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

October 2012 Archives

Donkeys and FCC Orders: Court Lacks Jurisdiction to Hear Fee Case

In September, Eleventh Circuit Judge J.L. Edmondson called out fellow Circuit Judge Ed Carnes for his lengthy opinions. (While Judge Carnes' writing may be verbose, we gravitate toward his opinions because he is easily the most engaging writer on the Eleventh Circuit bench.)

This week, Judge Carnes authored a 25-page opinion explaining why a disgruntled Alabama telecomm customer can't recover improperly assessed fees from AT&T. In true Carnes fashion, rife with analogies about donkeys in lions' hides, Carnes explains why the district court didn't have subject matter jurisdiction to hear the case.

Eleventh Circuit: Concepcion Established No New Law

The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on Friday that Wells Fargo is stuck litigating overdraft fee class actions because it didn't move to compel arbitration when it had the chance to do so.

While Wells Fargo argued that it was justified in holding its arbitration motion until the Supreme Court decided AT&T Mobility LLC v. Concepcion, the Eleventh Circuit decided that Concepcion wasn't such a big deal in Wells Fargo's case.

It was simply a case of move it or lose it.

Is Florida's Capital Sentencing Statute Unconstitutional?

Paul Evans was indicted and convicted on one count of first-degree murder stemming from a murder-for-hire scheme in Florida. As is the practice in the Sunshine State, the indictment did not charge a sentencing stage aggravating circumstance.

After the jury convicted Evans of first degree murder, the trial court conducted a separate sentence proceeding in front of the jury to determine whether sufficient aggravating circumstances justified the death penalty, and whether sufficient mitigating circumstances outweighed those aggravating circumstances.

'Half-Baked' Insult and Wine Lead to Attorney Sanctions

The First Amendment doesn't give lawyers license to criticize judges in court pleadings, according to Lawyerist.

Monday, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals concluded that there's no authority for the idea that the First Amendment shields a lawyer who files an inappropriate and unprofessional pleading from sanctions.

Miccosukee Tribe Can't Use Tribal Sovereign Immunity in IRS Case

Indian tribes are required by law to deduct and withhold income taxes from gambling revenues paid to Indian tribe members. They’re also subject to backup withholding and reporting requirements.

This week, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals held that tribes cannot use tribal sovereign immunity to avoid a federal investigation into whether they complied with those tax obligations.

Cop Who Accidentally Shot Bystanders Gets Qualified Immunity

Joann Cooper and her two-year-old son, Daniel, were in the wrong place at the wrong time. Both were seriously injured when an armed bank robber attempted to elude the police by attempting to steal the car in which they were riding. Rather than allow the armed bank robber to escape with hostages, the officers on the scene fired their weapons at the suspect until he was neutralized.

Unfortunately, Cooper and her son were both hit by bullets intended for the bank robber. They later sued the Jacksonville Sheriff's Department and the individual officers.

Cop Had Reasonable Suspicion to Detain Name-Dropping Biker

Cab drivers are the modern day equivalent of the Greek oracles. In the last year, talkative cabbies have offered us tips on life, literature, and how to deal with a traffic stop.

We know the ins and out of search and seizure, but a cab driver held the key to avoiding a traffic ticket: Beat yourself up about how stupid you were to speed/roll through a stop sign/cut off a cyclist. Don't argue, don't play dumb. The cop may take pity on you and let you go.

What you don't want to do is pattern your counter-ticket tactics on today's Eleventh Circuit appellant.

Unfair Labor Practice Appeal: NLRB Loses 'Supervisor' Ruling

The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) this week in a dispute involving nursing home union designations, reports Legal Newsline.

Lakeland Healthcare Associates, LLC appealed a NLRB decision finding Lakeland in violation of sections 8(a)(5) and (1) of the National Labor Relations Act for its refusal to bargain with the United Food and Commercial Workers Union, Local 1625. While Lakeland admitted that it refused to bargain with the Union, it argued that its refusal did not violate the Act because the Union was improperly certified in the underlying representation proceedings.

Is That a C-Cell Battery in Your Pocket ...?

In case you were wondering, cops can make small talk with your client during a Terry search.

The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on Tuesday that a constitutionally-valid stop and frisk does not become unreasonable under the Fourth Amendment when the officer asks some brief questions unrelated to the reason for the stop and the purpose of the frisk.

After all, who could object to shooting the breeze with the fuzz while getting a patdown?