courts

Latest News
7:35 am
Wed September 3, 2014

BP Wants Claims Administrator Replaced

BP wants a federal judge to remove Patrick Juneau as administrator of damage claims from its 2010 oil spill.

BP says in court documents that he failed to disclose a major conflict of interest.

The motion filed yesterday says Juneau represented Louisiana in talks setting up the claims process, and he pushed for favorable terms for those with claims.

BP says that shows he's not the neutral person required for the job.

Juneau says he will respond in court.

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Latest News
7:39 am
Wed August 20, 2014

Judge Backs Use Of Common Core Materials

A state judge has ruled against Gov. Bobby Jindal in a lawsuit filed by Common Core supporters, lifting a contract suspension Jindal enacted to derail the multi-state education standards.

Judge Todd Hernandez issued a written ruling Tuesday.

He said Jindal's suspension of contracts the education department planned to use to buy testing material aligned with Common Core is causing harm to parents, teachers, administrators and students.

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Latest News
7:19 am
Thu July 31, 2014

Former City Councilwoman Renee Gill Pratt Loses Appeal

Renee Gill Pratt.
Credit Derek Bridges / Flickr

Former New Orleans City Councilwoman Renee Gill Pratt has lost a bid for a new trial.

The New Orleans Advocate is reporting that federal judge Ivan Lemelle ruled Wednesday that jurors were not "tainted in any way" by a former federal prosecutor who posted online inflammatory comments about the proceedings.

She was convicted in 2011 of racketeering.

Gill Pratt's attorney says he will appeal the decision.

The ruling paves the way for Gill Pratt to begin serving a federal prison sentence she has managed to put off for several years.

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Notes from New Orleans
2:00 pm
Thu July 10, 2014

New Orleans' First Family Court Judge Says It's A Labor Of Love

Bernadette D'Souza is the first permanent family court judge in Orleans Parish.

Orleans Parish recently created a permanent family court judge position. Legal aid attorney Bernadette D’Souza is the first to hold the post.

On this week’s Notes from New Orleans, Sharon Litwin talks to Judge D’Souza about how she got from a convent in India to a courtroom in Louisiana.

To read more about Bernadette D'Souza, visit NolaVie.com.

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Latest News
10:59 am
Wed July 9, 2014

Ex-New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin Gets 10 Years In Corruption Case

Former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin leaves federal court after his conviction in New Orleans on Feb. 12. He was sentenced Wednesday to 10 years in prison.
Gerald Herbert AP

Originally published on Fri July 11, 2014 2:29 pm

Updated at 11:20 a.m. ET

Former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin was sentenced Wednesday to 10 years in prison for bribery, money laundering and other crimes.

He was convicted Feb. 12 of accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes and kickbacks. The indictment included 21 counts.

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Latest News
7:56 am
Wed July 9, 2014

Former Mayor Nagin Faces Sentencing Today

Former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin is set to be sentenced Wednesday morning for corruption. the man who gained national attention after Hurricane Katrina nine years ago is now looking at a possible 20-year sentence. Prosecutors want the maximum allowed under federal guidelines.

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Law
2:58 am
Wed July 9, 2014

States Push For Prison Sentence Overhaul; Prosecutors Push Back

The Lafayette Parish Correctional Center in downtown Lafayette, La. By most counts, Louisiana has the highest incarceration rate in the country, but sentencing reformers have loosened some of the state's mandatory minimum sentences and made parole slightly easier to get.
Denny Culbert for NPR

Originally published on Mon March 23, 2015 5:00 pm

Some red states like Louisiana and Texas have emerged as leaders in a new movement: to divert offenders from prisons and into drug treatment, work release and other incarceration alternatives.

By most counts, Louisiana has the highest incarceration rate in the country. In recent years, sentencing reformers in the capital, Baton Rouge, have loosened some mandatory minimum sentences and have made parole slightly easier for offenders to get.

But as reformers in Louisiana push for change, they're also running into stiffening resistance — especially from local prosecutors.

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Latest News
11:20 am
Sat June 28, 2014

BP Asking Court To Order Some Claim Repayments

BP is stepping up efforts repayment of claims it finds unjustified.

The company is battling the system established to cover damage caused by BP’s oil spill four years ago in the Gulf of Mexico.

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Latest News
7:42 am
Thu June 26, 2014

Judge Agrees To Review Gill Pratt Jury Verdict

Former New Orleans City Councilwoman Renee Gill Pratt, in 2009.
Credit Derek Bridges / Flickr

Former New Orleans City Councilwoman Renee Gill Pratt has gotten a reprieve — at least for now — on reporting to prison for a racketeering conviction.

A federal judge has agreed to look into whether jurors in her 2011 trial were affected by a prosecutor's anonymous online remarks.

Pratt was convicted in a plot to steal more than $1 million from taxpayer-funded charities.

She is among the federal defendants claiming their cases were tainted by the online comments of former Assistant U.S. Attorney Sal Perricone.

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Latest News
7:33 am
Wed June 25, 2014

Louisiana Gay Marriage Laws Head To Federal Court In New Orleans

A federal judge is set to hear arguments on whether Louisiana must recognize same-sex marriages legally performed in other states.

This morning's hearing before U.S. District Judge Martin Feldman deals with lawsuits filed earlier this year by gay married couples. Those couples say Louisiana violates their rights to equal protection and due process by refusing to give them the rights of opposite-sex married couples.

The state and opponents of gay marriage want Feldman to reject the suits. They argue that each state has the right to define marriage in its own way.

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