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Last February, Ashley Diamond sued the Georgia Department of Corrections in federal court. A transgender woman, Diamond was housed in a men's prison, denied medical treatment, and repeatedly sexually assaulted, she alleged -- all while the state refused to take corrective action.

This Monday, she was unexpectedly granted parole. Her release comes months before her case was scheduled for review and less than three years into her 11 year sentence. Diamond's suit  shed light on the frequent neglect and abuse transgender inmates face and it quickly became a "thorn in the side of the Georgia Department of Corrections," according to The New York Times.

Don Siegelman, the former Governor of Alabama, lost his motion for a new trial last week. Siegelman was convicted of bribery, mail fraud and obstruction of justice in 2006, following an investigation that many Democrats argued was politically motivated, but which Republicans claimed revealed extensive corruption.

After a series of appeals, Siegelman moved for a new trial, based on allegations that U.S. Attorney Leura Canary participated in his prosecution after she had disqualified herself due to conflicts of interest. The Eleventh Circuit rejected his claims, finding that Canary's involvement did not deprive him of his right to a disinterested prosecutor.

11th Cir. Affirms Judgment for SEC in CyberKey Fraud Case

A company making USB drives discovered that honesty isn't just the best policy -- it's the only policy that the SEC likes. Following some questionable press releases and financial disclosures, the SEC investigated the company and its PR firm, then filed a civil action against them.

A jury found in favor of the SEC at trial. On appeal, the Eleventh Circuit affirmed the judgment in this case of a fairly ham-handed scheme to boost stock prices by lying (and not doing it very well).

The Top 11 Stories From the 11th Cir. for 2014

A federal judge allegedly gets into a physical fight with his wife. A lawyer gets "seized" at a security checkpoint when she refuses to take off her coat. A child pornographer gets a rehearing because his lawyer was late coming back from lunch.

These were among the most-viewed posts in FindLaw's U.S. Eleventh Circuit Blog this year (though, honestly, a lot of really good ones were missing; c'mon folks, what's wrong with bagel envy?).

For your reading enjoyment, here were the Top 11 blog posts (because it's the Eleventh Circuit, get it?) in 2014:

Fla. Orthodontist's Suit Against Obamacare Mandate Is Dismissed

The new hotness in suing over the Affordable Care Act took a hit at the Eleventh Circuit today, with the court denying relief to Kawa Orthodontics in a dispute over the delay of the ACA's employer mandate.

Kawa Orthodontics, owned by Larry Kawa (a noted figure in the Republican Party), apparently spent a bunch of money on figuring out how to comply with the mandate. Then, wouldn't you know it, the Treasury Department delayed enforcement of the employer mandate for another year, then another year. The bizarre thing is that, when Kawa filed its lawsuit, it didn't ask for that money back; rather, it just sought a declaratory judgment and injunction finding Treasury's delayed enforcement unlawful.

5 Things to Be Thankful for in the Eleventh Circuit

As we give thanks this year, we wondered, what is there to be thankful for in the Eleventh Circuit? It runs the gamut from the rural Alabama, north to the cosmopolitan Florida coast, with a heavy dose of swamp in between, so there are a lot of things to be thankful for.

Here are some of our favorites.

Ala. Senators Call for Judge Mark Fuller's Resignation

Since we last brought you the story of Judge Mark Fuller, the Alabama federal district court judge accused of domestic violence, a lot has changed: America has suddenly decided it's a lot less tolerant of domestic violence than it was before NFL player Ray Rice's video appeared on TMZ.

Now, both of Alabama's Republican U.S. senators -- Richard Shelby and Jeff Sessions -- have called on Fuller to resign.

Alabamans File Class Action for Patient Data Hack

It's been a slow week in the Eleventh Circuit. Last week, though, was a doozey. A Florida judge ruled the state's same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional. Alabama's Supreme Court said that injured consumers could go after brand-name pharmaceutical companies for problems caused by generics (provoking no small amount of controversy).

With high courts in each state in the Eleventh remaining quiet, this week we have some (alleged) Chinese hackers and a class action lawsuit.

Ala. Abortion-Doctor Law Is Unconstitutional, District Court Rules

Hot on the heels of a similar ruling in Mississippi last week, a federal judge in Alabama has also declared part of the state's abortion law unconstitutional.

As in Mississippi, the issue in Alabama was the constitutionality of a state law requiring doctors administering abortions to have admitting privileges at local hospitals. (Laws requiring admitting privileges are being used to try to eliminate access to abortions in several states, mainly in the South.)

Judge Myron Thompson's 172-page opinion in Planned Parenthood v. Strange found that the Alabama's Women's Health and Safety Act of 2013 is an "impermissible undue burden" that would "have the striking result of closing three of Alabama's five abortion clinics, clinics which perform only early abortions, long before viability."

Fla. Law Upheld: Doctors Can't Ask Patients About Gun Ownership

In a 2-1 decision, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a Florida statute prohibiting doctors from asking about patients' gun ownership. The Eleventh Circuit's opinion reverses a controversial District Court decision -- known in the media as "Docs v. Glocks" -- that found the law unconstitutional.

The Firearm Owners Privacy Act, passed in 2011, prevents a physician from inquiring into a patient's firearm ownership unless that ownership is relevant to the patient's medical care. Violation of the law could lead to a physician's license being suspended or revoked, along with a $10,000 fine.

The statute followed an American Medical Association policy enactment encouraging doctors to talk to patients about firearms in homes with children, according to The Christian Science Monitor. Almost immediately after the law's passage, several doctors and medical organizations sued the state of Florida, alleging that the law infringed on their First Amendment free speech rights.

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