Posts Tagged ‘New Orleans’

Louisiana: “…an unknown third vehicle waves down an 18-wheeler”

Attorneys for Mississippi-based Whitestone Transportation “allege in court documents that their investigations have uncovered evidence of more than 30” incidents around New Orleans following a distinct pattern of “multiple people in a claimant vehicle, sideswipe allegations with commercial vehicle trailers, minimal damage to claimant vehicle, little to no damage to the insured trailer and a commercial vehicle driver who is either unaware of or denies impact, according to trucking attorneys.” “In Louisiana we estimate our insurance costs are three to five times more than the national average,” said Chance McNeely, executive director of the Louisiana Motor Transport Association, and with the legal system not well suited to defeating claims for staged or pretended accidents, companies are increasingly turning to truck-mounted cameras.

“It’s always the same thing: Four people in a sedan, and there’s always a random witness who gives a loose statement to the cops and has a random appointment and has to get away, “ McNeely said. And all too often they use the same attorneys and the same doctors, he said….

“We have a lot of billboards for attorneys, and many of them demonize our industry,” he said.

[Eric Miller, Transport Topics]

Police roundup

  • “Twenty-five years of developments in both the law and social science show that a police command to ‘stop’ is more than a mere request for information.” Courts should handle accordingly [Ilya Shapiro on Cato amicus brief in Cisse v. New York, New York Court of Appeals]
  • Procedures must be followed: “Murder suspect tries to turn himself in at New Orleans jail, but deputies demand proper ID” [Matt Sledge, The Advocate]
  • New project aims to educate public on how to navigate oft-complex police complaint process [Cato Daily Podcast with Steve Silverman and Caleb Brown]
  • “Are We About to See a Wave of Police Using ‘Victim’s Rights’ Laws to Keep Conduct Secret?” [Scott Shackford, earlier]
  • “Militarization Fails to Enhance Police Safety or Reduce Crime but May Harm Police Reputation” [Jonathan Mummolo, Cato Research Briefs in Economic Policy, earlier]
  • In letter to Google, NYPD threatens legal action if Waze app fails to remove feature allowing users to post locations of police checkpoints [Amanda Robert, ABA Journal]

New Orleans fans file suit over Saints loss

“Stuck between anger and depression over Sunday’s debacle in the Dome, a few dyspeptic New Orleans Saints fans have settled into an equally predictable stage of grief: litigation.” Among the claimed damages: “loss of enjoyment of life” [John Simerman, The Advocate]

Appellate lawyer Raffi Melkonian, on Twitter, writes: “Let me handicap this for everyone — this case has literally 0 chance of success. 0%. 100% minus 100%. It is dead on arrival. It is pushing up the daisies. A Court would rather deal with 200 sovereign citizen petitions than grant such relief.” More: Michael McCann, Sports Illustrated.

Crime and punishment roundup

  • Clark Neily, who spent 17 years at the Institute for Justice and is the author of the constitutional law book Terms of Engagement, joins Cato as vice president for criminal justice [Cato press release]
  • California is among 29 states that revoke drivers’ licenses for failure to pay tickets, which can knock poorer persons out of the workforce over minor offenses [Maura Ewing, The Atlantic]
  • It’s quite rare for prosecutors to file felony charges against public defenders — unless you’re in New Orleans [The Guardian] “Jefferson Parish prosecutors used fake subpoenas similar to those in New Orleans” [Charles Maldonado, The Lens]
  • To explain America’s love affair with incarceration, look first to ideology not race [Thaddeus Russell, Reason]
  • North Carolina law bans persons on sex offender registry from using social media. Constitutional? [Federalist Society podcast with Ilya Shapiro, Cato on Supreme Court case of Packingham v. North Carolina, more on sex offender registries]
  • Judge orders D.A. to return life savings seized from legal medical cannabis business owners; no charges had been brought [Institute for Justice press release] D.A. then files charges against him and his attorney [NBC San Diego]

“Orleans Parish prosecutors are using fake subpoenas”

Seems incredible: the district attorney’s office in the county-equivalent that includes New Orleans sends out bogus subpoenas not actually cleared with a judge ordering witnesses to appear for investigations. A spokesman says it’s been done for decades. Following press inquiries, “the District Attorney’s Office has said the practice will end.” [The Lens (New Orleans)]

Police roundup

  • Investigation of problems with no-knock “dynamic entry” police raids [Kevin Sack, New York Times; cf. Radley Balko’s work] But her living room furniture was just sitting there! Why shouldn’t we take it? [C.J. Ciaramella on Mississippi case]
  • Minnesota judge approves (which doesn’t mean Google will go along with) police demand for all search records on a certain name from any and all users in town of Edina [Mike Mullen, City Pages]
  • “The L.A. County sheriff wants to release names of 300 deputies with histories of misconduct. He can’t.” [Jessica Pishko, Slate; Tim Cushing, TechDirt (list is of cops considered highly impeachable in court testimony)]
  • Just catching up with this still-relevant Joshua Muravchik critique of Black Lives Matter [Commentary]
  • Feds indict seven members of elite Baltimore police gun trace task force on racketeering charges; underlying predicates include robbery, swearing out false search warrants, false overtime claims (“one hour can be eight hours.”) [U.S. Department of Justice, Baltimore Sun, Washington Post]
  • “New Orleans Police Chief Says He Needs to Hire and Fire Commanders at Will to Protect Reforms” [Ed Krayewski]

After Louisiana made cops a protected group in hate-crime law

That was fast: it looks as if the first charge under Louisiana’s new “Blue Lives Matter” law was made to hang a felony rap on a man who shouted slurs at police as they escorted him to the station. Hours later, a spokesman for the New Orleans Police Department acknowledged that a sergeant at the scene had applied the hate crime law incorrectly and that the charge would be reviewed before proceeding with prosecution. [New Orleans Times-Picayune, and followup; Scott Shackford, Reason (“The release bond for Delatoba’s ‘hate crime’ charge of yelling bad words ($10,000) is actually higher than the amount for the vandalism ($5,000) that drew the police in the first place”); earlier and more]

January 29 roundup

  • Bi-counsel-ar? “Lawyer Defending Congressman’s Wife in Bigamy Case Accuses Client of Having a Second Lawyer” [Slate]
  • “Why tort liability for data breaches won’t improve cybersecurity” [Stewart Baker]
  • Pennsylvania passes a new gun law, and suddenly liberal standing with attorney fee shifting stops being the progressive position [Harrisburg Patriot-News]
  • “Letting a case die like a pet rat forgotten in the garage” [Ken at Popehat on Todd Kincannon challenge to South Carolina state bar discipline threats]
  • Getting to it late: hour-long Cato podcast with Randy Barnett on his book Structure of Liberty including Aaron Ross Powell, Trevor Burrus;
  • Once a fun party town, New Orleans now will ban vaping in private clubs and while waiting in line at drive-throughs [Christopher Fountain, Ronald Bailey on vaping bans and public health] More: Bailey on exaggeration of risks, Jacob Sullum on California proposal;
  • Colorado legislature looks serious about tackling liability reform [Denver Business Journal]

Law enforcement for profit roundup

The “equitable sharing” civil forfeiture program (see weekend post) being just one of the more visible corners of a whole scaffolding of bad incentives in law enforcement:

Blue-ribbon excuses: lawyer says he was hiding cash from wife, not law

A lawyer who resigned abruptly from the office handling BP oil spill claims has denied allegations he accepted kickbacks from lawyers with claims pending in the process, saying the money was paid for earlier work and that his aim was to hide it from his wife — who also happened to work at the claims office — rather than to conceal anything improper. [New Orleans Times-Picayune]