No Pox on Blake Box

mexicanflagIn the case’s second trip to the Fifth Circuit, the Court considered whether – after an earlier remand for “limited discovery” on jurisdictional facts related to the contract-making authority of the Mexican consulate – the district court erred by reconsidering its earlier substantive ruling about the basis for subject matter jurisdiction.  Blake Box v. Dallas Mexican Consultate General, Nos. 14-10744 & 14-10954 (Aug. 19, 2015, unpublished).

Reviewing both the law-of-the case doctrine and the “mandate rule,” the Court found error and reversed: “[W]hether the Consulate [o]fficials had authority from the Mexican government to form a joint venture is a separate question from whether they exercised that authority in their dealings with [plaintiff].  Simply put, here, the first question was answered by the district court on remand in Box I and the second question was defaulted by the Consulate” when it failed to answer after service.  Accordingly, a $3 million default judgment was reinstated.  Congratulations to my LTPC colleagues Jason Dennis and Sam Hardy on this win!

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