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

June 2011 Archives

Fifth Circuit Grants Habeas Writ in Love Triangle Murder Case

The story of Princess LaCaze is no fairy tale. To start with, she is no princess. Rather, she is an inmate in Louisiana, in jail for the murder of her husband.

But she didn’t commit the murder, although she was complicit. And in cutting a plea deal, the actual killer testified against her. When the full nature of his plea bargain was kept under wraps by the prosecution, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals was called in to decide whether there were any violations for failure to disclose Brady material.

Fifth Circuit Decision in Haliburton Securities Case Tossed Out

A Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals decision was surprisingly reversed and remanded by the Supreme Court of the United States earlier this month. In a decision on the securities class action against Halliburton, SCOTUS struck down a requirement placed by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals and the Federal District Court regarding the securities class action standing of the plaintiff.

The Supreme Court rejected the idea that the plaintiffs had to satisfy a "loss causation" prong in order to bring a securities class action against Halliburton for violation of Rule 10b-5. The Fifth Circuit, upholding a decision from the district court, held that the lead plaintiff could not bring the suit as a class action under Rule 23 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.

5th Cir Won't Review UT Affirmative Action College Admissions

In an effort to boost minority enrollment at their school, the University of Texas should have realized that they would likely be facing legal challenges to their affirmative action college admissions programs. After all, an affirmative action college admissions process could easily be criticized and attacked by students who were denied admission, as was the case in several of other affirmative action suits that made it to the U.S. Supreme Court.

One case made it all the way to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeal, who refused to consider an appeal on the lower court decision upholding the use of race as a factor in admissions. On a 9-7 vote of the full Fifth Circuit, the appeal was rejected.

5th Cir. Denies Appeal When No Definitive Ruling on Objection

Bruce Wayne Potts' parents had a different idea when they named their child after a crime-fighting superhero. They didn't foresee that he'd be on the opposite side of the law, facing off against the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals on a Miranda issue and the proper use of appellate procedure.

The issue arose after Potts was arrested during a vehicle stop, which yielded hidden firearms once his car was searched. This case is very important for criminal defense attorneys arguing within the Fifth Circuit, as it shows the importance of obtaining definitive rulings on objections, in order to preserve them for appeal.

5th Circuit Habeas Petition Makes it to SCOTUS

A Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals decision is having its day in the Supreme Court. The U.S. Supreme Court agreed to review the 5th Circuit habeas case of Rafael Arriaza Gonzalez.

Gonzalez did not file his habeas petition within the one year statute of limitations, reports Courthouse News. This raised several questions on whether or not his writ for habeas was properly denied by the Fifth Circuit and the lower courts.