11.23.2005

Eleventh Circuit on Split Re Judicial Estoppel

Per the Eleventh Circuit in Transamerica Leasing, Inc. v. Institute Of London Underwriters, --- F.3d ----, 2005 WL 3110515 (11th Cir. Nov. 22, 2005):

"[W]e have not yet had occasion to decide whether judicial estoppel should apply when the prior position resulted in a settlement, and not in the court actually adopting a position. This question has divided the circuits. Some courts have held that judicial estoppel does not apply when the prior position was asserted in a case that resulted in settlement. See In re Bankvest Capital Corp., 375 F.3d 51, 60-61 (1st Cir.2004) (refusing to apply judicial estoppel where prior proceeding ended in settlement); Blanton v. Inco Alloys Int'l, Inc., 108 F.3d 104, 109-10 (6th Cir.), supplemented by,123 F.3d 916 (6th Cir.1997) (noting that judicial estoppel should be applied only to positions a party successfully maintained in a prior suit, and that a settlement results in “successful” positions for neither side); Bates v. Long Island R.R. Co., 997 F.2d 1028, 1038 (2d Cir.1993) (noting that because a settlement neither requires nor implies judicial endorsement of a particular argument, a position taken in a case that settles cannot give rise to judicial estoppel). Not all courts share this view. See Commonwealth Ins. Co. v. Titan Tire Corp., 398 F.3d 879, 887 (7th Cir.2004) (noting that judicial estoppel can apply when the prior dispute resulted in settlement); Rissetto v. Plumbers Local 343, 94 F.3d 597, 604-05 (9th Cir.1996) (noting that a favorable settlement is the equivalent of winning a judgment for the purposes of judicial estoppel). We need not address this difficult question because the other elements of judicial estoppel have not been established."

3 Comments:

At 10:38 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am fixing to attempt to argue in US district court in the Northern District of Florida that the government can not argue inconsistent positions in the same litigation.

In essence, the government, in an effort to detain one of three co-defendants arrested in an undercover drug buy, argued in a detention hearing that one of the co-defendants in the vehicle was the person with a handgun.

Believeing this testimony, the judge detained this co-defendant.

Since then, the government has dismissed the gun count against this co-defendant, pursuant to a plea agreement, and now is attempting to argue that the gun belonged to another person in the car, my client.

Clearly, these are inconsistent legal theories of the case.

Query: Since the co-defendant pled guilty, can an argument be made by the government that this was a "settlement," and therefore, judicial estoppel may not be applicable, since the 11th Circuit's ruling in Transamerica Leasing, Inc?

Also, has the US Supreme Court taken up judicial estoppel in the terms of a criminal case since the 9th Circuits 1994 decision of US v. Garcia?

How should my argument be framed in terms of judicial estoppel in a criminal case the 11th Circuit today? Thanks for any insight.

 
At 9:07 AM, Anonymous Billy Kidwell, Pro Se said...

When one pleas Guilty it is nothing but a mere plea until the Court is safified that the person pleaing is indeed guilty, and that all the legal requirments for a finding of Guilty are met.

Then the Court enters JUDGMENT and a finding of Guilty. Although such a finding may be the result of some deal the Court could not accept the plea and enter judgment unless all the elements for a JUDGMENT of Guilty were present.

Such a Judgment has full force pursuant to the doctrine of Judicial Estoppel.

A mere Settlement is a horse of a different color.

 
At 3:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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