Posts Tagged ‘Louisiana’

Louisiana: a remedy for fake subpoenas?

The district attorney in Orleans Parish, Louisiana, which includes the city of New Orleans, pressured witnesses and crime victims into cooperating through the use of fake “subpoenas” warning them of fines or jail time for nonappearance. “The documents were neither authorized by a judge nor issued by a county clerk…. Cannizzaro’s office was producing them itself. Worse yet: Even though the subpoenas were unlawful, he really did jail people who didn’t obey them.” Can they sue him? [Zuri Davis, Reason]

Environmental roundup

Law enforcement for profit roundup

Lawyer files First Amendment challenge against uses of Louisiana bar dues

“A libertarian attorney filed a lawsuit on Thursday taking aim at the Louisiana State Bar Association’s monopoly on the legal profession, joining a wave of similar litigation in other states. New Orleans insurance defense lawyer Randy Boudreaux alleges in the federal court suit that his rights of free speech and free association are being violated because the bar association collects his mandatory dues while taking positions on controversial issues like the death penalty and LGBT rights…. Boudreaux, a married gay man, said he agrees with the bar association’s position in favor of LGBT rights. But he’s opposed to the idea of compelling his fellow lawyers to pay for a group with which they disagree.” [Matt Sledge, NOLA.com, earlier] But note: Eighth Circuit rejects argument that North Dakota bar fees are open to challenge under Janus [Fleck v. Wetch]

Libel and defamation roundup

  • Though ruled unconstitutional a half century ago, Louisiana’s criminal defamation law has remained on the books and could still cause you grief, especially if a sheriff’s office thinks you’ve defamed it [Sara Pagones and Katie Moore, NOLA.com]
  • Certiorari petition filed asking Supreme Court to stop climatologist Michael Mann’s lawsuit against National Review [NR, earlier]
  • Latest sassy response to a cease-and-desist demand (language) [Mike Masnick, TechDirt; “Diamond and Silk” versus Wonkette] Person “threatens to sue the Guinness World Record folks for removing his records” [same]
  • Also Techdirt-related: “Defamation lawsuit brought by self-proclaimed email ‘inventor’ settles” [Cyrus Farivar, NBC, related]
  • New Hampshire high court: inventor and company weren’t defamed by being called patent troll [ABA Journal, earlier here and here] Lawsuit alleging adult defamation of a seventh grader results in liability but no damages [Eugene Volokh; Massachusetts Superior Court]
  • Council in Peachtree City, Ga. considers proposal to pay legal bills of city workers and officials who sue critics for defamation [George Franco, Fox 5 Atlanta]

Law enforcement for profit roundup

Fifth Circuit: basing judges’ fund on fines and fees violates due process

Orleans Parish, Louisiana (= county, in this case coterminous with the City of New Orleans) funnels the revenue from many criminal fines and fees into a judicial services fund which, while it does not pay judges’ salaries, does cover many related expenses including staff salaries, conferences and office supplies. Judges themselves help determine the volume of inflow to the fund by their rulings in cases. Now a unanimous Fifth Circuit panel has ruled that given the fund’s substantial dependence on such revenue, the parish “failed to provide a neutral forum” and thus violated defendants’ constitutional right to due process [Nick Sibilla/Forbes, ABA Journal; opinion in Cain v. White]

Pharmaceutical roundup