Tom Appeals Blog

News and Observations About Law and Society

"As long as I have any choice, I will stay only in a country where political liberty, toleration, and equality of all citizens before the law are the rule." - Albert Einstein

11th Circuit Agrees to Rehear Home Depot Case En Banc

Posted: March 14, 2010 Filed under: Case Law, Employment Law, Law-Related News, Uncategorized

I wrote a blog post about Corbitt v. Home Depot U.S.A., Inc. in July 2009, shortly after a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit issued its decision. In its original opinion, the Eleventh Circuit reversed a trial court decision that handed Home Depot an across the board victory. The court affirmed, however, by a 2-1 vote, a trial court determination that the plaintiffs, two Home Depot store managers, failed to establish a sufficient claim for sexual harassment. The dissenting judge would have required the trial court to submit the entire case to a jury.

After my first blog post, the same three-judge panel issued a revised, 85 page opinion, on December 4, 2009, that reached the same outcome on the male managers’ sexual harassment claims.

Now, after a law professor at the University of Washington School of Law filed a petition for writ of certiorari with the Supreme Court of the United States, docket number 09-1063, the Eleventh Circuit has agreed to rehear the case en banc. That means all 11 judges on the Eleventh Circuit will decide the case. En banc decisions occur, but not often. The Eleventh Circuit’s decision to hear the Corbitt case en banc is especially interesting because the decision comes on the heels of another en banc decision in an employment law case, Reeves v. C.H. Robinson Worldwide, Inc., which I wrote about last week.

Look for an fascinating opinion, regardless of the outcome.

Admitted: Florida, Kansas, New Mexico (inactive)