Sunday, March 11, 2018

How the Amici Came Together for the Fifth Circuit's Disappearing Exemptions Cases

When a case is heard at the Supreme Court, the docket is filled with briefs of amicus curiae trying to say something that will catch the court's attention.   With so many briefs filed, they sometimes cancel each other out in a flutter of pdf files sounding variations on the same themes.   However, amicus briefs are much less common at the Court of Appeals level.  Recently I was part of an effort where a panel of the Fifth Circuit reversed itself in one instance and reversed a district court in another.   The cases are Hawk v. Engelhart (In re Hawk), 871 F.3d 287 (5th Cir. 2017) and Lowe v. DeBerry (In re DeBerry), 2018 U.S. Appl LEXIS 5772 (5th Cir. 3/7/18).    In this post, I would like to share how our amicus briefs came together as well as some tips on amicus practice before the Fifth Circuit.