Commercial Litigation and Arbitration

Federal District Court Should Look to Decisions of Other Circuits in the Absence of Guiding Authority in Its Own Circuit and Be Reluctant to Create a Circuit Split

United States v. Bryan Co., 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 78407 (S.D. Miss. June 6, 2012):

And although it is true that Fourth Circuit decisions are not binding in this judicial district, an "informed person" would expect this court "to look to the opinions of other circuits for persuasive guidance, always chary to create a circuit split." Wheeler v. Pilgrim's Pride Corp., 591 F.3d 355, 363 (5th Cir. 2009) (citation omitted). That is because, as the Fifth Circuit has explained,

the law rules best by being predictable and consistent. It is predictability that enables people to plan their investments and conduct, that encourages respect for law and its officials by treating citizens equally, and that enables an adversary to settle conflict without going to court in the hope of finding judges who will choose a favored result.

Id. In short, it is entirely appropriate to consider the persuasive guidance contained in Equal Rights Center.See also United States v. Tadlock, 399 F. Supp. 2d 747, 751 (S.D. Miss 2005) (where an issue has not been addressed by the Fifth Circuit, the district court "look[s] to persuasive guidance from other jurisdictions").

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