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United States Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit.

IN RE: TORONTO-DOMINION BANK, Petitioner, In re: Toronto-Dominion Bank; Independent Bank, formerly known as Bank of Houston; HSBC Bank, P.L.C., Petitioners.

No. 22-20648 CONSOLIDATED WITH No. 23-20033

Decided: February 14, 2023

Before Higginbotham, Duncan, and Wilson, Circuit Judges. Jonathan S. Franklin, Norton Rose Fulbright US, L.L.P., Washington, DC, Charles Rodney Acker, Norton Rose Fulbright US, L.L.P., Dallas, TX, Lynn K. Neuner, Simpson, Thacher & Bartlett, L.L.P., New York, NY, for Petitioner. James Richard Swanson, Attorney, Caroline Hogan Paschal, Fishman Haygood, L.L.P., New Orleans, LA, Edward C. Snyder, Castillo Snyder, P.C., San Antonio, TX, for Respondents Guthrie Abbott, Steven Queyrouze, Sarah Elson-Rogers, Salim Estefenn Uribe, Ruth Alfille de Penhos, and Diana Suarez. Robin C. Gibbs, Ashley McKeand Kleber, Esq., Conor Paul McEvily, Gibbs & Bruns, L.L.P., Houston, TX, Chad Flores, Esq., David M. Gunn, Russell S. Post, Beck Redden, L.L.P., Houston, TX, for Respondent Trustmark National Bank. David G. Cabrales, Foley & Lardner L.L.P., Dallas, TX, Roger B. Cowie, Locke Lord, L.L.P., Dallas, TX, Kent Hofmann, Susan Allison Kidwell, John K. Schwartz, Locke Lord, L.L.P., Austin, TX, for Respondent HSBC Bank, P.L.C. William R. Peterson, Clayton A. Morton, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, L.L.P., Houston, TX, Aaron C. Christian, Arcadi Jackson, L.L.P., Dallas, TX, Brian A. Herman, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, L.L.P., New York, NY, for Respondent Blaise Friedli. Charles Lynde Babcock, Jackson Walker, L.L.P., Houston, TX, Edwin McAllister Buffmire, Paul Christopher Watler, Jackson Walker, L.L.P., Dallas, TX, Robert Benjamin Dubose, Alexander Dubose & Jefferson, L.L.P., Houston, TX, Wallace B. Jefferson, Alexander Dubose & Jefferson, L.L.P., Austin, TX, for Respondent Independent Bank. Noelle M. Reed, Allen L. Lanstra, Partner, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, L.L.P., Houston, TX, for Respondent Societe Generale Private Banking. Kevin M. Sadler, Baker Botts, L.L.P., Palo Alto, CA, James Richard Swanson, Attorney, Caroline Hogan Paschal, Benjamin Dox Reichard, Fishman Haygood, L.L.P., New Orleans, LA, Joshua Eli Abraham, Peter Daniel Morgenstern, Esq., Butzel Long, P.C., New York, NY, David Arlington, Stephanie Frederique Cagniart, Attorneys, Thomas Royal Phillips, Scott Daniel Powers, Baker Botts, L.L.P., Austin, TX, Scott M. Berman, Friedman Kaplan Seiler Adelman & Robbins, L.L.P., New York, NY, for Respondent Official Stanford Investors Committee.


“A writ of mandamus is ‘a drastic and extraordinary remedy reserved for really extraordinary causes,’ ” justified only by “a showing of ‘exceptional circumstances amounting to a judicial usurpation of power’ or ‘a clear abuse of discretion.’ ”1 By the same token, “[a] stay is an ‘intrusion into the ordinary processes of administration and judicial review,’ and accordingly ‘is not a matter of right, even if irreparable injury might otherwise result to the appellant.’ ”2 Both carry heavy burdens, particularly on the eve of trial.

This case is, at minimum, complex, featuring myriad fact-specific issues litigated over the course of nearly a decade and a half through multiple courts. Halting the litigation's momentum mere days before trial is set to begin would require indisputable clarity as to its necessity. Here, no such need is evident; assisted by able briefing and a review of the record, we are unpersuaded that either petition reaches the high demands of mandamus, or that the movant has satisfied the similar burden of staying the trial.

With the numerous legal issues arising from decisions in the MDL process and district court, we remind all parties that Rule 49 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure can mitigate risk of reversible error and cabin the reach of those rulings yet contested, which can best be determined with the illumination of trial.

The four most powerful words from the lips of a United States District Judge are simply “Call your first witness,” and the veteran presiding judge will so state in a few short days. The consolidated petitions for mandamus are

DENIED, and the motion to stay trial proceedings is DENIED.


1.   In re Depuy Orthopaedics, Inc., 870 F.3d 345, 350 (5th Cir. 2017) (quoting Cheney v. U.S. Dist. Ct. for D.C., 542 U.S. 367, 380, 124 S.Ct. 2576, 159 L.Ed.2d 459 (2004)).

2.   Nken v. Holder, 556 U.S. 418, 427, 129 S.Ct. 1749, 173 L.Ed.2d 550 (2009) (citations omitted) (first quoting Va. Petroleum Jobbers Ass'n v. Fed. Power Comm'n, 259 F.2d 921, 925 (D.C. Cir. 1958); and then quoting Virginian Ry. Co. v. United States, 272 U.S. 658, 672, 47 S.Ct. 222, 71 L.Ed. 463 (1926)).

Per Curiam:

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