courts

Hurricane Gustav Cleanup
10:55 am
Sat July 14, 2012

Livingston Parish will fight Gustav lawsuit

Livingston Parish will hire a lawyer to defend a $53 million lawsuit against the parish over the costs of cleaning up after Hurricane Gustav.

The Advocate reports International Equipment Distributors Inc., the parish's main contractor in the 2008 cleanup, filed suit last year claiming Livingston had paid only "a small fraction of the money it owes IED."

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has refused to pay the parish for most cleanup costs, and the parish is in the process of making a final appeal to FEMA for payment of a portion of the bills submitted by IED.

Business
6:54 am
Sat July 14, 2012

$6B Deal Eases Credit Card Surcharge Restrictions

Originally published on Mon July 16, 2012 3:54 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Visa, MasterCard, some of the nation's other largest banks have agreed to a multibillion dollar settlement of a class action suit involving credit card transaction fees. Now, those are what merchants pay when you use plastic instead of cash. Retailers allege that the two largest payment networks conspired with the banks to keep so-called swipe fees high. NPR's Wendy Kaufman reports.

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The Two-Way
5:00 pm
Fri July 13, 2012

Visa, MasterCard Come To More Than $6 Billion Settlement With Retailers

Originally published on Fri July 13, 2012 8:31 pm

Visa and Mastercard have announced that they will pay retailers more than $6 billion to settle several class-action and individual lawsuits retailers have filed since 2005.

According to a Wall Street Journal story from earlier this month, the settlement stems from complaints that Visa and MasterCard, the largest card-payments networks in the world, prohibited retailers from imposing surcharges to customers using those credit cards.

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It's All Politics
2:57 pm
Fri July 13, 2012

Texas Voter ID Law Now In Hands Of Three-Judge Panel

Originally published on Fri July 13, 2012 3:05 pm

The fate of Texas' new voter ID law is now up to a three-judge federal panel in Washington, D.C.

Lawyers for Texas and the Justice Department wrapped up five days of arguments in U.S. District Court Friday, with each side accusing the other of using deeply "flawed" data to show whether minorities would be unfairly hurt by a photo ID requirement.

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BP Oil Spill
2:11 pm
Fri July 13, 2012

Oil dispersant maker asks judge to toss claims

The manufacturer of a chemical dispersant used to fight the 2010 BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has asked a federal judge to dismiss claims over the government's use of its product.

U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier didn't immediately rule Friday after hearing Illinois-based Nalco Co.'s argument that it isn't liable for how the federal government used Corexit to break up oil gushing from BP's blown-out well.

A plaintiffs' attorney countered that Nalco is liable for claims it supplied a product that wasn't safe to use in the Gulf.

Latest News
1:02 pm
Fri July 13, 2012

Judge overturns Alexandria's fortunetelling ban

A federal judge has struck down a central Louisiana ordinance banning fortunetelling, palm reading, astrology and similar activities in the city of Alexandria.

U.S. District Judge Dee Drell's ruling Wednesday concurs with a magistrate's conclusion that the ordinance is unconstitutional.

Rachel Adams is a fortune-teller who says she accepts donations but doesn't charge for her services. She sued the city after a police officer issued her a court summons in 2011 for violating the ordinance. A violation can result in daily penalties of up to $500.

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Embezzlement
12:23 pm
Fri July 13, 2012

Man pleads guilty in embezzlement case

A 69-year-old New Orleans man has pleaded guilty in federal court to one count of theft of government funds.

U.S Attorney Jim Letten's office says Robert P. McFarland entered the plea Thursday before U.S. District Judge Eldon E. Fallon.

Film Tax Credits
8:45 am
Thu July 12, 2012

Setbacks for agency in recovering film tax credits

Officials from the Louisiana Department of Economic Development say the only action they could take against two companies that received about $935,000 in ineligible state motion picture tax credits is to file a civil action lawsuit.

Legislative auditors say members of the state economic development agency improperly issued thousands of tax credits for expenditures made by two companies involved in making a documentary about the Mardi Gras season called "Blaine Kern's Mardi Gras: Building of the Greatest Free Show on Earth."

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Latest News
8:56 pm
Wed July 11, 2012

Woman collected mother's Social Security 13 1/2 years after death

Federal prosecutors say a 75-year-old woman has admitted collecting her mother's Social Security payments for 13½ years after her mother died.

U.S. Attorney Jim Letten says Shirley A. Bunda of Gretna got more than $173,000 to which she wasn't entitled, and pleaded guilty Wednesday to one count of theft of government funds.

A news release says Bunda and her mother shared a joint checking account, and her mother's Social Security payments came by direct deposit.

Colonial Golf & Country Club
8:52 pm
Wed July 11, 2012

Colonial Golf & Country Club sale approved

A federal bankruptcy judge has approved the sale of Colonial Golf & Country Club's 88-acre property to businessman John Georges and real estate developer Wayne Ducote.

Judge Elizabeth Magner congratulated the parties assembled Wednesday after confirming the Harahan-based club's Chapter 11 reorganization plan.

The Times-Picayune reports the 87-year-old club closed in January and declared bankruptcy in February, a day before the property was to be sold at a state court-ordered auction.

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