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

December 2015 Archives

In case you missed it in the theaters, Machete Kills was the 2013 camp-action film about a Mexican vigilante who is hired by the U.S. president to kill an illegal arms dealer. It starred Danny Trejo, joined by a B movie star-studded cast that included Charlie Sheen, Lady Gaga, and Mel Gibson.

Machete Kills didn't win any Oscars, but it did inspire a First Amendment lawsuit after the Texas Film Commission denied it funding under the state's film incentive program. Machete Productions sued, arguing that the denial was unconstitutional viewpoint discrimination, an argument the Fifth Circuit rejected on Monday.

JSW Steel Joined in Conspiracy to Tank Competitor, 5th Cir. Affirms

The Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit has ordered a major steel company, JSW steel, to pay the equivalent of $156 million in fines, affirming a jury decision that the company was involved in a conspiracy to throttle supply lines to a competitor.

The ruling comes as very bad news to JSW, which has struggled in recent years to stay profitable in the rising tide of Chinese competitors.

Criminal or Civil? Difference Is Huge in Former Texas AG's Suit

Usually there's no confusing about whether a matter is civil or criminal. But that wasn't the case in a recent Fifth Circuit opinion, released Monday. There, the Fifth Circuit ruled that Dan Morales' appeal to have two key documents disclosed is part of a civil appeal, not a criminal one notwithstanding the circumstances of the facts. That difference made his motion timely under the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure.

For litigators who think they've heard that name before, Morales was Texas' Attorney General up until it was discovered that he was involved in a scheme to skim a profit from the "Big Tobacco" settlement that took place in the 90's. The number? $17.3 billion. And those are 90s dollars.