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Venezuela’s Attempt to Purchase Bolívar Artifacts from Florida Resident Was “Commercial Activity” Not Subject to Sovereign Immunity

In Devengoechea v. Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, No. 16-16816 (11th Cir. May 10, 2018), the Eleventh Circuit held that the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act’s “commercial activity” exception to sovereign immunity applied to Venezuela’s alleged failure to return or pay for a collection of artifacts owned by a Florida resident. Plaintiff Ricardo Devengoechea, a citizen of the United...

Presumption Against Extraterritoriality Applied to Alien Tort Statute in Jurisdictional Dispute over Folk Singer’s Death

A popular Chilean folk singer named Víctor Jara was tortured and killed in the wake of the 1973 military coup that toppled Salvador Allende’s government and brought Augusto Pinochet to power. Nearly 40 years later, Jara’s family discovered that his suspected killer, a former Chilean military officer named Pedro Pablo Barrientos Núñez, had moved to Florida and become a U.S. citizen....

A Private Plaintiff Cannot Sue FINRA for a Violation of Its Own Rules

In Turbeville v. FINRA, 2017 WL 4938821 (11th Cir. Nov. 1, 2017), a panel of the Eleventh Circuit held that a former registered representative’s purported state-law claims against FINRA were properly dismissed because there exists no private right of action against FINRA, a self-regulatory organization (“SRO”), for alleged violations of its own rules. In 2009, FINRA filed an...

Primary Defendants Tied to Liability for Damages in Class Actions Seeking Monetary Relief

In an opinion published June 14, 2017, Hunter v. City of Montgomery, 2017 WL 2634162, the Eleventh Circuit affirmed the lower court’s remand order under the home state exception to the Class Action Fairness Act (“CAFA”). The central issue was the classification of a party as one of the “primary defendants” within the meaning of CAFA. The case centered on a red-light camera program...

ACLU Gets Jurisdictional Discovery from Michael Jackson Because of Disputed Facts

When is a litigant entitled to jurisdictional discovery? The Eleventh Circuit addressed this issue in an opinion published June 20, 2017, ACLU of Florida, Inc. v. City of Sarasota, 2017 WL 2636542, holding that, when the jurisdictional facts are genuinely in dispute and a party does not unduly delay in seeking discovery, the court abuses its discretion if it completely denies...

ADA and RA Protect Hospital Patients’ Ability to Exchange Medically Relevant Information

In Silva v. Baptist Health South Florida, Inc., 2017 WL 1830158 (11th Cir. May 8, 2017), the Eleventh Circuit clarified the standard for liability for ADA and RA effective-communication claims against hospitals. The court held that “the relevant inquiry is whether the hospitals’ failure to offer an appropriate auxiliary aid impaired the patient’s ability to exchange medically relevant...

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