courts

NOPD Consent Decree
11:11 am
Tue August 7, 2012

Police group seeks to have say in NOPD reforms

The Fraternal Order of Police wants to have a say in an agreement New Orleans has reached with the Justice Department to overhaul the city's troubled police department.

WVUE-TV reports that the group has asked U.S. District Judge Susie Morgan to allow it to intervene in the matter before the judge signs off on the agreement.

The TV station reports that the FOP has complained in the past that it was left out of the negotiations and that officers need more details about what will be expected of them.

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Louisiana Supreme Court
6:46 pm
Wed August 1, 2012

Fifteen Orleans officials side with Johnson in Supreme Court spat

Fifteen New Orleans-area elected officials have told Louisiana Supreme Court Chief Justice Katherine Kimball that she should take steps to ensure that Justice Bernette Johnson succeeds her as the court's chief.

Kimball retires next year. Louisiana's Constitution says the longest serving justice must succeed her. Johnson and Justice Jeffrey Victory each stake claims to being the longest serving.

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Music Licensing Lawsuit
2:29 pm
Wed August 1, 2012

BMI sues Slidell bar over licensing fee

A Slidell bar accused of playing songs without paying a standard music licensing is being sued for copyright infringement.

The Times-Picayune reports Broadcast Music Inc., a nonprofit composers' rights organization, filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in New Orleans against Tooloula's Bar.

Federal law mandates that writers and publishers of music are entitled to be paid for the public performance of their music. Bars and other businesses usually pay an annual fee to groups such as BMI for a blanket license to their songs.

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Crime
2:23 pm
Wed August 1, 2012

Guilty pleas entered on 'Lil Boosie' drug charges

A friend of imprisoned rapper Torence "Lil Boosie" Hatch and a former Dixon Correctional Institute guard have pleaded guilty to charges of conspiring to smuggle drugs into Dixon for Hatch while he was jailed there.

As part of negotiated plea agreements, state District Judge Mike Erwin put Walnita Decuir on active supervised probation for five years and Joshua Wilson on unsupervised probation for six months.

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NOPD Consent Decree
2:12 pm
Wed August 1, 2012

NOPD reform agreement hearing set for Katrina anniversary

A federal judge has set an Aug. 29 hearing on an agreement the city of New Orleans reached with the Justice Department to overhaul the city's troubled police department.

U.S. District Judge Susie Morgan's order Tuesday also sets deadlines for those interested in the case to intervene and for the public to file comments on the proposed agreement.

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Election 2012
12:47 pm
Tue July 31, 2012

Jefferson Parish judge race on Nov. ballot

Voters in parts of Jefferson Parish will go to the polls during the Nov. 6 primary to elect a replacement for Judge Patrick McCabe of the 24th Judicial District Court. McCabe, who was elected to his first term in 1987, will retire Dec. 31.

The Times-Picayune reports Gov. Bobby Jindal set the special election after the 66-year-old McCabe, of Metairie, announced his retirement in June.

Qualifying is Aug. 15-17. If needed, the runoff would be Dec. 8.

Angola 5 Trial
12:45 pm
Tue July 31, 2012

Jailhouse confession approved for Angola 5 trial

Attorneys for Angola 5 defendant David Mathis have persuaded a judge to allow them to use a jailhouse confession they say would show jurors their client had no intent to kill a prison security officer in 1999.

Mathis faces a first-degree murder trial in the stabbing and beating death of Capt. David C. Knapps.

The Advocate reports jury selection is set to begin Sept. 24 in Covington, where juries were chosen last year for three of Mathis' codefendants. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.

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.

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