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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...

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...

Dual Citizenship Does Not Create CAFA Jurisdiction

Two insurance class actions will remain in state court after the Eleventh Circuit’s decision in Life of the South Insurance Co. v. Carzell, 2017 WL 1174083 (11th Cir. Mar. 29, 2017) (Marcus, J.). The court held that federal diversity jurisdiction does not exist under the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA) if all defendants and plaintiff class members are citizens of a single...

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