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

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Based on a recent ruling out of the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, one seemingly rogue attorney, Austin Burdick, has failed in his quest for revenge against five Supreme Court Justices, specifically: Justices Kennedy, Breyer, Ginsberg, Sotomayor, and Kagan. Burdick was claiming, and you may need to read this twice, that:

"...he suffered a concrete injury when the Justices 'rendered the Constitution a nullity' in Obergefell, preventing him from making certain arguments to 'protect his clients' constitutional rights' and depriving him of his interest in his law license."

As it might be expected, Burdick's implausible appeal of the sua sponte dismissal of his case was denied. The district court judge relied on Burdick's lack of standing to pursue the matter, in addition to the lack of a plausible claim.

No Police Liability for Flashbang Grenade Injuries, 11th Cr. Rules

A SWAT team gathered before dawn to plot their attack on a suspected drug dealer in Clayton County, Georgia.

Police knew Jason Ward had a nine-millimeter handgun, so the officers had obtained a "no-knock" warrant that allowed them to break into Ward's apartment without notice. They would use flashbang grenades to disorient him and break through a glass window as a distraction.

Ward and his girlfriend, Treneshia Dukes, were asleep in the bedroom when Ward was awakened by a "boom" and then heard his "window break and shattering," a court record said. "Next, he remembered 'Treneshia screaming,' telling 'her to get down,' then grabbing the 'pistol up under my head -- up under my pillow,' and 'kicking it into the hallway.'

Dukes heard a "boom, and then the window like rattling and shattering ..., and like as I'm waking up I just seen an object coming towards me."

11th Circuit Applies Vagueness Principles in Favor of Defendant

Here is another ruling by an appeals court that favored the petitioning defendant. In the case of In Re: Recardo Pinder, the criminal defendant appealed the heightened penal sentence and successfully showed the higher appellate court that he'd brought "a new rule of constitutional law" before the court.

It was a long shot, but it did the trick.

Alabama can't ban consumer protection class actions, the Eleventh Circuit ruled yesterday. The state's consumer protection law prohibits deceptive practices, but doesn't allow wronged consumers to bring class actions. That put it in conflict with the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure which, at least in federal court, allow class action suits.

Applying highly fractured Supreme Court precedent, the Eleventh Ruled that the federal rules trump the state law. The ruling allows plaintiffs to continue to pursue their class action, in federal court, against wood manufacturers who allegedly failed to properly treat their wood.

If you sabotage your own trial, don't expect a successful appeal in the Eleventh. That's the lesson a Georgia man who stole over $4 million in a yearlong credit card scam learned the hard way, recently.

Jean-Daniel Perkins attempted to avoid conviction by refusing counsel and not attending his trial. Perkins thought he had found "one weird trick" to beat the legal system. And now, judges do hate him, and his tricks didn't work.


Poultry Handlers Use RICO to Sue Over Illegal Immigrant Coworkers

Mellissa Simpson started at $8.50 per hour in 2008. When she quit in 2010, she was making $11.40.

Sabrina Roberts made $8.50 to start in 2009, and $11.55 when she left in 2010.

Were these unskilled poultry handlers underpaid? Better yet, were they underpaid because their wages were artificially suppressed by the alleged hiring of a pool of undocumented immigrant workers?

This was the crux of their class action civil RICO argument, one that just got Twombley'd in the Eleventh Circuit.

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.

Historically Black College Pays for Racial Slurs, Bad Lawyers

A double bench-slapping? Yes, please.

Alabama State University recently found itself on the losing end of a racial and sexual harassment verdict, brought after three former employees alleged that they were subject to repeated harassment and usage of the words "n----" and "b----" by one of their supervisors.

The other supervisor reportedly sexually harassed at least one of the women, and threatened retaliation if the women participated in the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's investigation.

Blondes Don't Have More Fun When Their Scalps Are Burning

As Judge Ed Carnes notes this week, "behind every beautiful thing there's been some kind of pain."

That's right: Our favorite Eleventh Circuit jurist is quoting Bob Dylan as he gives a dissatisfied bottle blonde another shot at her products liability claim.

'Half-Baked' Insult and Wine Lead to Attorney Sanctions

The First Amendment doesn't give lawyers license to criticize judges in court pleadings, according to Lawyerist.

Monday, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals concluded that there's no authority for the idea that the First Amendment shields a lawyer who files an inappropriate and unprofessional pleading from sanctions.