Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals

Fifth Circuit Opinion on Solvent Debtor Illustrates Tension Between Text and Tradition


Bankruptcy opinions tend to rely on two major tools for interpreting the Bankruptcy Code: the statutory text and pre-Bankruptcy Code practice. These two methods came into conflict in the Fifth Circuit's recent opinion in Ultra Petroleum Corp. v. Ad Hoc Committee (In re Ultra Petroleum), No. 21-20008 (5th Cir.


Nevertheless, FERC Persisted


When U.S. Sen Elizabeth Warren continued to speak at the confirmation hearing for AG Jeff Sessions after being cautioned by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, it gave rise to the feminist slogan, "Nevertheless, she persisted." A new opinion from the Fifth Circuit adapts that slogan to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's attempts to prevent debtors from rejecting regulatory energy contracts. Judge Jerry Smith's opinion in Case No.


Fiffth Circuit Restricts Rooker-Feldman Doctrine Allowing Race to the Courthouse


The Fifth Circuit has issued a new decision restricting application of the Rooker-Feldman doctrine and repudiating a prior precedent.  Miller v. Dunn, Case No. 20-11054 (5th Cir. 6/2/22), which can be found here. Under the new rule, which brings the Fifth Circuit in line with other courts, Rooker-Feldman does not apply to a state court decision which is the subject of a pending appeal.


Fifth Circuit Opinion Illustrates Risks of Class Proofs of Claim

A new opinion from the Fifth Circuit highlights the perils of class proofs of claim, something I recently wrote about here. In West Wilmington Oilfield Claimants v. Nabors Corporate Services, Inc. (Matter of CJ Holding Company), Case No. 21-20394 (5th Cir. 3/10/22), the Fifth Circuit upheld a bankruptcy court decision which denied creditors covered by a putative class claim permission to file late claims.

Fifth Circuit Upholds Injunctive Relief Against Single-Member Limited Liability Company


 One of the benefits of holding property or doing business through a limited liability company is that "entry of a charging order is the exclusive remedy by which a judgment creditor of a member or of any other owner of a membership interest may satisfy a judgment out of the judgment debtor's membership interest." Tex.Bus.Org. Code Sec. 101.112(d). But just how exclusive is that right? A recent Fifth Circuit opinion holds that a court may impose additional conditions on a judgment debtor's LLC in the name of carrying out the court's orders.  Thomas v.


Fifth Circuit Opinion Upholds Limits on Actions Between Non-Debtors


 In a case involving multiple parties and proceedings, the Fifth Circuit has affirmed lower court rulings which prohibited one non-debtor from suing a second non-debtor and awarded sanctions against a party that told a state court to disregard the Bankruptcy Court's orders. In the Matter of PFO Global, Incorporated, Case No. 20-10885 (5th Cir. 2/9/22), which can be found here.


Defaulting Auction Bidder Finds Evidentiary Mess


A new opinion from the Fifth Circuit shows multiple mishaps in connection with a bankruptcy-related auction. However, its most important holding has to do with authenticating evidence. The bottom line is that a trial court decision limiting a defaulting bidder's damages based on a webpage found on the Wayback Machine was reversed. Weinhoffer v. Davie Shoring, Inc., Case No. 20-30568 (5th Cir. 1/20/22).  You can find the opinion here


Fifth Circuit Binds Debtor to Plan Terms in Subsequent Case


 Recently I wrote about a Fifth Circuit case where a creditor tried to escape the terms of a confirmed plan in a subsequent case. Now the Court has written an opinion about a debtor that tried to do the same thing. Fortunately the result was the same in both cases: res judicata applied. BVS Construction, Inc. v. Prosperity Bank (Matter of BVS Construction, Inc.), Case No. 21-50274 (5th Cir. 11/15/21). You can find the decision here


Fifth Circuit Binds Creditor To Plan Terms in Subsequent Case


Third party releases are a controversial topic with Congress considering legislation to ban them. However, Judge Greg Costa, writing for the Fifth Circuit, has distinguished between an impermissible third-party release and a plan provision reducing a guarantor's liability in a new opinion.  New Falls Corporation v. LaHaye (Matter of LaHaye), No. 19-30795 (5th Cir. 11/12/21) which can be found here.


Fifth Circuit Reminds Courts About Summary Judgment Standard


Summary judgment was intended to be a method of disposing of cases where there are not any disputed issues for the court to trial. Sometimes it seems that summary judgment is a way to get rid of cases that the court doesn't want to try. In a new opinion about insurance coverage, the Fifth Circuit has reminded lower courts that no genuine issue of material fact means exactly that. Guzman v. Allstate Assurance Company, Case No;.