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All Things Legal in Louisiana


January 09, 2007

La. Supreme Court to begin webcasting oral argument

Yesterday, the Louisiana Supreme Court announced that this month, the court will begin live webcasts of oral argument:

According to John T. Olivier, Clerk of Court, and Peter Haas, the Louisiana Supreme Court’s Information Technology Director, the stream is provided using a series of three cameras located in the courtroom, which allows for likenesses of the full bench, an individual Justice, and the attorney addressing the Court to be broadcast in real time.

Oral arguments at the Louisiana Supreme Court are scheduled every six weeks, with the next arguments running Tuesday, January 16 through Friday, January 19, 2007. Usually, there are two sessions of arguments each day, beginning at 9:30 a.m and again at 2:00 p.m (There will be no morning session on Tuesday, January 16, 2007 and no afternoon session on Friday, January 19, 2007.)

To view the web broadcast, visit www.lasc.org and look for the icon.

Posted by RPW at 01:03 PM

August 25, 2006

Extension of Katrina/Rita prescription constitutional, says LSC

Justice Traylor, for a unanimous court, writes, "We exercise our supervisory authority in an expedited manner to determine whether Acts 2006, Nos. 739 and 802, which extend the prescriptive period under which certain insurance claims arising from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita may be filed and which may alter the insurance contractual provisions regarding the time period in which to bring a claim, are constitutional. After review of the relevant state and federal law, we find that the legislative acts at issue are constitutional." State v. All Property and Casualty Insurers Authorized and Licensed to Do Business in the State of Louisiana, No. 2006-CD-2030 (La. 8/25/06).

Posted by RPW at 06:51 PM

August 01, 2006

La. Supreme Court's 2005 Annual Report

The Supreme Court's 2005 Annual Report is posted on the Court's web site. If your practice includes applying to Louisiana appellate courts for writs, then you'll find some interesting statistics near the end of the report, showing, which will give you a general idea of the odds against getting a writ granted. For example, here are the Supreme Court's 2005 numbers:

All cases
Writ applications filed (excluding prisoner pro se): 1,520 Prisoner pro se writ applications: 866 Writs granted: 163

Civil cases
Writ applications filed (excluding prisoner pro se): 1,157
Prisoner pro se applications: 34
Writs granted: 73

Criminal cases
Writ applications filed (excluding prisoner pro se): 363
Prisoner pro se applications: 832
Writs granted: 90

The report contains similar statistics for each Court of Appeal.

Posted by RPW at 01:34 PM

May 13, 2006

Which state supreme court is the most tech-savvy?

Would you believe that the answer to this question may be our own Louisiana Supreme Court? That's the idea I get from an article by Roger A. Hanson in the Fall 2005 issue of The Journal of Appellate Practice & Process, titled American State Appellate Court Technology Diffusion. Consider these facts gleaned from Hanson's article, which you'll want to be aware of when you give your next oral argument at the LSC:

1. "The Louisiana Supreme Court currently broadcasts oral argument proceedings on a closed intranet basis to legal staff, but plans to provide proceedings via the Web later this year." (Note that this was written before Katrina, which may have affected the timetable.)

2. During oral arguments, the justices have Tablet PCs in front of them, "permitting them to have e-mail, note-taking, and instant messaging abilities using a stylus and digital ink platforms, which replicates traditional pen-and-paper note-taking. As a result, the justices communicate in real-time fashion with their respective staffs during oral argument, thereby having access to legal research tools and input from staff members pertinent to questions the justices pose .... This arrangement ... is part of a video-streaming system providing a live feed to all court staff during oral argument. Hence, the communication between the justices and staff occurs in a context in which staff are able to view and hear the proceedings." Eventually, this video-streaming will be Web-cast.

3. "Additionally, the live stream is digitally captured and archived on a server, enabling justices and staff to review oral argument and to listen to an audio version at their convenience."

4. "Finally, the courtroom itself will undergo a transformation with the introduction of a digital podium and a dislay screen, allowing for the presentation of digital exhibits during oral argument. The public will see the exhibits on the screen while the justices view them on their Tablet PCs."

Posted by RPW at 01:56 PM

January 19, 2006

Bujol v. Entergy Servs. opinion on rehearing

On May 25, 2004, we reported on the Louisiana Supreme Court's decision in Bujol v. Entergy Services, Inc., in which the Court reversed a jury verdict against a parent corporation, in a personal-injury and wrongful-death suit arising from injuries to three of the subsidiary's employees. The Court later granted rehearing. Today, the Court released its opinion on rehearing, reaffirming its original opinion.

In its original opinion, the Court applied a de novo standard of appellate review. In its opinion on rehearing, the Court reached the same result under manifest-error review.

Posted by RPW at 04:37 PM

May 31, 2005

La. Supreme Court redesigns its web site

Check out the redesigned, reformatted La. Supreme Court website.

Posted by RPW at 05:41 PM

April 15, 2005

Wednesday's Opinions by LSC

Last Wednesday, the Louisiana Supreme Court issued a slew of opinions. Among them:

Suire v. Lafayette Parish Consolidated Gov't, holding that (1) pounding sheet metal into the ground with a backhoe is not "pile driving" under La. Civ. Code Art. 667; and (2) a defendant's payment to a plaintiff in exchange for plaintiff's agreement not to oppose defendant's motion for summary judgment is not a compromise; thus the trial court did not adjudicate a moot issue when it granted summary judgment.

All Star Advertising Agency, Inc. v. Reliance Insurance Co., setting forth how "reciprocity" is to be determined under the Uniform Insurers Liquidation Act (UILA), La. R.S. 22:757 through 22:763.

Johnson v. Marrero-Estelle Volunteer Fire Co. No. 1, holding that La. R.S. 33:1995 requires a volunteer fire company under contract with a parish government fire protection district to pay sick leave benefits for injuries to firefighters that occur off duty.

O'Brien v. Rizvi, holding that (1) the Patient's Compensation Fund has standing to intervene in and appeal a trial-court judgment granting a health-care provider's exception of prematurity, when the PCF contends that the health-care provider is not "qualified" under the Medical Malpractice Act; and (2) a physician not licensed by Louisiana to practice medicine is ineligible to participate in the PCF.

Posted by RPW at 01:40 PM

March 30, 2005

Cedric Richmond follow-up

Six days ago, we reported the La. Supreme Court's disqualification of Cedric Richmond from the New Orleans City Council District D election. Today, the Court issued its opinion supporting its judgment.

Posted by RPW at 06:22 PM

March 24, 2005

LSC disqualifies Cedric Richmond from City Council election

Today the Louisiana Supreme Court disqualified Cedric Richmond from the election for New Orleans City Council District D.

Posted by RPW at 05:52 PM

Louisiana can tax income earned by non-resident corporation

Last June, we reported that the Louisiana Supreme Court granted writs in Bridges v. Autozone Properties, Inc. Today, the Court handed down its decision.

The case concerns Autozone's attempt to use a pass-through corporate entity to shield rental income paid by a subsidiary to the pass-through, which in turn paid the income, in the form of dividends, to a non-resident corporation. The issue: does Louisiana have taxing jurisdiction over the non-resident beneficiary corporation, which received benefits from corporate affiliates doing business in Louisiana? The Supreme Court answers "yes." "Since the taxing jurisdiction, Louisiana, has helped to create the income, it should not be prevented from assessing a constitutionally permissible share of those gains in the form of income taxes for the support of the government." Slip op. at 36.

Posted by RPW at 05:47 PM

January 24, 2005

Oil and Gas Companies Dodge a Bullet

The Advocate reports on a Louisiana Supreme Court decision last week that found oil and natural gas companies are not obligated to fill in marsh canals under the terms of their leases. Ray Ward discussed the case on this site last week.

In writing the majority opinion, Chief Justice Pascal Calogero acknowledged that the case had "proven to be difficult" because it pitted the state's interest in restoring its tattered coast against "the equally important concerns of adherence to the law and respect for the rights of contracting parties."
Posted by AJR at 07:54 AM

January 22, 2005

Lawyer Suspended for 2 Years

The Advocate reports that Baton Rouge attorney Hany Zohdy has been suspended from the practice of law for 2 years. According to the Louisiana Supreme Court, Zohdy "deliberately violated court orders, filed frivolous and unsupportable petitions, motions, and appeals, and made misrepresentations to the courts." Chief Justice Calogero argued, however, that the punishment was too harsh: "I believe the sanction chosen by the majority is excessive for the conduct of this conscientious, but perhaps nonproficient, attorney." The opinion is available here [pdf].

Posted by AJR at 08:42 AM

January 20, 2005

Implied obligation under mineral lease to restore property

Yesterday in Terrebonne Parish School Board v. Castex Energy, Inc., the Lousiana Supreme Court held "that, in the absence of an express lease provision, Mineral Code article 122 does not impose an implied duty to restore the surface to its original, pre-lease condition absent proof that the lessee has exercised his rights under the lease unreasonably or excessively."

Posted by RPW at 09:54 PM

Continuous treatment suspends med-mal prescription

In Carter v. Haygood, the Louisiana Supreme Court recognizes a continuing-treatment rule that suspends the running of prescription in a medical-malpractice case. "[T]he continuing treatment rule would require a plaintiff to establish the existence of (1) a continuing treatment relationship with the physician, which is more than perfunctory, during which (2) the physician engaged in conduct which served to prevent the patient from availing herself of her cause of action, such as attempting to rectify an alleged act of malpractice."

Posted by RPW at 09:47 PM

Prescription on birth-defect claim

In Bailey v. Khoury, decided today, the Louisiana Supreme Court considered a novel question:

whether the time limitation for filing a claim seeking recovery of damages arising from birth defects can be considered to commence at a time prior to the child’s live birth when, because of information gained from an ultrasound of the fetus, the unborn child’s parent was told both that the child had birth defects and that those defects were probably caused by the mother’s ingestion of drugs prescribed and dispensed by defendants.

The Court held that "prescription on both the mother’s claim on behalf of the child and the mother’s individual claim commenced on the later of the two dates–i.e., the date when the child was born. Because the mother’s original petition regarding the two claims was filed less than a year from the date of the child’s birth, we affirm the court of appeal judgment denying defendants’ peremptory exceptions of prescription."

Posted by RPW at 09:30 PM

December 28, 2004

In Deshotel v. Guichard Operating Co., decided 17 Dec. 2004, the Louisiana Supreme Court held that when an employee is killed in the course and scope of employment, the Louisiana Worker's Compensation Act bars the employee's nondependent major children from bringing a tort claim against the employer.

Posted by RPW at 10:02 AM

October 04, 2004

Edwards v. Daugherty

Last Friday, the Supreme Court released an interesting opinion in Edwards v. Daugherty, No. 03-C-2103 (La. Oct. 1, 2004). The opinion holds:

1. Louisiana law allows a liability insurer to deduct from policy limits the cost of defending the insured, if the policy so provides.

2. But the policy in question allowed the insurer to deduct only the cost of defending the insured, not the cost the insurer incurred in defending itself.

3. Louisiana law prohibits reduction in policy limits due to payment of legal interest. "Any policy provision which attempts to limit an insurer's liability for legal interest on the policy limits contravenes public policy." Slip op. at 24.

4. A plaintiff who recovers future damages in a tort case is entitled to an award of legal interest from the date of judicial demand on those future damages.

Posted by RPW at 06:56 PM

September 11, 2004

Biological Relation Necessary to Support Wrongful-Death or Survival Action

Before his death, a man acknkowledged a child as his child born out of wedlock. After the man's death, DNA tests showed that he was not the child's biological father. Under these facts, the Supreme Court holds that the child is not a child for purposes of wrongful death or survival actions under Civil Code Arts. 2315.1 and 2315.2. Turner v. Busby, No. 03-C-3444 (La. 9/9/04).

Posted by RPW at 10:49 AM

September 03, 2004

RSS Feed from La. Supreme Court

This announcement appears on the La. Supreme Court's home page: "News Releases are now available through the Supreme Court's RSS service. The News Release RSS feed is free of charge, for individual, non-commercial use and users may incorporate the RSS feed into their preferred newsreaders and web logs."

Posted by RPW at 01:23 PM

July 08, 2004

Parish Off-Road Diesel Tax Struck Down

The Times-Picayune reports on the Louisiana Supreme Court decision in Ocean Energy Inc. v. Plaquemines Parish [pdf]. The decision reversed district and appellate court decisions upholding Plaquemines Parish's attempt to tax off-road diesel fuel used in marine vessels to service oil platforms in the Gulf of Mexico. The decision turned on whether off-road diesel is considered "motor fuel" as the term is used in the State Constitution.

Posted by AJR at 08:39 AM

Non-Jury Juvenile Convictions Can't be Used

WVUE Fox 8 of New Orleans reports on a Louisiana Supreme Court decision that makes it unlawful to allow juvenile convictions to be used in adult sentencing if the juvenile conviction was handed down without a jury. The case discussed is Louisiana v. Brown [pdf].

Posted by AJR at 08:34 AM

July 06, 2004

Men's Grille Can't Exclude Women, LSC Holds

My partner, Bob Markle, alerted me to this decision by the Louisiana Supreme Court. Said Bob:

"The Supreme Court today issued an opinion involving four female members of Southern Trace Country Club of Shreveport, Inc. who challenged the club's policy of restricting to adult men only the use of a dining area known as the “Men’s Grille.” Plaintiffs asserted this policy was facially discriminatory and in violation of Article I, § 12 of the Louisiana Constitution of 1974.

"Affirming the Second Circuit's judgment, the Court held that, based on the facts of the case, the club violated the plaintiffs’ constitutional right to be free from arbitrary, capricious, or unreasonable discrimination based on sex by enacting and enforcing a men-only policy in a public dining facility."

Albright v. Southern Trace Country Club of Shreveport, Inc., 2003-C-3413 (La. 7/6/04).

Posted by RPW at 06:35 PM

July 02, 2004

LSC Permanently Disbars Michael O'Keefe and Steven Edwards

Today the Louisiana Supreme Court permanently disbarred Michael H. O'Keefe because of his multiple felony convictions and for "runner-based solicitation" of personal-injury cases. The Court also permanently disbarred Steven R. Edwards, son of former governor Edwin Edwards, because of his convictions in federal court for extortion, racketeering, and money laundering.

Posted by RPW at 04:13 PM

Wrongful-Death Claim Governed By Law In Effect When Decedent Died

Act 431 of 1979 introduced comparative fault into Louisiana law. The Act became effective August 1, 1980, but by its terms does "not apply to claims arising from events that occurred" before its effective date.

Raleigh Landry was exposed to asbestos between 1959 and 1974. He was diagnosed with mesothelioma in January 2002, and died in November 2002. Today, the Louisiana Supreme Court held that his survivors' wrongful-death claims are governed by comparative fault. The Court reasoned that for purposes of Act 431, the "event" giving rise to a wrongful-death claim is the decedent's death. Landry v. Avondale Indus., Inc., 03-CC-3432 (La. 7/2/04).

Posted by RPW at 03:56 PM

R.S. 44:9(B)(1) Is Constitutional, La. Supreme Court Holds

Revised Statute 44:9(B)(1) allows expungement and destruction of an arrest record when the individual was arrested for a misdemeanor, but not when the individual was arrested for a felony. A trial court ruled the statute unconstitutional as violating the Equal Protection clauses of the United States and Louisiana Constitutions, and as violating separation of powers. But today, in State v. Expuged Record # 249,044, the Louisiana Supreme Court reversed that decision, holding the statute constitutional "because the statutory classification is rationally related to a valid state interest."

Posted by RPW at 03:41 PM

Injured Plaintiff Cannot Recover Medicaid "Write-Off"

In Bozeman v. State, DOTD, released today, the Louisiana Supreme Court holds that a personal-injury plaintiff whose medical bills are paid by Medicaid cannot recover the Medicaid "write-off" amount as part of the award for medical expenses. The Court distinguished Medicaid write-offs from Medicare or private-insurance write-offs, because Medicaid is free. "Medicaid recipients are unable to collect the Medicaid “writeoff” amounts as damages because no consideration is provided for the benefit. Thus, plaintiff’s recovery is limited to what was paid by Medicaid. However, in those instances, where plaintiff’s patrimony has been diminished in some way in order to obtain the collateral source benefits, then plaintiff is entitled to the benefit of the bargain, and may recover the full value of his medical services, including the “writeoff” amount."

Posted by RPW at 03:35 PM

Party in Med.Mal. Case Can Call Review Panel Member as Expert Witness

Louisiana law requires pre-suit screening of medical-malpractice suits by medical-review panel. In Medine v. Roniger, released today, the Louisiana Supreme Court holds that a party in a medical-malpractice suit may name a member of the medical-review panel as that party's expert witness, at the calling party's cost. In such cases, the panel member / expert witness may function the same as any other expert witness. While in this case, the panel members testified as defense experts, Chief Justice Calogero, writing for the Court, noted that in many cases, the Court's ruling would benefit the plaintiff, who otherwise might be unable to retain an expert witness.

Posted by RPW at 03:03 PM

June 30, 2004

2003 Louisiana Supreme Court Annual Report

The Louisiana Supreme Court's 2003 Annual Report is available on the Court's Annual Reports page.

Posted by AJR at 10:45 PM

LSC Grants Writ in Autozone Case

If you are interested in the developing law on state taxation of out-of-state intellectual-property holding companies (IPHCs), then you'll want to know that on June 18, the Louisiana Supreme Court granted writs in Bridges v. Autozone Properties, Inc. In Autozone, 2004 WL 26487, the Louisiana First Circuit affirmed a trial-court judgment sustaining an exception of no personal jurisdiction over an IPHC. This contrasts with the First Circuit's more recent decision in Secretary v. The Gap, noted here, where the First Circuit affirmed a trial court's assertion of personal jurisdiction over an IPHC. (Note: On rehearing, the First Circuit issued this short per curiam, but didn't change its holding.)

Posted by RPW at 03:45 PM

Motion for Summary Judgment Requires Credible Evidence, LSC Holds

If a party moving for summary judgment will, at trial, have the burden of persuasion on an issue, that party's motion must be supported with credible evidence that would warrant a directed verdict if not controverted at trial. If such a party supports his motion solely with his own self-serving testimony to overcome a presumption of negligence, and that testimony "contains significant discrepancies which would logically be considered by a fact-finder in determining his credibility and in weighing the evidence," then the party is not entitled to summary judgment. "Application of he general rule that a court, ruling on a motion for summary judgment, must accept an affiant’s testimony or affidavit as credible or true is not appropriate in this particular case, where the mover’s testimony absolving himself from liability contains substantive contradictions or discrepancies that would ordinarily tend to call his credibility into doubt if presented to a fact-finder." Wadsworth v. Garrett, No. 2004-C-0806 (La. 6/25/04).

Posted by RPW at 10:22 AM

First Daubert, Then Summary Judgment

"Because the trial court failed to completely decide the admissibility of defendants’ expert evidence under Daubert v. Merrill Dow Pharmaceuticals, 509 U.S. 579 (1993), and State v. Foret, 628 So. 2d 1116 (La. 1993), the court was premature in reaching plaintiffs’ motion for partial summary judgment. See Independent Fire Ins. v. Sunbeam Corp., 99-2181 (La. 2/29/00), 755 So. 2d 226.

"Accordingly, the judgment of the court of appeal is vacated and set aside. The case is remanded to the trial court to decide the admissibility of defendants’ expert evidence under Daubert/Foret and to decide plaintiffs’ motion for partial summary judgment, following the standards set forth in Independent Fire."

Basco v. Liberty Mutual Ins. Co., No. 2004-CC-1316 (La. 6/25/04).

Posted by RPW at 10:10 AM

June 29, 2004

LASC Hands Down Disciplinary Decisions

The Advocate reports that the Louisiana Supreme Court has permanently disbarred Roxanne D. Andrus (opinion) of Lafayette for reprehensible conduct and has also disbarred Joshua G. Frank, Jr. (opinon) of Opelousas for persistent and serious professional misconduct. Although not mentioned in the article, Henry B. Jones was also disbarred (opinion).

Posted by AJR at 12:39 AM

June 25, 2004

LSC May Decide Extent of Mineral Lessee's Obligation to Restore

Today the Louisiana Supreme Court granted writs in Terrebonne Parish School Board v. Castex Energy, Inc. The Court's eventual decision will likely determine the existence and extent of a mineral lessee's obligation to restore land to its original condition at the end of the lease, when the lease contains no express provision requiring restoration.

Some history: In Corbello v. Iowa Production, the Louisiana Supreme Court held that when a mineral lease obligates the lessee to restore the property, the lessee must do just that, even if the cost of restoration greatly exceeds the value of the property. But Corbello did not address what happens when the lease does not contain an express provision requiring restoration.

The First Circuit's decision in Terrebonne Parish School Board v. Castex Energy, Inc. answered the question left unanswered in Corbello, holding that La. R.S. 31:122 creates an implied obligation to restore the property. But this implied obligation "is limited by a standard of reasonableness which balances the cost of perfect restoration against the value of the use to which the land is being put." Applying this reasonableness standard, the First Circuit affirmed the trial court's order requiring less-than-perfect restoration. At the same time, applying Corbello, the First Circuit held that reasonable restoration could substantially exceed the fair market value of the land. But the First Circuit vacated the trial court's order requiring the lessees to pay the cost of restoration. Instead, because the lessees were willing to actually perform the restoration, the trial court ordered the judgment to be amended to order specific performance of the obligation to restore.

I don't know who applied for writs or what issues were raised in the parties' writ applications. But my guess is that the Supreme Court's eventual decision in this case may answer the following questions:

(1) At the end of a mineral lease, must the mineral lessee restore the property to its pre-lease condition, even though the lease contains no clause explicitly requiring restoration?

(2) If so, is the obligation to restore limited by (a) the value of the land, or (b) the reasonableness standard adopted by the First Circuit?

(3) If the mineral lessee must restore, should the court render a money judgment for the cost of restoration, or should the court instead order specific performance of the obligation to restore?

Posted by RPW at 06:56 PM

May 25, 2004

La. Sup. Ct. Exonerates Parent Corp. in Assumed-Duty Case

Today the Louisiana Supreme Court reversed a jury verdict and a 1st Circuit decision against a parent corporation in a personal-injury suit by employees of a subsidiary, who sued the parent under the "assumed duty" doctrine defined by Restatement (2d) Torts § 324A. While the Court did not explicitly adopt § 324A, it described that Restatement provision as "not ... contrary to Louisiana law," and thus analyzed the case under § 324A terms. The Court explained that "[b]ecause of well-established legal rules" governing employers and corporations, "we will not 'lightly assume' that a parent corporation has agreed to accept the subdiary-employer's duty to provide a safe workplace absent proof of an affirmative undertaking of that duty by the parent corporation.... [N]either a parent's concern with safety conditions and its general communications with the subsidary regarding safety matters, nor its superior knowledge and expertise regarding safety issues, will create in the parent corporation a duty to guarantee a safe working environment for its subsidiary's employees under § 324A." Bujol v. Entergy Services, Inc., 03-C-0492 c/w 03-C-0502, slip op. (La. May 25, 2004).

Posted by RPW at 04:42 PM

May 11, 2004

New home for La. Supreme Court and La. 4th Circuit

This announcement was in today's LSBA Online Newsletter:

Supreme Court Moves to Royal Street

On Monday, May 17, 2004 the Louisiana Supreme Court will be open for business at our new address - 400 Royal Street in the historic French Quarter of New Orleans. With this long-awaited relocation to the newly renovated Royal Street courthouse comes the excitement of the Supreme Court returning to its former home and the joining together of the Supreme Court, the Office of the Judicial Administrator, the Law Library of Louisiana and the Court of Appeal, Fourth Circuit for the first time all under one roof. This change also means new contact information for all of the above. For details on the Library closing and contact information go to: http://www.lsba.org/News_Advisories/whats_new_12.html

Posted by RPW at 10:15 AM

January 19, 2004

Daily Case Summaries from Westlaw

Westlaw provides daily case summaries of Louisiana decisions. You can review the summaries without charge (clicking on the links will require a log-in).

Posted by AJR at 05:49 PM

July 07, 2003

LA Supreme Court Decision to Impact Selection of Grand Juries

The Times-Picayune reports on a Louisiana Supreme Court decision handed down last week that rules local or special laws concerning the criminal justice system unconstitutional. The decision was the result of numerous challenges raised against New Orleans' grand jury selection system, which provides for judges to select grand juries. The article details how the rule is an artifact of the Jim Crow laws, but how race was not considered in the Supreme Court's decision.

Posted by AJR at 07:24 AM

July 01, 2003

LA Supreme Court Disbars Four and Suspends Four More

The Advocate reports that the Louisiana Supreme Court permanently disbarred four attorneys and suspended another four on Friday. The violations ranged from failure to pay taxes to interfering with a federal investigation.

Posted by AJR at 09:48 PM

April 28, 2003

Suspect Device Takes LA Supreme Court to Task

Greg Peters, of Suspect Device, considers the Louisiana Supreme Court's ruling concerning the Lafayette Parish School Superintendent's decision to ignore a temporary restraining order.

So the Supreme Court of the State of Louisiana now establishes a new precedent: you can ignore court orders if you don't like the way they look or the time they're given to you.

Also be sure to check out his latest comic.

Posted by AJR at 02:55 PM

April 24, 2003

LA Supreme Court 2002 Annual Report Available

The Louisiana Supreme Court has released the 2002 Annual Report [pdf].

Posted by AJR at 01:18 PM

April 23, 2003

19th JDC Leads State with 47,096 Filings in 2002

The Advocate details the Louisiana Supreme Court's 2002 Annual Report this morning. The Louisiana Supreme Court site is currently down, so I can't determine if the report is available online yet.

The Advocate story indicates that the 19th JDC (East Baton Rouge Parish) led state judicial districts in filings last year; however, it appears that the reporter failed to determine that the Orleans Civil and Criminal courts are district level courts as they were not ranked in the top four courts according to highest number of filings. Nonetheless, the First Circuit Court of Appeal received 996 appeals and the Fourth Circuit trailed with 809, so my suspicions might prove incorrect.

Posted by AJR at 07:12 AM

April 07, 2003

Edwards Resigns from Practice of Law

WAFB reports that imprisoned Governor Edwards has resigned from the practice of law rather than face discipline from the Louisiana Supreme Court. The court has approved his request for resignation, "which means Edwards is permanently barred from practicing law or seeking readmission to the legal profession in Louisiana or elsewhere."

Posted by AJR at 08:59 AM

State Supreme Court Ruling to Impact Mental Hospitals

The Advertiser reports that a recent Louisiana Supreme Court ruling may change the state's policy to not let mental patients found not guilty by reason of insanity to go outside of a mental institution unless a judge approves. "State mental hospitals hold 295 people who have been found not guilty by reason of insanity — 81 in connection with murder charges, according to DHH figures." The recent decision holds that judicial approval is not necessary for day trips.

Posted by AJR at 08:55 AM

April 01, 2003

LA Supreme Court Reinstates Conviction

The Advertiser reports that the Louisiana Supreme Court has reinstated the conviction of a woman charged with shooting to death her 3-year-old son. The issue on appeal was whether or not Deidre A. Pierre knowingly waived her right to trial by jury. The trial court did not ask Pierre if she wanted to waive her right to jury - only her attorney. "[T]he Supreme Court ruled that an attorney can waive a jury trial on a client’s behalf, if the client is in agreement with the move at the time."

Posted by AJR at 10:45 AM

March 14, 2003

LA Supreme Court Going on the Road

The News-Star reports that the Louisiana Supreme Court will be taking its show on the road around the state. Specifically, on April 7, the court will hear arguments at ULM.

Posted by AJR at 07:55 AM

February 18, 2003

Supreme Court Reinstates Sentence

The Advocate reports on the actions of the Louisiana Supreme Court, which reinstated a Baton Rouge man's 2001 manslaughter plea and a ten-year sentence. The article provides a thorough account of Joseph "Reno" Brooks travels through the Louisiana criminal justice system.

Posted by AJR at 01:30 PM
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