Fifth Circuit Shields Judge from Charges of Misconduct by Suppressing Opinion
The U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals posts thousands of unpublished opinions on its website.
Excluded from that otherwise comprehensive database is its opinion in Case No. 98-31417 of Feb. 2, 1999, involving the failure of Judge Helen "Ginger" Berrigan to recuse herself from Bernofsky's lawsuits against Tulane University, a defendant with which Berrigan was associated as an adjunct professor and a board member of one of its research centers. Most notably, Berrigan was also employed by Tulane in its Law School's Summer Abroad Program.
That opinion is not found by searching the Fifth Circuit's database for either "Bernofsky" or "Tulane," and its existence would never be discovered by anyone who was unaware of its existence.
The Court's decision to withhold this particular opinion from its database was deliberate, as can be seen from the e-mail exchange with the Clerk's office.
Bernofsky's original copy of the opinion was damaged by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, but not before it had been transcribed for a mandamus appeal. It is resurrected here.