Sabal Trail Transmission, LLC v. 18.27 Acres of Land in Levy County—(J. Rosenbaum; 11th Cir./2/3/23).
This non-personal-injury opinion will be my new go-to language when I am arguing that a prior Eleventh Circuit decision is binding authority in an appeal to the Eleventh Circuit. The opening paragraph states:
- This case is all about our prior-precedent rule. As any practitioner before our Court knows, once a panel—or in this case, the en banc Court—has decided an issue in a published decision, that decision is binding on all future panels. That is so because, as a court of law, we aim for rules to be clear, consistent, and predictable. So when our prior-precedent rule applies, it doesn’t matter whether we agree with our earlier decision or not. It doesn’t matter whether the prior panel or en banc Court missed an argument or overlooked a reason. It doesn’t matter if the current panel thinks the earlier decision was wrong. The current panel must follow the earlier decision.
The case also stated that because a relevant case “applies here, it’s game over…”