The Fifth Circuit didn’t bite on a last-minute attempt to stop a trial in the Allen Stanford litigation, denying a mandamus petition (with memorable language obviously written by Judge Higginbotham despite the “per curiam” designation):

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….

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.

In re Toronto-Dominion Bank, No. 22-20648 (Feb. 14, 2023). (It could be debated whether those are in fact a trial judge’s most powerful words–a case could be made for “So ordered” or “Your objection is overruled,” for example.)

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