courts

Latest News
11:17 am
Wed December 17, 2014

Post-Katrina Resentment Revived By Court's Ruling On Public School Employees

It was an abrupt reversal of fortune that stirred lingering resentment and fresh tears more than nine years after Hurricane Katrina: Louisiana’s Supreme Court overturned rulings from two lower courts and tossed out a lawsuit that said roughly 7,500 New Orleans public school employees were wrongfully fired after levee failures during the 2005 storm led to inundation of the city.

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Latest News
7:27 am
Fri December 12, 2014

Deputy Indicted For Allegedly Failing To Stop Jail Fight

A grand jury has indicted an Orleans Parish sheriff's deputy in connection with a stabbing inside Orleans Parish Prison.

The Sheriff's Office said 42-year-old John Dupart was charged with counts of malfeasance in office and principal to aggravated battery. The Sheriff's Office says Dupart did not follow procedures, which resulted in an altercation at the jail.

Dupart is not accused of taking part in any violent act himself. His attorney says the allegation is that Dupart didn't stop a fight.

Latest News
7:30 am
Thu December 11, 2014

Possible Settlement Reached Over Disability Lawsuit With New Orleans Schools

A tentative agreement has been reached in a 2010 federal lawsuit that claimed New Orleans schools failed to fulfill obligations to students with a variety of disabilities — including autism, hyperactivity and bipolar disorder.

U.S. District Judge Jay Zainey said in an order made public yesterday that an "agreement in principle" had been reached in the lawsuit filed by the Southern Poverty Law Center on behalf of 10 students.

Settlement efforts had been going on for months.

Attorneys involved declined comment because the agreement is not yet final.

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Latest News
7:47 am
Tue December 2, 2014

Civil Rights Trial Set For Mardi Gras Scuffle Involving State Troopers

A trial date has been set for a civil rights case against state police who tackled two young African American men during last year’s Mardi Gras.

The federal case drew claims of excessive force and criticism of the troopers involved.

The New Orleans Advocate reports the incident was captured on surveillance video two days before Mardi Gras.

It prompted an internal State Police investigation that cleared all the officers involved.

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Latest News
7:55 am
Wed November 26, 2014

Second Audit Supports Accuracy Of BP Claims Process

A second audit into BP damage claims over its Gulf oil spill says the process is correct 99.5 percent of the time.

Nola.com reports the third-party audit was released by claims administrator Patrick Juneau.

It was requested by BP after the first report found last year that the program was running properly.

And a separate court-ordered check found only isolated claims of fraud.

No comment yet from BP.

The oil company has been battling to remove Juneau as claims administrator. It says settlements are tainted by fraud and mistakes.

Latest News
7:53 am
Fri November 21, 2014

Louisiana Gay Marriage Ban Heading To US Supreme Court

Gay-rights advocates are challenging Louisiana's same-sex marriage ban.

They’re asking the U.S. Supreme Court to review their case before it is heard by a federal appeals court.

In September, a federal judge in New Orleans upheld Louisiana's ban.

An appeal of that ruling is tentatively set to be argued in January at the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans.

However, lawyers for gay rights groups said yesterday they have asked the Supreme Court to take the rare step of reviewing Louisiana's case ahead of those arguments.

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Latest News
7:56 am
Wed November 19, 2014

BP Keeps Pushing To Remove Claims Administrator

BP is continuing its attempt to get rid of the administrator of damage claim settlements stemming from the 2010 oil spill.

The oil company filed notice yesterday that it plans an appeal to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans.

BP has long complained about Patrick Juneau's administration of claims. It says he should be removed because of an alleged conflict of interest and other reasons.

But U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier last week rejected BP's arguments.

Coastal Desk
3:02 pm
Tue November 18, 2014

Levee Board's Lead Attorney Explains Why He Took On Oil And Gas Lawsuit

The Lens' Steve Beatty introduces environmental reporter Bob Marshall (left) and Gladstone Jones (right) for a live interview and Q&A held at Basin Street Station on Tuesday, November 17.
Credit Laine Kaplan-Levenson / WWNO

On Tuesday, November 18, environmental reporter Bob Marshall of The Lens sat down with Gladstone Jones, the lead attorney in the lawsuit against oil and gas companies for coastal damages.

Gladstone Jones signed his contract with the levee board based on a sliding scale. The 16 lawyers on the levee board’s legal team will be paid between 22-32 percent, depending on the amount recovered.

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Latest News
7:02 am
Fri November 14, 2014

Judge Denies BP's Attempt To Avoid Up To $18 Billion In Fines

Originally published on Fri November 14, 2014 11:20 am

After a federal judge ruled that BP's "gross negligence" and "willful misconduct" were to blame for 2010's huge Gulf of Mexico oil spill, the company was exposed to billions in federal fines. The company asked the judge last month to reconsider. And on Thursday, he said no.

The ruling against BP could trigger up to $18 billion in fines under the Clean Water Act — far more than the $3.5 billion the oil company has reportedly set aside for that purpose.

NPR's Jeff Brady reports:

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Latest News
7:06 am
Wed November 12, 2014

Levee Board Lawsuit Heads To Federal Court

Lawyers for dozens of oil, gas and pipeline companies are heading to federal court in New Orleans.

They will be making their case for dismissal of a lawsuit filed by a levee board.

The Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East sued the companies last year. The board says coastal drilling and dredging has contributed to the loss of coastal wetlands that protect New Orleans from hurricanes.

Today’s hearing is before U.S. District Judge Nanette Brown.

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