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”

Ripeness Can Blossom on Appeal, Holds Fifth Circuit

In DM Arbor Court, Ltd. v. City of Houston, No. 20-20194 (5th Cir. Feb. 12, 2021), a challenge to a city’s failure to act on applications for construction permits became ripe on appeal because—while it was pending—the City Council ruled and denied the permits. Following flooding from Hurricane Harvey in 2017, Arbor Court Apartments appliedContinue reading “Ripeness Can Blossom on Appeal, Holds Fifth Circuit”

Fifth Circuit Holds That It Has No Appellate Jurisdiction Over Post-Judgment Order to Return Interpleaded Funds to the Court’s Registry

In Reed Migraine Centers of TX v. Ticer, No. 20-10156 (5th Cir. Feb. 2, 2021), the panel holds that a Fed. R. Civ. P. 60(b)(5) order reopening an interpleader action and directing return of the funds was not a final appealable order. “Dr. Kenneth Reed, a member of both Reed Migraine Centers of Texas, LLCContinue reading “Fifth Circuit Holds That It Has No Appellate Jurisdiction Over Post-Judgment Order to Return Interpleaded Funds to the Court’s Registry”

District Court Judge Who Promised to “Crush” the Plaintiff’s Attorney Is Assigned Off of Case by Fifth Circuit

In Miller v. Sam Houston State Univ., No. 19-20752 (5th Cir. Jan. 29, 2021), the panel holds that a district court judge’s behavior in a pair of cases fell so far below the standard of fundamental fairness that it had no choice but to reverse, remand and reassign the matters to a different judge. TheContinue reading “District Court Judge Who Promised to “Crush” the Plaintiff’s Attorney Is Assigned Off of Case by Fifth Circuit”

Fifth Circuit Panel Splits Over Application of the Party Presentation Principle in § 1292(b) Interlocutory Appeal

In Gonzalez v. CoreCivic, Inc., No. 19-50691 (5th Cir. Jan. 20, 2021), the panel—reviewing an interlocutory denial of a motion to dismiss—divides over whether to reach an issue not briefed by the parties to resolve the appeal. The district court certified the order denying a Fed. R. Civ. P 12(b)(6) dismissal, specifying the following issue:Continue reading “Fifth Circuit Panel Splits Over Application of the Party Presentation Principle in § 1292(b) Interlocutory Appeal”

Certificate of Insurance and Better Business Bureau “F” Rating Admissible to Prove Negligence in Casino Accident, Holds Fifth Circuit

In Echeverry v. Jazz Casino Co., LLC, No. 20-30038 (5th Cir. Jan. 12, 2021), the Fifth Circuit affirms liability – but vacates damages – in a negligence case involving a casino and one of its contractors, holding “that none of the objected-to evidence was erroneously admitted at trial.” “Jazz Casino Company … hired Alabama WildlifeContinue reading “Certificate of Insurance and Better Business Bureau “F” Rating Admissible to Prove Negligence in Casino Accident, Holds Fifth Circuit”

Fifth Circuit Denies “Exceptional” Request for Intervention into an Appeal

In Richardson v. Texas Sec’y of State, No. 20-50774 (5th Cir. Nov. 12, 2020), the court addresses the motion of three voters who sought and failed to intervene into a voting-rights case in the district court, then sought to intervene into the appeal. The three voters moved in the district court under Fed. R. Civ.Continue reading “Fifth Circuit Denies “Exceptional” Request for Intervention into an Appeal”