Thursday, June 13, 2013

Interesting opinions from the 11th Circuit

1.  Judge Pryor doesn't like dissentals, which I know all too well.  His latest concurral is in Michael Morgan's case.  He starts this way:

I write to respond to the dissents filed by three of my colleagues about the
denial of a rehearing en banc. I continue to adhere to the view expressed by Judges Henry Friendly and Raymond Randolph that dissents from the denial of rehearing en banc, particularly where one did not participate in the decision, are “of dubious policy,” United States v. Shaygan, 676 F.3d 1237, 1238 (11th Cir. 2012) (Pryor, J., respecting the denial of rehearing en banc) (quoting United States v. N.Y., New Haven & Hartford R.R. Co., 276 F.2d 525, 553 (2d Cir. 1960) (Friendly, J., concurring in the denial of reh’g en banc, joined by Lumbard, C.J.), and that “denials of rehearing en banc are best followed by silence,” id. (alteration omitted) (quoting Indep. Ins. Agents of Am. v. Clarke, 965 F.2d 1077, 1080 (D.C. Cir. 1992) (Randolph, J.)). But my colleagues do not share that view, and their dissents should not go unanswered. Lest anyone doubt the correctness of our decision in this matter, I must respond to five misunderstandings in the dissents that follow. 
I disagree with Judge Pryor and think Judge Kozinski has it right:

“Cases arguably warranting en banc review are those in which the stakes are unusually high or the law is especially unclear.”64 It does honor to the law, promotes justice, and serves the interests of an informed public when citizens learn that appellate judges have given difficult and important cases exacting scrutiny—not just one judge or even the three-judge panel, but an entire court of appeals.As Judge Clark put it in the case that started out this essay, “I do believe the court gains standing by encouraging free and thorough canvassing of these issues without the deadening influence of constraining restrictions.”65Dissentals are here to stay. Get over it.

2.  The Court of Appeals also addressed some forfeiture issues in the Rothstein matter.  Judge Tjoflat starts off this interesting issue like this:

A number of criminal statutes within the Federal Code mandate that a
defendant, when convicted, forfeit to the United States as part of his sentence the lucre he acquired as a result of his criminal activity. In this case, the defendant, a lawyer, deposited the lucre in his law firm’s bank accounts, where it was commingled with the firm’s receipts from legitimate clients. The question this appeal presents is whether the money in the bank accounts at the time the defendant was charged is subject to forfeiture. We hold that it is not.

3.   OK, this isn't the 11th Circuit, but you gotta love how this Second Circuit opinion starts out:


In addition to the awesome cover art, Judge Chin has a cool intro:

In 1972, the Marvel Comics Group published a comic book featuring the "Ghost Rider" -- a motorcycle-riding superhero with supernatural powers and a flaming skull for a head. The issue -- which sold for twenty cents -- told the story of Johnny Blaze, a motorcycle stunt rider who promised his soul to the devil to save his adoptive father from cancer.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous8:54 AM

    Methinks the judge doth protest too much.