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

January 2014 Archives

A Forklift is A Motor Vehicle: Insurance Wisdsom From the 5th Cir.

Yes, it's true. The Fifth Circuit finally decided that age old question: is a forklift a motor vehicle?

The court in Boyett v. Redland Ins. Co. needed to answer this ludicrous metaphysical question because an insurance company wanted to use Louisiana law to try to foreclose any chance of a truck driver receiving compensation from a forklift accident.

No dice insurers, a forklift is a motor vehicle.

Sex Offender Had No Right to Car Magazines in Prison

A prisoner in a sex offender program in Texas has no right to his hot rod magazines, despite the prison's limiting policies on mail.

Shawn Stauffer, an inmate in Texas' Sex Offender Treatment Program (SOTP), had his 1983 claims smacked down by the Fifth Circuit on Friday seeking both a million dollars in monetary damages and injunctive relief.

So why did the court uphold the state's policies and deny Stauffer his car magazines?

Before You Arrive at 5th Circuit: 3 To-Do's

So you plan on going into the Fifth Circuit for the first time, and you're psyched. It may be an exciting moment for new attorneys or even veteran litigators, but you need to take care of some business before you arrive.

Show up at the Fifth Circuit prepared by completing these three to-do's.

BP Settlement Upheld, BP Continues to Fight

BP is a company that cares about the "small people," but its representatives seemed somewhat put off by the Fifth Circuit's decision to uphold the details of the multi-billion dollar Gulf settlement.

This latest blow in what has been a long battle for BP affirmed that when you settle with the "small people" and their businesses, you end up having to pay the "small people" what you promised.

Does BP have a legal leg to stand on?

How Much Evidence Is Enough For a Child Porn Conviction?

It's a classic defense: The child porn on the computer wasn't mine, it belongs to my roommate ... or, or my girlfriend!

A jury didn't buy this line when James William Smith's counsel sold it in his criminal trial, but his conviction was overturned for lack of evidence. Then the Fifth Circuit overturned the lower court, affirming the jury's conviction.

How much is enough evidence to sustain child porn charges?

2nd Murder Retrial Argued in Angola 3 Case

One of three men convicted of the "Angola 3" prison guard murder is getting a second chance for a retrial in his case before the Fifth Circuit.

A three-judge panel heard Albert Woodfox's case in oral arguments on January 7, urging the court to consider giving Woodfox a third trial for the 1972 murder of prison guard Brent Miller, reports The Times-Picayune.

What's at stake in this 42-year-old case?

Skeptical 5th Circuit Hears Texas Abortion Case

The Fifth Circuit heard oral arguments on Monday in the federal challenge against Texas' recently enacted abortion regulations.

Comments by members of the three-judge panel gave an air of skepticism to the court over the assertion that the new law creates an undue burden on Texas women, reports the Houston Chronicle.

Why was the all-female panel of Fifth Circuit judges so skeptical?

Come Work for the Fifth Circuit!

This is the first full week of 2014, and the Fifth Circuit is already prepping to pump some new blood into its workforce.

If you have at least a high school education, or you're plain curious about what working for the Fifth Circuit might be like, read on!

Starting 2014 With the Fifth Circuit: 3 Cases to Watch

The Fifth Circuit begins hearing cases again on January 6, 2014, and the court is ready to start the new year with a bang.

Here are three cases still active in 2014 that should not be overlooked: