courts

Latest News
7:37 am
Fri October 3, 2014

Delay Granted For Former BP Executive Accused of Obstruction Over Oil Spill

A former BP executive charged with obstructing a congressional investigation into the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill has gotten a delay in his case.

David Rainey's court arraignment, originally set for this week, was re-scheduled for December 3 by a federal magistrate judge in New Orleans Thursday.

Rainey faces charges of obstruction of Congress and false statements. He currently is set for trial March 9. He has pleaded not guilty.

Latest News
3:03 pm
Wed September 24, 2014

Businesses Won't Have To Return BP Spill Payouts

A federal judge says BP must stick by an agreement with companies that got payouts after claiming the 2010 Gulf oil spill hurt their businesses.
kris krüg Wikimedia

BP wanted its money back — hundreds of millions of dollars of it — but a federal judge says the oil giant must stick by an agreement with companies that got payouts after claiming the 2010 Gulf oil spill hurt their business.

BP argued Wednesday that a flawed funding formula in the settlement is giving money to businesses for questionable claims, and they should be forced to return it.

But U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier says a deal is a deal. Barbier had ordered the formula changed several weeks ago

Latest News
7:49 am
Wed September 24, 2014

BP Asking Federal Court To Approve Refunds Of Fraudulent Claims

BP will be asking a federal judge in New Orleans today to approve refunding some settlement payments over the 2010 oil spill.

The company says hundreds of millions of dollars should be returned from some businesses that received payments between August 2012 to October of last year.

BP says it's fair because Judge Carl Barbier found the formula used at that time was incorrect, and ordered a change.

Opposing attorneys say BP is trying to get out of its obligations. They say the release plaintiffs sign to get a settlement payment is a binding agreement for both sides.

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Latest News
7:39 am
Tue September 23, 2014

State Appealing Court Ruling Against Gay Marriage Ban

The state is appealing a Lafayette judge’s ruling that Louisiana's ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional.

It was Judge Edward Rubin's second ruling that Angela Costanza of Broussard may adopt partner Chasity Brewer's son, and be listed as a parent on his birth certificate.

The two married in California, and the suit says it should be recognized.

Rubin's ruling in February was overturned by a state appellate court.

Lafayette attorney Joshua Guillory tells The Advocate he believes it's the first time a state judge has found the law unconstitutional.

Latest News
6:52 pm
Mon September 22, 2014

Louisiana State Judge: Gay Marriage Ban Unconstitutional

A state judge in Lafayette has ruled that Louisiana's ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional.

It was Judge Edward Rubin's second ruling that Angela Costanza of Broussard may adopt partner Chasity Brewer's son and be listed as a parent on his birth certificate. The two were married in California, and the suit says that marriage should be recognized.

Rubin's ruling in February was overturned by a state appeal court.

Brewer says she's been told Monday's ruling will be released after it's rewritten to remove the child's name.

Latest News
5:17 pm
Fri September 19, 2014

Wisner Heirs Lose Latest Court Fight Against Mayor Landrieu

The Wisner heirs had sought to continue financial control of the Wisner Donation Fund, but a panel of five appeals court judges ruled that Mayor Mitch Landrieu is the fund's proper trustee under state law.
Wally Gobetz Flickr

The heirs of philanthropist Edward Wisner have lost their latest courtroom fight against Mayor Landrieu.

The Wisner heirs had sought to continue financial control of the Wisner Donation Fund, an almost 100-year-old trust that manages 52,000 acres of coastline in Jefferson, Lafourche and St. John parishes.

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Latest News
7:41 am
Fri September 19, 2014

Federal Appeals Court Says Safety Board Can Investigate Transocean

A federal appeals court in New Orleans says a federal safety board has the right to investigate the role of Transocean in the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil disaster.

Transocean owned the Deepwater Horizon rig that was drilling for BP. 

The company challenged the authority of the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board to do the investigation.

In a 2-1 decision yesterday, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a lower court's ruling that the board could investigate.

The safety board's investigation continued during the appeal. 

Coastal Desk
1:26 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

BP Lawyers Use Old-School Trick; Judge Not Amused

U.S. District Court Judge Carl Barbier ruled nearly two weeks ago that BP acted recklessly in the 2010 Deepwater Horizon rig accident and oil spill.
Alastair Grant AP

Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 12:04 am

Back in school, did you ever fudge the spacing on a report to meet the teacher's page-length requirement? Lawyers representing oil company BP tried something similar in a recent court filing connected to the company's 2010 drilling rig accident and oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

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Science & Health
10:00 am
Mon September 15, 2014

Federal Appeals Court In New Orleans Considering Review Of Restrictive Texas Abortion Laws

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans is considering an appeal of Texas laws restricting access to abortions.

Covering the story for Houston Public Radio is health and science reporter Carrie Feibel.

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Latest News
7:40 am
Thu September 11, 2014

Key Witness Against Nagin Sentenced To A Year In Prison

A businessman who provided key testimony against former Mayor Ray Nagin has been sentenced to a year and a day in federal prison.

Rodney Williams had admitted his role in a conspiracy to bribe Nagin.

U.S. District Judge Susie Morgan imposed the sentence yesterday.

Williams pleaded guilty in 2012. In February, he was among several witnesses who testified against Nagin.

Williams said he handed over $60,000 in payoffs to secure city contracts.

Before he was sentenced, Williams tearfully apologized to his family.

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