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

August 2016 Archives

Company Policy Must Bend to State Gun Laws

A man who, contrary to his employer's policy, kept a locked gun in his car in the company parking lot can sue for wrongful termination under Mississippi law, says the Fifth Circuit.

This case is fundamentally about the clashing of state laws with company policy with regard to dangerous arms. The circuit court's ruling recognizes a new public policy exception to the doctrine of at-will employment.

A ten-year long battle over sno-balls, those frozen cones of shaved ice and sugary syrup, made its way into the Fifth Circuit recently, and it wasn't for the first time. The legal battle over sno-ball syrup flavors and trademarks has brought a pair of Louisiana sno-ball purveyors, SnoWizard and Southern Snow, through just about every court imaginable: Louisiana state court, federal district court, the Patent and Trademark Office, the Federal Circuit, and the Fifth Circuit, multiple times.

In the Fifth's most recent ruling in the long-running dispute, the circuit found that Southern Snow's claims that its competitors were involved in a criminal racket and violating unfair trade practices laws were barred by res judicata.

5th Cir.: Mississippi's Gun Laws Trump Company Policy

In a case about the clashing of state laws and company policy with regards to firearms, the Fifth Circuit has sided with the state.

A man who, contrary to his employer's policy, kept a locked gun in his car in the company parking lot can sue for wrongful termination under Mississippi law, the Fifth Circuit ruled on Monday. The unanimous three-judge panel reversed a lower court finding that state public policy opinions couldn't trump employer's policy on guns, reviving Robert Swindol's lawsuit against his former employer, Aurora Flight Sciences Corp.

5th Cir. Applies Equitable Tolling to Reopening Removal Proceedings

In what looks to be a somewhat rare display of compassion (by immigration standards, that is), the Fifth Circuit remanded an immigration case back to the lower tribunals with the admonishment not to apply certain legal principles "too harshly." Whoa.

Immigration advocacy groups have applauded the decision, calling it a recognition of the realities facing immigrants who may be "poor, uneducated, unskilled in the English language, and effectively unable to follow developments in the American legal system--much less read and digest complicated legal decisions."