Top five cases from mid-2013

The Fifth Circuit addressed several important business litigation topics in May-August of 2013:

1.       Borrowers survive.  Mortgage servicers still won many cases, including a published opinion rejecting claims of “robosigning.”   Three times, however, the Fifth Circuit reversed Rule 12 dismissal of borrowers’ pleadings.

2       Personal jurisdiction.  The Fifth Circuit applied for the first time  a 2011 Supreme Court opinion about the “stream of commerce,” finding jurisdiction over a foreign manufacturer, but noting that the opinion may affect older Circuit cases suggesting that a general intent to sell in the US could create jurisdiction in a specific state.

3.       Extrinsic evidence.  The proper handling of extrinsic evidence is a recurring challenge in contract litigation.  A recent case reminds of the importance of evidence about course of performance, even for an unambiguous contrac

4.       Venue.  The Court granted mandamus to compel an intra-district transfer from East Texas’s Marshall Division to its Tyler Division.

5.       Jury deference.  In Wellogix, Inc. v. Accenture, LLP, the Court affirmed a $44 million jury verdict, reminding: “Had we sat in the jury box, we may have decided otherwise.”  Three other published opinions substantially affirm jury awards.

BONUS: Where is the M/V OCEAN SHANGHAI?  An admiralty appeal was recently found moot, in part because the “ship had sailed” from the Fifth Circuit.  Modern technology lets blog readers follow the SHANGHAI to non-Fifth Circuit locations around the globe.

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