Fifth Circuit Rebukes U.S. Attorney’s Office in Fed. R. Crim. P. 41(g) Action for Breaching Grand Jury Secrecy and Holding onto Documents Identified as Privileged

In Harbor Healthcare System, L.P. v. United States, No. 19-20624 (5th Cir. July 26, 2021), a per curiam panel of the Fifth Circuit takes aim at the government’s “callous disregard” of the plaintiff’s attorney-client privilege, reversing the district court’s dismissal of the plaintiff’s action for pre-indictment return of its privileged documents. Harbor was the subjectContinue reading “Fifth Circuit Rebukes U.S. Attorney’s Office in Fed. R. Crim. P. 41(g) Action for Breaching Grand Jury Secrecy and Holding onto Documents Identified as Privileged”

Fifth Circuit Panel Holds That 28 U.S.C. § 1631 Transfer Can Cure a Lack of Personal Jurisdiction

In Franco v. Mabe Trucking Co., No. 19-30316 (5th Cir. July 8, 2021), the Fifth Circuit joins other circuits that have held that 28 U.S.C. § 1631 can cure defective personal as well as subject-matter jurisdiction. But the panel split on the interaction between § 1631 and Louisiana’s “prescription” (limitations) law. A vehicular accident onContinue reading “Fifth Circuit Panel Holds That 28 U.S.C. § 1631 Transfer Can Cure a Lack of Personal Jurisdiction”

Judicial Internet Search into Possible Perjury Criticized by Fifth Circuit as “Improper,” But Ultimately Not a Basis for Recusal

In United States v. Brocato, No. 20-40624 (5th Cir. July 9, 2021) (per curiam), the panel affirms denial of a recusal motion, despite “that certain statements of the district court judge were ill-advised and certain actions of her staff were improper.” Defendants, a married couple who ran a lawn service business together, were convicted ofContinue reading “Judicial Internet Search into Possible Perjury Criticized by Fifth Circuit as “Improper,” But Ultimately Not a Basis for Recusal”

No Deference to Litigation-Conduct Waiver Holding Based on “Conclusory Assertions,” Holds Fifth Circuit

In Int’l Energy Ventures Mgt. v. United Energy Grp., No. 20-20221 (5th Cir. May 28, 2021), the Fifth Circuit reverses – on the case’s second appearance in that court – an order compelling arbitration, based on the plaintiff’s three-year “persistent pursuit of litigation.” “International Energy Ventures Management (‘IEVM’) sued United Energy Group (‘UEG’) more thanContinue reading “No Deference to Litigation-Conduct Waiver Holding Based on “Conclusory Assertions,” Holds Fifth Circuit”

Fifth Circuit Splits with Eleventh, Holds That Receipt of a Single Robotext in Violation of TCPA Creates Article III Standing

In Cranor v. 5 Star Nutrition, No. 19-51173 (5th Cir. May 26, 2021), the panel holds that even a single robotext in violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 (“TCPA”) is analogous to a common-law public nuisance, and thus an injury to confers Article III standing. 5 Star Nutrition, an Austin-based nutritional supplementContinue reading “Fifth Circuit Splits with Eleventh, Holds That Receipt of a Single Robotext in Violation of TCPA Creates Article III Standing”

Panel Holds That Fourteenth Amendment Standards Constrain Fifth Amendment Personal Jurisdiction Over a Foreign Defendant, But Urges Reversal En Banc

Ed note 7-2-21: The Fifth Circuit vacated this opinion and will hear it en banc. https://www.ca5.uscourts.gov/opinions/pub/20/20-30382-CV1.pdf In Douglass v. Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha, No. 20-30379 (5th Cir. Apr. 30, 2021) (per curiam), the panel struggles with application of the federal due process personal jurisdiction test to a foreign defendant. While agreeing with the plaintiff inContinue reading “Panel Holds That Fourteenth Amendment Standards Constrain Fifth Amendment Personal Jurisdiction Over a Foreign Defendant, But Urges Reversal En Banc”

Fifth Circuit Cautions Courts and Litigants About Overbroad Sealing of District Court Files

In Le v. Exeter Finan. Corp., No. 20-10377 (5th Cir. Mar. 5, 2021), in the course of reviewing summary judgment in a contract case, the Fifth Circuit notes that the “three-quarters of [the record] is troublingly sealed from the public” and condemns the “entrenched litigation practice[]” of “stipulated sealings.” “In this case, the district courtContinue reading “Fifth Circuit Cautions Courts and Litigants About Overbroad Sealing of District Court Files”

Foreclosure Case Crumbles Because Bank Expressly Declined Consent to Proceed Before Magistrate Judge, Holds Fifth Circuit

In PNC Bank, NA v. Ruiz, No. 20-50255 (5th Cir. Mar. 2, 2021), the Fifth Circuit vacates a summary judgment because there was no record that the bank ever consented to the case proceeding before a U.S. magistrate judge. Plaintiff “Ruiz and her husband … obtained a home equity loan (‘the loan’) from National CityContinue reading “Foreclosure Case Crumbles Because Bank Expressly Declined Consent to Proceed Before Magistrate Judge, Holds Fifth Circuit”

Fifth Circuit Wrestles with Diversity and a Quirk in Appellate Jurisdiction in Review of a Burford Abstention Decision

In Grace Ranch, LLC v. BP American Prod. Co., No. 20-30224 (5th Cir. Feb. 26, 2021), the Fifth Circuit – in a case of first impression for that court – decides that, notwithstanding 28 U.S.C. § 1447(d), it has appellate jurisdiction to review a Burford abstention remand to state court. It also dismisses the stateContinue reading “Fifth Circuit Wrestles with Diversity and a Quirk in Appellate Jurisdiction in Review of a Burford Abstention Decision”

Fifth Circuit Affirms Seating of Juror Opposed to Gambling in Criminal Trial Involving Gambling

In United States v. Dejean, No. 19-30865 (5th Cir. Feb. 23, 2021), the Fifth Circuit upholds a mail fraud and false-statement conviction over a challenge to Juror 31, who admitted that the defendant’s gambling might possibly “affect the way [he] judge[s] somebody who … is an avid gambler?” “A jury convicted Patrick Hale Dejean ofContinue reading “Fifth Circuit Affirms Seating of Juror Opposed to Gambling in Criminal Trial Involving Gambling”