courts

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.

Latest News
12:17 pm
Wed July 11, 2012

Court hears ex-officers' appeals in Katrina case

Two former New Orleans police officers have asked a federal appeals court to throw out their convictions on charges stemming from the fatal shooting of a man whose burned body turned up in Hurricane Katrina's aftermath.

A three-judge panel from the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals also on Wednesday heard the Justice Department's appeal of a judge's decision to order a new trial for a third officer, Travis McCabe.

McCabe was convicted of writing a false report on Henry Glover's 2005 shooting.

The panel didn't indicate when it would rule.

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Louisiana Supreme Court
10:54 am
Wed July 11, 2012

Louisiana Chief Justice declines to discuss successor

Louisiana Supreme Court Chief Justice Catherine "Kitty" Kimball says the state's code of judicial conduct prohibits her from meeting with a group of community leaders to discuss their concerns about the court's impending debate over naming Kimball's successor.

Several supporters of Justice Bernette Johnson, who sued last week to block her colleagues from debating and voting on whether she is entitled to become the next chief justice, had asked to meet this week with Kimball.

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Latest News
5:07 pm
Tue July 10, 2012

Newspaper: DOJ lawyer tried to stifle reporter

Two Louisiana congressmen are calling on the Justice Department to respond to a complaint that one of its attorneys tried to bar a newspaper reporter from quoting or recording her comments at a public hearing in New Iberia.

The Daily Iberian contends Justice Department attorney Rachel Hranitzky became "belligerent and threatening" after the reporter, Matthew Beaton, questioned why he couldn't quote her comments during a June 12 public hearing about the New Iberia Fire Department's hiring and promotion practices.

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