On October 1, the Fifth Circuit ruled against JSW Steel USA Inc., denying its motion to stay enforcement of the $156 million judgment that MM Steel was awarded earlier this year in connection with its antitrust win against JSW and several steel companies, and holding that Texas’ $25 million cap on supersedeas bonds does not apply.
The issue before the Court concerned FRCP 62, which governs the stay of proceedings to enforce a judgment. Rule 62(f) provides, “If a judgment is a lien on the judgment debtor’s property under the law of the state where the court is located, the judgment debtor is entitled to the same stay of execution the state court would give.” Under the prevailing view of Rule 62(f), a judgment is a lien if a judgment creditor is only required to perform mere “ministerial acts” to transform the judgment into a lien.
After analyzing Texas’ requirements to turn a judgment into lien and reviewing the opinions of several district courts that had split on the issue, the Fifth Circuit found that the procedures for creating a judgment lien in Texas were “more than mere ministerial acts,” thus taking it out of the purview of Rule 62(f), and making the $25 million cap inapplicable.
Leading our appellate efforts for MM Steel are Marc Tabolsky and Reagan Simpson.