courts

Election 2012
3:22 pm
Tue August 21, 2012

Few appeals court judges get election challenges; many elected without opposition

Twenty-two appeals court judgeships are on the Nov. 6 ballot, but voters will only make choices in five of those races.

That's because more than three-quarters of the jobs were handed to candidates when they attracted no opposition as the qualifying period closed last week.

Most of those were incumbents, but five candidates are getting the 10-year terms for the first time without even a challenge, all district court judges moving up the judicial system ladder.

In Louisiana, races for the judiciary often attract little attention.

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Angola Death-Row
1:44 pm
Tue August 21, 2012

Group petitions for access to Angola records

A New Orleans nonprofit organization wants a federal court order that would require officials of the Louisiana State Penitentiary to grant center attorneys and a medical specialist access to death-row inmates and records at Angola.

Advocacy Center attorneys say in a civil lawsuit that prison officials have refused to allow them to pursue prisoner reports that death-row temperatures have exceeded 100 degrees.

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Law
3:12 pm
Fri August 17, 2012

When Pronouncing A Case Is Harder Than 'Roe V. Wade'

Originally published on Fri August 17, 2012 5:03 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block. Now, a story about Supreme Court cases and how you pronounce their names. Some are easy enough, like Roe V. Wade, but others aren't so clear cut. Is it Bachy or Bachy, Padilla or Padilla? Many a case name has been mangled, so as we hear from NPR legal affairs correspondent Nina Totenberg, law professor Eugene Fidell set out to set the record straight.

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Environment
6:33 am
Thu August 16, 2012

Pollution fine imposed following May plea deal

A Texas-based independent oil company has officially been fined $557,000 after admitting that its negligence caused three oil spills in Jefferson Parish bayous in 2008.

The fine announced Wednesday by the Justice Department in Washington had been expected. It was the result of a plea agreement reached in May between federal authorities and Cedyco Corp. of Houston.

Cedyco agreed to pay the fine and stop operating in Louisiana.

Louisiana Supreme Court
4:01 am
Thu August 16, 2012

Hearing set in dispute over next chief justice

A federal judge is set to hold a hearing in the dispute over who will to be the next chief justice of Louisiana's Supreme Court.

Louisiana's constitution says the longest-serving of the seven justices must get the top spot.

Bernette Johnson has served on the court since 1994 but supporters of fellow justice Jeffrey Victory say Johnson's first years shouldn't count. She was elected from an appeals court district and assigned to the higher court under a civil rights lawsuit settlement.

Victory has served since 1995.

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State Supreme Court
6:05 pm
Tue August 14, 2012

Jindal: Feds shouldn't decide Supreme Court spat

Gov. Bobby Jindal has gotten involved in the federal court case over who will be the next chief justice of the Louisiana Supreme Court.

A motion by Jindal's executive counsel says the governor believes it is an issue for the state to decide. He is entering the case to avoid ambiguity over whether that is the state's position.

Meanwhile, the NAACP Legal Defense Fund filed a brief supporting Justice Bernette Johnson.

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Entergy
4:24 pm
Tue August 14, 2012

Court won't make AR, MS utilities pay to exit pact

A federal appeals court has rejected an effort by Louisiana utility regulators to make Entergy Corp. subsidiaries in Arkansas and Mississippi pay for ending an agreement with their Entergy counterparts in Louisiana and Texas.

The ruling Tuesday by an appeals court in Washington deals with an agreement requiring the separate Entergy utilities to offer roughly equal electricity rates. At times, this has resulted in Entergy Arkansas making payments to Entergy affiliates with higher production costs — causing Arkansas customers to pay more.

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Around the Nation
2:33 am
Tue August 14, 2012

La. Court In Racially Charged Power Struggle, Again

Justice Bernette Johnson is at the center of a legal battle over whether she will be the next chief justice of the Louisiana Supreme Court.
Louisiana Supreme Court AP

Originally published on Tue August 14, 2012 4:00 am

A power struggle on the Louisiana Supreme Court is headed to federal court this week. Lawyers are seeking to reopen an old voting rights case that gave the Deep South state its first black Supreme Court justice. What's at stake in the racially charged fight is whether Louisiana will now have its first African-American chief justice.

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Drilling Moratorium
12:47 pm
Wed August 8, 2012

Interior Department fights drilling moratorium ruling

Federal lawyers are preparing to defend the Obama administration's moves to shut down offshore drilling in the wake of BP's oil 2010 oil spill before an appellate panel on Wednesday.

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals was scheduled to hear an appeal by the Interior Department challenging a contempt of court finding U.S. District Judge Martin Feldman issued in February 2011. Feldman chided the department for its "dismissive conduct."

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Southern University
11:19 am
Tue August 7, 2012

Greg LaFleur claims breach of SU contract

An attorney claims Southern University breached the contract of then-Athletic Director Greg LaFleur when it announced, three days after his arrest on a misdemeanor prostitution charge, that LaFleur had been fired.

A Houston jury acquitted LaFleur on the charge earlier this year.

LaFleur was arrested April 3, 2011, and on April 6, 2011, Southern announced that he had been terminated.

LaFleur attorney Scott Wilson argued Monday to state District Judge Todd Hernandez that Southern breached LaFleur's contract because the university had no cause to fire him.

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