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State Law Won’t Apply in Recovery of Gulf Damages

Sabrina Canfield at the Courthouse News Service is reporting thatU.S. District Judge Carl Barbier ruled that Alabama and Louisiana may recover damages arising from the April 2010 explosion of the Deepwater Horizon rig, including punitive damages, under the federal Oil Pollution Act and maritime law. But Barbier said damages under state law cannot be applied. The article also reports, "Barbier this week granted in part and denied in part oil spill defendants' motions to dismiss complaints from the states of Alabama and Louisiana. In a separate ruling, Barbier said BP cannot use Transocean's liability insurance." You can read the full article here.
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How 38 Monks Took on the Funeral Cartel and Won

There is a great article appearing in the Atlantic written by Conor Friedersdorf on the monks at Saint Joseph Abbey in Covington, Louisiana and their legal battle which they had to take to Federal Court to win the right to manufacture caskets. It's a great story and a testament to a small group of determined men who fought an industry trying to take away their competition and won.  You can read the full article here.
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Innocence Project of New Orleans celebrates its 10th anniversary

This week, Innocence Project New Orleans celebrates its 10th anniversary, marking its transformation from a temporary one-person endeavor to the largest independent shop of its kind in the country. The local nonprofit began when Emily Bolton, a native of England, graduated from Tulane University Law School and landed a two-year fellowship to review wrongful-conviction claims in Louisiana. With a clear-cut mission, the agency took root in a windowless Uptown office. Brendan McCarthy at The Times-Picayune has the full story here.
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FEMA trailer residents face $800 monthly fine

Fines of $800 a month kicked in on May 1 for more than 350 Louisiana families still living in FEMA trailers, and with 40 percent of the stragglers located in New Orleans, city officials continue their push to levy additional fines against residents who haven't managed to secure permanent housing. In New Orleans, 45 trailers remained Wednesday in City Council District D, which suffered severe flooding, city records show. Hard-hit District E was home to 34 trailers, followed by District A, with 26 trailers. Districts B and C combined had 33 trailers. You can read the full article at NOLA.com.
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New Orleans Construction Product Supplier Settles in Chinese Drywall Suit

The Insurance Journal is reporting a settlement agreement has been reached with a New Orleans, La.-based supplier of tainted Chinese drywall in the multi-district litigation (MDL 2047) over the product. Attorney Russ Herman of the law firm Herman, Herman, Katz & Cotlar, L.L.P., said the settlement with Interior/Exterior and its insurers is the first settlement in the MDL with a major supplier of the Chinese drywall. “Following Court approval, Plaintiffs will proceed to trial later this year against Interior/Exterior’s excess insurers who carry more than $72,000,000 in coverage,” Herman said. You can see the complete article here.
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