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

A recent decision of the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals helps to provide OSHA and OSHA-regulated businesses with some certainty as to when the courts should issue an administrative search warrant sought by OSHA.

The case, USA v. Mar-Jac Poultry, involved a large poultry processor that reported an industrial injury to OSHA, as required, then became the subject of what it contended was undue scrutiny. After OSHA succeeded in getting a warrant issued for, pretty much, a full search, Mar-Jac successful fought to quash the warrant. When the district court agreed, and essentially told OSHA to seek a more limited warrant, OSHA appealed.

Ricin Possession Charges Dropped for Technicality

Sometimes, a criminal case falls through the cracks.

It shouldn't happen, and everybody knows that -- especially when it's a terrible crime. That's what a federal judge had to deal with in Georgia.

A white supremacist had been charged with possession of ricin -- a biological toxin that can kill you just by inhaling it. But the judge dismissed the case because lawmakers "inexplicably" took it off the dangerous toxin list.

A recent decision out of the Eleventh Circuit may have arbitration agreements the nation over getting rewritten.

The JPay v. Kobel case concerned whether JPay customers were limited to the federal court to have class claims heard. After the district court decided that the customers were in fact limited to the federal court, despite the existence of an arbitration agreement, the matter was dismissed on summary judgment. Fortunately for the customers though, the appellate court held that the lower court made a significant error requiring reversal.

Paper Ballot Ruling in Georgia Appealed to 11th Circuit

Georgia officials are appealing a ruling for a lawsuit that alleges the state's electronic voting system is vulnerable to hackers.

In Curling v. Kemp, a federal judge said the state should implement a new, more secure electoral system. But she stopped short of ordering the state to use paper ballots to backup the system in the meantime.

According to experts in the case, the state's system is especially prone to attack because there is no paper trail to preserve votes. The U.S. Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals will decide whether that matters.

It's not often that a court will go out of its way to expound on how a prior court got it wrong when it is nonetheless bound to follow that court's precedent.

However, in the recent Bayview Park cross case, the Eleventh Circuit didn't hold back on explaining how the prior Eleventh Circuit panel got it so wrong. Despite the fact that the whole decision could have fit within a few pages, the judges devoted over 80 pages, with each of the panel judges writing separate concurrences practically begging for the en banc court to rehear and overturn the case.

First Amendment Protects Sharing Food With Homeless People

Despite the best public relations, Florida has a hard time living downs its reputation.

It used to be famous for orange juice and moon shots, but that started to change about the time "hanging chads" became a phrase. Even with a Disney resort, Florida has not been the happiest place on earth for everybody.

Thanks to a city ordinance at issue in Fort Lauderdale Food Not Bombs v. City of Fort Lauderdale, Forbes said Fort Lauderdale is "infamous for cracking down on compassion." That's what happens when you outlaw feeding the homeless.

Court 'Begrudgingly' Strikes Alabama's Ban on Second-Trimester Abortions

If the U.S. Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals had its way, abortion would be illegal.

At least that's what three judges of the appeals court seemed to say in West Alabama Women's Center v. Williamson. They affirmed a decision that gutted Alabama's ban on second-trimester abortions, but it wasn't easy for them.

They called the banned procedure "dismemberment abortion" because "it involves tearing apart and extracting piece-by-piece" the unborn fetus. Judge Joel Frederick Dubina, in a concurring opinion, said what the judges were really thinking: "Roe v. Wade has no basis in the Constitution." 

Autistic Kids Proceed to Trial Against Disney

Disneyland is famous for Mickey Mouse and really long lines. And that's a problem -- the long lines, not Mickey Mouse.

According to plaintiffs in a class-action, the lines at Disney's theme parks are even worse for them. They are autistic children, and they want to cut to the front.

In A.L. v. Walt Disney Parks and Resorts US, a federal appeals court said the plaintiffs may proceed. It doesn't mean they will get a pass, but at least they'll get a trial.

$100,000 Lesson on Employee Arbitration Agreements

Be careful what you ask for.

That should be the mantra for lawyers who advise businesses about arbitration clauses in employment agreements. It's cheap advice, given the real cost of arbitration.

In Hernandez v. Acosta, it turned out to be a $100,000 lesson. That's how much the employer owed in arbitration fees, which far exceeded the company's liability to one worker.

One Alabama lawyer is learning a harsh lesson courtesy of the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals and his attempt to fight a foreclosure on behalf of his clients.

In addition to having his appeal thrown out and his ability to draft a complaint trashed in a published federal appellate opinion, he was ordered to show cause as to why he shouldn't pay double his opponent's fees, costs and expenses. However, before you start to break out the tiny violins, it might not be the worst idea to take a look at what the appellate court had to say in Jackson v. Bank of America.