district court didn't have subject matter jurisdiction to hear the case.

Check the Venue Before You File a Cruise Ship Claim

The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals reviews a lot of cruise line lawsuits, thanks to the volume of ships going in and out of Florida. Most of the time, the appellate court seems to favor the plaintiffs in these cases. Most of the time, the cruise lines are arguing that liability waivers preclude claims.

A cruise line fares better when it argues improper venue based on the passage contract.

Zombie Law: Arbitration Agreements Bind the Dead and the Undead

Nursing homes. We can't live without them, and sometimes we can't live in them either. So how can you resolve a wrongful death claim against a nursing home?

The answer depends on whether the patient who resided at the home signed an arbitration agreement, according to the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals.

Bank of America Wins EFTA Violation Appeal

Modern banking affords customers with peace of mind. Picture this: A ne'er-do-well wipes out the funds in a bank customer's account. No problem. The Electronic Fund Transfer Act (EFTA) says that the bank will recredit the account if the withdrawals were unauthorized.

Before you start sweating the law on behalf of your banking clients, rest assured that the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals is a stickler for that "unauthorized" caveat.

Eleventh Circuit Sends More Overdraft Litigation to Arbitration

The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals is full of overdraft litigation.

In March, we told you about Maxine Given, an Eleventh Circuit litigant who was challenging an M&T checking account arbitration clause. This week, we have Lacy Barras, a Branch Banking and Trust (BB&T) customer who claims that BB&T charges overdraft fees for payments from checking accounts, even when the account contains sufficient funds to cover the payments.

Barras also alleged that BB&T supplies inaccurate and misleading information about account balances, and fails to notify customers about changes to policies for processing checking account transactions, thereby increasing overdraft charges assessed against customers.

Eleventh Circuit Reinstates Another FDCPA Claim

This week, we have another Fair Debt Collection Practice Act (FDCPA) claim in which the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that homeowners could sue attorneys acting as debt collectors.

Yes, attorneys are being sued, and you don't want to be one of them, so you need to heed the court’s warnings.