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


April 30, 2003

Site of the Day

The National Association of Counties maintains a site that provides sample codes and ordinances for a variety of subject areas.

Posted by AJR at 12:06 PM

Search Begins for Attorney Accused of Theft

The Advertiser reports that Lafayette police are searching for an attorney accused of stealing approximately $130,000 of his clients personal injury settlements. "William Aubrey, 55, 100 block of Horseshoe Drive, was charged with two counts of theft and is under investigation in connection with a third case, according to prosecutors." The police believe Aubrey, whose license was suspended last year in connection with misconduct allegations, has left town.

Posted by AJR at 11:59 AM

Owen's Nomination Running into Trouble

The Times-Picayune reports on the planned filibuster of Priscilla Owen's nomination to the federal appeals court in New Orleans. The article notes that the votes of Senators John Breaux and Mary Landrieu could be critical to prevent the filibuster. Senator Landrieu has indicated she will support the filibuster, while Senator Breaux has declined to take a firm position.

Posted by AJR at 11:52 AM

NOLA Brothel Saga Ending

The Times-Picayune reports that Federal Eastern District Judge Lemelle gave the mother and daughter who ran the Canal Street brothel lenient sentences to end the prostitution saga. In what the article denoted as a rare display of judicial candor, Judge Lemelle indicated that the case was far more appropriate for state court:

In unusually strong comments from the bench, Lemelle questioned whether the case should have been pursued by federal authorities at all. "The term dysfunction might also be applied to how we got to this point," he said. . . Lemelle added that there was a "disparity of justice" in charging primarily madams and prostitutes and not their well-heeled customers.

Posted by AJR at 11:42 AM

LA Supreme Court Permanently Disbars BR Lawyer

The Advocate reports that the Louisiana Supreme Court unanimously decided to permanently disbar Eddie G. Crawford, a Baton Rouge lawyer who has been continuously suspended from practicing law since 1994. Crawford, who was admitted to the bar in 1983, engaged in "multiple instances" of the practice of law while under suspension-a fact that he did not dispute.

Posted by AJR at 11:31 AM

April 29, 2003

Owen Filibuster Underway

Howard Bashman, of How Appealing, reports that the Priscilla R. Owen filibuster is underway.

Posted by AJR at 09:54 AM

Southern University Law School too White?

The Advocate reports that State Representative Arthur Morrell, Chairman of the Legislative Black Caucus, expressed concern that growing white enrollment at the Southern University Law Center might be keeping out black applicants. "That school was created for a reason, and if that reason is dissipating, what's going to happen to the minorities who want to attend law school but can't get in?" Morrell asked.

Posted by AJR at 09:40 AM

April 28, 2003

Site of the Day

Today's site of the day is a little self-serving. Naked Ownership is pleased to preview a parish directory page for Ascension Parish.

Similar data for all 64 parishes has been collected and organized, so all that remains is to finalize the presentation format. Please provide compliments and criticisms for this directory page so that the format can be finalized and all of the parish data can be uploaded. Please note that the Naked Ownership Court pages will be updated shortly after the parish pages are completed. Thanks.

Posted by AJR at 03:06 PM | Comments (0)

Suspect Device Takes LA Supreme Court to Task

Greg Peters, of Suspect Device, considers the Louisiana Supreme Court's ruling concerning the Lafayette Parish School Superintendent's decision to ignore a temporary restraining order.

So the Supreme Court of the State of Louisiana now establishes a new precedent: you can ignore court orders if you don't like the way they look or the time they're given to you.

Also be sure to check out his latest comic.

Posted by AJR at 02:55 PM

Former 2nd Circuit Chief Judge Dies at 74

The Times reports that Charles A. "Corky" Marvin of Minden died Sunday after a battle with cancer. The Honorable Marvin became a judge on the circuit appeal court in June 1975. "Funeral services are pending with Rose-Neath Funeral Home in Minden. Visitation is today from 5-8 p.m. at the funeral home."

Posted by AJR at 02:47 PM

Ascension Sheriff's Office Getting Wired

The Advocate reports that the Ascension Parish Sheriff's Office and the Gonzales Police Department have recently added laptops with remote access to their arsenal of crime fighting weapons. "Now, the officers can punch a license plate number or someone's driver's license number into the computer, and a complete history of the motorist pops up on the screen in a matter of milliseconds, [Chief Bill] Landry said." And for the cynical-minded, the article was sure to note that the officers won't be wasting time since there is no Internet access or card games on the computers.

Posted by AJR at 02:20 PM

Actor Foxx Pleads Innocent in NOLA Court

Comedian and actor Jamie Foxx pleaded innocent to misdemeanor charges of trespassing, disturbing the peace, battery on police officers, and resisting arrest in New Orleans Criminal District Court today, reports The Times-Picayune. Foxx, who is in town filming a movie, was arrested Saturday when he entered Harrah's Casino and allegedly refused a request for identification, subsequently igniting a dispute among security guards and his entourage.

Posted by AJR at 02:15 PM

Critics of Audubon Park Clubhouse Lose Zoning Appeal

The Times-Picayune reports that critics of a 7,800-square-foot clubhouse in New Orleans Audubon Park suffered another defeat when a special referee in New Orleans CDC ruled that the clubhouse does not meet the special definition of a restaurant. "While all the legal wrangling has been going on, Gootee Construction completed work on the clubhouse, and Audubon officials held an open house for it last week."

Posted by AJR at 02:11 PM

April 25, 2003

Site of the Day

Today's site of the day is the home of the Louisiana Juvenile Justice Commission.

Posted by AJR at 07:57 AM

National Archives Finds Bonds from LA Purchase

The Times-Picayune reports that the National Archives, featured as yesterday's site of the day, has found unredeemed bonds that suggest the United States might have shortchanged investors who financed the Louisiana Purchase. "The bonds, then called 'stock certificates,' were not canceled or stamped, so the Treasury may never have reimbursed the money that Dutch investors paid for them -- a $6,000 saving to the American taxpayer, $86,000 in today's change."

Posted by AJR at 07:46 AM

Louisiana Settles with H&R Block Regarding Guarantee

The Times-Picayune reports that H&R Block, Inc. has agreed to pay $3.3 million to settle a dispute over whether the company obtained its clients' consent before charging them for an accuracy guarantee. Louisiana was one of 41 states (and the District of Columbia) involved in the dispute. "An additional $1 million will be used to establish a consumer fund to provide refunds to eligible customers who received Block's so-called 'Peace of Mind' guarantee in 2001."

Posted by AJR at 07:43 AM

'Lost Bitch' to Return to Alexandria

The Town Talk reports that Cindy Renee "Lost Bitch" Anderson, who was arrested in Texas on suspicion of helping her boyfriend shoot, dismember and stuff two people in plastic boxes, is not fighting extradition back to Louisiana where the alleged crimes occurred. "Her boyfriend, Larry 'Lost Larry' Suratt, was indicted in March in connection with the deaths of Lawrence William 'Larry Larry' Cook, 40, and Sheila Kirby, 34."

Posted by AJR at 07:38 AM

Caddo Parish Jail Funding Suit Ongoing

The Times reports on the trial between Caddo Parish and its Sheriff regarding the costs associated with running the Parish Jail. The case is recessed as 1st JDC Judge Roy Brun decided to give attorneys time to prepare closing arguments, but no date has been set.

Posted by AJR at 07:32 AM

Judge Benge Defends Award as Impartial

The Times-Picayune reports that 24th JDC Judge Joan Benge said she was not "improperly influenced" when she awarded Phil Demma, who is expected to plead guilty to two felony counts related to the Jefferson Parish corruption scandal, $3,400 in damages related to a 2001 suit. "Following an impartial consideration of all the evidence, Mr. Demma was awarded a nominal judgment, based solely on the facts and the law," Benge wrote in a statement released yesterday. "As in all cases, at no time was I improperly influenced in the Demma case."

Dane Ciolino, ethics professor at Loyola University Law School, said judges in the same court typically talk to one another about their rulings, and that the alleged conversation between Bodenheimer and Benge does not in itself constitute a violation of ethics rules. But Ciolino said the talk would be improper if Bodenheimer was pleading for a third party and Benge knew it.

Posted by AJR at 07:20 AM

United States Attorney General Ashcroft in NOLA

The Advocate reports that United States Attorney General John Ashcroft was in New Orleans yesterday, meeting with members of a local anti-terrorism task force. A news conference was held and Ashcroft responded to criticisms that the Justice Department is trampling civil rights in its war on terrorism: "We always seek to enforce the law by respecting the law," Ashcroft said, adding that Justice Department employees are encouraged to "think outside the box but never think outside the Constitution."

Posted by AJR at 07:13 AM

Unfair Real Estate Practices Alleged in Lawsuit

The Advocate reports that Brandy Farris Real Estate has filed suit against C.J. Brown Realtors, Burns and Co., Inc. and the Greater Baton Rouge Association of Realtors alleging claims of unfair trade practices, antitrust violations and other questionable business dealings. Farris alleges that the defendants have conspired to fix real-estate commissions at six percent and have disparaged her company for implementing a "flex" policy where commissions might vary from three to seven percent.

Posted by AJR at 07:07 AM

April 24, 2003

LA Supreme Court 2002 Annual Report Available

The Louisiana Supreme Court has released the 2002 Annual Report [pdf].

Posted by AJR at 01:18 PM

Site of the Day

The New Orleans Notarial Archives Web site is the site of the day. And on a related note, to make up for yesterday's missed listing, see the United States National Archives & Records Administration. This site could easily waste days of time.

Posted by AJR at 01:15 PM

Groups Sponsor Mock Trial of Louisiana Purchase

The Advertiser reports that the Francophone Section of the Louisiana State Bar Association, the Council for the Development of French in Louisiana and the Judge Allen M. Bandeaux International Civil Law Symposium will be sponsoring a mock trial, to be conducted in French, beginning this Friday.

The mock trial, which will include re-enactors in period dress, will . . . touch on questions of whether the sale of the 828,000 square miles of land to the United States in 1803 for $15 million — called “the greatest real estate deal in history” — was even legal.

Posted by AJR at 10:45 AM

Caddo Sheriff, Parish Meet in Court

The Times reports that the ongoing dispute between Caddo Parish and its Sheriff regarding the costs of housing parish inmates will go to trial today. The case will be tried before 1st JDC Judge Roy Brun and is expected to last two days. Commission President Carl Pierson said, regardless of the hearing's outcome, "the sheriff and the commission have to continue to work together."

Posted by AJR at 10:38 AM

Bossier City Settles Park Employees' Lawsuits

The Times reports that Bossier City offered $297,000 to settle lawsuits filed by former employees arrested in a 1997 investigation of alleged payroll fraud. The trial, which began with voir dire last week, was abruptly ended when the city decided that it was more economical to offer the money than to continue fighting. "We estimated that the legal fees and court costs involved in continuing to fight would have cost the city close to $750,000 or more," city spokesman Mark Natale said. "The plaintiffs have incurred considerable legal costs as well, meaning at least some will hardly break even, if at all, on receiving their share of the settlement."

Posted by AJR at 10:34 AM

Haitians Visit NOLA for Tips on Improving Judicial System

The Times-Picayune reports that a group of Haitians is in New Orleans this week to describe problems within their country's judicial system and to find possible solutions.

On Tuesday, the opening day of the event, the visitors heard speakers at Tulane University Law School on such topics as how to popularize the law. On Wednesday, they moved on to more talks at Loyola Law School. Their visit, which continues through Saturday, also will include stops at the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and the Louisiana Supreme Court. Among the most prominent of the participants is Alexandre Boniface, president of Haiti's Supreme Court.

Posted by AJR at 10:26 AM

Another Plea in Jefferson Court Scandal

The Times-Picayune reports that Phil Demma, a Jefferson Parish juvenile court officer and reserve deputy sheriff, will plead guilty to two felony charges in Federal Court on Friday. One of the charges is related to the Copeland case, but another is related to a case tried by Judge Joan Benge in the 24th JDC. Judge Benge has been named as a suspect in the corruption investigation. "They'll follow the trail where the evidence leads," former federal prosecutor Shaun Clarke said. "We don't know that other judges will be named in an indictment, but it's very clear that the conduct of other judges in the 24th District court is being investigated closely."

Posted by AJR at 10:20 AM

Lawyer Argues State Can Escape Prison Deal

The Advocate reports that a Washington, D.C.-based bond attorney, Richard Marks of Piper Rudnick, representing the State Juvenile Justice Commission (pro bono) has identified a potential for the state to avoid fulfillment of its contract with the privately owned juvenile prison in Tallulah. The state has already threatened to end its obligation under the contract, but changed its mind after Standard & Poor's threatened to lower the state's credit rating.

Marks believes that Standard & Poor's might be more understanding if the cooperative endeavor agreement was determined to be illegal. "Marks said the state cannot bring the matter to court, but attorney David Utter said a private resident or organization could do so."

Posted by AJR at 10:14 AM

Plaquemine Judge Wins Budget Battle

The Advocate reports that City Court Judge William Dupont prevailed in his lawsuit against the City of Plaquemine. Judge Dupont sued the the city after the board voted in December against allocating $30,000 in the budget for court employees' salaries. "For us to be able to [pay], programs are going to have to be cut and people laid off," Plaquemine Mayor Tony Gulotta said. "Nobody wants to see his (Dupont's) programs cut, but we're going to have to sacrifice ours."

Posted by AJR at 10:06 AM

April 23, 2003

LA Supreme Court Parking Issue Debated

The Times-Picayune reports that Chief Justice Pascal Calogero, Jr. appeared before the State Legislature's Joint Committee on the Budget to request that the court be allowed to contribute $3.5 million in unspent budget money toward completing restorations of the Royal Street courthouse. The situation quickly focused on the parking woes of the courthouse, with legislators expressing "exasperation that the parking issue had not been solved and that the state might be hit with another expense related to the project." The article provides a brief summary of the expenses and obstacles the restoration project has faced to date.

Posted by AJR at 07:32 AM

Judge Dismisses Request to Remove DA Office in Smothers Case

The Advocate reports that 19th JDC Judge Mike Erwin dismissed a request by lawyers for Henri Broadway, who was convicted of killing police Officer Betty Smothers, to remove the District Attorney's Office from his appeal. The defendant alleged that Prosecutor Prem Burns withheld information during trial and that she is personally involved with the victim's family. "Burns said that she resents that "anti-death penalty zealots" are trying to dirty her reputation."

Posted by AJR at 07:22 AM

19th JDC Leads State with 47,096 Filings in 2002

The Advocate details the Louisiana Supreme Court's 2002 Annual Report this morning. The Louisiana Supreme Court site is currently down, so I can't determine if the report is available online yet.

The Advocate story indicates that the 19th JDC (East Baton Rouge Parish) led state judicial districts in filings last year; however, it appears that the reporter failed to determine that the Orleans Civil and Criminal courts are district level courts as they were not ranked in the top four courts according to highest number of filings. Nonetheless, the First Circuit Court of Appeal received 996 appeals and the Fourth Circuit trailed with 809, so my suspicions might prove incorrect.

Posted by AJR at 07:12 AM

April 22, 2003

LA Supreme Court Overturns Contempt Citations

The Advertiser reports that the Louisiana Supreme Court overturned contempt citations given to Lafayette School Superintendent James Easton and Carencro High School Principal Don Aguillard for defying a court order that required them to allow a student who had not completed the state-required curriculum to participate in graduation ceremonies. The 17-page opinion questioned whether Judge Edward Rubin had heard enough evidence to support his order and also noted that: "The court order was not stamped by the clerk of court, the judge’s signature was illegible and nothing on the order indicated the identity of the issuing judge."

Posted by AJR at 10:37 PM

Site of the Day

Today's site of the day is the Knowledge Management (KM) Edition of Findlaw's Modern Practice, specifically an article titled "KM: What's In It For You?". The articles examine KM, consider its expansive definition and offers some insight into things that can be expected in the coming years.

Posted by AJR at 10:53 AM

Another Redistricting Suit Filed

The News Star reports that Union Parish voters filed suit to stop the Union Parish Policy Jury's redistricting plan from being used in elections this fall. Monroe attorney Paul Hurd filed the suit on behalf of four plaintiffs that allege the new plan dilutes the minority vote. "The Justice Department approved the plan and we've held a School Board election under the plan," Police Jury President Danny Smith said.

Posted by AJR at 10:40 AM

Bossier Parks Plaintiff Takes the Stand

The Times provides coverage of the Bossier Parks and Recreation lawsuit filed by nearly a dozen former employees against Bossier City, its mayor, police department, and others. The suit alleges false arrest and defamation of character. Former park superintendent Larry Sharrah was on the stand yesterday and testified about the impact the arrest and resulting publicity had on his life.

Posted by AJR at 10:34 AM

New St. Tammany Parish Courthouse to Open Soon

The Times-Picayune reports that the massive new St. Tammany Courthouse located in downtown Covington will be open for limited business in two weeks. Only a few finishing touches remain on the three-story, 280,000 square foot structure. The article provides details about the scheduled six-week move and its expected impact on the services provided by the building's new tenants. All agencies plan to stay open during regular business hours.

Posted by AJR at 07:20 AM

Law Office Operates in Former Brothel

The New Orleans City Council unanimously voted to change the zoning of a building "that housted the city's most famous brothel" from RM-1 (multiple family residential) to RO-1 (general office district), reports The Times-Picayune. The request was made by David Bell, "who said his firm of four lawyers has been operating there since June, shortly after the $300-per-hour brothel shut down."

Posted by AJR at 07:15 AM

Fourth Judge Avoids Morial DWI Case

The Times-Picayune reports that Judge Robert E. Jones III was the fourth judge on the New Orleans Traffic Court bench to recuse himself from the drunken driving case against Jacques Morial, the brother of New Orleans' former mayor. Judge Jones said he will ask the Louisiana Supreme Court to appoint someone to preside over the case. "Other Traffic Court judges who have backed away from the current case include Judge Dennis Dannel, who relinquished it last fall because of his friendship with the Morial family; Judge Paul Bonin, who presided in Morial's earlier DWI case; and Judge Ronald Sholes, who is close with the BOLD political clan that backed Ray Nagin's run for mayor."

Posted by AJR at 07:10 AM

DNA Could Exonerate Man on Death Row

The Advocate reports that defense attorney William Sothern claims that there is irrefutable DNA evidence that his client, Ryan Matthews, has spent six years on death row as an innocent man. Matthews was convicted of murdering convenience store owner Tommy Vanhoose in April 1997. The Times-Picayune provides a more detailed account of the story here.

Posted by AJR at 07:05 AM

Confirmation Battles Heating Up

How Appealing reports on an article appearing in the Sunday edition of The Times-Picayune. The article begins with the following: "A new conservative interest group is raising money and warning Democratic senators, including Louisiana's, that their votes on President Bush's judicial nominees are being closely watched."

Posted by AJR at 06:57 AM

April 21, 2003

Site of the Day

The Louisiana Boards and Commissions site, maintained by the State Legislature, provides a comprehensive listing of state boards and commissions. Additionally, the site provides contact information for each board member/commissioner and also references the legislation governing each entity.

Posted by AJR at 07:47 AM

9th JDC Judge Orders Destruction of Expunged Records

The Town Talk reports that 9th JDC Judge George Metoyer recently ruled that felony arrest records can be destroyed when arrests do not lead to prosecution. Misdemeanor records are already destroyed, so Judge Metoyer ruled that not destroying both kinds of records is unconstitutional. "The state Attorney General's Office will appeal automatically the case to Louisiana's Supreme Court."

Posted by AJR at 07:40 AM

Vernon Parish Sheriff's Office Gets An E-mail Address (Yes, 1)

The Town Talk reports that the Vernon Parish Sheriff's Office has set up an e-mail tip site for its criminal investigation division. No web site address is mentioned, but the new e-mail address is vpsocrim@hotmail.com. The story also notes that the Alexandria Police have had success in receiving tips from its web site.

Posted by AJR at 07:37 AM

Shreveport Council Focuses on Property Owners

The Times reports that the Shreveport City Council has more than tripled the fee charged to owners who neglect their property. The council is also pursuing the option of attaching liens on property that the city is forced to tend to. "The city has more than 7,000 pieces of adjudicated property that mostly lie dormant throughout the city, but in some cases actually sap funds because the city spends money cutting weeds or boarding up structures."

Posted by AJR at 07:30 AM

Lawsuit Claims Judge had Conflict of Interest

The Advertiser reports that J. Browne Larose, attorney for Henry Casey, has filed a lawsuit claiming that 7th JDC Judge Leo Boothe (Catahoula Parish) improperly remained in a case "in which his distant cousin sought rulings pertaining to his two stepchildren." “It was a kangaroo court and a nightmare for my client,” said Larose, whose client is the real father of the two children concerned in Boothe’s rulings."

The Times-Picayune also covers the story in greater detail. Its story ends with the following:

Boothe said he believes it would be "inappropriate" for him to discuss the pending lawsuit. "Observe the outcome," he said.

Posted by AJR at 07:25 AM

Lake Catherine Property Owners Sooner to Getting Titles

The Times-Picayune reports that owners of homes and camps in the eastern New Orleans community of Lake Catherine may soon gain legal title to the lots that they have historically occupied. See here for more background on the story. The New Orleans City Council has dropped the requirement that the residents install a community system, provided that the community can reach a solution acceptable to the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals.

Posted by AJR at 07:14 AM

April 17, 2003

Louisiana Legal Web Site of Note

In the last few months of researching and developing content for Naked Ownership, I have collected a wide array of links relevant to the Louisiana legal professional. They will all be posted shortly with the update at the end of the month, but in the meantime, I will also highlight a site each day.

The first is from the The Louisiana Attorney Disciplinary Board. In addition to providing electronic copies of the Louisiana Disciplinary Review, the site also publishes recent rulings and decisions regarding attorney discipline.

Posted by AJR at 10:18 AM

NOLA Confederate Museum Loses Ownership Battle

The Times-Picayune reports that the Confederate Museum lost a dispute regarding the ownership of the building it has occupied for 111 years. The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeal upheld a district court ruling that gives ownership to the University of New Orleans Foundation. "Of course, we're disappointed," said James Carriere, the Confederate Museum's lawyer. "We'll pursue any legal remedies that are available to us."

Posted by AJR at 08:41 AM

April 16, 2003

Pollster: Many in Alexandria believe Hypes is Guilty

The Town Talk reports that a pollster told 9th JDC Judge Harry Randow that the Alexandria community has "invested" in the idea that Amanda Gutweiler Hypes set the house fire that killed her three children. The pollster, Elliot Stonecipher, testified for Hypes' defense team, which is seeking a change of venue.

Ninety-three percent of the residents DataTech interviewed in March were aware of the Hypes' case, Stonecipher said. He characterized that number as "phenomenal."

Posted by AJR at 11:34 PM

First Sentence Given in Music Piracy Case

The Advertiser reports that a music store owner charged in a multi-state pirated music ring that has been traced back to Lafayette was sentenced to one year of probation on Tuesday. The Alabama store owner, who pleaded guilty to dealing in copies of illegal sound recordings (bootlegs), was also ordered to pay $3,624 in restitution to the RIAA. Prosecutors allege that a ULL student, who has not been named or charged, made thousands of copies of illegal concert recordings and sold them himself and through other dealers.

Posted by AJR at 11:26 PM

Man Pleads Guilty To Altering Satellite Cards

The News-Star reports that a Bastrop man pleaded guilty in US District Court to one count of altering satellite reception devices to receive unauthorized services. Chad Ward, who had the hardware and software that allowed him to modify access cards, sold access cards that gave buyers "from a few days to six months" of DirecTV service. He faces up to 10 years in prison and $250,000 in fines.

Posted by AJR at 11:18 PM

Server Problems

Posting has been spotty for the last few days because of problems with the Naked Ownership hosting provider. Please be patient as things are resolved. Thanks.

Posted by AJR at 10:06 AM

Dow to Pay $2.4 Million to Settle with LDEQ

The Dow Chemical Company in Plaquemine has reached a settlement agreement with the LDEQ related to air, water, and hazardous waste violations dating back to 1996, reports The Advocate. The settlement is structured so that Dow will pay $1 million in cash to the state and $1.4 million to other assorted community projects.

Posted by AJR at 08:40 AM

Estrada Supporters Rally at Capitol

The Advocate reports on yesterday's rally in support of Miguel Estrada at the state Capitol. The rally was sponsored by Focus on the Family and was attended by nearly 60 supporters.

Focus on the Family organizers said they chose Baton Rouge as a rally site because U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., is one of a dozen senators considered potential swing votes to end the delay in Estrada's confirmation vote. Other rally sites are Little Rock, Ark.; Albuquerque, N.M.; and Miami.

Senator Landrieu was out of town, but her spokeswoman, Maria Purdy, made the senator's position clear: "We still don't know any more about this candidate's views on issues of critical importance than we did when he left the Judiciary Committee, which is to say we know almost nothing about his views. Until we have new information that provides some insight into Mr. Estrada's views and opinions, the senator's position will remain the same."

The original press release from the Focus on the Family web site is available here.

Posted by AJR at 08:31 AM

April 15, 2003

Legislation Relevant to Louisiana Attorneys

The April 10th Edition of the Louisiana Bar Today notes that the LSBA's Legislation Committee met on April 2 and identified a number of bills as being of general interest to members of the Association. The LSBA has posted the list in pdf format. Naked Ownership has added links to the relevant legislation.

Senate Bill Summaries

SB105 sponsored by Chaisson
Provides for an increase in the nonrefundable civil filing fee that is credited to the Judges’ Supplemental Compensation Fund

SB118 sponsored by C Fields
Constitutional Amendment provides for nine Supreme Court districts

SB124 sponsored by C Fields
Creates the Louisiana Death Penalty Study Commission to study capital punishment in the state.

SB162 sponsored by C Fields
Constitutional Amendment to limit appellate jurisdiction of a court of appeal to questions of law

SB209 sponsored by Marionneaux
Constitutional Amendment to provide for the appellate jurisdiction of a court of appeal and to provide that appellate review extends only to questions of law.

SB218 sponsored by Marionneaux
Constitutional Amendment to provide that the term of a parish and city court judge shall be six years and the term of a district judge shall be ten years.

SB221 sponsored by Hainkel
Constitutional Amendment to provide for the selection and retention election of judges.

SB224 sponsored by Hainkel
Constitutional Amendment to authorize the legislature to limit damages related to rights affected by coastal wetland conservation, management, preservation, enhancement, creation, or restoration activities.

SB253 sponsored by Dardenne
Provides that any new court cost or fee, or increase in an existing court cost or fee, first be submitted to the Judicial Council for review and recommendation to the legislature

SB254 sponsored by Dardenne
Expands the venue of city courts

SB255 sponsored by Dardenne
Provides for the revival of money judgments by ex parte motion

SB284 sponsored by Dupre
Adds three additional judges to the First Circuit Court of Appeal

SB455 sponsored by Hainkel
Provides for the nomination and appointment of judges and for retention elections.

SB499 sponsored by Schedler
Provides for “thing of economic value” when solicited, accepted or received by a public servant from a person that conducts operations or activities regulated by the public servant’s agency

SB519 sponsored by C D Jones
Adds three additional judges for the First Circuit Court of Appeal

SB760 sponsored by C Romero
Provides relative to legal interest accruing on claims against the state

SB772 sponsored by C Fields
Adds three additional judges to the First Circuit Court of Appeal

SB804 sponsored by Johnson
Requires the operational cost of the state criminal justice system to be funded by the state and return surplus funds from special funds or accounts to the state general fund

SB881 sponsored by Malone
Provides for redistricting of the Louisiana Senate

House Bill Summaries

HB19 sponsored by Frith
Constitutional Amendment which allows judges attaining 70 years of age to complete term of office

HB28 sponsored by Frith
Permits a judge who attains the mandatory retirement age of 70 years to complete term of office and provides for retirement benefits for certain judges

HB86 sponsored by Murray
Constitutional Amendment prohibits a judge from remaining in office beyond 75th birthday

HB486 sponsored by Johns
Provides for limitations on jury trials

HB597 sponsored by Toomy
Provides for legislative approval of the Judicial Compensation Commission’s report on judicial salaries

HB661 sponsored by Bruneau
Constitutional Amendment provides for selection and retention election of judges

HB662 sponsored by Bruneau
Constitutional Amendment provides for qualifications of office for judges

HB729 sponsored by Johns
Provides scope of appellate review for claims against the state

HB738 sponsored by Baldone
Limits the general powers of non-attorney notaries public with respect to certain documents to be used in court

HB801 sponsored by Toomy
Requires the Judicial Council to adopt guidelines for the approval of the creation of new judgeships

HB855 sponsored by Bruneau
Creates the Louisiana Notary Public Examination and Standards Commission

HB857 sponsored by Farrar
Removes certain exemptions from prohibition against knowingly false statements and disclosure requirement, and requires “paid for by” disclosure for certain statements relative to a candidate

HB895 sponsored by Lancaster
Removes the exclusion of certain judicial seats from the definition of “major office” for purposes of the Campaign Finance Disclosure Act

HB935 sponsored by Broome
Provides for a reduction of court costs for grandparents seeking custodial rights of their grandchildren

HB946 sponsored by Johns
Provides relative to legal interest accruing on claims against the state

HB998 sponsored by Gallot
Changes the delays for filing a motion for summary judgment

HB1134 sponsored by Townsend
Provides for the application of the rate of judicial interest

HB1322 sponsored by Fruge
Provides for the right to a trial by jury

HB1676 sponsored by Kennard
The proposed legislation provides for public policy with respect to jury service, provides for waivers and postponements of petit jury service and provides for penalties for failure to serve on juries. The bill also establishes a Lengthy Trial Fund.

Posted by AJR at 10:54 PM | Comments (0)

Bill Proposes Judicial Review of Proposed Court Cost Requests

The Times-Picayune reports that a bill requiring the review of proposed court costs associated with traffic tickets and other court fines "would be submitted to a special judicial council for review before the Legislature looked at the requests." The bill, which would not require that the Legislature follow the recommendation of the reviewing committee--the Judicial Council of the Louisiana Supreme Court, was approved unanimously by the Senate today. The bill now goes to the House for debate.

Posted by AJR at 10:14 PM

Baton Rouge Businessman's Will At Issue

The Business Report features an article outlining the dispute concerning the will of former Baton Rouge businessman Wilbur Marvin. Marvin, who made millions as a self-made real estate man, willed the vast majority of his company, Commercial Properties Development, Corp., to the Baton Rouge Foundation. His decision left only a tiny fraction of his wealth for his family and also avoided massive inheritance taxes, thereby preserving the company that he so lovingly built. The article provides an overview of Marvin's life and also outlines the legal issues involved in the dispute--primarily his domicile and capacity at the time of writing a new will prior to death.

Posted by AJR at 10:07 PM

Business Report Editor Says Estrada Deserves Senate Vote

Rolfe McCollister, Jr., editor of the The Business Report, writes that Miguel Estrada is an extremely qualified candidate and should be voted on by the United States Senate. He notes that Senator Breaux has put party politics aside by voting to end the filibuster and encourages Senator Landrieu to do the same. There is also mention of a rally on the Capitol steps this morning, but I have been unable to locate any other information regarding its outcome.

Posted by AJR at 09:47 PM

Proposed Bill to Limit State Damage Liability

The Times-Picayune reports that drunken drivers and those not wearing seat belts could find it harder to collect damages from state and local governments when they claim that the condition of the roadway was a contributing factor to the accident. The House Committee on Civil Law and Procedure voted 6-3 to pass House Bill 1035. The end of the article provides a comprehensive summary of the bill's provisions.

Posted by AJR at 10:48 AM

House Panel Approves Ticket Scalping Bill

The Times-Picayune reports that Lavonne Martin's quest for 2002 Sugar Bowl tickets is what led to the development of House Bill 316, which would legalize scalping in the state. The bill passed the Commerce Committee by a vote of 10-3.

In other action Monday, the Commerce Committee approved:

-- HB 92, by Pinac, to require people selling residential real estate to provide disclosure statements listing any known defects.

-- HB 1183, by Pinac, to authorize the Public Service Commission to study whether to establish a statewide "211" information service, which would help Louisiana residents get referrals for government and community programs.

Posted by AJR at 10:37 AM

Judge Dismisses White Lake Suit

The Advocate reports that 19th JDC Judge William Morvant dismissed a suit filed against the state by Senator Joe McPherson to block the donation of the White Lake preserve by BP Amoco. Judge Morvant ruled that Senator McPherson lacked standing. Steve Irving, McPherson's attorney, indicated that the ruling will be appealed.

Meanwhile, Gov. Mike Foster's press secretary, Marsanne Golsby, said the ruling is welcomed news. Quoting Foster, Golsby said that if the federation is allowed to intervene and prevails, "people should remember that BP Amoco might take back that property and give it to someone else."

Posted by AJR at 10:31 AM

April 14, 2003

What is Obscenity?

The News-Star attempts to answer the question in this report. "The cornerstone of obscenity codes is community standards," Assistant 3rd JDC DA Mike Ruddick said. "What is allowed in Baton Rouge will be different than in Shreveport or here - not saying one is better than the other." The article appears to be in response to a few police raids and the recent opening of an adult video store in Lincoln Parish.

Posted by AJR at 08:41 AM

HIPAA Begins Today

The Advocate reports that the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) goes into effect today. The article provides a nice overview of what the act provides for patients and the associated burdens it places on healthcare providers.

"I don't think anyone would argue that this is going to be a burden," said Gregory Frost, an attorney with Adams and Reese LLP who has spent the last two years working with health-care providers in Louisiana to implement the new regulations. "But it's the price we pay for administrative simplification, and it's important to understand it in that context."

The Times-Picayune also reports here.

Posted by AJR at 08:32 AM

April 09, 2003

Senate Democrats Will Filibuster Owen Nomination

How Appealing reports that Senate Democrats plan to block a vote on the nomination of Priscilla Owen to the United States Fifth Circuit Court of Appeal. Stay tuned to Howard for updates as they develop.

Posted by AJR at 08:37 AM

No More Updates Until Next Week

I will be heading to Houston this evening to attend the ABA Litigation Annual Conference. According to the front desk of the conference hotel, they do not have wireless Internet access. Therefore, I won't be able to blog any of the sessions. As a result, any updates made for the remainder of the week will be lagniappe.

Posted by AJR at 08:32 AM

Class Action to Pay for a Ouachita Library

The News-Star reports that the Sterlington area will be the beneficiary of $1 million paid in punitive damages. The money will be used for a new library and is being paid as the result of a class action lawsuit filed after a 1991 explosion at the ANGUS Chemical Company. "This is money to be spent for the benefit of the entire class, but cannot be paid to any member of the class involved in the class action suit," said Dennie Hennen, a representative for the plaintiffs.

Posted by AJR at 08:24 AM

Monroe City Judge Pay Discussed

The News-Star reports that Monroe officials may take a second look at the pay of City Court judges if a proposed bill in the state Legislature passes. House Bill No. 1125 would repeal 1991 legislation that prohibits Monroe City Judges from practicing law outside City Court.

Currently, the city pays each judge $59,520 to supplement the judge's pay from the state and Ouachita Parish governments. After a scheduled pay increase by the city in July, each judge will make more than $95,000 a year, making them the highest-paid elected officials in the city of Monroe.

Posted by AJR at 08:20 AM

Suit to Challenge Defense of Poor

The Advertiser reports that the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers has filed suit in five parishes (Caddo, Calcasieu, East Baton Rouge, Orleans and still to be determined) challenging Louisiana's system of providing the poor with legal counsel. The article notes that the Louisiana system violates nine out of 10 national standards set by the ABA.

Posted by AJR at 08:14 AM

Johnson Granted Clemency by Foster

The Town Talk reports that Governor Mike Foster granted clemency to Allie "Bo" Johnson, who shot his daughter's molester. "Foster agreed Tuesday to sign off on a Pardon Board recommendation to give Allie Johnson double credit for good behavior."

Posted by AJR at 08:10 AM

Karl Rove in NOLA

Interstate 10 in New Orleans was shut down for at least a half-hour around 5:00 last night to allow the motorcade of White House chief political strategist Karl Rove to make its way to the Central Business District of New Orleans. The Times-Picayune reports that Rove is in town to deliver a speech at the annual convention of the American Society of Newspaper Editors and to meet with a small group of local Republican campaign contributors and party activists.

Posted by AJR at 08:07 AM

LA Supreme Court to Rule on Causeway Fee

The Times-Picayune reports that the Louisiana Supreme Court will soon decide whether a $5 court fee tacked onto every ticket written by Causeway Police can be used to pay for police salaries and equipment maintenance. "Justices heard arguments Tuesday from both the Greater New Orleans Causeway Commission and the two judges from the 1st Parish Court in Jefferson who have refused to collect the fee."

Posted by AJR at 08:03 AM

April 08, 2003

Welch's Proposal to DNA Test Baton Rouge Cops Makes National News

CNN reports on the proposal by Louisiana Representative Yvonne Welch to take DNA samples from Baton Rouge police in response to concerns that the serial killer might be a policeman. "But police, the governor and the mother of one of the victims said such a step could divert time from more important investigative work in the case."

In a somewhat related story, The Advocate reports on the visit of New York Times staff writer Lena Williams to LSU. "When [she] told friends in New York that she was coming to Baton Rouge, they thought one thing -- serial killer." "One man has tainted an entire community," Williams said.

Posted by AJR at 01:18 PM

United States Senate Opens Debate on Owen

How Appealing reports that the United States Senate has opened its debate regarding the appointment of Priscilla Owen to the United States Fifth Circuit Court of Appeal. From the Reuters article: "Senate Democrats were expected to discuss at their weekly strategy meeting on Tuesday if they had the support to block Owen with a procedural hurdle known as a filibuster, aides said."

Posted by AJR at 01:12 PM

Louisiana Supreme Court Justices in Monroe

The News-Star reports on the Louisiana Supreme Court's trip to the University of Louisiana at Monroe. "Justices heard four cases in two separate sessions, the last the tragedy surrounding one Monroe teenager who shot a friend after an early morning altercation." Picture included.

Posted by AJR at 11:00 AM

Alexandria City Councilman Challenges City Constitution

The Town Talk reports that Alexandra City Councilman Myron Lawson argued in the 9th JDC that a portion of the city's charter is unconstitutional. Myron alleges that the charter's prohibition that forbids him from serving on another state board should be superseded by Louisiana's dual-office holding law. "Lawson's lawyer, John Scott, told 9th Judicial District Judge Harry Randow that Louisiana's constitution and statutes supersede Alexandria's city charter, so Lawson can lawfully serve on the Alexandria City Council and on Southern University's Board of Supervisors."

Posted by AJR at 10:57 AM

South Louisiana Men to Be Sentenced in Cross-Burning

The Advertiser reports that five men, all members of the Ku Klux Klan, are set to be sentenced Thursday on federal charges related to a Beauregard parish cross-burning on September 1, 2002. The men all pleaded guilty and face sentencing by United States District Judge Tucker Melancon.

In a closely related story, The Times-Picayune reports that the United States Supreme Court upheld a Virginia law that banned cross burning, "ruling [that] the history of racial intimidation attached to it outweighs the free speech protection of Ku Klux Klansmen or others who might use it."

Posted by AJR at 10:48 AM

Construction Company Files $5.2 Million Suit Against Shreveport

The Times reports that bankrupt Shreveport-based Whitaker Construction filed a $5.2 million lawsuit against the City of Shreveport on Monday. The lawsuit alleges that the city refused to pay Whitaker the amounts due for its work on the Independence Stadium in a reasonable time period, which ultimately resulted in its financial problems. "City administrators are expected today to ask the City Council to approve the hiring of attorney Joseph Greenwald to pursue a counter-suit alleging Whitaker did not finish the almost $14 million Independence Stadium project in the time line outlined in the contract."

Posted by AJR at 10:35 AM

US Supreme Court Ruling Hinders Louisiana Shrimpers

The Times-Picayune reports that the United States Supreme Court rejected an animal rights group's appeal for stricter enforcement of a rule that would place the same restrictions on foreign shrimpers as their Louisiana counterparts. The 1989 law requires foreign shrimpers who sell their catches in the United States to use turtle excluder devices, which reduces the catch by also releasing shrimp. The court made its decision without comment.

Posted by AJR at 10:24 AM

April 07, 2003

Edwards Resigns from Practice of Law

WAFB reports that imprisoned Governor Edwards has resigned from the practice of law rather than face discipline from the Louisiana Supreme Court. The court has approved his request for resignation, "which means Edwards is permanently barred from practicing law or seeking readmission to the legal profession in Louisiana or elsewhere."

Posted by AJR at 08:59 AM

State Supreme Court Ruling to Impact Mental Hospitals

The Advertiser reports that a recent Louisiana Supreme Court ruling may change the state's policy to not let mental patients found not guilty by reason of insanity to go outside of a mental institution unless a judge approves. "State mental hospitals hold 295 people who have been found not guilty by reason of insanity — 81 in connection with murder charges, according to DHH figures." The recent decision holds that judicial approval is not necessary for day trips.

Posted by AJR at 08:55 AM

Supreme Court to Handle Docket in Monroe

The News-Star reports that the Louisiana Supreme Court will hold two sessions at the University of Louisiana at Monroe today. "This will mark the first visit to northeastern Louisiana since the court functioned as a circuit riding body in the late 1800s, and security has tightened somewhat since those days."

Posted by AJR at 08:49 AM

EBR Seeking New Courthouse

Concerns over improving security in the East Baton Rouge Governmental Building have prompted court officials to seek funds for construction of a new stand-alone courthouse for the 19th JDC and East Baton Rouge Family Court, reports The Advocate. Chief Judge Kay Bates said a visiting U.S. Marshal recently told her the parish has the least secure courthouse in the country that he has visited. A bill has been filed in the legislature that will raise court fees in order to cover some construction costs. House Bill 445 sets limits on fee increases, which are reported in the article.

Posted by AJR at 08:45 AM

Former EBR Council on Aging Director Avoids State and Federal Charges

The Advocate reports that Sharon LaFleur, the former director of the East Baton Rouge Council on Aging, has yet to face any criminal charges three years after she was fired from her position. Agency officials discovered LaFleur allegedly used more than $1 million from a charitable trust fund to acquire, renovate and operate Rosewood, a plantation-like estate in Ascension Parish. A civil suit which will determine who own/controls Rosewood is pending in the 23rd JDC.

Posted by AJR at 08:37 AM

Project Return Allowed to Keep Office

The Times-Picayune reports that Project Return, a widely hailed rehabilitation program for ex-convicts, recently won a decision in the 4th Circuit Court of Appeal regarding zoning status that will allow it to maintain its office in Algiers. The group, however, is not overly excited about the verdict because it is looking for an office near or in the Central Business District, so that ex-inmates can easily get their by bus. "The bottom line is we'll get better results in a better location," Bob Roberts, the Project Return Director, said. "And better results means a reduction in crime and safer streets. But we're still on the wrong side of the river."

Posted by AJR at 08:30 AM

April 04, 2003

LA Attorney General Opinions

Summaries of Attorney General opinions released from March 24 through March 28 are provided compliments of the the Louisiana Attorney General's Office. Written legal opinions are case-specific and are intended to be used and interpreted by the requestor. To order a copy of the full opinion, please contact the Louisiana Attorney General's Office at 225-342-7013.

Professional contracts entered into by the City of Shreveport to perform environmental studies and investigations are for services and are not subject to the Public Bid Law. Public Bid Law is applicable to contracts relating to the removal and transportation of contaminated soil and backhaul of replacement soil. (McGimsey)
Op to Honorable Keith Hightower, Mayor, Shreveport, LA
Date Released: March 24, 2003

Civil service rules and regulations must be followed where applicable when a classified municipal police officer seeks another office or employment. (Kilpatrick)
Op to Ms. Melinda B. Livingston, State Examiner, Baton Rouge, LA
Date Released: March 26, 2003

Rules of statutory construction dictate that laws in pari materia must be interpreted with reference to each other. Application of this concept to the law governing mariculture permits indicates that the permit fees are charged on an annual basis. (Kilpatrick)
Op to Mr. James H. Jenkins, Jr., Department of Wildlife & Fisheries, Baton Rouge, LA
Date Released: March 26, 2003

Louisiana law does not require a Class “D” Chauffeur’s License to operate fifteen-passenger vans with a gross vehicle weight of 7000-9000 pounds which are not used for fee or hire. (Pitman)
Op to Honorable Dale Erdey, Louisiana State Representative, Livingston, Louisiana
Date Released: March 28, 2003

The Louisiana State Board of Nursing has no statutory authority to buy immovable property. (McGimsey)
Op to Mr. E. Wade Shows, State Board of Nursing, Baton Rouge, LA
Date Released: March 28, 2003

Posted by AJR at 07:01 AM

Deadline Set for Negotiations in Lafayette Police/Fire Suit

The Advertiser reports that Daniel Landry, who represents approximately 600 Lafayette police and firefighters, said that he has sent a letter to the City of Lafayette indicating that it has until the end of the month to complete settlement negotiations regarding a recent $12 million court judgment over supplemental pay. Although the judgment has not yet been filed, city officials have indicated that they still might appeal. At issue in the lawsuit was the pay plan used for police and firefighters from 1978 to 2001, specifically the payment of state supplemental funds.

Posted by AJR at 06:54 AM

April 03, 2003

Tauzin Yanks French Version of his Web Site

The Times-Picayune reports that Billy Tauzin has removed the French version of his web site. The most interesting part of the whole article indicates that neither President Bush nor President Chirac has accepted their invitations to the Bicentennial Celebrations of the Louisiana Purchase. I think Greg Peters at Suspect Device says it all right here.

Posted by AJR at 08:13 PM

Bodenheimer's Plea Frees Co-Defendant

The Times-Picayune reports that Ronald Bodenheimer's plea in the courthouse corruption case "became the ticket to freedom for his co-defendant Curley Chewning." Chewning, a Slidell mechanic, was being held in a halfway house pending Bodenheimer's trial. In other developments, Phil Demma, a Jefferson Parish Juvenile Court officer, is also seeking to cut a deal in the case.

Posted by AJR at 09:19 AM

St. Bernard to Digitize Parish Documents

The Times-Picayune reports that St. Bernard parish government has approved a contract to place all of the minutes from Parish Council meetings, and those of its predecessor Police Jury, on CD-ROM dating all the way back to 1883. The council also voted to post the parish's code of ordinances on the Internet. Hopefully, this will lead the way for additional parishes and municipalities to join the Information Age.

Muni-code will be adding the code to its collection of free Louisiana online codes. At a cost of approximately $3,000, this is something that every city and parish in the state should be able to afford.

Posted by AJR at 09:14 AM

EBR Argues Ex-Director Breached Duty

The Advocate reports on the East Baton Rouge City-Parish response to a lawsuit filed by former human resources director Jerald Boykin, who was fired when he alleged systematic discrimination in city-parish government. Jill Craft (her husband is crafty), who represents Boykin, argues that he was dismissed in violation of the state whistle-blower protection laws. The City-Parish, however, responds by saying that Boykin breached his fiduciary duty by releasing a report critical of the administration to the public and by failing to address the very problems he identified in the report from his position as human resources director.

Posted by AJR at 09:06 AM

April 02, 2003

News Round-up

Since I only have a short amount of time available this morning and there are a number of relevant stories to point out, I am only providing links with the first sentence of the story:

Tobacco settlement payment from Philip Morris may be delayed
Louisiana may not get its regular tobacco settlement payment from Philip Morris this month because the company insists it doesn't have the money to pay states as well as a $12 billion bond to appeal an Illinois tobacco lawsuit, Attorney General Richard Ieyoub said Tuesday.

Colonial to pay $34 million for spills
Colonial Pipeline Co. will pay $34 million for spilling more than a million gallons of oil in Louisiana and four other states, the U.S. Justice Department said Tuesday.

Shooter of alleged molester may go free
The state Pardon Board voted unanimously Tuesday to recommend that the governor release a man serving time for shooting his daughter's accused molester.

Panel says 'I do' to quickie weddings
Tourists and visitors to New Orleans could get married without having to wait 72 hours after getting a marriage license, under a bill approved by a Senate committee Tuesday.

Judge signals he'll OK revised remap
A federal judge told Louisiana lawmakers Tuesday that a federal panel probably will approve a compromise proposal for redrawing state House district boundaries if all parties are satisfied, participants in the closed-door meeting said.

Judges hear LSU dental case
Government arguments against the public's right to see details of a legal settlement involving the Louisiana State University dental school would leave control of such information solely in the hands of state bureaucrats, an attorney for The Times-Picayune said Tuesday.

Bodenheimer felt trial was too risky
It was a family reunion, but the gathering at Ronald Bodenheimer's Metairie home last Wednesday night was not joyful.

Law firm's bookkeeper gets 6 years
A former bookkeeper for a Covington-area law office was ordered to serve six years in prison Tuesday after she pleaded guilty to embezzling more than $200,000 from the firm.

Attorney for city is found dead
An assistant New Orleans city attorney was found dead in his Algiers Point home Tuesday morning and an 18-year-old man who returned to the scene a few hours later in the dead man's car was booked with first-degree murder, police said.

Whitaker demands payment from Shreveport
Whitaker Construction, the now-bankrupt local firm picked by Shreveport to conduct part of the overhaul of Independence Stadium and to lead construction of the $71 million convention center, is expected to file a $5.2 million lawsuit against the city Monday claiming extensive delays on the stadium project cost the company millions.

Posted by AJR at 07:12 AM | Comments (0)

Judiciary Commission Seeks to Reprimand 1st Circuit Judge

The Advocate reports that the State Judiciary Commission has recommended that the Louisiana Supreme Court publicly reprimand First Circuit Court of Appeal Judge Randy Parro for interceding on his niece's behalf when she was facing a felony theft charge.

A May 30, 2001, article in The Houma Courier prompted the Judiciary Commission probe. The newspaper quoted Parro as saying, "I did this as an uncle and a godparent. I just asked if there was anything that could be done so Celeste might avoid prosecution. I didn't give up my rights as a citizen when I became a judge."

Posted by AJR at 06:57 AM

2TheAdvocate.com Launches

Today provides the launch of the new venture between The Advocate and WBRZ - 2TheAdvocate.com. See the press release for details. The site looks nice, but more importantly, it appears - at least for today - to be publishing more news on the web.

Posted by AJR at 06:49 AM


American Bar Association, Section of Labor and Employment Law
MCLE Workshops
May 13, 14 and 15, 2003
New Orleans, LA

Register today for any of the following programs:

-Fair Labor Standards Act and Family Medical Leave Act Basics
-Trade Secrets and Covenants Not to Compete Basics
-Equal Employment Opportunity Basics
-National Labor Relations Act Basics

Please visit the ABA Section of Labor and Employment Law website to view complete program agendas and speaker listings for these programs. You will have the opportunity to register for only the sessions that you'd like to attend or you may register for the complete three day package at a reduced rate.

The Section's "Basics" programs are one of our most popular CLE offerings. These programs each provide a comprehensive introduction to a different area of labor and employment law practice and they are very economically priced. Please visit our website or contact us at 312-988-5523 with any questions.

Posted by AJR at 06:41 AM

April 01, 2003

Parents Cannot Compel School Board to Harvest Timber

The Times-Picayune reports that 12th JDC District Judge Mark Jeansonne threw out a lawsuit filed by a parent against the Avoyelles Parish School Board. The lawsuit was seeking to compel the school board to harvest timber on school trust lands and to use the proceeds for the school system. "Attorney Rodney Rabalais, who represented the parent, said state law requires that trust lands be administered on behalf of the 6,800 students in the system. "

Posted by AJR at 03:46 PM

Lafayette NAACP to Oppose Schoolboard in Deseg Case

The Times-Picayune reports that Je'Nelle Chargois, president of the Lafayette chapter of the NAACP, has indicated the organization will fight a move by the Lafayette Parish school system to remove federal oversight in the system's 38-year-old desegregation lawsuit. The school district filed for unitary status yesterday and Chargois indicates that the Lafayette Chapter has hired an attorney and plans to file an appeal in the next 60 days.

Posted by AJR at 12:58 PM

LA Supreme Court Reinstates Conviction

The Advertiser reports that the Louisiana Supreme Court has reinstated the conviction of a woman charged with shooting to death her 3-year-old son. The issue on appeal was whether or not Deidre A. Pierre knowingly waived her right to trial by jury. The trial court did not ask Pierre if she wanted to waive her right to jury - only her attorney. "[T]he Supreme Court ruled that an attorney can waive a jury trial on a client’s behalf, if the client is in agreement with the move at the time."

Posted by AJR at 10:45 AM

Shreveport Trials Reset for Next Week

The Times reports that the unavailability of a key witness resulted in the trial delay of 14 consolidated lawsuits, which were filed against Bossier City over the 1997 arrest of 17 Bossier Parks and Recreation Employees. The arrests were related to an alleged payroll-mishandling case, but charges were dropped by then DA Jim Bullers. The trial was rescheduled because one of the two men who led the police investigation is still recovering from recent surgery and the trial is expected to last for six weeks.

Posted by AJR at 10:38 AM

Loyola Honors Execution Reformer

The Times-Picayune reports on the speech made by ex-Illinois governor George Ryan last night.

When critics questioned how a governor could make such a blanket, far-reaching decision as emptying death row, Ryan, a pharmacist by training with 35 years of public service, put it as plainly as his Midwestern upbringing: "I was the man who had to give the final order, to inject poison in fatal doses into a man's veins. With that at stake, how could I go on with this system?"

Posted by AJR at 10:29 AM

Follow-up On Bodenheimer Plea Bargain

The Times-Picayune provides another article with further details regarding Ronald Bodenheimer, who is described as a tenacious prosecutor-turned-judge. "Bodenheimer, whose term expired Dec. 31, will be the fourth judge in the state and the second in Jefferson Parish to serve time in the past two decades, according to officials with the state Supreme Court." Further, the Louisiana Attorney Disciplinary Board will immediately being proceedings to have Bodenheimer suspended and permanently disbarred.

Posted by AJR at 10:23 AM
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