3d DCA Watch — Judge Schwartz Kicks Off the New Year With a Bang!

newyear-8804470 Our favorite Senior Judge had a big week to kick off 2011.  Let’s take a look:

Tahiti Beach v. Pfeffer:

Here the good judge just sits on the panel as Judge Salter, in his usual efficient and logical way, disposes of Andy Hall’s appeal on behalf of swanky Tahiti Beach, which had imposed a $285k fine on a homeowner for not completing their construction or landscaping within 24 months. The cretins!

Higginbotham v. Higginbotham:

Here Judge Schwartz reduces a spouse’s $305k fee award as excessive, noting that the husband’s counsel’s fees were only $138k for pretty much doing the same work.

Miami-Dade County v. Eghbal:

Finally, here Judge Schwartz dissents from an affirmance of an age discrimination and retaliation claim against the County, saying there just was not enough evidence:

I do not believe the evidence is sufficient to demonstrate an indispensible element of a retaliation claim: that is, that the decision makers actually knew of the employee’s complaint so that their adverse action could have been causally related to that protected activity…..In this regard, it is undisputed that (a) Eghbal never told any of the three panel members, either specifically or impliedly, that he had made such a complaint and (b) two of the three stated, in unimpeached and uncontradicted testimony, that they were not aware of it.

Ok, but what about the third one?