Judge Elizabeth Branch, Eleventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals

Judge Elizabeth Branch

Eleventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals

Elizabeth Lee “Lisa” Branch was born in March 1968 in Atlanta, Georgia. She earned her undergraduate degree from Davidson College and received her Juris Doctor from the Emory University School of Law. She served two years as a clerk at the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia.

She worked for four years as a senior official in the administration of President George W. Bush: three years as the Counselor to the Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs at the Office of Management and Budget, and one year as Associate General Counsel for Rules and Legislation at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. She engaged in the private practice of law in Atlanta. 

She was appointed by Governor Nathan Deal to the Georgia Court of Appeals, serving five years. 

President Donald Trump nominated Branch to serve on the U.S.  Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. Her nomination lapsed before the Senate Judiciary Committee could hear the matter. She was nominated again and by a cloture vote in the Senate, her nomination was approved. She received her commission in March 2018. 

In the News…

A three-judge panel of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a lower court decision that backed a Miami steakhouse, which distributed money from the mandatory 18 percent service charges to employees to cover the restaurant’s minimum and overtime wage obligations. The workers who filed the lawsuit contended that the service charges were tips and, as a result, could not be used to meet the obligations under the Fair Labor Standards Act. 

The ruling said, “If the charge is a tip, the FLSA {Fair Labor Standards Act] barred [the owner] from using that money to satisfy its minimum and overtime wage obligations to the employees. But the charge it not a tip. [The owner] could use it to meet its wage obligations under FLSA and the district court properly granted summary judgment.” 

The 21-page ruling, written by Judge Elizabeth Branch, said the steakhouse paid employees substantially more than the state’s minimum wage and concluded that the service charge money was part of the workers’ regular rate of pay. It pointed to a U.S. Department of Labor regulation that said tips are matters “determined solely” by customers. 

“By this measure, [the owner’s] service charge is not a tip,” Judge Branch wrote. 

Contact this Leader…

Did you pray for Judge Branch today? You can let her know at:

The Honorable Elizabeth Branch
Eleventh Circuit United States Court of Appeals
Elbert P. Tuttle Courthouse
56 Forsyth Street NW
Atlanta, GA 30303


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