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Articles 1 - 30 of 1938

Full-Text Articles in Law

Criminal Law, Thomas D. Church, Whitney Baker May 2024

Criminal Law, Thomas D. Church, Whitney Baker

Mercer Law Review

This Article provides a comprehensive review of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit’s most noteworthy criminal law opinions from 2023, with a focus on the key holdings from each decision. Section II of this Article addresses substantive criminal offenses, such as drug offenses, economic crimes, and firearm offenses, while Section III covers criminal procedure, the rules of evidence, and constitutional issues arising in criminal prosecutions. Section IV deals with the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other sentencing issues and provides a limited review of the Eleventh Circuit’s decisions in post-conviction proceedings, including those involving the First Step …


Bankruptcy Law, John T. Laney Iii, Siena Berrios Gaddy, Victoria Barbino Grantham May 2024

Bankruptcy Law, John T. Laney Iii, Siena Berrios Gaddy, Victoria Barbino Grantham

Mercer Law Review

This Article focuses on bankruptcy opinions issued by the Supreme Court of the United States and the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. Topics addressed include 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(2)(A)’s preclusion of discharge of debts obtained by fraud of a partner or agent; the Supreme Court’s effort to “bring some discipline” to 11 U.S.C. § 363(m) and the use of the term “jurisdictional;” abrogation of tribal sovereign immunity in 11 U.S.C. § 106(a); Chapter 11 plan modification under 11 U.S.C. § 1126 and Bankruptcy Rule 3019(a); the anti‑modification provision of 11 U.S.C. § 1322(b)(2) and its connection …


Admiralty Law, John P. Kavanagh Jr. May 2024

Admiralty Law, John P. Kavanagh Jr.

Mercer Law Review

The cases discussed herein represent decisions from the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, as well as District Courts within the Circuit, issued in 2023. While not an all-inclusive list of maritime decisions during that timeframe, the Author identified and provided summaries of key rulings of interest to the maritime practitioner,


Immigration Law, Bianca N. Dibella, Hannah L. Baskind May 2024

Immigration Law, Bianca N. Dibella, Hannah L. Baskind

Mercer Law Review

This Article surveys cases from the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit from January 1, 2023, through December 31, 2023, in which immigration law was a central focus of the case. During this time, the Eleventh Circuit decided several of these cases. As such, the cases discussed herein are those that explore jurisdictional boundaries of the Eleventh Circuit’s appellate review of immigration cases, and those that interpret standards that impact an immigrant’s ability to obtain relief. This Article discusses (1) removal cancellation, including the court’s jurisdiction to review such decisions, the standard for removal cancellation, and the …


Class Actions, Thomas M. Byrne, Stacey Mcgavin Mohr May 2024

Class Actions, Thomas M. Byrne, Stacey Mcgavin Mohr

Mercer Law Review

The United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit’s 2023 class-action decisions continued to grapple with Article III standing requirements while also demonstrating, in two decisions, the court’s longstanding generally permissive posture toward approval of class-action settlements. A significant deviation from the latter tendency is the court’s increasingly isolated position on payment of incentive awards to class representatives. Alone among the circuits, the court prohibits such payments, creating an inter-circuit conflict that seems inevitably headed to the Supreme Court. In the meantime, within the circuit, class counsel face a unique hurdle in crafting settlements and dealing with class representatives.


Labor And Employment, W. Jonathan Martin Ii, Patricia-Anne Brownback May 2024

Labor And Employment, W. Jonathan Martin Ii, Patricia-Anne Brownback

Mercer Law Review

This Article focuses on recent cases concerning federal labor and employment laws. The following is a discussion of those opinions.


Federal Income Tax, Andrew Todd May 2024

Federal Income Tax, Andrew Todd

Mercer Law Review

In 2023, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit issued several published opinions involving U.S. federal income tax issues. In two opinions authored by Judge Brasher, the court addressed issues of first impression. The court’s opinion in Gregory v. Commissioner addressed whether hobby expense deductions are miscellaneous itemized deductions. The court’s opinion in Lee v. United States addressed an issue of first impression for any circuit: whether a taxpayer’s reliance on an agent to electronically file a federal income tax return constitutes reasonable cause for failing to file a return and pay the associated taxes. This Article …


Evidence, W. Randall Bassett May 2024

Evidence, W. Randall Bassett

Mercer Law Review

In its 2023 term, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit focused heavily on the role and admissibility of expert testimony under Rules 702–704 of the Federal Rules of Evidence. For example, in two opinions, the court considered the role of an expert’s qualifications and experience in supporting the admissibility of the expert’s opinions. In another case, they analyzed the scope of an expert’s ability to opine on an ultimate issue in a criminal case. The court also considered the role of lay witness opinion testimony compared to that of a retained expert and the admissibility of …


I’Ll Huff, And I’Ll Puff, And I’Ll Blow Your Parol Evidence Down: The Eleventh Circuit Explains Why The Plain Text Of An Insurance Policy Wins In The Face Of Contractual Ambiguity, Chloe E. Bonds May 2024

I’Ll Huff, And I’Ll Puff, And I’Ll Blow Your Parol Evidence Down: The Eleventh Circuit Explains Why The Plain Text Of An Insurance Policy Wins In The Face Of Contractual Ambiguity, Chloe E. Bonds

Mercer Law Review

Imagine that a small business in sunny, central Florida is evaluating its insurance policy. The business notices that the policy includes seemingly unnecessary coverage for losses caused by landslides. Before the end of the current year, the business contacts its insurance agency and successfully negotiates to remove the existing landslide coverage from next year’s policy. Following the negotiations, the agent issues an updated insurance binder reflecting the change. Although the insurance agency is aware that the business no longer wants landslide coverage, the principal policy issued after negotiations conspicuously does not include any language regarding the coverage or exclusion of …


Trial Practice And Procedure, John O'Shea Sullivan, Leesa M. Guarnotta May 2024

Trial Practice And Procedure, John O'Shea Sullivan, Leesa M. Guarnotta

Mercer Law Review

The 2023 Survey period yielded important trial practice decisions in the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit ranging from overruling long‑standing precedent relating to arbitration and issuing opinions of first impression relating to attempts to limit arbitration, attempts to limit copyright infringement remedies, what makes a statutory provision “jurisdictional,” and contracting around statutory interest rates. This Article analyzes some of this Survey period’s notable and first impression opinions in the Eleventh Circuit but is not intended to be an exhaustive discussion of the Eleventh Circuit’s important decisions during the Survey period.


Brave New Agency: The Ftc’S Expanded Powers In The Eleventh Circuit, Griffin D. Green May 2024

Brave New Agency: The Ftc’S Expanded Powers In The Eleventh Circuit, Griffin D. Green

Mercer Law Review

In Aldous Huxley’s seminal novel “Brave New World,” a futuristic society grapples with the consequences of technological advancements and the ethical dilemmas they pose. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) finds itself in a “Brave New World” of its own, particularly in the Eleventh Circuit. The case FTC v. Simple Health Plans, LLC is a potential watershed moment, redefining the scope and authority of the FTC to impose equitable damages. It serves as a pivotal juncture, not just for the agency, but also for consumer protection laws, monopolistic businesses, and what remedies courts may provide. The decision potentially leads to harsher …


I Hope This Email Finds You Well: The Eleventh Circuit Addresses The Standard Of Review For Incarcerated Persons’ Outgoing Emails, Olivia Greenblatt May 2024

I Hope This Email Finds You Well: The Eleventh Circuit Addresses The Standard Of Review For Incarcerated Persons’ Outgoing Emails, Olivia Greenblatt

Mercer Law Review

An unfortunate and inevitable aspect of incarceration is separation from the outside world. The various constraints on communication exemplify one of the many ways through which incarceration creates this divide. Maintaining the connections that incarcerated people have with their loved ones and communities is essential for fostering a vital support system, facilitating the exchange of information, aiding in successful reintegration, and reducing recidivism upon release. Unfortunately, instead of encouraging and safeguarding this communication, prisons often curtail it through restrictive methods: visitation is limited, phone calls are costly, physical mail involves a time-consuming and intrusive process, and now, email is being …


The Real World: Iqbal/Twombly The Plausibility Pleading Standard’S Effect On Federal Court Civil Practice, Matthew Cook, Kate Cook, Nathan Nicholson, Joshua Bearden Apr 2024

The Real World: Iqbal/Twombly The Plausibility Pleading Standard’S Effect On Federal Court Civil Practice, Matthew Cook, Kate Cook, Nathan Nicholson, Joshua Bearden

Mercer Law Review

Several publications already exist detailing the evolution of American civil pleading standards, the personalities involved throughout, as well as the differing iterations’ theoretical and philosophical underpinnings. This Article is written not from the viewpoint of a scholar, but a practitioner. It is the practitioner who drafts, files, and defends against these pleadings. It is the practitioner who provides the “boots on the ground” execution of legislative and judicial directives. It is the practitioner who experiences the aspects of litigation that are not ultimately published in a reporter. And it is the practitioner who must explain to his or her clients …


Going Beyond Fear In Addressing Attorney Mental Health, Eric C. Lang Apr 2024

Going Beyond Fear In Addressing Attorney Mental Health, Eric C. Lang

Mercer Law Review

We know that a career in law is challenging, but our profession has only recently focused on the mental health consequences of those challenges. We first started analyzing mental health issues after a number of attorney suicides caught the public eye. Realizing the problem was much broader than the tragic outcome of suicide, we have spent the last several years focused on the use of statistics to convince the profession of its own dangers. The solution, to date, has been an emphasis on Lawyer Assistance Programs and “wellness” initiatives accompanied by what could be described as scare tactics designed to …


Victor Hugo Was Right All Along: Les Misérables, The Tragedy Of A Punitive Parole System, And A Modern Path Forward, Sarah Gerwig Apr 2024

Victor Hugo Was Right All Along: Les Misérables, The Tragedy Of A Punitive Parole System, And A Modern Path Forward, Sarah Gerwig

Mercer Law Review

Les Misérables, Victor Hugo’s tragic novel, was published over 160 years ago and yet it continues to capture imaginations and sympathies worldwide. It was made into an award-winning film over a decade ago. But before that, Les Misérables was one of the most popular Broadway musicals ever produced, having been viewed by over sixty million people, even beyond the viewership of other popular renditions in film and television. Despite (or perhaps because of) its heartbreaking themes, audiences sympathize with the main characters’ quest for redemption. How easy, in the story, to see the struggles and barriers Jean Valjean encounters—and …


Don’T Lose The Remote: An Employer’S Guide To Remote Employee And Trade Secret Retention Without Non-Competes, Kayla Lya Pfeifer Apr 2024

Don’T Lose The Remote: An Employer’S Guide To Remote Employee And Trade Secret Retention Without Non-Competes, Kayla Lya Pfeifer

Mercer Law Review

This Comment discusses potential employer solutions to the intersectional challenges of balancing trade secret protection and employee retention in a post-COVID-19 remote employment market. First, this Comment provides an overview of the FTC’s proposed rule to ban non-competes, as well as the political context and history behind the FTC’s enhanced focus on policing anti-competitive business behaviors. Additionally, this Comment explains the utility behind non-competes and contextualizes the ban’s potential effects through a legal survey of non-compete enforceability in the U.S. To illustrate the steep challenge of trade secret protection in the modern employment market, this Comment separately analyzes the rise …


Should Georgia Bet On Sports?, H. Madison Short Apr 2024

Should Georgia Bet On Sports?, H. Madison Short

Mercer Law Review

Following the Court’s decision in Murphy, Georgia legislators have repeatedly introduced bills to legalize sports betting. However, despite these efforts, the 2023 legislative sessions concluded without the passage of multiple bills aimed at achieving this goal. Nonetheless, with mounting pressure and support, it seems increasingly likely that Georgia voters will soon have the opportunity to amend the state’s constitution to legalize it. This Comment analyzes whether legalizing sports betting would be in Georgia’s best interest. Part II will provide a brief overview of PASPA, followed by an examination of why the Supreme Court of the United States held it to …


“911: What’S Your Emergency?” Georgia’S Certificate Of Need Requirements Inhibit Rural Access To Quality Healthcare, Tessa Sizemore Apr 2024

“911: What’S Your Emergency?” Georgia’S Certificate Of Need Requirements Inhibit Rural Access To Quality Healthcare, Tessa Sizemore

Mercer Law Review

This Comment will describe the rise and fall of CON programs in America and will propose solutions to problems caused by Georgia’s current CON program. Part II will describe the history of healthcare regulation in America as it relates to CON programs. Part III will discusse Georgia’s adoption of a CON program and the State’s current CON statutory scheme. Part IV will summarize recent debate among Georgia legislators and will identify problems with Georgia’s CON program. Part V will compare Georgia’s CON program to those in other states. Part VI will then suggest steps that may provide some relief to …


Different Sides Of The Same Coin: How The Eleventh Circuit Deepened The Circuit Split For An Americans With Disabilities Act Failure-To-Accommodate Claim In Beasley V. O’Reilly Auto Parts, Anna Carr Hanks Apr 2024

Different Sides Of The Same Coin: How The Eleventh Circuit Deepened The Circuit Split For An Americans With Disabilities Act Failure-To-Accommodate Claim In Beasley V. O’Reilly Auto Parts, Anna Carr Hanks

Mercer Law Review

Through its decision in Beasley v. O’Reilly Auto Parts, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit deepened the split among the circuit courts nationwide by explicitly requiring an adverse employment action in failure-to-accommodate claims under Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Through this opinion, the Eleventh Circuit joined the minority of circuits and suggested that the Supreme Court of the United States may soon need to revisit this issue to resolve the uncertainty stemming from this fundamental disagreement among the circuits.


Secrets, Secrets Are No Fun: Supreme Court Of Georgia Expands The Possible Remedies For A Confidential Breach Of Fiduciary Relationship And Analyzed Certified Questions Of Law, Olivia M. Sanders Apr 2024

Secrets, Secrets Are No Fun: Supreme Court Of Georgia Expands The Possible Remedies For A Confidential Breach Of Fiduciary Relationship And Analyzed Certified Questions Of Law, Olivia M. Sanders

Mercer Law Review

The crux of the Supreme Court of Georgia’s decision in King v. King revolved around one theme: the consequences for a party that fails to disclose information in a confidential and fiduciary relationship. In King, the plaintiff’s difficult circumstances began over three decades earlier when his father died in a plane crash and a wrongful death suit was filed on his behalf. Though the plaintiff became entitled to settlement funds as a result of the wrongful death suit, the plaintiff never received the funds and filed a suit accordingly, alleging that the defendant breached his fiduciary duties and converted the …


Sticks And Stones May Break My Bones, But Words Will Never Hurt Me. Or Will They? The Eleventh Circuit Expands The “Extreme Cruelty” Definition In 8 U.S.C. §1229b(B)(2) To Encompass Mental And Physical Abuse In Ruiz V. United States Attorney General, Sydnie N. Winter Apr 2024

Sticks And Stones May Break My Bones, But Words Will Never Hurt Me. Or Will They? The Eleventh Circuit Expands The “Extreme Cruelty” Definition In 8 U.S.C. §1229b(B)(2) To Encompass Mental And Physical Abuse In Ruiz V. United States Attorney General, Sydnie N. Winter

Mercer Law Review

The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), originally passed in 1994, was the first federal legislation acknowledging domestic violence as a crime. As part of this Act, Congress enacted 8 U.S.C. § 1229b(b)(2), a rule that allows battered spouses (or children) who are not citizens or nationals of the United States of America to seek the discretionary cancellation of the government’s removal of them from the country. The VAWA special-rule was enacted as a way to enable abuse victims to obtain discretionary deportation relief, allowing them to leave their abusers without fear of deportation or other immigration-related consequences. ...

The United …


Solving A Sixth Amendment Crisis: The Case For Resource Parity In Georgia’S Indigent Defense System, Meagan R. Hurley Apr 2024

Solving A Sixth Amendment Crisis: The Case For Resource Parity In Georgia’S Indigent Defense System, Meagan R. Hurley

Mercer Law Review

The United States criminal legal system employs what is said to be an “adversary” system—one in which opposing parties—the prosecution and the defense—present their evidence and arguments (usually in conflict with one another) to a neutral third party (a judge or jury) for adjudication. The idea behind the adversarial process is that a judge or jury is best positioned to make determinations of guilt or innocence once provided with reliable information from competent, zealous, and prepared advocates on both sides of the podium. At its core, the adversarial system is meant to function as the mechanism by which constitutional principles …


Identity Crisis: The Supreme Court Of Georgia’S New Framework May Have Widespread Impact On Extended-Stay Motels And Their Occupants, Dawson B. Welsh Apr 2024

Identity Crisis: The Supreme Court Of Georgia’S New Framework May Have Widespread Impact On Extended-Stay Motels And Their Occupants, Dawson B. Welsh

Mercer Law Review

Certainty is a trait valued highly by many, and it is perhaps most valued in the world of business where minimizing risk and maximizing profit is the name of the game. Efficiency Lodge, Inc. v. Neason developed what appeared to be a routine fight over occupancy into one of the most important redefinitions of a legal framework in the field of real estate. The Supreme Court of Georgia’s analysis of the relationships provides a legal framework for Georgia courts to apply when attempting to parse out the rights of the parties by specifically providing a new way for courts to …


School Pronouns And The Compelled-Speech Objection, Phillip Seaver-Hall Mar 2024

School Pronouns And The Compelled-Speech Objection, Phillip Seaver-Hall

Mercer Law Review

America’s transgender youth are entrenched in a nationwide mental health crisis. A majority of transgender teenage boys have attempted suicide at least once, and roughly a third of transgender teenage girls have done the same. To mitigate this national emergency, many public school districts have begun requiring their teachers to use transgender students’ preferred names and pronouns. Many conservatives, however, insist that such rules violate the First Amendment’s prohibition of compelled speech.

This article thoroughly dissects that argument and exposes its flaws. It examines the compelled‑speech objection through the lens of the government speech doctrine, weighs countervailing academic‑freedom concerns, proposes …


“When Did African Americans Get The Right To Vote In Georgia?”, Marc T. Treadwell Mar 2024

“When Did African Americans Get The Right To Vote In Georgia?”, Marc T. Treadwell

Mercer Law Review

Most know that the post‑Civil War Fifteenth Amendment guaranteed citizens of all races, or at least male citizens of all races, the right to vote. But notwithstanding the keen interest today in voting rights and alleged voter suppression and that well-known Fifteenth Amendment, few know that for decades African Americans were banned outright from voting in primary elections that determined state and local leaders in many Southern states. In the post‑Reconstruction South, the Democratic Party controlled every facet of state politics and government. The Party’s whites‑only primary elections ineluctably determined the outcome of general elections. The party did not allow …


Mercer Law School’S Legacy Of Service To The Profession, Franklin T. Gaddy, Siena Berrios Gaddy, Thomas Alec Chappell, E. Tate Crymes Mar 2024

Mercer Law School’S Legacy Of Service To The Profession, Franklin T. Gaddy, Siena Berrios Gaddy, Thomas Alec Chappell, E. Tate Crymes

Mercer Law Review

Hon. William Augustus Bootle, a 1925 graduate of Mercer Law School and 1924 graduate of Mercer University, penned of his alma mater, “[the] school was conceived in professionalism and dedicated to excellence.” Similarly, “Altruism, not the promotion of selfish aims, has been the inspiration of the [Georgia Bar] Association throughout its entire history.” As noted by Judge Bootle, Mercer Law School’s legacy of service to the profession began long before the establishment of the State Bar of Georgia as we know it today.

Today, Mercer Law School remains dedicated to serving the legal profession. This commitment to serve and devote …


Accountability Courts In Georgia: Judges In The State Of Georgia Explain How They Have Been Empowered By Visionary Political And Judicial Leaders To Tackle Crime, Prison Population, Mental Illness, And Drug Dependency Through Service In Accountability Courts, W. James Sizemore Jr. Mar 2024

Accountability Courts In Georgia: Judges In The State Of Georgia Explain How They Have Been Empowered By Visionary Political And Judicial Leaders To Tackle Crime, Prison Population, Mental Illness, And Drug Dependency Through Service In Accountability Courts, W. James Sizemore Jr.

Mercer Law Review

Georgia leads the way nationally when it comes to promoting and funding the expansion of accountability courts (commonly called drug courts or mental health courts). The fact that the effort to expand such courts in Georgia was spearheaded by Republican Governor Nathan Deal is surprising to some. This article provides a peek behind the curtain at the massive judicial and political effort to make accountability courts an essential part of criminal justice reform in the State of Georgia.

The article begins with a brief look at the history of accountability courts in Georgia, specifically focusing on several Superior Court Judges …


Experiential And Public Service Learning At Mercer Law School At The 150th Anniversary And Beyond, Sarah Gerwig Mar 2024

Experiential And Public Service Learning At Mercer Law School At The 150th Anniversary And Beyond, Sarah Gerwig

Mercer Law Review

In this, the 150th year since Mercer University opened the doors of its fledgling law school, it is good to reflect. We reflect on who we are, where we came from, where we want to be in 2173, if law school and the law and humankind still exist 150 years from now.

Law school faculty and administration often describe our students’ ethic of public service; 1Ls (as we call them with affection) often arrive eager for opportunities to help others—and help they do. Almost every student-led organization spearheads generous annual volunteer projects, including coordinating backpack donation drives, providing holiday presents …


The Poison Drips Through: Scotus Thins Anti-Discrimination Rights In Wake Of Legislative Attacks On The Lgbtq+ Community, Emma Blue Mar 2024

The Poison Drips Through: Scotus Thins Anti-Discrimination Rights In Wake Of Legislative Attacks On The Lgbtq+ Community, Emma Blue

Mercer Law Review

Anti‑LGBTQ+ legislation has surged to a record high through state legislatures with more than 500 bills introduced and nearly 100 laws signed in 2023 alone. The overwhelming rise in targeted legislation has led the Human Rights Campaign, the largest LGBTQ+ civil rights organization in the United States, to officially declare a state of emergency for the LGBTQ+ community for the first time. The legislative attacks have branched across the nation, from curriculum to performance, seeking to ban books from schools and libraries, as well as banning public drag shows. The First Amendment of the United States Constitution has been turned …


Pick Your Poison: Opioids Following The Trends Set By Alcohol And Tobacco Litigation, Luckshume Ketheeswaran Mar 2024

Pick Your Poison: Opioids Following The Trends Set By Alcohol And Tobacco Litigation, Luckshume Ketheeswaran

Mercer Law Review

Parents, children, and siblings of opioid abusers argued that three large-scale, drug distributors improperly supplied opioids to pharmacies, leading to “abuse of the drugs and the fallout that abuse brought with it.”3 Further, they argued that profit-driven distributors willingly and recklessly “flooded” the city of Brunswick and Glynn County with opioids. Even so, the jury found against the plaintiffs; though potentially sympathetic to the lives ruined by opioids, the jury remained unconvinced that all liability fell on the distributors.

On March 1, 2023, the jury found for the three, large‑scale drug distributors, finding the defendants neither liable under Georgia’s Drug …