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

July 2011 Archives

Plaintiff Must Win Judgment to Win Attorney's Fees

The Eleventh Circuit issued a reminder this week that a plaintiff must actually win a judgment from the court in order to win attorney's fees.

The court ruled on Thursday that an employer who denies liability for nonpayment for overtime work is not required to pay the employee's attorney's fees and costs if he tenders the full amount claimed by the employee and subsequently wins a motion to dismiss the employee's complaint on mootness grounds.

Courts Must Correct Pro Se Defendant's Misunderstandings

The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on Wednesday that a court has a duty to correct a pro se criminal defendant regarding his obvious misunderstanding of the law.

The case, U.S.A. v. Hung Thien Ly, involved a Georgia doctor charged with 129 counts of unlawfully dispensing certain controlled substances outside the usual course of medical practice without a legitimate purpose. Ly asked the court to appoint counsel, arguing that he would otherwise be forced to represent himself because he could not afford an attorney; his request was denied because he allegedly placed all his assets in his wife’s name to obtain counsel at public expense.