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This is a summary of the issues argued at the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday, October 6, 2015

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The Daily Commentary (sample)

Sample case reviewed on January 20, 2016.
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Occidental Chemical Corp. v. Louisiana Public Service Commission No. 15-30100

Before DAVIS, BARKSDALE, and DENNIS, Circuit Judges.

VACATED and REMANDED. (January 4, 2016).

Posted in Appellate Jurisdiction, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Federal Power Act, Primary Jurisdiction Doctrine, Public Utilities, Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act

The Fifth Circuit concludes that the District Court abused its discretion when it entered an order indefinitely staying this proceeding to allow the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission ("FERC") to act on an administrative complaint filed by plaintiff against a non-party to this action, which largely concerns the same issues. The District Court based its order on the primary jurisdiction doctrine, which is essentially a form of abstention. Under the doctrine, a District Court with subject matter jurisdiction may, under appropriate circumstances, defer to another forum, such as an administrative agency, which also has non-exclusive jurisdiction, based on its determination that the benefits of obtaining aid from that other forum outweigh the need for expeditious litigation. Here, however, the Court agrees with plaintiff that the indefinite nature of the stay outweighs any potential benefit. But, in remanding the case, the Court instructs that the FERC is to be given a reasonable period within which to act on the administrative complaint.

On Appeal from the United States District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana (Shelly Deckert Dick).
Attorney for Appellant - Ashley Charles Parrish, Washington, DC
Attorney for Appellee - Noel Joseph Darce, New Orleans, LA

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