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Scenario #1: You took a DUI defense case for a fixed fee. She's a first time offender, no record, barely over the limit, but the case is strong. It's probably going to plead out, right? This case should not take a lot of time, except someone needs to spend hours answering every single one of her questions. You know this type of client -- the freaked out emails/phone calls/texts come every hour.

Scenario #2: There are fourteen courthouses in Miami, Florida, some state, some federal. Your client has both a misdemeanor marijuana possession charge, and a child custody dispute. Somehow, he ended up at the federal courthouse. How do you get him where he needs to go?

Whether your client needs a general overview of the law, a local perspective, or simply a map to the courthouse, we're making your job easier -- starting right now.

The seat was Judge William Thomas's, until it wasn't. He was approved by both Florida senators, vetted, and appeared set for the nomination to replace now-Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Adalberto Jordan. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) had a change of heart and blue-slip blocked the nomination, allegedly due to Judge Thomas's "judicial temperament" and doubt about his ability to hand out fair sentences.

Many believe the move was political, and due to Judge Thomas's sexual orientation.

There won't be a change of heart, it seems, as the district court seat is now set to be filled by Judge Robin Rosenberg (not to be confused with Judge Robin Rosenbaum, who was recently nominated to the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals bench after a few years with the district court). She comes to the federal court from the state court bench.

We've been over and over the deal between the Obama Administration and Georgia Republicans that will place three of the latter's picks on the district court, and one on the Circuit Court of Appeals, in exchange for two Obama appointments to the Circuit Court and one to the district court.

Diversity proponents were immediately outraged by the Republicans' nominations, but one nominee in particular has drawn groups' ire for his actions as a state legislator: Judge Michael Boggs.

AG Strange Inducted Into ALF Fellows Program by 11th Cir. Judge Bill Pryor

Attorney General Luther Strange was recently inducted into the Fellows program of the Alabama Law Foundation.

Strange was nominated by former Attorney General William Holcombe Pryor, who now serves as a judge for the Eleventh Circuit. Yes, he's the same Judge Pryor embroiled in a nude photo scandal.

But what is the Fellows program and, more importantly, why aren't you a member?

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.

Earlier this month, Congress did the unthinkable: they invoked the so-called "nuclear option" and removed the filibuster option for blocking the president's nominees from being brought to a vote, with the exception of Supreme Court nominations.

Though much attention (rightfully) has been paid to the D.C. Circuit, with its three vacancies, and its importance in national matters, we're more concerned with the local impact. Will the removal of the filibuster allow thirteen Eleventh Circuit vacancies (four of which are on the circuit court of appeals itself) to be filled in a timely manner, or will the oft-forgotten Blue Slips tactic rise up in its place?

Rarely do you see judges use harsh language towards each other in opinions. You'll see phrases like "respectfully dissent," along with a lot of deferential disagreement, but rarely will you see descriptors like, "astonishing," "outrageous," and "totally unfounded" tossed back-and-forth to describe each other's conclusions.

But that's exactly what we have here, in an otherwise unremarkable sentencing case involving an undocumented immigrant who made an illegal reentry after being deported for a domestic violence conviction. Senior Judge Peter Fay and Obama-appointee Judge Beverly Martin exchanged verbal jabs after Judge Martin, in dissent, accused the circuit court of only deferring to state courts' interpretations of law when it favored stiffer sentences.

Free Webcast: Social Media for Law Firms

Can social media actually help lawyers land new clients? It depends on how you use it.

Thanks to personal blogs, professional blogs, and social networking, we've become a more "social" society while hiding behind our laptops and smartphones. (It's an observation, not a judgment; we're guilty, too.)

Georgia Senators Withholding Blue Slips in Jill Pryor Nomination

It looks like there’s a holdup in Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals nominee Jill Pryor’s confirmation. Georgia Senators Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson have not submitted “blue slips” to allow the Senate Judiciary Committee to proceed with a hearing on Pryor, reports The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Chambliss and Isakson indicated to the White House in January that they would not block Jill Pryor's nomination to the bench, though they preferred Troutman Sanders partner Mark Cohen for the position. The Journal-Constitution noted that Cohen served as executive counsel and chief of staff to former Gov. Zell Miller, a conservative Democrat, while Pryor often donates to Democrats, and gave $2,500 to Obama's re-election campaign.

Law Firm Marketing: How to Define Your Brand

After years of Head & Shoulders' "You never get a second chance to make a first impression" commercials, we're basically convinced that initial perceptions are how we will be judged in life. Sure, it was a marketing campaign, and we shouldn't base our life choices on what Madison Avenue says, but repetitive messages have a hypnotic effect.

For lawyers, that message is probably true. If a prospective client goes online to find an attorney and is unimpressed by a lawyer's website, the attorney probably won't get the gig. That's just one reason why lawyers need to focus on building an effective brand.