Monday, June 25, 2018
Judge Branch issues first CA11 opinion (we think).
GUEST POST BY STEPHEN E. LUDOVICI
In other news today, it looks like our newest Eleventh Circuit judge has written her first published opinion. In a very short nine-page opinion in Wilcox v. Corrections Corp. of America, Judge Branch affirmed the trial court’s entry of judgment as a matter of law after a jury trial. Other than the fact that the opinion is her first—and a footnote about spelling the appellant’s name—the opinion’s not particularly interesting. Given it’s short length by Eleventh Circuit standards (only nine pages), you’d think that was an “easy case” for the court’s newest member, but Judge Branch’s experience in the Georgia appellate system might suggest otherwise. However it was for Judge Branch, Ms. Wilcox didn’t fare so well, with the Court holding that because her employer had taken prompt remedial action, no damages were available to her under Title VII. Given that Ms. Wilcox won at the Eleventh Circuit on her first go around, see Wilcox v. Corr. Corp. of Am., 603 F. App’x 862 (11th Cir. 2015), this must feel a little bitter.
As David covered back in March, Judge Branch is the newest member of the Eleventh Circuit bench, taking Judge Hull’s seat. While Judge Branch has issue a few orders in her new position, as far as we can tell, this is her first published opinion that I personally recall. A quick search seems to confirm this, but please drop a tip to David if you know otherwise.