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Apparently, Orleans and Jefferson Parishes will not have power for a while. Some say weeks, but let's hope Entergy can find a temporary solution before that.

East Baton Rouge Parish was spared the worst, but power there too is a problem. The Advocate today published the following updates on open businesses and school closings:

What's open: Where to buy hot meals and groceries in the Baton Rouge area after Hurricane Ida

Hurricane Ida: East Baton Rouge schools, LSU, more closed for full week; see latest list

West of the Mississippi things are fairly normal and, thankfully, forecasters are not predicting a second Ida landfall near Lake Charles.

Posted: Aug. 31, 2021

COVID on Campus

Armed with WDLA Judge Doughty's recent order granting plaintiffs' TRO in Magliulo v. Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine, 3:21-cv-02304 (WDLA 8/17/2021); the Louisiana Department of Justice has put the state's public university systems on notice that student rights vis-a-vis vaccine mandates must be respected.

Now that the FDA approved Pfizer's vaccine, new arguments must accommodate changed circumstances. Judge Doughty obliquely acknowledges as much with his footnote 11 ("It should also be noted that all of the COVID-19 vaccinations are under emergency use authorization and have not yet been fully approved by the FDA.") However, nothing in the constitutional analysis, application of Louisiana's Preservation of Religious Freedom Act (La. R.S. 13:5232), or the state's prior school vaccination laws (La. R.S. 17:170) address regulatory approval as a relevant fact. The Louisiana House of Representatives' May 10, 2021 Resolution 20 recognizes "mandated COVID-19 vaccines for colleges and universities" and the right to refuse under 21 U.S.C. 360bbb – 3(e)(1)(A)(ii)(III).

Posted below are Judge Doughty's opinion, the La. DOJ amicus brief filed in his court and the department's August 23, 2021 letter sent to each of Louisiana's four university systems.

Posted: Aug. 27, 2021

The ABA and law school accreditation

The Law & Liberty blog questions the role of the American Bar Association as the "de facto gatekeeper of the legal academy.

The ABA's Long March Continues

Posted: Aug. 24, 2021

Latest Federal Court COVID-19 Orders
EDLA - Jury Trials Suspended
WDLA - Mask Mandate
MDLA - Remote Operations and Mask Mandate

EDLA - Jury Trials Suspended Until 9/20/2021

Chief Judge Brown issued COVID-19 GENERAL ORDER NO. 21-11 on August 18, 2021, suspending all civil and criminal trials until September 20, 2021. The Order does not extend deadlines, reserving that decision to the presiding judge in each case.


WDLA - Mask Mandate

Chief Judge Hicks issued an Order on August 9, 2021, mandating masks regardless of vaccination status for entry into federal courthouses of the Western District of Louisiana.


MDLA - Remote Operations and Mask Mandate

For the latest COVID-19 Orders regarding operations in the Middle District of Louisiana and a video message from Chief Judge Dick, see:

Court Operations Curtailed during COVID-19 Outbreak (see Administrative Orders)

Posted: Aug. 19, 2021

Paid Your Dues lately?
Mandatory Bar Membership on Trial

Within days of paying my dues, I learned we may not have to. Or, to be more precise, according to the U.S. 5th Circuit, Texas lawyers don't have to belong to their state bar. But, the logic of its opinion seems to apply in Louisiana.

Professor Dane Ciolino is already on the case: Must Louisiana lawyers join bar association? Maybe not, federal court says

The issue is a question of free association. Professional organizations that spend on activities not "germane" to professional governance cannot require membership as an occupational requirement. The 5th Circuit opinion is below.

Posted: July 8, 2021

SCOTUS on Collegiate Sports

For a brief time, I'm posting some placeholder text here regarding the recent SCOTUS decision affirming limits on NCAA financial restrictions on student-athlete benefits. An initial write-up is planned for the June 25 Newsflash email, which will be included as an update here.

Basically, the fact that the NCAA took its objections to the US Supreme Court is, to me, a bit mystifying. What the trial court did and the 9th Circuit affirmed was to narrowly broaden the benefits schools may provide to students that mostly enhance, not detract from, the scholarly end of the student-athlete spectrum. And, it also seems to me, it did so in a way that does not seriously impair and may even enhance the ability of schools outside of the elite levels to compete.

Posted: June 24, 2021

Star Wars Decisis

In a move certain to provoke retorts that the comments amount to mere obiter dicta, the Ninth Circuit declares recent additions to the Star Wars franchise "mediocre and schlocky."

No word yet on whether Disney intends to request en banc review. The full opinion is available at Briseno v. Henderson, U.S. 9th Circuit # 19-56297 (6/1/2021). For Jonathan Turley's take, see Taking Judicial Notice? Ninth Circuit Denounces The Last Jedi As “Mediocre and Schlocky”

Posted: June 3, 2021

LASC: Amended Attorney Advertising Rules

The Louisiana Supreme Court issued amended attorney advertising rules on 5/6/2021. See below.

Posted: May 6, 2021

Adventures in Pro Se Pleadings # 5 - Federal Fraud and Terrorism Edition

Billions of dollars in claims were dismissed in one fell swoop by Judges Juneau and Summerhays in the Western District - Lafayette Division this week. Following his September 7, 2015 motor vehicle accident, Beau Derise alleges, Allstate conspired with Acadian Ambulance Service, Shell Oil Station, the World Bank of Hong Kong, New Iberia District Court, Lafayette Parish Sheriff Office, Seaside Hospital, Lafayette Public Library, Waste Management and Fed Ex Ship Center in acts of terrorism against him.

Judges Juneau and Summerhays order:

Mr. Derises complaints fail to state any plausible, nonfrivolous claims on which relief can be granted, he is he reby WARNED that the filing of any additional frivolous lawsuits will result in his being ordered to show cause why he should not be placed on the list of sanctioned/barred litigants for this district, so that he is barred from filing any action in the United States District Court for the Western District of Louisiana without first obtaining the approval and authorization of the chief judge.

Had Mr. Derise learned anything from his experience, he would have known the fix was in.

Posted: May 6, 2021

Re-deposing a Plaintiff - New Party

Magistrate Hanna of the WDLA - Lafayette Division provides a concise and well reasoned road map of the issues relevant to whether the court should grant a motion for leave to take a second, or, in this case, third plaintiff deposition. In the opinion below he orders the deposition to go forward on the motion of new defendants in the case with restrictions to prevent duplication.

Posted: March 31, 2021