Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Has the 11th Circuit Done Anything Interesting Lately?


Here I sit, half-watching Watchmen (hi Carla!) for the umpteenth time, as I reflect on the noble practice of law detailed in the NYT:

Collection law firms are able to handle such large volumes of cases because computer software automates much of their work. Typically, a debt buyer sends a law firm an electronic database that contains various data about consumers, including name, home address, the outstanding balance, the date of default and whether interest is still accruing on the account.

Once the data is obtained by a law firm, software like Collection-Master from a company called Commercial Legal Software can “take a file and run it through the entire legal system automatically,” including sending out collection letters, summonses and lawsuits, said Nicholas D. Arcaro, vice president for sales and marketing at the company.

No group has definitive statistics on debt collection lawsuits, but federal regulators, collection lawyers and judges say the numbers have increased and are straining the court system.

Does any part of that constitute the "practice of law"?

Indeed, if the entire lawsuit is automated, why even have judges?

Just let "Collection-Master" enter judgment and be done with it -- the taxpayer savings would be huge!

Meanwhile you can't find a file in the LA courthouse anymore because people like Lindsay Lohan and Mel Gibson have to do stupid things there (and then get caught):
With California $20 billion in debt, the Los Angeles court system has been forced to lay off more than 300 employees. These cutback come as the courtrooms are overflowing with celebrities. And many say our system of justice is being short changed.

"You're seeing hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not millions of dollars, just for the security when a celebrity comes in to court," Sax told ABC News
Dear LeBron: please don't get in any legal trouble.

Oh well, whenever I get depressed about the state of our state legal system (the intrepid one's interview with our Chief Justice is here), I always ask myself -- has the 11th Circuit done anything interesting lately?

Surprisingly, the answer is yes -- it reversed Judge Moreno in yet another HMO opinion.

The issue this time around has something to do with claim preclusion, res judicata, whatever you want to call it.

In fact, that's precisely the realpolitik formulation offered by Chief Judge Dubina:
In consideration of these goals, our circuit has used a variety of labels to describe the methods by which we judge the similarity of two causes of action. Compare NAACP v. Hunt, 891 F.2d 1555, 1561 (11th Cir. 1990) (noting that the “principle test” for comparing cases involves inquiry into the primary rights and duties implicated) with In re Atlanta Retail, Inc., 456 F.3d 1277, 1288 (11th Cir. 2006) (examining whether cases involve “the same nucleus of operative fact”) and In re Piper Aircraft, 244 F.3d at 1296–97 (noting that claims are the same “when they arise out of the same transaction or series of transactions”). Nothing in our jurisprudence suggests that any meaningful analytical difference derives from the label we affix to the method of comparison. See e.g., Ragsdale, 193 F.3d at 1239 & n.8 (concurrently reciting all three of the above labels in describing our comparative approach).
I love that, even though I think Judge Moreno was right -- who are we kidding, these claims are identical (cue prosecutor from My Cousin Vinny).

I wonder how "Collection-Master" would have ruled?

53 comments:

  1. If I ruled the world, collections-master = ethics investigation of lawyers "signing" those documents.

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  2. I'm all for letting someone else practice law for me (whilst i get paid, of course)

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  3. Sfl, Monica Gordo gets the Herald endorsement...

    "MIAMI-DADE CIRCUIT COURT
    GROUP 62
    Miami-Dade voters have two strong judicial candidates running for an open seat in Group 62 of the 11th Judicial Circuit.
    Robert J. Kuntz, Jr., 50, is a former journalist who graduated from the University of Miami law school in 1996. He practices commercial litigation, with an emphasis on aviation. He has tried some jury trials in state and federal court, as well as before immigration judges.
    Monica Gordo, 35, also graduated from the University of Miami and has worked as a prosecutor since 1999. Like Mr. Kuntz, Ms. Gordo earned high marks from her peers in the Dade County Bar Association poll of candidates. Her experience in the courtroom is vast, ranging from DUI and juvenile division prosecutions to robberies, sexual battery and murder cases. Among them: the successful prosecution of Damon ``Red Rock'' Darling, who was handed a 50-year sentence last year in the 2006 death of 9-year-old Sherdavia Jenkins, killed by Darling's AK-47 while she played with a doll in her front yard.
    Ms. Gordo's trial experience gives her the edge in this race. In a court system that's packed with cases, she will hit the job running.
    As felony division chief, Ms. Gordo handled homicides and supervised 20 lawyers in the state attorney's office. She now serves on the Gang Strike Force, investigating and prosecuting street gangs involved in homicides and other violent crimes.
    For Miami-Dade County Circuit Court Group 62, The Miami Herald recommends MONICA GORDO."

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  4. Sfl - Watch out for an FEC investigation. Allowing anonymous commenters to post election spam might be construed as an "in-kind" campaign contribution.

    Really. I'm not kidding.

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  5. Wonder what Judge Moreno will do?

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  6. 10:54, good luck with that.

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  7. If they go after me for that the electoral process is in worse shape than I thought.

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  8. Another cheap shot from the Kuntz camp.

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  9. most obscure article on the aftermath of the Lebronukkah "Decision". From the wall street journal:

    http://blogs.wsj.com/dailyfix/2010/07/09/lebron-james-and-the-revenge-of-comic-sans/

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  10. Feeling healthy, SFL. It's Tuesday-- where is the "frisky" post?

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  11. SFL- you're telling us to play nice? Do you play "nice" in the chevy?

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  12. 10:37- next we'll be getting-- The Captain Reports.....

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  13. @1:12 makes a good point.

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  14. i smell a whole lot of sock puppetry from some of these posters

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  15. Yep 1:40 that's the rancid stench of da feet...

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  16. "sock puppetry" - LOL!

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  17. dammit-- where is da 'health' report?

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  18. frisky = cowper's fluid

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  19. 1:05-- you need a latin girl who knows her place-- the building cleaning staff at the firm I work in, none of them women know english- 'only speaka-da-spanish....no english.' One of them comes in after hours and cleans out my load everytime- you get what I'm saying?

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  20. Mel Gibson in da house!

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  21. 3:06, very telling. You've stooped to new lows with that statement.

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  22. If you'd lose some weight you could get up and go to the bathroom on your own and wouldn't have to wait for someone to "clean out your load". Without that gut you could actually reach your genitals and relieve some of the stress that's causing you to spew this self hating male chauvinist pig bull$hit.

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  23. @3:06, Other than proving you are a certified asshole, what do you get out of publishing what maybe considered the most demeaning and offensive comment on the SFL blog? Is that your impression of Latin women- they cannot speak English and only work as janitorial staff?

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  24. 3:06, BAD SOCK PUPPET!

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  25. 4:07--they;re good at bending over a chair but not so good at swallowing.

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  26. Let's hope SFL is keep tabs on IP's!

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  27. Sad news-- George Steinbrenner, who rebuilt the New York Yankees into a sports empire with a mix of bluster and big bucks has died. Yankess all the way.

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  28. 3:06, worst comment of all time.

    Crawl back in your hole.

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  29. Most men who brag about their sexual conquests, do it because they're not really getting any.

    Sigmund Freud

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  30. Hey boys and girls-- Mel Gisbon comments on this blog!

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  31. You mean Mel Gibstein!

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  32. Maybe mommy didn't hold Mel Gib-stein enough.

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  33. man who brags about getting his "pipes cleaned" = he's only gotten as far as first base.

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  34. Mel Gisbon (if we can call him that) is a thorough douche.
    Never liked him. He always struck me as an abusive personality. Racist bigot with delusions of being a "good" Christian.

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  35. Mel should hook up with Freddie Phelps. They're both hateful, bigoted assholes who started their own churches. I bet they'd be BFFs.

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  36. 3:06, it's just a Herald endorsement, nothing to get all worked up over!

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  37. 5:46--But.......... building your own church clearly does not make one a "good Christian" in terms of behavior.

    A few years ago, Gibson dismissed his sexist, anti-Semitic rant, after a DWI arrest, as being alcohol fueled. He expressed contrition and vowed to get help. Mel Gibson's father raised him to follow his strange religious beliefs and wide racism. They are both religious wackos. But Mel is getting worse because he's become very rich and believes he's entitled to rule his world. I pity anyone who gets involved with him.I don't think any amount of P.R. spin can help to salvage Gibson's career now. He has self destructed. I don't see how he can come back from this one.

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  38. Dude, "Mel Gib-stein" LOL!!!! I'm dying over here.

    Between 3:06's new name and "sock puppetry," this is the most well commented post in months.

    Oh, and yes, 3:06 is a total douche. Please publish any and all infromation gathered from IP address and subsequent brief investigation of who this idiot is.

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  39. We need to discuss important things -- Federal deficit tops $1 trillion with 3 months left in budget year.

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  40. Will anybody be watching Mel Gibsons' movies anymore?

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  41. latina hater has mega issues, out the sob

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  42. Just a wild stab in the dark here but 3:06, did a Latina re-buff your charming advances?

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  43. A second tape has been http://www.radaronline.com/exclusives/2010/07/exclusive-audio-another-mel-gibson-slur-caught-tape-crazed-rage-listen-it-hereleaked--

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  44. Nice trolling, 3:06. I am truly in awe.

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