courts

School Vouchers
4:10 pm
Thu July 19, 2012

Lawyer defending voucher program to get up to $50K

The attorney general's office will pay up to $50,000 to Gov. Bobby Jindal's former executive counsel to defend the governor's signature education revamp in court.

Amanda Larkins, spokeswoman for Attorney General Buddy Caldwell, said Tuesday that the contract with lawyer Jimmy Faircloth hasn't been completed. But she described its terms, saying Faircloth is being paid $195 an hour, with a cap of $50,000.

Larkins said the contract runs through the current budget year, which will end June 30.

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Education
2:17 pm
Wed July 18, 2012

ULM professor settles harassment suit with college

MONROE — An internationally recognized University of Louisiana at Monroe toxicology professor has settled a lawsuit he filed against the university alleging he was harassed and discriminated against after he suffered a stroke five years ago.

The News-Star reports (http://tnsne.ws/OG813H) that the university announced Tuesday that it had reached "an amicable settlement" with Harihara Mehendale in the College of Pharmacy.

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Latest News
12:56 pm
Wed July 18, 2012

Orleans judge under scrutiny for backlog quits

An Orleans Parish criminal court judge who has been criticized for her backlog of cases is resigning.

Orleans Parish Criminal District Judge Lynda Van Davis submitted a letter of resignation from the bench on Tuesday. Davis, a former state and federal prosecutor who was elected in 2003, said her resignation is effective Dec. 31.

Davis says she's resigning because she's getting married.

School Vouchers
12:26 pm
Wed July 18, 2012

Voucher lawsuit set for Oct. 15 hearing date

An Oct. 15 date has been set for arguments in a lawsuit by teacher unions and local school boards challenging the constitutionality of Gov. Bobby Jindal's statewide voucher program.

Judge Tim Kelley chose the hearing date Tuesday in a meeting with lawyers for both sides in the case.

Attorneys for two statewide teacher unions and dozens of local school boards say the voucher program that will use tax dollars to send children to private schools and other new education funding plans are unconstitutional.

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Latest News
2:54 pm
Tue July 17, 2012

Houma man pleads guilty to 3 murders

A 23-year-old Houma man will spend life in prison after pleading guilty to shooting and killing three people in 2009.

Jacobby Lee pleaded guilty Monday to three counts of first-degree murder, each of which carries a mandatory life sentence without the possibility of parole, according to the Terrebonne Parish District Attorney's Office.

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Latest News
6:01 pm
Mon July 16, 2012

Suspect in five killings isn't facing death penalty

The Justice Department does not intend to seek the death penalty against a New Orleans man charged with having a role in five 2007 killings, including an off-duty police officer's fatal shooting.

A two-page court filing Monday by U.S. Attorney Jim Letten's office didn't explain its decision in the case against Steven Earl Hardrick.

A March 15 indictment claims Hardrick and others demanded money and cocaine when they broke into the home of New Orleans Police Detective Thelonius Dukes and shot him in October 2007. Dukes died the following month.

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Latest News
11:32 am
Sun July 15, 2012

Thibodaux board can't act on harassment complaint

The Thibodaux Board of Civil Service has ruled it does not have authority to act on complaints by a police captain who claims Mayor Tommy Eschete and Police Chief Scott Silverii conspired to harass and demote him.

The Daily Comet reports (http://bit.ly/NmD0Fh) the complaint, filed by Calvin Cooks, claims Silverii and other officers spread rumors implicating Cooks in the slashing of tires on police vehicles in 2011.

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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