January 28, 2010
The United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit will hold arguments at the Tulane School of Law on Tuesday, Feb. 2 in Room 110 of Weinmann Hall. Law students and media are welcome to attend. The arguments will begin promptly at 9 a.m. and will end at 11 a.m. Overflow for the event will be in Room 257.
After the arguments, several of the judges’ law clerks will stay in Room 110 to answer questions about the clerkship application process and the duties of an appellate law clerk. The panel will start right after the arguments end and will last approximately 30 minutes. All media should report to Weinmann Hall, Suite 210, no later than 8:30 a.m. and ask to see Emily Roberts or Lauren Vergona.
The Fifth Circuit, which decides appeals from lower federal courts in Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi, holds most hearings at its 600 Camp St. headquarters in New Orleans but convenes two to three times a year in cities outside New Orleans and at least once annually at a law school. The arguments presented on Feb. 2 will be:
• Siegfried v. Greer (Habeas): Does a criminal defense attorney representing a man accused of committing homosexual sexual battery render ineffective assistance of counsel by failing to dismiss a juror who claims to be biased against homosexuals? While the district court found that the convict filing this habeas corpus action was not denied effective assistance of counsel at trial, the Fifth Circuit will reconsider the issue at oral argument.
• United States of America v. Casita Enterprises, Inc. and Dexter Axle Co.: On June 30, 2002, a fire broke out in the Ashley National Forest in northeastern Utah, consuming 20,000 acres of forest. The United States spent $3.4 million suppressing the fire and rehabilitating the charred lands. The United States filed suit against Casita Enterprises, Inc. and later Dexter Axle Company to recover its expenditures. In its complaint, the U.S. alleged that a faulty axle, manufactured by Dexter Axle and installed on a trailer manufactured and sold by Casita, had caused the fire. The case has seen several rounds of appeals.
• Wampler v. Southwestern Bell Telephone Company: Can an apartment complex constitute a geographic region? The plaintiffs in Wampler v. Southwestern Bell Telephone Company, an antitrust case, seek to persuade the Fifth Circuit that it can.
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