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

February 2018 Archives

It is no secret that the justice system tends to favor the wealthy. People with more money are better able to afford the cost of accessing justice. And it's not just paying the costs for private attorneys and experts in civil cases, in the criminal justice system simply being able to afford bail provides the wealthy with a significant privilege and advantage compared to those who can't afford any amount of bail.

The Fifth Circuit recently weighed in on the Harris County bail system which relies on fixed bail amounts for various charges, and which been recently been upended by a district court ruling that could have potential released many pretrial detainees. Both courts agreed and ruled the fixed bail amounts were unconstitutional as a result of due process and equal protection violations, but the circuit court had to reign in the lower court's order for going a bit too far.

Dispute Over Krusty Krab Restaurant Lands in Fifth Circuit

Kids know that SpongeBob SquarePants would protect The Krusty Krab's secret recipe.

Some seasoned judges don't know that, however, even in a lawsuit over "The Krusty Krab." Viacom, which created the cartoon crab shack on Nickelodeon, wants to keep a businessman from using the name for his planned restaurants.

The big problem is, Viacom didn't trademark the name. But another problem is, the judges don't know SpongeBob.

Trump's Latest Nomination for 5th Circuit: Andy Oldham

Andy Oldham barely had time to decorate his office when President Trump nominated him to the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Oldham was just named general counsel by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Jan. 2, when the President came calling a month later. It may be a bit of a rush for the nominee, but changes have been coming to the appeals court for a while.

It is Trump's third nominee to the Fifth Circuit since he took office, and they all came from Texas. That's good and bad news, depending on how you look at it.

5th Cir. Considers Minimum Age for Exotic Dancers

Just in time for Mardi Gras, a state appeals court is considering whether young women may bare their breasts in Louisiana.

But revelers shouldn't worry about flashing for beads along the streets of New Orleans during the annual carnival. The U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals is focused on nude entertainers there.

Louisiana passed a law that prohibits women under age 21 from stripping. A trial judge said the law was unconstitutional, but the appeals court justices are taking another look.

Texas Executes 3rd Man of 2018

As lawyers scrambled to save his life, John David Battaglia prepared to die.

The attorneys asked any court that would listen to arguments that Battaglia was delusional, mentally incompetent, and shouldn't be executed for fatally shooting his two young daughters. They were nine and six years old.

The last-minute appeals didn't work. They usually don't in Texas.

Court Reverses Medicare Fraud Convictions for New Orleans Doctor

Sixty-eight-year-old Dr. Pramela Ganji is serving her last days in federal prison, but she will soon be free again.

The U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals court threw out the case against her in United States of America v. Ganji. The appeals court said prosecutors did not prove she was guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

The government's case was "rather peculiar," the judges said. It was also a lesson in how not to try a case.