A father filed a post-judgment motion before the circuit court entered its judgment. This motion “quickened” and became effective when the trial court did enter judgment. Similarly, the father’s premature notice of appeal became effective when his post-judgment motion was denied. The father’s appeal was thus timely. T.T.T. v. R.H., No. 2070158 (Ala. Civ. App. Jun. 27, 2008).
An appeal is “filed” when the circuit clerk receives the notice of appeal, not when a party mails it. Because the clerk received the notice after the time for filing an appeal had elapsed, the appeal was late and was consequently dismissed D.T. v. State, No. 2070513 (Ala. Civ. App. Jun. 27, 2008).
From Alabama Court of Civil Appeals:
From the Supreme Court of Alabama:
In Exxon Shipping Co. v. Baker, No. 07-216 (June 25, 2008), the United States Supreme Court cut the punitive damage award against Exxon arising out of the Exxon Valdez oil spill from $2.5 billion to approxinmately $500 million, and provided further guidance for the review of punitive damage awards.
In Ex parte Morris, Ms. 1070384 (Ala. June 20, 2008) , in a question of first impression, the Alabama Supreme Court held that the payment of benefits pursuant to another states workers’ compensation statute does not toll the time to bring an Alabama workers’ compensation claim. Under the terms of Alabama’s statute, only payments under Alabama’s workers’ compensation statute tolls the time to bring a clain in Alabama. Thus, the plaintiff’s claim in this case was untimely and was dismissed. The Court recognized that this rule can lead to harsh results, so it noted that equitable tolling may be available in some cases.
In Horton Homes, Inc. v. Shaner, Ms. 1061659, 1061741 (Ala. June 20, 2008), the Alabama Supreme Court attempted to clarify the procedure for appealing an arbitrator’s decision. Specifically, in its Per Curiam opinion, the Court "address[ed] two aspects of that procedure, namely: (1) the time period for filing an appeal of an arbitration award, and (2) the role of the circuit court in reviewing that arbitration award." Slip Op. p. 2-3.
In short, a party has 42 days from the date of receipt of notice to file an appeal of the arbitrator’s award in the circuit court. Further, a party challenging an award is required to file a motion to vacate the award, and that motion is subject to the procedures of Ala. R. Civ. P. 59 and 59.1.
In Bessemer Board of Ed. v. Tucker, Ms. 2070390 (Ala. Civ. App. June 20, 2008) , the Alabama Court of Civil Appeals addressed the application of the "law of the case" doctrine, and found that the doctrine is not inflexible. "The doctrine directs a court’s discretion; it does not limit a court’s power." Slip Op. p. 7. Thus, the court revisited its prior ruling regarding jurisdiction.
From the Alabama Court of Civil Appeals:
From the Supreme Court of Alabama:
In Jones v. Alfa Mutual Ins. Co., Ms. 1060179 (Ala. June 13 2008), the Alabama Supreme Court reversed a trial court’s ruling that Alfa did not act in bad faith in its handling of an insurance claim arising from Hurricane Opal in October 1995. The Supreme Court sent the case back for a trial on "abnormal" bad faith based on failure to investigate and breach of contract. For more information, follow the link to "Alabama Supreme Court reverses decision in Hurricane Opal lawsuit" from the Mobile Press-Register.
Judge Price of the Montgomery County Circuit Court upheld the fraud verdict obtained by the State against AstraZeneca in the Medicaid drug pricing suit. Judge Price upheld the compensatory damage award of $40 million and, pursuant to the statutory cap on punitive damages, cut the punitive damages from $175 million to $120 million, making the total verdict $160 million. AstraZeneca has stated they will appeal, so the Alabama Supreme Court will be looking at it. For more information, follow the link to an article entitled "Ala. judge OKs AstraZeneca fraud verdict" from the AP via Forbes.