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

March 2013 Archives

Who Needs Proof? You're Serving Time for Murder Regardless

Archery Lynn Overstreet, in addition to having a highly unfortunate name, also has an exceptionally sordid past. In 1986, while on probation for a burglary, he joined his brother, Clifford Carter, burglarized a home, and stole 13 firearms and a car. The duo then shot a police officer (and missed another) after they were pulled over for a seatbelt violation. They fled to a relative's apartment complex, where they abducted, sexually assaulted, and shot a woman. She miraculously survived, despite four bullet wounds and a fall down an embankment.

He served 22 years of a 60 year sentence before being paroled in 2008. In 2010, he cut off his ankle monitor and fled Texas. He was caught a month later in Florida with a loaded gun and a roll of bloody duct tape. His wife, Taffy Overstreet, has never been found.

Atheists Lose Because You Can't Please Everybody

Lakeland, Florida used to have this ... thing. Before every city council meeting, they'd have a Christian chaplain lead a prayer. Obviously, this leaves out a lot of people. Tradition is one thing, but you've got to balance that with the feelings, rights, and religions of others, right?

So they changed it up. Each year, a staff member is supposed to mail out invitations to every recognized religious organization. The first to respond are invited to lead the invocation at one of the meetings. It's diverse, it's inclusive, it's all warm feelings and happiness.

Don't Wait to Object to Jury Verdict Inconsistency

Megan Sands was seriously injured in a jet ski accident in 2006 while in the Bahamas.

Sands filed a products liability action against Kawasaki, the jet ski manufacturer, under maritime law. The jury returned a verdict in favor of Sands on her design defect claim, and awarded her $3 million, The Nassau Guardian reports. The district court ultimately entered judgment for $1.5 million because the jury found that she was 50 percent responsible for her injuries. Sands appealed, arguing that the jury’s award of $0 for pain and suffering was legally inadequate and against the “manifest weight” of the evidence.

Reviewing the facts of the case, it seems that she has a point. But the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the district court’s verdict this week. Let’s discuss where Sands’ case went wrong.

Drug Company's Private Docs Revealed for SCOTUS Briefing

Solvay, since acquired by Abbott Laboratories (and renamed AbbVie), makes a topical testosterone cream, which is protected by a patent until 2020 and has brought in $1.8 billion in revenue. Like many pharmaceutical companies, it sought to protect its product from an invasion of generic clones. It did so by filing a lawsuit.

That lawsuit settled after Solvay agreed to kick back proceeds from their sales to the now-abstaining generic producers. That may sound quite a bit like anti-competitive behavior, and if your alarms went off, you're in tune with the FTC. The problem is, these "reverse payment" arrangements are perfectly legal under existing law, as part of the right to exploit one's patent.

Derivative Citizenship Flip-Flopping Leads to Court Confusion

One of the many provisions of the Illegal Immigrant Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 removed federal courts' jurisdiction to hear lawsuits brought "by or on behalf of any alien arising from the decision or action by the Attorney General to commence proceedings, adjudicate cases, or execute removal orders against any alien."

Julien Belleri is a citizen. Or maybe he isn't. They still haven't figured it out yet. You see, until 1994, he lived with both of his parents in Columbia and the United States.

In 1994, his parents signed a "Conciliation Agreement" which in practice was a written custody arrangement that provided for shared custody, though his primary residence would be with his father. The document refers to his parents as "spouses", though it is apparently unclear whether the document amounts to legal separation under Columbian law.

REAL Requires ILJ to Provide Real Reasons for Calling BS

Xiu Ying Wu illegally entered the United States on August 2, 2008. A mere 18 days later, she was served with notice to appear. That's impressively efficient, isn't it?

She asked for asylum and withholding of removal because of alleged persecution by family-planning officials in the Fujian Province. She had apparently been illegally cohabitating with her boyfriend, who accidentally impregnated her. The officials' response, according to Wu, was to perform a forced abortion. They also got her fired from her job and fined both her and the father of the unborn child.

11th Circuit: Underage Occupy Kids Can't Meet in Bars

The Indigo Room is a bar. Bars serve alcohol. This bar also serves as a meeting place for the "Occupy Fort Myers" movement. Obviously, political activists come in all, shapes, sizes, colors, genders, and ages, but not all ages are allowed inside of bars.

Dylan Jones is 19 year old supporter of the Occupy movement. He went into the Indigo Room to attend a petition drive (and sign a petition) requesting an ethics investigation of the Fort Myers mayor. On his way out, he was handed a ticket by the local police for violating Fort Myers, Fla., Code § 6-83, which prohibits underage individuals from entering alcoholic beverage establishments while alcohol is being served. The only exceptions are:

There's No 'Substantial Special Need' for Welfare Drug Testing

Some people believe that public assistance applicants should be required to submit to suspicionless drug testing in order to receive welfare benefits. Others question the assumption that poor people use drugs at a higher rate than rich people, and denounce suspicionless testing as unconstitutional, scientifically unsound, fiscally irresponsible.

It turns out that the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals falls in the second camp.