Federal Appeals Attorney

Federal appeals that arise in Florida are controlled by the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, based in Atlanta, Georgia.

The Eleventh Circuit governs appeals from the federal trial district courts in Florida, Georgia, and Alabama. These districts were originally part of the Fifth Circuit, but were split off to form the Eleventh Circuit effective October 1, 1981. This Court is based in Atlanta, Georgia, and is one of the thirteen United States courts of appeals.

Jennifer S. Carroll is a member of the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, and also United States Supreme Court, and other federal circuit courts of appeal. She is also a member of the Southern District of Florida and Middle District of Florida – federal trial courts.

The procedures that govern appeals in the federal circuit courts of appeals are very different from the procedures governing state appeals. And enforcement of the procedural rules is very different. For example, the federal appellate courts are very strict with deadlines, and you risk your entire appeal being dismissed if you are one day late in filing your brief. And extensions of time to file your brief are rarely granted.

Some of the decisions we have obtained in the federal appellate courts include the following:

Balfour Beatty Constr. v. Morrison-Knudsen, 275 F.3d 55 (U.S. 11th Cir. 2001)

$4.44 million dollar judgment against Morrison Knudsen Corp. in a construction dispute reversed.

Rio Mar Assocs., LP v. UHS of Puerto Rico, Inc., 522 F.3d 159 (U.S. 1st Cir. 2008)

Hotel guest, who suffered injuries after being struck by a wave while swimming in the ocean, brought personal injury action against hotel alleging negligent failure to warn of hazardous beach conditions and negligent entrustment of beach safety to untrained and ill-equipped lifeguards and against treating hospital alleging, among other things, medical malpractice. After the hospital settled and jury returned a verdict in favor of guest, the United States District Court for the District of Puerto Rico denied hotel’s motions for a new trial and to alter or amend the verdict. Hotel appealed.

The First Circuit concluded that the district court erred as a matter of law in its assessment of the effect of its own instruction and, thus, erred in its interpretation of what the first-phase verdict signified. The jury award encompassed both the damages attributable to the Hotel’s beachfront negligence and the aggravating damages attributable to the Hospital’s alleged malpractice. Consequently, the district court erred in foreclosing further litigation; the Hotel was entitled to some process by which it could test how the plaintiff’s total damages – $1,844,000 – should be allocated as between it and the Hospital. The district court should not have denied the Rule 59(e) motion or dismissed the cross-claim without pursuing that inquiry.

The plaintiff and the Hospital cannot, by contracting between themselves, deny a third party rights that the third party (here, the Hotel) enjoys under the law.

The pivotal question concerns the allocation of damages as between settling and non-settling tortfeasors in a successive tortfeasor case.

The First Circuit held that the proportionate share setoff rule delineated in Szendrey v. Hospicare, 158 D.P.R. 648 (P.R. 2003) applied to this case.

          If you are looking to appeal a ruling made in a Florida federal district court, you need an attorney with experience in handling Florida federal appeals. For an experienced Florida federal appeals attorney, contact Jennifer S. Carroll of the Law Offices of Jennifer S. Carroll, P.A., at 561-478-2102 today for an initial consultation.


The Law Offices of Jennifer S. Carroll, P.A.

1001 North U.S. Highway 1, Suite 508
Jupiter, FL 33477
Phone: (561) 478-2102
Fax: (561) 478-2143