courts

Louisiana Judiciary Commission
12:41 pm
Tue July 31, 2012

Whitney named Judiciary Commission special counsel

Attorney Mary Whitney has been selected to serve as special counsel for the Louisiana Judiciary Commission.

The nine-member commission reviews allegations of judicial misconduct. The commission's Office of Special Counsel receives, investigates, and prosecutes formal charges regarding judicial behavior.

The Louisiana Supreme Court announced Whitney's appointment Monday.

The court says Whitney received undergraduate and graduate degrees from Nicholls State before getting a law degree from Florida State in 1992.

Boh Brothers Sexual Harassment Lawsuit
3:42 pm
Mon July 30, 2012

Court reverses iron worker's $300K sexual harassment award

A federal appeals court has thrown out a $300,000 court award for an iron worker in a sexual harassment lawsuit filed against Boh Brothers Construction Company.

The worker won the award in 2009 after the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed a lawsuit on his behalf. He claimed his site superintendent flashed him and routinely taunted him about seeming feminine at a New Orleans area bridge project in 2006.

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Taxicab Reforms
3:13 pm
Mon July 30, 2012

Cab drivers attempt to stop taxicab reforms

New Orleans cab drivers say new city rules aimed at improving taxi service are too expensive, and they were given too little time to prepare for them. City and tourism officials say the changes are needed to improve an outdated fleet.

The rules include requirements that cabs be less than 11 years old, able to take credit cards, and have cameras and GPS units.

Consent Decree
4:56 pm
Thu July 26, 2012

Court meeting held on New Orleans police reforms

Attorneys for the city of New Orleans and the federal government met behind closed doors with a federal judge to discuss a new agreement to overhaul the New Orleans Police Department.

Participants in Thursday's status conference with U.S. District Judge Susie Morgan declined to go into details. U.S. Attorney Jim Letten described the meeting as productive but added that he was not at liberty to say more. It was unclear when Morgan might grant final court approval to the agreement, which was the result of long negotiations between the city and federal officials.

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School Vouchers
4:51 pm
Thu July 26, 2012

Appeals court allows school voucher program to begin

A state appeals court has upheld a decision that allows Gov. Bobby Jindal's statewide voucher program to begin in August.

Teacher unions and local school boards sought to block the start of the program as they challenge its constitutionality.

But in a 2-1 decision, a three-judge appellate court panel agreed with a lower court judge that an injunction couldn't be issued, citing a law that bars injunctions if a state agency chief says it would cause a deficit.

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Environment
1:46 pm
Thu July 26, 2012

Cargo ship operator to pay $1.2M in pollution case

A federal judge in New Orleans has ordered the operator of a cargo ship to pay a $1.2 million criminal penalty for violating pollution laws and obstruction of justice.

U.S. District Judge Stanwood Duval Jr. also on Wednesday sentenced Athens, Greece-based Odysea Carriers to three years of probation.

Federal prosecutors say engine room crew members on the company's ship, Polyneos, used a hose to pump oil waste directly overboard in 2011. The ship's chief engineer allegedly tried to conceal the illegal discharges from the Coast Guard by falsifying the vessel's records.

Kurt Mix Trial
6:11 pm
Tue July 24, 2012

Ex-BP engineer loses bid to get details on charges

A federal magistrate has ruled that prosecutors aren't required to provide defense attorneys with more details regarding the charges against a former BP engineer accused of deleting text messages about the company's response to the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

U.S. Magistrate Sally Shushan's order Tuesday says Kurt Mix's indictment provides his lawyers with sufficient information to prepare his defense and to "avoid surprise" at trial.

Louisiana Supreme Court
8:56 pm
Mon July 23, 2012

Deadline moved in state chief justice debate

The Louisiana Supreme Court is giving its justices an extra month to weigh in on a debate over naming the court's next chief justice.

Chief Justice Catherine "Kitty" Kimball had set a July 31 deadline for the justices to file briefs on which colleague is the "oldest in point of service" under terms of the state constitution.

Kimball amended her order on Friday to move the deadline to Aug. 31.

Latest News
4:05 am
Fri July 20, 2012

New Orleans man gets prison for attempted bank robbery

A New Orleans man has been sentenced to more than four years in prison for trying to rob a bank.

U.S. District Judge Jane Triche-Milazzo also on Thursday sentenced 50-year-old Calvin Johnson to three years of supervised release after his 52-month prison term.

Johnson pleaded guilty in April to attempted robbery of a Capital One bank branch on Canal Street in New Orleans on Oct. 18, 2011.

Prosecutors say Johnson tried to hand a note demanding money to a teller who refused to accept it. He fled the bank without receiving any money.

Latest News
6:06 pm
Thu July 19, 2012

Judge: Websites are misleading oil spill claimants

A federal judge presiding over a proposed class-action settlement of BP oil spill claims says two websites can mislead visitors into believing they are filing official claims.

U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier on Thursday ordered the operator of the sites — bpclaims.org and deepwaterhorizonsettlementclaims.com — to post disclaimers at the top of every page on the sites that they aren't the court-authorized site.

The site where residents can submit claims is deepwaterhorizonsettlements.com.

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