piece of paper saying abstention

Deal v. Tugalo Gas Co.: Eleventh Circuit Elects Not to Extend the Burford Abstention Doctrine to Judicial-Dissolution Claims

Robert Adams*

Photo Credit: https://perma.cc/6FAJ-66NS

In Deal v. Tugalo Gas Co., the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit addressed a laundry list of appeals stemming from a district court’s rejection of a plaintiff’s substantive claims as well as its decision to invoke the “Burford abstention” doctrine for the plaintiff’s equitable claims. In an unusual decision, by declining to adjudicate the plaintiff’s three equitable claims—“for judicial dissolution, an accounting, and appointment of an auditor”—the district court extended the “long-lost (or nearly lost)” Burford doctrine to cover such claims. However, on appeal, while affirming the district court’s disposal of substantive claims, the Eleventh Circuit reversed and remanded the three equitable claims because the district court should not have abstained from deciding the claims under the Burford doctrine.

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