courts

Laine Kaplan-Levenson / WWNO

On Tuesday, November 18, environmental reporter Bob Marshall of The Lens sat down with Gladstone Jones, the lead attorney in the lawsuit against oil and gas companies for coastal damages.

Gladstone Jones signed his contract with the levee board based on a sliding scale. The 16 lawyers on the levee board’s legal team will be paid between 22-32 percent, depending on the amount recovered.

After a federal judge ruled that BP's "gross negligence" and "willful misconduct" were to blame for 2010's huge Gulf of Mexico oil spill, the company was exposed to billions in federal fines. The company asked the judge last month to reconsider. And on Thursday, he said no.

The ruling against BP could trigger up to $18 billion in fines under the Clean Water Act — far more than the $3.5 billion the oil company has reportedly set aside for that purpose.

NPR's Jeff Brady reports:

Lawyers for dozens of oil, gas and pipeline companies are heading to federal court in New Orleans.

They will be making their case for dismissal of a lawsuit filed by a levee board.

The Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East sued the companies last year. The board says coastal drilling and dredging has contributed to the loss of coastal wetlands that protect New Orleans from hurricanes.

Today’s hearing is before U.S. District Judge Nanette Brown.

Dan Machold / Flickr

Letters are going out this week to residents and businesses in New Orleans, St. Bernard Parish and the east bank of Jefferson Parish notifying them they could receive payments ranging from $1 to $463 for flood damage during Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. The money is coming from a $20 million settlement reached in 2009 with the East Jefferson, Orleans and Lake Borgne Basin levee districts.

anthony posey / Flickr

The Advocate reports that a federal hearing Monday may show who’s legally entitled to use the Zulu Mardi Gras krewe’s name on Facebook.

Zulu Social Aid & Pleasure Club Inc. filed suit against a former associate member for trademark infringement. The lawsuit says the man set up a “Zulu Mardi Gras” Facebook page, and used club trademarks without permission in an attempt to sell invitations to the Zulu Mardi Gras ball, spots on a Zulu float, and one of the club’s coveted coconut throws.

Lawyers accused of mishandling damage claims from the 2010 BP oil spill are expected to testify today before a federal judge.

U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier is scheduled to hear the matter.

The lawyers are at the center of a 2013 probe conducted by former FBI director Louis Freeh.

Claims of fraud are linked to a settlement of civil litigation that following the Deepwater Horizon offshore rig disaster. 

The lawyers set to testify today are expected to challenge the report's findings.

Louisiana coastal restoration officials are suing a federal agency over the cost of fixing damage blamed on a now-closed south Louisiana waterway.

The federal court lawsuit was filed Tuesday in New Orleans by the Coastal Restoration and Protection Authority. It notes that the man-made Mississippi River Gulf Outlet is widely blamed for contributing to flooding during Hurricane Katrina in 2005. It says federal law ordering the closure of the channel also requires the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to restore wetlands damaged by years of poor maintenance of the waterway.

Changes At Orleans Juvenile Court

Oct 16, 2014

As part of the criminal justice reporting partnership between 89.9 WWNO and WYES-TV, Marcia Kavanaugh tells us about changes that are on the horizon for the New Orleans Juvenile Court.

It is presently located at the corner of Poydras and Loyola Avenues, in the same building as Orleans Parish Civil District Court. It is identified by a door simple stating “Juvenile Court.”

But things are about to change — not only the court’s address, but also the number of judges that occupy the juvenile court bench.

What Do New Orleans Criminal Court Judges Do?

Oct 9, 2014
WYES

Election Day is just weeks away. In Orleans Parish, voters will choose who will take a seat on the bench in two sections of Criminal District Court.

In the continuing WWNO/WYES series on the Orleans Parish criminal justice system, WYES Community Projects Producer Marcia Kavanaugh helps us understand what the judges at Criminal Court actually do.

A state judge in Baton Rouge has ruled that Louisiana's Legislature missed its mark when it passed a bill seeking to halt a south Louisiana flood board's lawsuit against dozens of oil, gas and pipeline companies over coastal damage.

The legislation prohibits state agencies and local governments from pursuing such suits. But state District Judge Janice Clark on Monday said the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East is neither a state agency nor a local government.

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