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

April 2014 Archives

11th Cir. Allows Discovery by Victims of Perv's Plea Negotiations

Something about this deal stinks.

In 2006, according to the Eleventh Circuit, Jeffrey Epstein was investigated by the FBI for sexually abusing "several minor girls." He was eventually non-pros'd by the U.S. Attorney's Office as part of a plea deal in which he would plead guilty to state charges of solicitation of prostitution and procurement of minors to engage in prostitution.

Paul Cassell, the attorney for two of Epstein's victims, describes the case in more extreme terms on The Volokh Conspiracy, noting that "wealthy investor Jeffrey Epstein had sexually abused dozens and dozens of minor girls." After extensive plea negotiations, during which the victims were kept completely in the dark, he copped a plea to "minor Florida offenses."

Cassell, along with his co-counsel Brad Edwards, filed suit on behalf of two Jane Does, seeking eventually to have the non-prosecution agreement rescinded. To justify such a remedy, they sought discovery of pretrial correspondence between Epstein and the U.S. Attorney's Office. The request was granted by the district court, and last week, the Eleventh Circuit affirmed.

Help You Help Clients: FindLaw's Metro Pages Provide Local Laws

Scenario #1: You took a DUI defense case for a fixed fee. She's a first time offender, no record, barely over the limit, but the case is strong. It's probably going to plead out, right? This case should not take a lot of time, except someone needs to spend hours answering every single one of her questions. You know this type of client -- the freaked out emails/phone calls/texts come every hour.

Scenario #2: There are fourteen courthouses in Miami, Florida, some state, some federal. Your client has both a misdemeanor marijuana possession charge, and a child custody dispute. Somehow, he ended up at the federal courthouse. How do you get him where he needs to go?

Whether your client needs a general overview of the law, a local perspective, or simply a map to the courthouse, we're making your job easier -- starting right now.

Statute Says: Florida's Voter Purge Violated 90 Day Rule

These are my favorite kinds of opinions, the ones that base their reasoning completely on the plain text of a statute. They're the easiest to read, easiest to understand, and they always make you wonder: how did this get all the way to the appeals court?

Florida had a voter purge in 2012, first in the primary, then in the general election. The program used DMV data to compile a big list of suspected ineligible voters, which was later whittled down from around 180,000 to 198. Ultimately, approximately 85 voters were removed. For those 85 names, the Florida Division of Elections spent $92,500 in legal fees, according to the Tampa Bay Times.

U.S. District Court for Southern Fla. Seeks Pro Bono Panelists

Got some spare time on your hands? Or perhaps, do you have some fresh associates that could use some "real world" practice beyond what they get from reviewing your work?

The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida is seeking a few good men and women to represent the indigent. And though the Volunteer Lawyers Program (VLP) has been shuttered, that doesn't mean the court has given up.

On the contrary, Chief Judge Federico A. Moreno just sent out a memo [PDF] describing the new Pro Bono Panel project, urging members of the local legal community to get involved.