5th Circuit Decisions

Criminal defendant who pleaded guilty, then appealed his conviction based on his attorney’s failure to tell him he would be deported, could not show he had been prejudiced by this failure because, (1) just before accepting his plea, the judge told him he would likely be deported, and (2) he could not show he was likely to obtain a more favorable result by going to trial. United States v. Batamula (No. 12-20630) (en banc).

Defendant successfully defeated trademark claims in what should have been characterized as an “exceptional case” under Octane Fitness LLC v. Icon Health and Fitness, Inc., 134 S. Ct. 1749 (2014); therefore, Defendant was entitled to remand for reconsideration of awarding legal fees under the Lanham Act. Baker v. DeShong (No. 14-11157).

Three officers used stun guns repeatedly on a man who was running away, then used physical restraints and stun guns again while the man was on the ground. The officers then hog-tied the man (against PD policy). When EMS paramedics arrived, the man had no pulse and wasn’t breathing. He died the next morning at the hospital. But the officers had qualified immunity because no right was violated and no unreasonable or excessive force was used. Pratt v. Harris County, Texas (No. 15-20080).