Bank South Leasing, Inc. v. Williams

Decision Date19 December 1985
Docket Number84-3275 and 84-3350,Nos. 84-3274,s. 84-3274
Citation778 F.2d 704
PartiesBANK SOUTH LEASING, INC., a Georgia Corporation, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. James R. WILLIAMS and Julius M. Garner, Defendants-Appellants. BANK SOUTH LEASING, INC., a Georgia Corporation, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. FLORIDA NATIONAL BANK OF ORLANDO, a National Banking Association, Defendant-Appellee. BANK SOUTH LEASING, INC., a Georgia Corporation, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. James R. WILLIAMS, Julius M. Garner, Florida National Bank of Orlando, a National Banking Association, Defendants, and Allen G. MacArthur, Defendant-Appellee.
CourtU.S. Court of Appeals — Eleventh Circuit

Appeals from the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida.

ON PETITIONS FOR REHEARING

(Opinion Sept. 3, 1985, 11 Cir., 769 F.2d 1497).

Before VANCE, ANDERSON * and HENLEY **, Circuit Judges.

PER CURIAM:

On our original consideration of these three consolidated appeals, Bank South Leasing, Inc. v. Williams, 769 F.2d 1497 (11th Cir.1985), we concluded that an unresolved award of attorneys' fees deprived the district court's judgment of finality. We therefore dismissed all three appeals for want of appellate jurisdiction. On petition for rehearing the panel was made aware that on July 5, 1985, between the time of oral argument and the time of our dismissal, the district court entered a final judgment in which it made the attorneys' fee award. Under the circuit's precedents the district court's July 5th judgment cured the jurisdictional defect and made dismissal improper. See Rivers v. Washington County Board of Education, 770 F.2d 1010, 1011 (11th Cir.1985); Martin v. Campbell, 692 F.2d 112, 114 (11th Cir.1982). We therefore grant the petitions for rehearing, vacate our prior dismissal of these appeals and turn to the merits of these cases.

In No. 84-3350 Bank South appeals the failure of the trial judge to award post-judgment interest on the punitive damages award against MacArthur on the fraud claim. Under 28 U.S.C. Sec. 1961(a), "[i]nterest shall be allowed on any money judgment in a civil case recovered in a district court." Pursuant to this statute, Bank South was entitled to post-judgment interest on the entire award, including the punitive damages, from the date of the original judgment. See Dorsey v. Honda Motor Company, 673 F.2d 911, 912 (5th Cir. Unit B), cert. denied, 459 U.S. 880, 103 S.Ct. 177, 74 L.Ed.2d 145 (1982). We therefore vacate the district court's judgment in this case and remand with instructions that, in conformity with the statute, judgment be entered with interest awarded on the entire amount from the date of the original order.

In No. 84-3275 Bank South appeals the district court's grant of a directed verdict to First National Bank of Orlando ("FNBO") on Bank South's fraud claim. In reviewing the directed verdict we must determine whether the evidence of fraud was of "such quality and weight that reasonable and fair-minded men in the exercise of impartial judgment might reach different conclusions." Boeing Co. v. Shipman, 411 F.2d 365, 374 (5th Cir.1969) (en banc). As we have stated previously, "[a] mere scintilla of evidence is insufficient to present a question for the jury; there must be a conflict in substantial evidence to create a jury question." Kaye v. Pawnee Construction Co., 680 F.2d 1360, 1364 (11th Cir.1982). After examining the transcript, we conclude that the evidence does not adequately support a claim of fraud against FNBO for publishing a false or misleading credit report on Polar Chips to Bank South. The specific evidentiary base on which Bank South's claim depends is an omission in a credit memo written by Greg Moore of Bank South's credit department purportedly summarizing a conversation Moore had with MacArthur concerning Polar Chips' credit status. The fact, content and circumstances of the conversation and the accuracy and completeness of the memo were not established by any live testimony. Bank South relies solely on the absence of the omitted information in the memo to establish that it was not discussed during the conversation. We agree with the district court that the mere memo combined with other evidence simply tending to cast MacArthur in an unfavorable light was insufficient to support the claim of fraud. There also was no evidence other than the memo that MacArthur was acting within the scope of his employment when he relayed the credit information about Polar Chips. We therefore affirm the district court's directed verdict in favor of FNBO.

The third appeal, No. 84-3274, is more troublesome than the other two. Defendants Williams and Garner claim that the district court erred in failing to charge the jury properly concerning their asserted affirmative defenses and in improperly providing the jury with a supplemental written instruction defining estoppel without informing counsel for either side. We note first that in this circuit "[t]he proper standard of review on jury instructions is to view the challenged instructions 'as part of the entire charge, in view of the allegations of the complaint, the evidence presented, and the arguments of counsel, to determine whether the jury was misled and whether the jury understood the issues.' " National Distillers and Chemical Corp. v....

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    ...annually." Id. at (b). Moreover, postjudgment interest may accrue on costs and punitive damages. See Bank S. Leasing, Inc. v. Williams, 778 F.2d 704, 705-706 (11th Cir. 1985) (noting that postjudgment interest is permitted on punitive damages under § 1961(a)); R.W.T. v. Dalton, 712 F.2d 122......
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    ...an active part in the jurisprudence of this court, the former Fifth Circuit, and various other circuits. See Bank South Leasing, Inc. v. Williams, 778 F.2d 704, 705 (11th Cir.1985); Rivers v. Washington County Board of Education, 770 F.2d 1010, 1011 (11th Cir.1985); Kleiner v. First Nationa......
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    ...and interpreting similar language. See, e.g., Brown v. Petrolite Corp., 965 F.2d 38, 51 (5th Cir.1992); Bank South Leasing, Inc. v. Williams, 778 F.2d 704, 706 (11th Cir.1985); Life Ins. Co. v. Johnson, 725 So.2d 934, 942-43 (Ala.1998); Pauley v. Gilbert, 206 W.Va. 114, 522 S.E.2d 208, 215-......
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