In an extremely rare move, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit has removed a case from U.S. District Judge Lynn Hughes’ docket after the Houston federal court judge declined to rule the way the appellate court wanted in a case involving Shell Exploration.

The recent decision in United States v. Shell Exploration involves a qui tam False Claims Act (FCA) action brought by two individuals against Shell alleging that the company had failed to pay the U.S. government at least $19 million in oil royalties. The government declined to intervene in the case.

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