U.S. Fifth Circuit - The FindLaw 5th Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion Summaries Blog

August 2013 Archives

$25M Judgment Against Pilgrim's Pride Overturned

Pilgrim's Pride won't have to shell out $25 million to Texas, Arkansas, and Louisiana chicken growers after the Fifth Circuit overturned the lower court's ruling that declared the corporation closed down some of its operations in an attempt to manipulate prices.

The Texas-founded poultry corporation, Pilgrim's Pride Corporation (PPC), closed some of its chicken processing plants in 2009 due to an unexpected overproduction of chicken which was driving prices down, but this shift caused chicken growers to lose tens of millions of dollars, reports The Dallas Morning News.

What convinced the Court that PPC wasn't illegally playing the market?

DOJ Files Suit Against Texas in Voter ID Case

The battle over voter ID laws found its way to the Fifth Circuit on Thursday, after U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder filed suit in Texas federal court against Texas' recently passed SB14.

Although Holder threatened to bring the Department of Justice (DOJ) hammer down last month, the complaint filed in late August is no idle threat; the federal government means to fight this voter ID law and any "measures that suppress voting rights," reports Reuters.

With federal pre-clearance now off the table, what teeth does this new suit have?

Warrantless Stop OK in Near-Border Search: 5th Cir.

Warrantless stops can often be close cases to affirm or deny under Fourth Amendment scrutiny, and the Fifth Circuit's decision in U.S. v. Garza was no exception.

The Garza court considered the 2012 stop and arrest of Jose Eleazar Garza, who was stopped by a Border Patrol agent on the basis of a confidential informant's (CI) tip as well as suspicious elements around his truck.

How did the court come to uphold the stop?

None Like It Hot: Federal Judge Visits Overheated Death Row

A federal judge has visited Louisiana's death row as part of a lawsuit that alleges conditions at the prison facility are too hot to handle.

Three death row inmates filed the lawsuit in June claiming that their hypertension, as well as other medical conditions, make the overheated, poorly ventilated death row facility a hazard to their health, reports The Shreveport Times.

Will a judge's visit change the outcome of the inmates' case?

Top 3 Hurricane Preparation Tips for Lawyers on the Gulf

As we approach mid-August, hurricane season is coming into full swing. Lawyers in the Fifth Circuit need to get ready for possible storms.

Here are some basic tenets of hurricane safety to help attorneys prepare for a swirling curveball of precipitation and humidity named Erin, Fernand, Gabrielle, or Humberto:

Christian Summer 'Kamp' Knew About Sexual Abuse: Complaint

A federal suit filed in August by a former camper at a Missouri summer camp alleges that the director sexually abused him for seven years, and that the camp's founder and CEO knew about the inappropriate contact with campers.

The Kanakuk Kamp is a Christian summer camp founded by "Promise Keeper" Joe White. "Kamp" director Peter D. Newman pleaded guilty to sexual assault in 2010 for molesting more than 20 boys, reports The Dallas Morning News.

The complaint by an abuse victim, filed in a Texas federal court, asserts that Kanakuk Ministries, the camp's parent company, is liable for Newman's abuse.

Oil Giant Anadarko Awarded $9M in Contract Appeal

Texas-based oil corporation Anadarko announced on Tuesday that it would double the amount of quarterly dividends for common stock, a move that coincides with the Fifth Circuit Court awarding Anadarko $9 million plus interest for oil sales in 2000-2002.

Although it may be written off as a coincidence, Anadarko's Exec. Vice Pres. and CFO, Bob Gwin attributes the dividend increase to the company's capability to "deliver capital-efficient growth within cash flow" (read: money money money), reports The Wall Street Journal.

While Anadarko's investors are soon to be lining their pockets, what caused this windfall?

Warrantless Cell Data Requests Constitutional: 5th Circuit

The Fifth Circuit ruled that warrantless data requests by law enforcement from cell phone service providers are in general constitutional, or in other words, not categorically unconstitutional.

In the most recent federal word on this practice of requesting cell site data in order to zero in on the location of criminal suspects, the Fifth Circuit has determined that -- despite the statutory standard being lower than probable cause -- orders under the Stored Communications Act (SCA) for cell location data do not implicate the Fourth Amendment.