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

October 2015 Archives

Mandatory Arbitration Agreements for Employees OK, 5th Cir. Rules

The National Labor Relations Board has been a thorn in the Fifth Circuit's said these past few years. Several days ago, however, the panel court made it perfectly clear that it hadn't changed its mind with regards to the proper scope of the National Labor Standards Act.

The issue at bar (now apparently settled) is whether or not employers can require the signing of mandatory arbitration clauses that preclude employee lawsuits against the company. The answer? Such clauses are allowed.

Race Abuse by Students Not Within Title VI's Scope, 5th Cir. Rules

What's a school's liability for discrimination suffered by its students at the hands of other students? This was the broad legal question posed by the Fennell family in Kyana Fennell v. Marion Independent School District.

The Fifth Circuit dismiss the complaint against a Marion Independent School District (MISD) and several of its employees. The circuit court found that school officials were not "deliberately indifferent" to racist student behaviors.

20-Year Sentence Upheld for Ex-Litigator Who Bribed Judge

An ex-litigator Marc Rosenthal was sentenced to 20 years for his strong-arm tactics in settlements and for bribing a judge and witnesses.

The former attorney in question -- Marc Rosenthal -- appealed the decision against him and argued that government wiretaps of his conversation should have been excluded from the body of evidence. That argument fell on deaf ears and the Fifth Circuit upheld the conviction.

It seems that Texas has been getting hit with lawyer/judge bribery cases lately. It's a big state.

If you're going to couple business travel with a family trip, don't bill your client for your vacation expenses. That's the lesson from a recent Fifth Circuit ruling upholding the removal of a bankruptcy trustee who billed the estate for his family's extended stay in New Orleans during oral arguments. Steven Smith, the trustee in question, continually put his own interests ahead of the estate's, the court found.

What's more, because Smith was removed as trustee for cause, the Bankruptcy Code required Smith to be removed as trustee from all other bankruptcy proceedings.