I n c o r p o r e a l s C h e a p S i n c e 2 0 0 2
N A K E D O W N E R S H I P
All Things Legal in Louisiana
April 19, 2007
Proposed revisions to Louisiana discovery procedure
If enacted, House Bill 203 will revise several articles of the Louisiana Code of Civil Procedure governing discovery. Some of the changes would be the following:
In addition, new Article 1633.1 would authorize trial testimony by remote video if the witness is beyond the court's subpoena power.
Posted by RPW at 07:32 PM
July 18, 2006
Highlights of the recent legislative session
In this age of legal blogs, Frank Maraist's Civil Law Newsletter remains a valuable resource. He reads everything you need to know and sums it up in one- or two-sentence blurbs—just enough information to inform you whether you need to read the entire decision or legislative act. The most recent issue points out the following significant developments (among many, many others):
Posted by RPW at 06:59 PM
April 25, 2006
Scope of appellate review may change
Under the Louisiana Constitution, Art. 5 § 10, appellate review in civil cases extends to both law and facts. But that would change under Senate Bill 77, now being considered by the Legislature. The summary says that the purpose of this bill is to amend the Constitution "to provide for the appellate jurisdiction of a court of appeal and to provide that appellate review extends only to questions of law." According to the Senate Judiciary Committee's agenda, a hearing of the matter was held (or will be held) today.
Posted by RPW at 05:51 PM
March 15, 2006
Hurricane-related suspension of legal deadlines
Here's something worth bookmarking: Act 6 of the 2005 First Extraordinary Session of the Legislature, ratifying the governor's executive order that extended or suspended legal deadlines due to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, and enacting further legislation to the same effect.
Posted by RPW at 11:33 AM
June 16, 2005
Appellate-procedure legislative update
House Bill 226, with a few Senate amendments, has passed both houses of the Legislature. If signed by the governor, it will become effective on January 1, 2006 and will make two important changes in Louisiana appellate procedure:
1. In class actions, it will make an order granting or denying class certification appealable as of right, thus codifying Davis v. Jazz Casino Co., LLC, 849 So.2d 497 (La. 2003).In addition, the bill will allow a party 10 days from the mailing of notice of judgment to request written reasons for judgment, and will provide that the filing of a motion to revive a judgment interrupts prescription on the judgment.
The bill was originally blogged on Naked Ownership here.
Posted by RPW at 05:10 PM
April 14, 2005
House Bill 226
Appellate lawyers and class-action lawyers will want to keep an eye on House Bill 226. Recommended by the Louisiana State Law Institite, the bill would make several amendments to the Code of Civil Procedure provisions governing class actions and appeal of interlocutory judgments, including the following:
In class actions, require the trial judge to give written reasons for any judgment granting or denying class certification, if a party requests written reasons within 10 days of judgment.
Posted by RPW at 10:28 AM
April 11, 2005
Blanco Seeks to Limit Damages
The Advocate reports that Governor Blanco plans to support legislation that will restore the state and municipal general liability damages cap to $500,000 per occurrence instead of per plaintiff.
Posted by AJR at 08:28 AM
April 10, 2005
Pinch crawfish -- go to jail
House Bil 127, if enacted, will "amend and reenact R.S. 14:67.1(D) and to enact R.S. 14:67.5, relative to theft; to create the crime of theft of crawfish; to define the offense; to provide for penalties; to remove commercial crawfish from the definition of livestock for purposes of the crime of theft of livestock; and to provide for related matters."
Posted by RPW at 11:38 AM
March 29, 2005
Louisiana Living Wills
With the Terry Schiavo situation unfolding in Florida before a national audience, now is the time to take a look at Louisiana laws concerning living wills. According to the Louisiana Hospital Association, a living will, also known as an advance directive, is a legal document that describes the extent of medical treatment that a person desires should he or she be in a coma or similar condition with no reasonable chance of recovery nor ability to participate in decisions about treatment. A living will may also be used to designate who should execute decisions concerning end of life decisions.
Clark Cossé, chief governmental officer and general counsel for the Louisiana Hospital Association, explains in a report by The Advocate that there is a potential for conflict when a patient has not designated someone to make end of life choices. In that case, Louisiana law would give authority to a court-appointed guardian if there was one. Otherwise, the spouse, as long as not legally separated, would make the decision. If there is no qualified spouse, the available adult children would have to agree on what course to follow. If there are no qualified children, the decision goes to the parents, siblings and other relatives.
If a person does make the decision to execute a living will, Tenet Louisiana's Memorial Medical Center reports that the person must notify their physician of the existence of the document. In addition, the living will may be registered with the Office of the Secretary of State. However, this is not required.
A comprehensive look at Louisiana's living will policies and a free copy of a blank living will as provided by the Louisiana Legislature (La. R.S. 40:1299.58.3) can be found here.
Copies of living wills from the Louisiana Hospital Association may be purchased here.
For information concerning the Louisiana Living Will Registry and the filing requirements for living wills, check out the Lousiana Secretary of State's website here.
Posted by Capital Clerks at 10:06 AM
March 14, 2005
Insurance Law Update
The Advocate reports on the results of the Legislature's efforts to decrease regulation of insurers in the state. The new law, which allows insurance companies to raise rates up to ten percent without commission approval, has resulted in companies issuing 141 rate reductions accounting for $38 million in savings to consumers. During the same time period, however, insurers also increased rates 372 times, for a total of $195 million , in rate increases. The reaction to the law's success is mixed.
Posted by AJR at 08:06 AM
August 14, 2004
Does the ACLU Know About This?
Today I ran across a quaint statute, R.S. 13:3668: "No member of the religious order called the Saint Ursuline Nuns, established in the City of New Orleans, shall be compelled by any writ or process whatever to appear in any court to give testimony or be examined as witness in any court whatever, but the deposition of such member shall be taken in the convent of the Ursuline Nuns, under such rules, regulations and restrictions as are prescribed for the taking of testimony when the witness resides in any other parish than that in which the suit is pending." I didn't see a similar provision for the Poor Clares or the Dominicans -- does that raise Equal Protection issues?
Posted by RPW at 02:21 PM
August 02, 2004
Amendments to Deposition Procedure
Act 365 amends La. C.C.P. Art. 1443 to require that an objection "be stated concisely and in a non-argumentative and non-suggestive manner," and to require that counsel "cooperate with and be courteous to each other and to the witness and otherwise conduct themselves as required in open court ..."
Posted by RPW at 12:48 PM
(0.08% BAC) + (Negligence > 25%) = No Tort Recovery
Act 394 amends La. R.S. 9:2798.4 to provide that no one is liable for damages to a person who operates a motor vehicle or watercraft with 0.08% blood alcohol concentration and who is found more than 25% at fault for the accident.
Posted by RPW at 12:37 PM
June 19, 2004
Legality of Truth Serum Bill Headed to Foti
The Times-Picayune reports that the the Louisiana legislature has passed a bill that requests Attorney General Foti to determine whether death row prisoners can legally be given "truth serum" in an attempt to determine if they committed other unsolved crimes.
Posted by AJR at 11:09 PM
June 16, 2004
Legislators Say the Darnedest Things
Every year, columnist John Maginnis compiles a "compendium of the wit and wisdom of the Louisiana Legislature." Here is this year's installment. (My favorite is by Rep. Ernie Alexander, although Rep. Warren Triche's is pretty good too.)
Posted by RPW at 09:45 PM
June 14, 2004
Raise your Voice
The Louisiana State Senate recently began a pilot program that allows citizens to communicate their positions on issues facing the state using an online system called Share Your Opinions, launched on May 31. Senator Michael J. "Mike" Michot's website is the testbed for this project, which currently allows users to vote for or against a small group of bills currently awaiting action. Links are also provided for the bills' respective legislative history and status (on the main paged). [via beSpacific].
Posted by AJR at 08:15 AM
May 30, 2003
Hate Crimes Technicality?
The Times-Picayune reports that the Gretna man who was the first to be convicted under Louisiana's hate crime has had his conviction thrown out and avoided retrial. The hate crime statute requires that the commission of a hate crime must be linked to another crime, such as murder, battery, rape or arson. Frank Palermo, who is white, was found guilty of placing combustibles and a hate crime. The placing of combustibles conviction was thrown out as unconstitutional, however, because it requires the judge--not the jury--to determine if the arson would have been simple or aggravated. Accordingly, Palermo can only be retried for attempted aggravated (or simple) arson, so the prerequisite is not met for the hate crime statute. The story reports that the Legislature "will be asked to fix the flaw in the hate crime law by including attempted crimes in the list of offenses linked to hate crimes."
Posted by AJR at 07:16 AM
April 15, 2003
Legislation Relevant to Louisiana Attorneys
The April 10th Edition of the Louisiana Bar Today notes that the LSBA's Legislation Committee met on April 2 and identified a number of bills as being of general interest to members of the Association. The LSBA has posted the list in pdf format. Naked Ownership has added links to the relevant legislation.
Senate Bill Summaries
SB105 sponsored by Chaisson
SB118 sponsored by C Fields
SB124 sponsored by C Fields
SB162 sponsored by C Fields
SB209 sponsored by Marionneaux
SB218 sponsored by Marionneaux
SB221 sponsored by Hainkel
SB224 sponsored by Hainkel
SB253 sponsored by Dardenne
SB254 sponsored by Dardenne
SB255 sponsored by Dardenne
SB284 sponsored by Dupre
SB455 sponsored by Hainkel
SB499 sponsored by Schedler
SB519 sponsored by C D Jones
SB760 sponsored by C Romero
SB772 sponsored by C Fields
SB804 sponsored by Johnson
SB881 sponsored by Malone
House Bill Summaries
HB19 sponsored by Frith
HB28 sponsored by Frith
HB86 sponsored by Murray
HB486 sponsored by Johns
HB597 sponsored by Toomy
HB661 sponsored by Bruneau
HB662 sponsored by Bruneau
HB729 sponsored by Johns
HB738 sponsored by Baldone
HB801 sponsored by Toomy
HB855 sponsored by Bruneau
HB857 sponsored by Farrar
HB895 sponsored by Lancaster
HB935 sponsored by Broome
HB946 sponsored by Johns
HB998 sponsored by Gallot
HB1134 sponsored by Townsend
HB1322 sponsored by Fruge
HB1676 sponsored by Kennard
Bill Proposes Judicial Review of Proposed Court Cost Requests
The Times-Picayune reports that a bill requiring the review of proposed court costs associated with traffic tickets and other court fines "would be submitted to a special judicial council for review before the Legislature looked at the requests." The bill, which would not require that the Legislature follow the recommendation of the reviewing committee--the Judicial Council of the Louisiana Supreme Court, was approved unanimously by the Senate today. The bill now goes to the House for debate.
Posted by AJR at 10:14 PM
Proposed Bill to Limit State Damage Liability
The Times-Picayune reports that drunken drivers and those not wearing seat belts could find it harder to collect damages from state and local governments when they claim that the condition of the roadway was a contributing factor to the accident. The House Committee on Civil Law and Procedure voted 6-3 to pass House Bill 1035. The end of the article provides a comprehensive summary of the bill's provisions.
Posted by AJR at 10:48 AM
House Panel Approves Ticket Scalping Bill
The Times-Picayune reports that Lavonne Martin's quest for 2002 Sugar Bowl tickets is what led to the development of House Bill 316, which would legalize scalping in the state. The bill passed the Commerce Committee by a vote of 10-3.
-- HB 92, by Pinac, to require people selling residential real estate to provide disclosure statements listing any known defects.
-- HB 1183, by Pinac, to authorize the Public Service Commission to study whether to establish a statewide "211" information service, which would help Louisiana residents get referrals for government and community programs.
Posted by AJR at 10:37 AM
March 31, 2003
A "Primer" on Passing Legislation in Louisiana
The Advertiser provides a short course on what it takes to move an idea into the Louisiana lawbooks. "Scratching backs, begging, reasoning, threatening, filtering, cajoling and wining and dining — but not lying."
Posted by AJR at 08:07 AM
March 25, 2003
Legislature Already Beginning Asinine Antics
WBRZ reports that State Representative Almond Crowe (R-Slidell) has drafted a resolution to rescind Louisiana's invitation to French President Jacques Chirac to join President Bush at a ceremony to mark the bicentennial of the Louisiana Purchase. This will get about as far as renaming the Vieux Carre as the Freedom Quarter.
Posted by AJR at 12:22 PM
March 20, 2003
Panel Seeks Tougher DWI Laws
The Times reports that the State DWI Task Force agreed to recommend legislation to raise the minimum age for entering a bar from 18 to 21. Nonetheless, they recognize that passing the measure will not be easy.
Posted by AJR at 10:48 AM
March 18, 2003
State Representative Wants to Legalize Scalping
The Advocate reports that State Representative William Daniel has filed House Bill 316 - a bill that proposes to strike down the law that prohibits scalping tickets in Louisiana. Additionally, the proposed law would allow vendors and promoters to limit the number of tickets sold to any single person or group.
Anyone interested in other examples of such important legislation, or any type of Louisiana legislation for that matter, should check out Louisiana Legal's new site. It promises to bring the latest news from the Louisiana Legislature and to follow pre-filed, pending and passed legislation (with links to the original legislation) accompanied by summaries and commentary.
Posted by AJR at 10:39 AM
March 13, 2003
State Do Not E-mail List?
The Advocate reports that State Senator Joe McPherson has filed Bill 90 that would set up a "no junk mail" list like the Do Not Call list, which bans many unsolicited sales calls to the 320,000 residents on the list. "But the agency in charge of the Do No Call list for phone subscribers fears that stopping "spam" would be far more difficult, and trying to halt the electronic junk mail might even be illegal."
Posted by AJR at 10:58 AM
March 12, 2003
Bill Proposed to Raise Louisiana Minimum Wage
The Times-Picayune reports that House Bill 245, filed by Representative Leonard Lucas of New Orleans, would increase the state minimum wage to $6.15 per hour and require that it remain $1 above the Federal mandate. The same opponents to New Orleans individualized efforts to accomplish the same thing last year have vowed to kill the measure.
Posted by AJR at 08:20 AM
March 10, 2003
Louisiana Sodomy Law Debated
The Advertiser reports that NOLA DA Eddie Jordan has established context to debate Louisiana's sodomy law by saying that he is willing to support the decriminalization of such activity in the home as long as public acts are still punishable as a felony.
Posted by AJR at 07:57 AM
March 07, 2003
Juvenile Justice Overhaul Approved by Commission
The Advocate reports that the Juvenile Justice Commission approved a proposed overhaul of Louisiana's juvenile justice system on Thursday. "The far-reaching proposals include the possible closing of one of the state's four juvenile prisons and the creation of a new state agency for juvenile justice and family issues." The focus of the reforms is to move away from placing juveniles in prisons and toward more effective community-based alternatives.
Posted by AJR at 08:01 AM
March 06, 2003
Supreme Court Ruling Allows LA Sex Offender Registry
The Advocate reports that convicted sex offenders in Louisiana will still be required to register with authorities without first being granted a hearing after the United States Supreme Court upheld similar laws in Alaska and Connecticut. Further, the ruling affirms the right of the states to post such information on the Internet. The Louisiana State Police maintains the Louisiana Sex Offender and Child Predator Registry.
Posted by AJR at 08:51 AM
March 03, 2003
Cain Wants to Give Legislature State Budget
The News-Star reports that Senator David Cain has pre-filed Senate Bill 1, "a proposed constitutional amendment transferring authority for preparing the annual state budget and capital outlay bill from the governor to the Legislature."
Posted by AJR at 08:19 AM
New Smoking Legislation Proposed
The Times reports that anti-smoking advocates are preparing to lobby the legislature this spring to move the decision power regarding no-smoking policies from individual restaurant owners to local governments. "Last week Shreveport's City Council unanimously approved a resolution [supporting the effort.], joining Lafayette, Alexandria, Covington and Gibsland "
Posted by AJR at 08:03 AM
February 20, 2003
Sticking it to The Man
The Advocate reports on a novel ideal presented to the State DWI Task Force by state Senator Reggie Dupre. Dupre contends that the state could be better off by violating federal mandates regarding open-container laws and license suspensions because safety dollars awarded by the federal government do not require matching funds, while construction and maintenance funds (which the safety funds would be converted into when the federal mandates are complied with ) require a 20 percent match.
Posted by AJR at 10:42 AM
February 14, 2003
Blocking the Sunshine into State Inboxes
The Times-Picayune reports that Representative Edwin Murray plans to file a bill shielding certain types of communication from state sunshine laws. In response to the recent PAR report, Murray wants to shield e-mails between lawmakers and their constituents.
Posted by AJR at 08:49 AM
February 13, 2003
Letting Sunshine into State Inboxes
The Times-Picayune reports that the Louisiana Public Affairs Research Council (PAR) is calling on state lawmakers to establish guidelines for keeping and allowing public access to government agencies' and officials' e-mail communications. "The president of the Public Affairs Research Council, Jim Brandt, said the organization 'wants to establish that e-mails are public record,' including junk e-mail and nonsubstantial communications such as jokes and birthday greetings. "
The full report can be accessed here.
Posted by AJR at 10:14 AM
February 10, 2003
Lawmakers Considering Louisiana's High Court Costs
WBRZ reports that a special legislative committee is studying the costs associated with the Louisiana judicial system. One of the primary issues under consideration is that there is no uniformity in costs assessed in individual courts and there is no central system for collecting data on court finances. Senator Jay Dardenne said he plans to recommend sending requests for increased court fees to a special judicial council to determine if the increase is needed to pay for a legitimate function of the court. The council would suggest whether the Legislature should approve the measure.
Posted by AJR at 08:46 PM
Bill Proposed to Address Drinking Water and Sewerage
The Advocate reports that State Representative Gary Beard is proposing to require that certain business use treated sewage water and pay the same water bills they do today for "fresh" water. The objective is to conserve underground water supplies and to use the funds collected to to help local governments pay for treatment facility upgrades required by the federal government.
Posted by AJR at 08:25 AM
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