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N A K E D Louisiana O W N E R S H I P 
All Things Legal in Louisiana


February 28, 2003

Deja Vu Opponents Say Bond Money Misspent

The Times reports that opponents of the Shreveport Deja Vu strip club are in a dispute with the city over nearly $4 million in bond revenues that they claim were intended to build a park but were used to purchase land for a downtown convention center.

Scott Sinclair, lead attorney for opponents of the club, said that because the city used bond money to buy those parcels, they legally become parks.Under city law, parks are a protected use, meaning the $4 million Deja Vu cannot locate at 202 Commerce St. Sinclair said.

Posted by AJR at 08:37 AM

BR Jury Awards $773,000 to ex-LSU Coach

The Advocate reports that a jury in the 19th JDC awarded a former LSU track coach $773,000 last night in lost wages and damages connected to his firing in 1989. The coach, Loren Seagrave, "contends LSU discriminated against him, and wrongfully fired him. Seagrave, who is white, claimed the firing was racially motivated because he was married to a black woman at the time of his firing."

Posted by AJR at 08:26 AM

February 27, 2003

Albertson's Not Permitted to Break Lease

United States ED Judge Stanwood Duval, Jr. issued a summary judgment ruling that Albertson's cannot break a lease agreement in the New Orleans Garden District because of potential competition from a proposed Wal-Mart Supercenter, reports The Times-Picayune.

"In the final analysis," Duval said, Albertson's wants to cancel the contract "because its profit margin may be less than anticipated." But "Louisiana courts have consistently held that incorrect assumptions about future events that may affect profitability are not grounds for rescission of a contract," and he accepts the same rule, he said.

Posted by AJR at 10:47 AM

Johnnie Cochran Wins NOLA Trial

The Times-Picayune reports that Johnnie Cochran won a five-day trial that he called a battle between David and Goliath. The case concerned the expropriation of a Tchoupitoulas Street warehouse by the Morial Convention Center. Dr. Steve Lesser, who owns the building, was awarded $10.5 million in comparison to the $1.2 million offered by the State. "Lesser asked for $12.2 million, claiming that a developer was ready to build a 400-room hotel on the property."

Posted by AJR at 10:38 AM

February 26, 2003

United States DOJ Seizes Web Site

The United States Department of Justice has a new web site.

Posted by AJR at 09:28 PM

BRToday.com Launch Postponed

The Daily Report reports that BRToday, a new web site that will combine news coverage from WBRZ and The Advocate, did not launch today because Woody Jenkins, head of Great Oaks Broadcasting, wrote a letter claiming ownership of the name Baton Rouge Today.

Attorneys for The Advocate looked into the matter and gave the site a green light. But Yarbrough [who runs The Advocate online division] said higher ups at The Advocate and WBRZ decided to change the name, just to play it safe.

UPDATE: The Advocate reports that the new name of the joint site will be 2theadvocate.com. The new motto of the site will be "On air, In print, Online - Anytime."

Posted by AJR at 08:44 PM

ED Judge Porteous Recuses Himself from Federal Government Cases

The Times-Picayune reports that United States Eastern District Court Judge Tom Porteous "has recused himself from hearing cases involving the federal government as a result of his name being linked to an ongoing federal investigation in Jefferson Parish."

The information was disclosed by two FBI informants who claim they are part of a sweeping investigation into allegations of corruption at the Jefferson Parish courthouse.

Posted by AJR at 08:38 AM

Shreveport Woman Unfit for Trial

First JDC Judge John Mosely ruled that Joan B. Edgar, a grandmother who allegedly shot her daughter and two granddaughters is incompetent to stand trial, reports The Times. "She does not have sufficient ability to consult with her attorney," Mosely said as he handed down his decision. "She presents a danger to herself and to others. She is not competent to stand trial."

Posted by AJR at 08:33 AM

Judge Rules in Favor of 'Artistic' Neighbor

The Advertiser reports that State Judge Donald Hebert ruled that Frank Rogers, Jr. can maintain his front yard "art" (such as vibrantly painted shrubbery and trees from which empty bleach bottles and plastic caution ribbons dangle above scarecrows, animal skulls and political signs), but he sympathized with the twenty neighbors who claimed the yard was a nuisance. Rogers' home is in a secluded gated community around a scenic 5-acre lake in rural St. Landry Parish - seems like subdivision restrictions might be appropriate. Picture included.

Posted by AJR at 08:20 AM

Ascension Parish Strippers Not Out of the Woods Yet

The Advocate reports on the Ascension Parish Council's decision to amend an ordinance governing sexually-oriented businesses to comply with a settlement agreement reached with strip clubs in the parish. Interestingly, however, it appears that Parish President Harold Marchand is considering a veto of the measure. An article that first reported the settlement is discussed here.

Posted by AJR at 08:10 AM

February 25, 2003

Monroe City Court Costs May Rise

The News-Star reports that Monroe City Court officials may need to raise the price of fines to deal with declining revenues. Chief Judge Tammy Lee blames the declining revenues on the lack of cases being brought to court. She said a revolving door of part-time prosecutors in recent years has been the main factor in the lack of cases.

Posted by AJR at 10:46 AM

NOLA DA Jordan Targets Case Backlog

The Times-Picayune reports that NOLA DA Eddie Jordan hopes to reduce his current load of 5,000 to 6,000 cases down to 1,500 by setting up a squad of volunteer lawyers to work as special prosecutors. The story also outlines Jordan's efforts to make other sweeping changes throughout the office, including implementation of technology and training and improving relations with the defense bar.

Posted by AJR at 10:38 AM

Retired Chief Justice Dixon Dies

The Times reports that retired Louisiana Supreme Court Justice John Dixon passed away on Saturday. Dixon served twenty years on the Court and retired nearly thirteen years ago. "He was the kind of judge everybody would like to have," Shreveport lawyer Don Miller said. "He was honest. He took care of business and did it the way it's supposed to be done."

A memorial service will be held at 3 p.m. Saturday, March 1 at Brown Memorial Chapel on the Centenary College campus.

Posted by AJR at 10:28 AM

Shreveport Club's Men-Only Policy Constitutional

First JDC Judge Roy Brun decided that the Men's Grille in the Southern Trace Country Club does not violate the state constitution with its men-only policy, reports The Times. The plaintiffs will appeal the decision, which found that the Southern Trace Country Club is a "public" facility under state law. The following probably had some bearing on the judge's decision:

The Men's Grille, attached to the male locker room, is a sit-down restaurant with a big-screen television. A similar entity in the female locker area is referred to as the "Ladies Card Room." Neither the card room nor the grill prepare food. All food is prepared in the kitchen and delivered to the designated areas upon request.

Posted by AJR at 10:23 AM

February 24, 2003

Edwards' Supreme Court Appeal Rejected

WBRZ reports that the United States Supreme Court has denied the appeals of both Edwin Edwards and his son, Stephen.

Also Monday, the Supreme Court refused to hear the appeal of businessman Bobby Johnson, who also was convicted in the riverboat scheme. Johnson was sentenced to prison and fined $50,000.

The cases are Edwards v. United States of America, 02-927, and Johnson v. United States of American 02-955.

Posted by AJR at 12:41 PM

Pay New Orleans Traffic Tickets Online

Last week the City of New Orleans launched a new online service for paying traffic tickets. The court accepts Mastercard, Visa, American Express, and Discover cards.

Payment must be made within the time period specified on the ticket. However, you also can contest the ticket over the web as well, or at least that's what this page suggests. You must provide the court with three alternative dates and times that you would be available to appear. There are other requirements too, so read the online instructions carefully.

Congratulations to the City of New Orleans for making this service available.

Posted by esvenson at 10:12 AM

DA Needs More Time to Investigate Wreck Theft

The Advertiser reports that DA Michael Cassidy said he needs more time to interview people involved with the alleged theft of private property from an overturned tractor-trailer by police and firefighters. Cassidy said he will not drop the charges entirely, citing pretrial intervention as an option.

Posted by AJR at 08:19 AM

Woman Likely Faces Death Penalty

Brandy Holmes, accused of killing Rev. Julian Brandon in his home, is a 23-year-old woman likely facing the death penalty for her crime, reports The Times. The article provides a brief history of women murderers in the area and concludes that Holmes defies the stereotypes of women killers.

Posted by AJR at 08:10 AM

Parish and Sheriff Disagree Over Jail Operating Revenues

The Times reports that a long-running dispute between the Caddo Commission and Caddo Sheriff Steve Prator over jail operating revenues may be finally going to trial. The breakpoint in negotiations over the last year has been the per diem the parish pays to the sheriff to house parish inmates at the Caddo Correctional center.

State law mandates that parishes pay a minimum of $3.50 per diem per parish inmate, but Prator has filed suit seeking $14.92 per day. He dropped the request to $7.00 per day in settlement negotiations, but the Commission says it just can't find the money and that perhaps Prator should be suing the State rather than the parish for additional funds.

Posted by AJR at 08:04 AM

February 21, 2003

Man Who Entered Victim's Home is Sentenced

Jeremiah Pastor, who plead guilty to unauthorized entry of an inhabited dwelling for entering the home of serial killer victim Charlotte Murray Pace, was sentenced today, reports The Advocate.

State Judge Lou Daniel in Baton Rouge on Friday sentenced Pastor to six months in the Ecumenical House, three years probation, 300 hours of community service work and a $1,000 fine. Daniel also sentenced Pastor to three years in prison, but suspended that sentence.

Posted by AJR at 01:15 PM

Solo and Small Firm Section Luncheon Today

Ernest Svenson, proprietor or Ernie the Attorney and PDF for Lawyers, will be speaking at the LSBA Solo and Small Firm luncheon in Metairie today. I know it's beyond short notice, but it should be a great presentation if you are in the area. And also check out the S&SF website for some good resources.

Posted by AJR at 11:55 AM

Fifth Circuit Asked to Repen Abortion Case

The Times-Picayune reports that a Terrebonne Parish woman has asked the Fifth Circuit to revive her lawsuit claiming her constitutional right to an abortion was obstructed by a requirement that she get a court order authorizing an abortion while she was in jail. "She allegedly also was told she would have to pay the salaries of deputies who would accompany her." The child was placed with adoptive parents.

Posted by AJR at 08:09 AM

Hurricane Damaged Trees Might Finally be Removed

Fifteenth JDC Judge Glennon Everett denied an injunction to Regency Construction, Inc., who had sued Lafayette after it refused to accept any of the bids from companies seeking to remove hurricane-damaged trees from more than 900 locations throughout the parish, reports The Advertiser. The confusion that led to the litigation arose when the Louisiana contractor's board allowed some contractors to bid without a contractor's license, provided that they would seek a license after being awarded a contract. Apparently, the contingency was not communicated or understood by one of the contractors. Accordingly, an effort to speed the clean-up effort has backfired and resulted in many trees that were slated for removal falling onto homes.

Posted by AJR at 08:01 AM

Tragedy in Alexandria

The Town Talk reports on one of the"worst days" in Alexandria history. Yesterday, two police officers were killed in a three-hour exchange of gunfire with a man that was suspected of ambushing a police officer on Monday. The Town Talk also provides additional coverage of community reactions:

Sonia Quarters Residents Voice Anger at Alexandria Police
Emotions Run High
Retaliation Worries Officers

Posted by AJR at 07:41 AM

February 20, 2003

New LA Supreme Court Blawg

Louisiana Supreme Court Report, a service of La-Legal has launched. The blawg promises to "take the latest decisions, arrange them by category, summarize the decision, and post it with a link to see the full decision." Readers can also subscribe for e-mail updates. Excellent.

Posted by AJR at 07:57 PM

Accidental Privacy Spills

James Grimmelmann, of LawMeme, provides a fascinating account of a small Internet disturbance that has taken place over the last few days. The article is a long read (amazingly, based on the chronology of events, it was written in less than a day), but it does an excellent job of framing the privacy concerns that are becoming more and more prominent as our world becomes increasingly digitized and connected.

Posted by AJR at 07:16 PM | Comments (0)

Monroe City Court Officials Fail to Show at Council Meeting

The News-Star reports that Monroe City Council members were left waiting for an explanation of why the Monroe City Court has experienced declining revenues in recent years when no court representative attended the meeting. "The city has had to increase its annual subsidy from $120,000 in 2000 to nearly $500,000 in the upcoming fiscal year."

Posted by AJR at 10:57 AM

Langley Requests Waiver of Jury Trial on First-Degree Murder Charges

The Third Circuit Court of Appeal will hear oral arguments to consider Ricky Langley's request to waive his right to a trial by jury in his upcoming re-trial on a first-degree murder charge reports the American Press. Prosecutors are scratching their heads over the Appeal Court's decision since Article 782 of the Louisiana Criminal Code says: "Trial by jury may be knowingly and intelligently waived by the defendant except in captial cases."

Posted by AJR at 10:53 AM

Sticking it to The Man

The Advocate reports on a novel ideal presented to the State DWI Task Force by state Senator Reggie Dupre. Dupre contends that the state could be better off by violating federal mandates regarding open-container laws and license suspensions because safety dollars awarded by the federal government do not require matching funds, while construction and maintenance funds (which the safety funds would be converted into when the federal mandates are complied with ) require a 20 percent match.

Posted by AJR at 10:42 AM

February 19, 2003

JDC 18 Judges Refuse Role in Suit Filed by Plaquemine City Court Judge

City Court Judge William Dupont has filed a lawsuit against the City of Plaquemine aimed at restoring $30,000 cut from the city's budget for court employee's salaries, reports The Advocate. Three of the four State District Judges from the 18th JDC have removed themselves from the case, and if the fourth does as well, the Louisiana Supreme Court will appoint someone to hear the case.

Posted by AJR at 08:43 AM

Parish Boundary Dispute May Be Headed for Court

The Advertiser reports that a boundary dispute between Lafayette, Iberia and Vermillion Parishes may be headed to court with property tax and other revenues at stake.

Posted by AJR at 08:35 AM

Jefferson Davis DA Considers Theft Charges Against Police and Firefighters

The American Press reports that Jefferson Parish DA Michael Cassidy will decide this week on whether or not to charge about 15 Jennings firefighters and police officers accused of either taking or having knowledge of items being taken from an overturned 18-wheeler last August.

"I realize the actions were a stupid mistake and even good people commit stupid mistakes," Cassidy said. "I must also consider the fact that a lot of thefts and burglaries require forethought and planning, but the fact remains that property was taken without permission by persons in a position of trust. So I feel this office has to do something."

Posted by AJR at 08:30 AM

Plaquemines Parish Courthouse Adds $100,000 to Reward Fund

The Plaquemines Parish Council has added $100,000 to a $16,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person responsible for burning down the 112-year-old Plaquemines Parish Courthouse last year, reports The Times-Picayune.

Posted by AJR at 08:24 AM

State Senator Planning Bail Bond Legislation

The Times-Picayune reports that State Senator Art Lentini is drafting a proposal that would allow Jefferson Parish to operate its own bail bonding system.

"I conceived of it as a revenue-raising measure for the parish. But if it could help clear up the bail bonds situation, that would be good too," he said.

Posted by AJR at 08:20 AM

Vieux Carre Commission Meeting Explodes

"Controversy was the order of the day at the Vieux Carre Commission's meeting Tuesday, with the attorney for one applicant storming out of the room after denouncing the commission's actions as 'outrageous,' and members deciding they need advice from the city attorney's office before deciding other cases," reports The Times-Picayune.

Posted by AJR at 08:17 AM

Jefferson Deputy to Plead Innocent in Bodenheimer Case

The Times-Picayune reports that Phil Demma, a Jefferson Parish reserve deputy, will plead innocent on charges of conspiring with ex-judge Ronald Bodenheimer and Al Copeland's corporate attorney, Bryan White, to rig Copeland's child custody case. Demma was jailed Friday after showing up at his arraignment without an attorney. The article reports that he has since hired Steve London.

Posted by AJR at 08:12 AM

February 18, 2003

Caddo Judge to Rule on "Men Only" Policy

The Times reports that nearly three years of "legal wrangling" might come to an end tomorrow in a Caddo Parish courtroom. The dispute concerns the Southern Trace Country Club Men's Grille and its "men only" policy. In April 2000, several female members filed a lawsuit against the club after member Julie Lafargue and a guest were denied service at the Men's Grille, which is the only dining facility open on a Sunday.

The issues at stake: whether the club is truly a private club when, on occasion, non-members have been allowed to rent the facility for parties and whether having a men's only grill is "arbitrary, capricious or unreasonable discrimination."

Posted by AJR at 02:14 PM

Legislative Auditor Critical of New Orleans School Deal

The Times-Picayune reports on this audit report [pdf] issued by the State Legislative Auditor's office yesterday.

The audit, written by First Assistant Legislative Auditor Grover Austin, recommends that Orleans Parish District Attorney Eddie Jordan and acting U.S. Attorney James Letten consider "appropriate legal action." It said that action might include state charges of criminal conspiracy, theft, theft involving federal programs, public bribery and malfeasance.

Posted by AJR at 02:05 PM

Bodenheimer Seeks to Quash Wiretap Evidence

The Times-Picayune reports that ex-judge Ronald Bodenheimer is seeking to quash wiretap evidence. Bodenheimer, who is facing federal drug charges, claims that the government distorted and omitted facts and used unrealiable information from key witnesses to obtain authorization to tap his phones and place video cameras in his private chambers. The motion is under a court-ordered seal, but the article provides a detailed account of the filing.

Posted by AJR at 02:00 PM

Grand Jury Investigation of Ouachita Parish Police Jury

Fourth JDC DA Jerry Jones has set a mid-March target date to present evidence to a grand jury regarding alledged misconduct of the Ouachita Parish Policy Jury after the state Legislative Auditor's Office issued an investigative report yesterday, reports The New-Star. The audit can be viewed here [pdf]. The auditor's report recommends the jury seek restitution and cites possible criminal violations.

Posted by AJR at 01:52 PM

Parents Sue Correction Officials Over Daughter's Death

The American Press reports on a lawsuit filed against the Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections and the Acadia Parish Sheriff for failing to process a hold on alleged killer Jason Reeves when he was released from the David Wade Correctional Center. Reeves had an outstanding warrant in Acadia Parish for molestation of a juvenile charges in 1995, but was released from the David Wade Correctional Center after completing a prison sentence for an earlier conviction. Upon his release, Reeves kidnapped, raped and murdered four-year old Mary Jean Thigpen.

[The failure to execute the hold], the suit contends, was the "proximate and legal cause" of Reeves' being able to kidnap, rape and murder the Thigpen girl.

The Thigpens are suing for $50,000 in damages.

Posted by AJR at 01:42 PM

Supreme Court Reinstates Sentence

The Advocate reports on the actions of the Louisiana Supreme Court, which reinstated a Baton Rouge man's 2001 manslaughter plea and a ten-year sentence. The article provides a thorough account of Joseph "Reno" Brooks travels through the Louisiana criminal justice system.

Posted by AJR at 01:30 PM

February 17, 2003

EPA Threatens to Revoke State Authority

WBRZ reports that the EPA has threatened to revoke DEQ's primacy over pollution enforcement if the agency does not agree to major changes by the end of next month.

The measures required by the EPA include:

- A commitment to dramatically reducing DEQ's backlog of water permits for major pollution sources within a year, and for minor pollution sources within two years. The state is behind in issuing renewals and new permits for 38 percent of its major permits and 49 percent of its minor permits.

- Changes in state rules to make sure companies violating water quality rules don't make money from doing so. In the past, DEQ did not always try to find out how industries profited from breaking pollution regulations. Now, fines must attempt to recoup those profits.

- Limits on letting companies substitute environmental improvement projects for the payment of fines. Environmental groups have complained that some companies were allowed to construct changes in their pollution control equipment that might be required under the law, or build wetlands restoration projects, instead of paying hefty fines.

- An agreement to complete enforcement actions by taking violators to court or completing administrative appeals within one to two years. An audit last year by former Legislative Auditor Dan Kyle charged that many cases never were taken to court, or were delayed for years.

Posted by AJR at 08:16 AM

Superdome Lawyers Represents Tenant too

The Superdome Commission says that Jack Capella, the commission's longtime attorney who also represents the New Orleans Hornets, can represent both entities because Capella will not represent the Hornets on any issues involving the commission or other state agencies, reports WBRZ. "There is no conflict of interest. We have satisfied ourselves in that regard," Chairman David Conroy said. Conroy said Vicky Neumeyer, who represents the Saints at most commission meetings, was one of those who raised questions about Capella's dual roles.

Posted by AJR at 08:13 AM

DA Jordan Vows to Ensure Witness Safety

The Times-Picayune reports that New Orleans District Attorney Eddie Jordan has already initiated efforts to ensure the safety of witnesses testifying at trial. The story profiles the case of Steven Smith, who was released from jail after the only witness to his killing of David Brown disappeared.

Posted by AJR at 08:07 AM

Man Who Shot Daughter's Molester Denied Parole

The Town Talk reports that Allie "Bo" Johnson, Jr. will serve another two years of his seven-year sentence. Johnson, who is in prison for shooting the man who molested his daughter, was granted parole eligibility immediately by Governor Foster and the pardon board unanimously approved his request for parole. The parole board, however, denied Johnson's request for freedom on Friday.

Posted by AJR at 07:57 AM

Hypes Hearings to Continue

The Advertiser reports that hearings on motions to suppress evidence in the case against Amanda Gutwiler Hypes will resume Tuesday morning and continue all week. Hypes is charged with three counts of first-degree murder, for intentionally setting her house on fire with her three children inside, and faces the death penalty if convicted.

Posted by AJR at 07:48 AM

LA Criminal Justice System Examined

The Associated Press reports that, since 1996, Louisiana ranks third in the nation for releasing death row inmates among the 38 states that impose the death penalty. Of the four men freed, however, none have been released as a result of DNA testing. The article breifly examines the state of Louisiana's criminal justice system.

On a related note, several newspapers are carrying stories about the CSI effect, which implies that police dramas (specifically CSI) are having an unexpected impact in the real world: The public thinks every crime can be solved, and solved now - just like on television. Example stories at the Boston Globe and Portland Oregonian. Links via BoingBoing.

Posted by AJR at 07:40 AM

February 14, 2003

Blocking the Sunshine into State Inboxes

The Times-Picayune reports that Representative Edwin Murray plans to file a bill shielding certain types of communication from state sunshine laws. In response to the recent PAR report, Murray wants to shield e-mails between lawmakers and their constituents.

Posted by AJR at 08:49 AM

Copeland Attorney Cuts Deal

Al Copeland's top corporate attorney pleaded guilty yesterday to concealing a plot to fix the restaurateur's child-custody case, reports The Times-Picayune. "Under the terms of the deal, (Bryan) White pleaded guilty to a lesser charge, misprision of a felony, for concealing from federal investigators his knowledge that (former Judge Ronald) Bodenheimer and (Jefferson Parish juvenile probation officer) Demma were scheming to issue custody rulings favorable to Copeland. "

On a related note, the paper also reports that the state Board of Ethics concluded that Bodenheimer cannot use campaign money to pay his legal bills regarding his defense of this dispute.

Posted by AJR at 08:43 AM

NO Juvenile Court Judge Suspended

The Times-Picayune reports that Juvenile Court Judge Yvonne Hughes was suspended by the Louisiana Supreme Court for meddling in cases beyond her jurisdiction and releasing more than 1,000 adults from jail during her two years in office. Unfortunately, other significant problems plagued Hughes time on the bench, including her practice of sometimes holding court by phone.

"The Supreme Court order temporarily removing Hughes with pay, issued Wednesday and made public Thursday, will remain in effect pending further disciplinary proceedings against her." The Louisiana Judiciary Commission, in its report to the court, said letting her continue as a judge while its investigation of her continues "creates a danger to the public and to the administration of justice."

Posted by AJR at 08:36 AM

House of Representatives Redistricting Plan Going to Trial

The News-Star reports that the United States District Court handling the case rejected a motion for summary judgment to overturn the plan. Accordingly, House leaders will get a chance to defend the plan in court, which is being challenged by several groups because it reduces the number of majority black legislative districts.

Posted by AJR at 08:28 AM

LA Supreme Court Affirms Class-Action for Crawfish Farmers

The Louisiana Supreme Court has upheld a class-action certification ruling that allows crawfish farmers, who claim their crops were damaged by a pesticide, to proceed with their lawsuit against Aventis, the maker of the pesticide, reports the American Press. "Crawfish farmers allege ICON (Fipronil) devastated the state's 2000 and 2001 crawfish crop after it was introduced on rice seed in 1999 to kill water weevils, a rice pest."

Posted by AJR at 08:20 AM

Johnnie Cochran joins Rideua Defense

The American Press reports that Johnnie Cochran will take an active role in the defense of Wilbert Rideau's latest trial. "In another surprise Thursday, noted Louisiana defense attorney Jim Boren of Baton Rouge enrolled as attorney for Judge Patricia Minaldi who Rideau's attorneys are trying to have removed from the case." The article also notes the outcome of yesterday's hearing.

Posted by AJR at 08:16 AM

February 13, 2003

Louisiana Appellate Opinions by E-mail

The Louisiana State Bar Association has a great resource for getting opinions emailed to you. It's called the Opinion Service. So far it only features opinions from the 1st, 2nd, and 5th Circuits, as well as the La. Supreme Court. You can designate only certain categories of opinions that you want to get (i.e. Civil, Criminal, Contract law, etc). It's free for members of the State Bar. Check it out.

Posted by esvenson at 11:55 PM

Landrieu draws Hispanic heat for Estrada flip-flop

Senator Mary Landrieu is drawing heat from the Hispanic Community for withdrawing of support for Miguel Estrada, a nominee to the federal appellate bench. The Honduran born, Harvard-educated Estrada has been the subject of a Democratic party challenge in his bid to become a member of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the federal circuit. Story Links: Wall St. Journal, Times Picayune, National Review.

Posted by esvenson at 11:24 PM

David Duke Scared of Prison?

WBRZ reports that James McPherson, an attorney representing David Duke, is concerned that his client could be attacked by black inmates or political opponents in prison. "Of course, black people as a rule are not fond of David Duke," Mark Potok, editor of the Southern Poverty Law Center's Intelligence Report , said. "David Duke has screwed so many people in his own white supremacist movement, that he may very well be in danger from both whites and blacks."

Posted by AJR at 01:33 PM

Rideau Hearing to be Held Today

The American Press reports that the Third Circuit Court of Appeal refused to grant a delay requested by Wilbert Rideau, thereby allowing Judge Kent Savoie to hear evidence today in regard to Rideau's request to have the office of District Attorney Rick Bryant thrown off his case.

Defense attorneys want Bryant's office removed from Rideau's case because they say that:

• Members of the District Attorney's office have made numerous public statements that are improper, have been prejudicial to Rideau and allegedly violate the Louisiana State Bar Association's rules of Professional Conduct.

• Bryant has made statements outside the courtroom setting concerning the existence of a confession, admission or statement given by Rideau and his opinion as to Rideau's guilt again in violation of the LBA's Rules of Professional Conduct.

• Bryant has made numerous statements outside the courtroom setting "that he knows or reasonably should know are likely to be inadmissible as evidence at trial and would, if disclosed, create a substantial risk of prejudicing an impartial trial."

• These statements demonstrate Bryant's excessive zeal to keep Rideau imprisoned as opposed to seeking impartial justice. The comments indicate Bryant's alleged vindictiveness toward Rideau and show that his personal interest in keeping Rideau behind bars extend beyond his professional duty as a district attorney.

Posted by AJR at 10:51 AM

Suit Alleges Corporal Punishement too Harsh at High School

The legal gurardian of a Oucahita Parish School System student filed suit last week in the 4th Judicial District alleging that corporal punishment administered to the student at West Monroe High School was too harsh, reports The News-Star.

"The suit stated that the strikes left the student 'severely bruised ... and after the physical striking ... (the student) began to suffer emotional distress necessitating medical care which is continuing and expected to be continued.'"

Posted by AJR at 10:43 AM

Store file Defamation Suit Against Former Employee

The News-Star reports that the owners of Haneline's Men's Wear in Monroe filed suit for defamation against a former employee who had sued them for sexual harassment. The sexual harassment suit was recently dismissed by a 4th District Judge.

Posted by AJR at 10:38 AM

Deja Vu Dances On

The Times reports that Deja Vu recorded another legal victory yesterday when the Zoning Board of Appeals unanimously agreed that the the club can legally locate on Commerce Street. Opponents of the club will appeal the decision to the Shreveport City Council. The saga continues. . .

Posted by AJR at 10:31 AM

Lack of Jurors Forces Trial Postponement

Only fifteen individuals appeared for jury duty in rape case in Chalmette, despite the fact that one-hundred jury notices were issued, reports The Times-Picayune. Greg Laffavillere, who was to be tried on charges of aggravated rape of a child younger than 12, had his trial postponed until March 10, 2003.

District Judge Robert Buckley, who was to preside over the trial, said he will discuss with the other judges in the 34th Judicial District whether people receiving a jury notice by mail should be required to send back an acknowledgment.

Comments or suggestions for solving this serious problem would be appreciated.

Posted by AJR at 10:25 AM | Comments (0)

Letting Sunshine into State Inboxes

The Times-Picayune reports that the Louisiana Public Affairs Research Council (PAR) is calling on state lawmakers to establish guidelines for keeping and allowing public access to government agencies' and officials' e-mail communications. "The president of the Public Affairs Research Council, Jim Brandt, said the organization 'wants to establish that e-mails are public record,' including junk e-mail and nonsubstantial communications such as jokes and birthday greetings. "

The full report can be accessed here.

Posted by AJR at 10:14 AM

February 12, 2003

Louisiana ORM Liabilities Almost $1Billion

The Times reports that Louisiana will have $88 million in claims in the coming fiscal year for wrecks on its highways and no money to pay them. Further, the state has had court judgments and claims against it annually the past several years and has not satisfied them.

An actuary hired to look at the Office of Risk Management, the state's self-insurance program, said, "It should be noted that ORM's financial package indicates that cash assets are approximately $20 million and that total liabilities (were) approximately $1 billion as of June 30, 2002." "If we were a private insurance company, they would have shut us down a long time ago," said J.L. "Bud" Thompson, state risk manager.

Posted by AJR at 07:33 AM

Shreveport Passes Sex Business Laws

The Shreveport City Council voted to adopt a law that regulates sexually-oriented business reports The Times. Except for requiring licensing by the city, the law does not go beyond the rules required by state and local liquor codes. The council defeated amendments that would have required a six-foot buffer and limited hours by votes of 4-3. Nonetheless, this isn't the end of the Deja Vu saga, as the Shreveport Zoning Board of Appeals will hold a meeting today to reconsider the zoning of the club.

Posted by AJR at 07:26 AM

Bank Forecloses on Cowboy Town

The Town Talk reports that Bank One filed suit yesterday afternoon to seize and sell a never-completed complex that was to include an arena, restaurant and stores. If the suit filed can be resolved, it will make way for local groups working with "Boxing USA, the U.S. Olympic Committee and Louisiana economic development officials to make the arena into a southern regional facility for athletic development."

Posted by AJR at 07:19 AM

Leesville to Join LMA Suit Against State

The Leesville City Council voted to joint a lawsuit filed by the Louisiana Municipal Association against the state to contest mandated increases in the firefighters retirement system, reports the American Press. "Council members adopted a resolution that said Leesville doesn't have control over the operation, investments or benefit structure of the retirement system. It added that the city is still being asked to increase its employer contribution from 8 percent to 25 percent of payroll as of July 1."

Posted by AJR at 07:13 AM

Jurors to Be Locked Up in Hotel Rooms

The American Press reports that District Judge Al Gray has determined that jurors for the second trial of Ricky Langley will be selected in New Orleans then sequestered in Lake Charles for the duration of the trial.

"Langley was sentenced to death in July of 1994 after being convicted in connection with the Feb. 7, 1992, slaying and alleged sodomizing of 6-year-old Jeremy Guillory of Iowa. However, on April 3, 2000, the state Supreme Court granted Langley a new trial — abiding by a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in an Evangeline Parish case."

Posted by AJR at 07:09 AM

February 11, 2003

Branch Davidians Seek to Retry Wrongful Death Suit

The Times-Picayune reports on surviviors of the Branch Davidians appeal to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeal seeking to reverse the dismissal of their wrongful death actions. The primary issue on appeal is the District Judge's refusal to recuse himself because of his participation in the criminal trials related to the 1993 incident.

A separate report profiles David Koresh's mother and others who still believe in the Branch Davidian movement.

Posted by AJR at 10:50 AM

Council Set to Vote on Latest Chapter of Deja Vu Saga

A Shreveport City Councilman will ask the council to approve a proposed law that would regulate sexually oriented businesses in Shreveport, reports The Times. Council members will be asked to vote on the base ordinance as well as seven separate amendments. Two of those amendments were at the heart of the last council's debate - requiring dancers to remain at least six feet from patrons, and not allowing sexually oriented business to be conducted between midnight and 6 a.m.

Posted by AJR at 10:43 AM

Lethal Injection Challenged as Cruel and Unusual

The Time reports on a Caddo District Court hearing that will consider whether execution by lethal injection constitutes cruel and unusual punishment. Lawyers with the Capital Post-Conviction Project of Louisiana are arguing on behalf of Nathaniel Code. Code was sentenced to die in 1991 by a Caddo District Court jury and has spent 13 years on death row for murdering four people in Shreveport. Testimony is expected to last all week and Angola Warden Burl Cain is among 15 witnesses scheduled to testify.

Posted by AJR at 10:37 AM

February 10, 2003

LAC Updated

The Office of the State Register has updated the following titles of the Louisiana Administrative Code:

28:XXI - Education, Bulletin 1934 - Starting Points Preschool Program
Last amended February 2002, compiled March 2002

28:XXXV - Education, Regulations and Guidelines for Implementation of the Louisiana Law for the Education of Dyslexic Students
Last amended February 2000, compiled June 2002

34 - Government Contracts, Procurement and Property Control
Last amended March 2002, compiled March 2002

40 - Labor and Employment
Last amended March 2002, compiled March 2002

42 - Louisiana Gaming
Last amended November 2002, compiled December 2002

43:XIX - Natural Resources, Office of Conservation, General Operations
Last amended November 2001, compiled December 2001

46:XI - Professional and Occupational Standards, Boxing and Wrestling
Last amended August 1996, compiled September 2002

46:XLIX - Professional and Occupational Standards, Board of Examiners of Nursing Facility Administrators
Last amended April 2000, compiled March 2002

46:LXVI - Professional and Occupational Standards, Radiologic Technologists
Last amended January 1997, compiled June 2002

46:LXXX - Professional and Occupational Standards, Substance Abuse Counselors
Last amended September 2002, compiled September 2002

46:LXXXVI - Professional and Occupational Standards, Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors
Last amended March 2002, compiled June 2002

46:XCI - Professional and Occupational Standards, Wholesale Drug Distributors
Last amended April 1992, compiled September 2002

51 - Public Health, Sanitary Code
Last amended June 2002, compiled June 2002

73 - Weights, Measures and Standards
Last amended July 2002, compiled September 2002

These changes can be viewed and/or printed here.

Certified copies can be ordered from the Office of the State Register here (pdf).

Posted by AJR at 09:20 PM

Executive Orders Released

The Office of the State Register will publish the following Executive Orders in the February 20, 2003 issue of the Louisiana Register:

-MJF 03-01 Bond Allocation - Industrial Development Board of the City of Donaldsonville, Louisiana, Inc.

-MJF 03-02 Amend Executive Order No. MJF 96-9 - Governor's DWI/Vehicular Homicide Task Force

These executive orders can be viewed here on the Office of the State Register web site.

Posted by AJR at 09:12 PM

Recent Emergency Rules Published

The Office of the State Register will publish the following Emergency Rules in the February 20, 2003 issue of the Louisiana Register:

-Office of Agro Consumer Services: Chloramphenicol in Shrimp and Crawfish Testing, Sale, and Labeling, effective January 17, 2003

-Bureau of Health Services Financing: Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnosis and Treatment Dental Program-Reimbursement, effective February 21, 2003

-Bureau of Health Services Financing: Nursing Facilities-Reimbursement Methodology, effective January 01, 2003

-Bureau of Health Services Financing: Pharmacy Benefits Management Program Prescriptions Limit, effective February 03, 2003

-Bureau of Health Services Financing: Private Hospitals-Outlier Payments, effective February 28, 2003

-Bureau of Health Services Financing: Rehabilitation Services-Reimbursement Fee Increase, effective February 09, 2003

-Bureau of Health Services Financing: State-Operated Intermediate Care Facilities for the Mentally Retarded-Upper Payment Limit, effective March 05, 2003

-Office of State Purchasing: LAMAS State Contracts Based on GSA Prices (LAC 34:I.25), effective February 07, 2003

These rules are currently available on the Office of the State Register's web site here.

Posted by AJR at 08:52 PM

Lawmakers Considering Louisiana's High Court Costs

WBRZ reports that a special legislative committee is studying the costs associated with the Louisiana judicial system. One of the primary issues under consideration is that there is no uniformity in costs assessed in individual courts and there is no central system for collecting data on court finances. Senator Jay Dardenne said he plans to recommend sending requests for increased court fees to a special judicial council to determine if the increase is needed to pay for a legitimate function of the court. The council would suggest whether the Legislature should approve the measure.

Posted by AJR at 08:46 PM

DNA Testing in the News

The Advocate contains an editorial on the use of DNA evidence and its impact on the administration of criminal justice. It notes:

"Anyone who cares about justice must work to fix a system that convicts innocent people. Ignoring DNA evidence that suggests serious problems in the system won't make them go away."

And on a related note, WBRZ reports that state legislators will consider a bill this spring that would require the collection of DNA samples from every convicted felon in Louisiana (the story is unclear whether "every convicted felon" includes those that have already served their sentences).

Posted by AJR at 08:37 PM

Bill Proposed to Address Drinking Water and Sewerage

The Advocate reports that State Representative Gary Beard is proposing to require that certain business use treated sewage water and pay the same water bills they do today for "fresh" water. The objective is to conserve underground water supplies and to use the funds collected to to help local governments pay for treatment facility upgrades required by the federal government.

Posted by AJR at 08:25 AM

Property Dispute Heating Up In New Orleans

A dispute headed straight for the Yiannopoulos Property textbook is taking place in the secluded community of Brazilier Island in the Lake Catherine area of eastern New Orleans. The Times Picayune reports that Ken Carter purchased Braziier Island from the Remington Oil Company, a company he represented, for $150,000. The purchase included about 2,400 acres, only 20 acres of which is not wetlands.

"About 40 families live on Brazilier, most of them year-round. While they own the structures they occupy, they rent the land beneath them. About 30 face eviction for refusing to sign six-month leases on their lots, from January to June, and for paying their rents under protest and depositing the money with the registry of the court, pending the outcome of their legal battle, Carter said Wednesday. Most of the homeowners are not wealthy and invested in their houses 'based on promises oral and in writing' that they would have the right to buy their lots, Stephen Conroy, who represents the residents, said. He said he will file an injunction to try to stop the evictions."

Posted by AJR at 08:18 AM

Trial Looms for Accused Gang Members

The Times reports on Shreveport's gang problems noting that trial dates are nearing for four men accused in a deadly drive-by shooting. Caddo Parish DA, Paul Carmouche, will seek the death penalty against the four men.

Posted by AJR at 08:06 AM

February 09, 2003

Judges of Color Forum

The Loyola University New Orleans School of Law, Office of Career Services, Diversity Programs, Asian Pacific American Law Student Association, Black Law Student Association, A.P. Tureaud Chapter, Spanish American Law Student Association, and the Student Bar Association are pleased to announce the "Judges of Color Forum." A prominent panel of Federal and State court judges from several states will discuss judicial clerkships, pitfalls to avoid in the transition from law school to the practice of law, and networking in the legal community.

The event will take place on Wednesday, February 12, 2003 from 6-8 P.M. at the United States Courthouse located on 500 Camp Street (Room C525), New Orleans, Louisiana 70130. Judges, attorneys, law professors, law students, and career counselors are encouraged to attend.

The list of judicial panelists includes: Honorable Carl E. Stewart, Honorable Ivan L.R. Lemelle, Honorable Bernette Joshua Johnson, Honorable Eva Guzman, Honorable Elving L. Torres, Honorable S.N. Willett, Honorable Alvin T. Wong, and Honorable C. Kimi Kondo.

Posted by AJR at 10:38 PM

February 08, 2003

Ownership Of Shuttle Debris

As a result of linking to Louisiana coverage of the Columbia disaster earlier in the week, Naked Ownership has received numerous searches inquiring into the ownership of shuttle debris. As highlighted by Denise, several attorneys have already addressed this topic.

Further, Space.com has an article that reports on the conviction of a former national guardsmen for stealing a tile from the Challenger. Charles Starowesky attempted to auction a tile from Challenger on E-Bay, but instead of making a little extra cash he was convicted for theft of government property. CNN writes that there are nine reports of people finding shuttle debris and not turning it in. Those cases have been turned over to the assistant U.S. district attorney's office in Lufkin, Texas.

In short, even if debris has landed on private property, NASA still owns it and anyone who fails to relinquish it faces a penalty of up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Posted by AJR at 10:12 PM

Hey Pocky Way

I'm pleased to be able to have a little cyberdesk here at Naked Ownership, and to work with the Editor-in-Chief: Al Robert. He has created a wonderful resource for Louisiana lawyers, and is working diligently to add more useful tools. Hopefully, I can help him in some measure.

Louisiana is fortunate to have its official statutory and codified laws available online, and these sources are even searchable. The user interface of our state's legal sources page leaves a bit to be desired. However, Al is coming up with a much better interface that will make it easier for people to search our state's laws.

He and I talked about some other embryonic ideas about how to make Naked Ownership a really indispensible resource for lawyers in the Bayou State. Hopefully, we can enlist the assistance of some other Louisiana lawyers and law students. If anyone out there wants to pitch in just shoot me an email. Thanks!

Posted by esvenson at 08:20 PM | Comments (0)

February 07, 2003

Welcome Sua Sponte and Bag and Baggage Readers

Bag and Baggage and Sua Sponte have graciously welcomed Naked Ownership as the 100th member of The Blawg Ring. For those that are not really interested in Louisiana law, you might enjoy my recent post on Internet research companion software. And for those that are interested in all things Louisiana, please be patient as the site gets up to speed. If the last two weeks are any indication, this is going to be a wild ride.

Posted by AJR at 08:45 AM | Comments (0)

Doctor Testifies in Tobacco Trial

A researcher brouht to the stand Wednesday to testify against Philip Morris said the tobacco giant hired him in 1980 to find a substitute for nicotine in cigarettes that would keep people smoking but not affect their hearts as nicotine does reports The Times-Picayune.

Posted by AJR at 08:31 AM

PSC Ethics Investigation

The Times-Picayune reports on the state audit of the Public Service Commission. State auditors working on the case plan to brief the U.S. attorney's office in Baton Rouge. "Among the issues under investigation is whether power companies treated PSC members and their staffs to dinners, vacations and hunting trips, and then improperly counted the entertainment as regular business expenses."

Posted by AJR at 08:20 AM

Deja Vu Opens to Large Crowd

Typing Deja Vu into the Naked Ownership search box will provide a brief overview of the controversy surrounding the Shreveport strip club. Despite the ongoing dispute between the club, the city, and opponents The Times reports that the club's grand opening drew more than 4,000 people on invitation-status before opening to the general public. The occupancy permit and zoning status of the club are still being challenged.

Posted by AJR at 08:15 AM

Veterans File Class Action

The American Press reports that the Louisiana Veterans' Advocacy Group, Inc. announced the formation "of a non-race related class-action suit for veterans in the State of Louisiana."

"The main reason for the suit is the administrative processes followed by the New Orleans Regional Office. This system in the past has been successful in delaying and denying deserving veterans with legitimate service connected illness," Paul Labbe, registered agent for the group, said.

Posted by AJR at 08:08 AM

DA's Office to Investigate Extra Pages in Baker Dispute

As indicated earlier this week, District Judge Tim Kelley has requested that the East Baton Rouge DA look into whether a crime was committed when someone added five pages to a lawsuit between the Baker Mayor and a City Judge, reports The Advocate.

Posted by AJR at 08:01 AM

Hearing Delayed to Bring in Criminal Justice Procedures Expert

The Advocate reports on District Judge Mike Erwin's decision to grant a hearing delay to allow the defense attorney for Henri Broadway, who was convicted for the ambush killing of Officer Betty Smothers, to bring in an expert on criminal justice procedures. Erwin warned that me might not let the witness testify as an expert because he doesn't consider anyone more qualified on criminal justice procedures than he is. "I don't think I've ever heard of such an expert," Erwin said of the potential witness. Before he was elected, Judge Erwin was the chief prosecutor for the East Baton Rouge Parish DA.

Posted by AJR at 07:57 AM

February 06, 2003

An Invaluable Research Companion

Perhaps I've missed it, but I have not seen anyone writing about internet clipping software. This is somewhat surprising because two new applications have been released in the last few months and both are truly impressive. These programs are Net Snippets and CatClip 2.0. Both are integrated into Internet Explorer (CatClip can also stand alone) via a toolbar, similar to the Google bar, and both allow users to cut/snip/clip and store information in a local database. For anyone that reads numerous online materials, these programs can be invaluable because they make it easy to download information and even easier to locate it later when you need it.

I used CatClip while researching a paper last semester and I found it to be an excellent way to organize cases. Since the programs are incorporated into the web browser, they work seamlessly with Westlaw and Lexis. Both provide hierarchical folders for storing downloaded data. The folders can be organized to correspond to clients and cases and individual research issues can be separated and organized for later use.

Further, once the information is captured, both programs allow you to search, edit, annotate and highlight cases and other materials. David Beckman and David Hirsch, of Beckman and Hirsch, wrote about the need for such a program in their October 2002 ABA Journal column. Specifically, in their review of the two major online research services, they suggested that the companies develop and distribute a simple database or templates for popular databases to track legal research for free. In my opinon, these programs fit the bill, albeit they aren't free. Nonetheless, both offer thirty-day trials and I think they are well worth the download.

Posted by AJR at 11:19 PM | Comments (0)

Ex-Judge Bodenheimer Indicted

A federal grand jury charged ex-judge Ronald Bodenheimer and two other men with fixing Al Copeland's child custody case in hopes of gaining a lucrative contract with Copeland's restaurants, reports The Time-Picayune.

Posted by AJR at 07:39 AM

LEAN to Sue Polluters

THe Louisiana Environmental Action Network (LEAN), in conjunction with the Tulane Environmental Law Clinic, is threatening to file nine lawsuits under the Clean Water Act self-help provisions against municipalities and industries "consistently violating the law" , reports The Advocate.

"LEAN and the Tulane Environmental Law Clinic sent the letters to Evans Industries Inc. in Harvey; Pioneer Americas Inc. in St. Gabriel; Honeywell International Inc. in Baton Rouge; the town of Lutcher; CII Carbon LLC in Chalmette; T.T. Coatings Inc. in Harahan; Daybrook Fisheries Inc. in Empire; Weber Marine Inc. of Convent; and the Addis Wastewater Treatment Plant in Addis."

Posted by AJR at 07:35 AM

Declaration of Independence in Baton Rouge

One of twenty-five remaining "copies" of the Declaration of Independence is on display at the Old State Capitol until Friday, reports The Times. The document is part of the Louisiana Purchase documents display, which will continue until June.

The Advocate also reports and provides a little history on how this particular copy was found: "A man paid $4 for a painting at a flea market because he liked the frame. The document was found folded between the canvas and the frame."

Posted by AJR at 07:23 AM

February 05, 2003

Multiple Lawsuits Make the News in New Orleans

The Times-Picayune offers the following in today's news: Morial uncle strikes back at RTA in court, Convention Center wins lawsuit, and Lawsuit seeks to block Jeff redistricting.

Posted by AJR at 08:29 AM

EPA Critical of Regional Oversight of DEQ

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, its Dallas regional office failed to properly oversee Louisiana's enforcement of its environmental programs, reports The Times-Picayune. "The region was unable to fully assure the public that Louisiana was operating programs in a way that effectively protects human health and the environment."

Posted by AJR at 08:24 AM

Baker Mayor Loses Suit, Receives Rebuke

The Advocate reports the end of the dispute between Baker City Judge Mark Plaisance and Mayor Leroy Davis. In a judgment issued Tuesday, Judge Tim Kelley "delivered a stinging rebuke and civics lesson" to Mayor Davis ordering him to pay Judge Plaisance according to the salary set by the City Council. Mayor Davis had ordered the City Judge's pay held until he submitted to a required drug test.

On a related note, Judge Kelley has requested a criminal investigation to determine how five pages were added to the official record without following official procedures.

Posted by AJR at 08:14 AM

Strippers Rejoice in Ascension Parish

The Ascension Parish Council agreed to liberalize the sexually-oriented business ordinance it approved last year, reports The Advocate. In a two-hour executive session, the council agreed to reduce the distance between dancers and patrons from six to three feet, contingent upon dismissal of lawsuits that had been filed in federal court by several strip clubs in the parish.

Posted by AJR at 08:05 AM

Supreme Court Denies Appeal in Murder Case Without a Body

The News Star reports on the Louisiana Supreme Court's denial of Ronnie Dorsey's appeal last week. Dorsey, who is currently serving a life sentence in Angola, was convicted for the murder of his wife despite the fact that her body was never recovered.

Posted by AJR at 07:55 AM

Police and Firefighters Prevail in Court

The Advertiser reports on a ruling, made Monday by State Judge Edward Rubin, that requires the Lafayette Consolidated Government to pay a group of about 600 former and current police officers and firefighters back pay. The payments, which are estimated to be around 10 to 12 million dollars, are the result of the Lafayette government's mishandling of state supplemental pay. The council will have to decide whether or not to appeal.

Posted by AJR at 07:44 AM

February 04, 2003

Decedent's Family Sues Over Head Removal

The Advocate reports on a lawsuit filed by the family of a homicide victim against the East Baton Rouge Parish Coroner's Office. The lawsuit indicates that Mr. Edwin Robillard's, whose burned body was found atop a Baton Rouge school in January 2000, skull is at the LSU FACES lab. The director of the laboratory and District Attorney Doug Moreau contend the skull has been kept for evidentiary purposes.

Posted by AJR at 07:23 AM

4th Circuit Delays Hearings in Meraux Case

The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeal agreed to delay hearings on whether to remove Ms. Meraux's curator and whether the curator had authority to make changes to the board of the Arlene and Joseph Meraux Charitable Foundation, reports The Times-Picayune.

"The ongoing and often-acrimonious court fight over Meraux's affairs began in August when Meraux, 80, was ruled incompetent to administer her own affairs due to chronic senile dementia. The fight has sweeping implications for St. Bernard Parish because it will determine who will control Meraux's estate after she dies. The estate is estimated in court documents to be worth nearly $250 million. "

Posted by AJR at 07:12 AM

NOLA May Place City Code Online

The Times-Picayune reports that the City Council will consider whether to pay the Municipal Code Corporation $350 per year to make the city code available on the Internet. The story notes that the City Charter is already available online.

Posted by AJR at 06:59 AM

Foster to Seek Limited Vouchers

Governor Foster is planning to present a limited voucher system to the state Legislature this spring, reports The Times. "The 'very limited' voucher program would apply only to those schools judged failing under the state's educational accountability program and could be used only at private and parochial schools that would conform to the state program."

The Times-Picayune reports that the proposed program would fall squarely on the New Orleans school system.

Posted by AJR at 06:51 AM

February 03, 2003

Louisiana Law Portal

Rather than working on the to do list for the site this weekend, I put together this search page for most Louisiana law bodies.

The page primarily contains the same search fields as provided by the Louisiana Senate at this site, but I hope it is more usable. All of the content is linked directly from the Senate site, so only the search interface is different.

I plan on developing a similar page for federal rules over the next few weeks (another thing to add to the to do list).

Posted by AJR at 06:25 PM | Comments (0)

Lawmakers Debate DWI Proposals

The Advertiser reports on efforts by the Governor’s Task Force on DWI/Vehicular Homicide and lawmakers to help curb Louisiana’s high rate of DWIs. Focus is on the state's two-year old alternative sentencing law, which has allegedly resulted in some district attorneys reportedly charging third-time DWI offenders as second-time offenders “because (courts) can give them more time," says Senator Reggie Dupre.

Posted by AJR at 07:36 AM

Proposed Bill to Aid Obese

State Representative Jean Doerge has proposed House Bill 68, which would require insurers to pay for stomach surgery for the morbidly obese, reports The Advocate.

Posted by AJR at 07:28 AM

The Advocate Profiles Wal-Mart Attorney

The Advocate profiles "influential attorney" Charles Landry this morning. The article focuses on his work with Wal-Mart, specifically the newly proposed Village Square site.

Posted by AJR at 07:23 AM
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