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.