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

August 2012 Archives

I've Been Injured on the Railroad: Now What?

A lawyer generally needs to plead the facts of a tort claim with specificity, but a plaintiff can survive summary judgment in a Federal Employers' Liability Act (FELA) claim, even when a few facts are missing.

The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruled this week that a railroad employee can proceed with his claim against Norfolk Southern Railway Company (Norfolk Southern), even though he couldn't identify the rail car that allegedly caused his injury.

Comments by Candlelight? Judicial Conference Proposes Amendments

As of Monday night, more than 30,000 residents in Broward and Palm Beach Counties were without power thanks to Tropical Storm/Hurricane Isaac.

So what’s a lawyer to do while waiting for the power to return?

First, consider purchasing a generator for the next storm. Then, review the Judicial Conference’s proposed amendments to the Federal Rules of Practice and Procedure on your wee, back-lit smartphone screen.

Court OKs Georgia's 'Papers Please' Law

The big news of out of the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals this week centered on state immigration laws. After deciding in March to defer consideration of the Alabama and Georgia immigration laws, the Atlanta-based court cranked out two opinions this week on the constitutionality of state efforts to rein in illegal immigration.

Earlier this week, we discussed the Eleventh Circuit's decision to strike an Alabama law requiring public elementary and secondary schools to classify students as either lawfully or unlawfully present within the United States. But where the Alabama student status verification failed, the Georgia "papers please" provision succeeded.

11th Cir Strikes Alabama School Immigration Status Checks

Alabama students won’t be subject to immigration status verification as they head back to school this year.

The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on Monday that the school immigration status verification provision of Alabama’s HB 56 violates the Equal Protection Clause, reports Education Week.

11th Cir: Thou Shalt Not Remove the 10 Commandments Quite Yet

Dixie County's 5-foot, 6-ton Ten Commandments monument can keep standing while the courts decide whether the plaintiff who complained about the statue has standing.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Florida, Inc. sued Dixie County in 2007, arguing that a Ten Commandments monument in front of the county courthouse violates the First Amendment's Establishment Clause. The County moved for summary judgment, claiming that plaintiff John Doe, the ACLU member through whom the ACLU claimed standing, could not demonstrate an actual injury that he had suffered as a result of the display. The district court denied the motion, and eventually granted summary judgment in favor of the ACLU.

Standing, however, still matters to the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals.

Zombie Law: Arbitration Agreements Bind the Dead and the Undead

Nursing homes. We can't live without them, and sometimes we can't live in them either. So how can you resolve a wrongful death claim against a nursing home?

The answer depends on whether the patient who resided at the home signed an arbitration agreement, according to the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals.

Order Enforcing Settlement Not a Specific Performance Order

Jurisdiction may not be the most interesting topic an attorney encounters, but it's at the heart of most of our work.

Tuesday, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals decided that a district court's order that a defendant pay $5 million to a plaintiff pursuant to a settlement agreement was not appealable.

The appellate court noted in the opinion that it lacked jurisdiction to hear the appeal.

Why, you ask?

Bank of America Wins EFTA Violation Appeal

Modern banking affords customers with peace of mind. Picture this: A ne'er-do-well wipes out the funds in a bank customer's account. No problem. The Electronic Fund Transfer Act (EFTA) says that the bank will recredit the account if the withdrawals were unauthorized.

Before you start sweating the law on behalf of your banking clients, rest assured that the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals is a stickler for that "unauthorized" caveat.