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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

Adventures in Pro Se Pleadings # 4 - Doomes Day Edition

Persistence pays off, unless you've been ordered to desist by a federal magistrate. But, even then it can earn an Adventures in Pro Se Pleadings post.

Following the court's March 9, 2021 ruling, we passed on the opportunity to feature Stacey Williams' filings ruminating on the mysteries of federal docket numbering, notarial practice, discovery procedure, demand for "Magistrate Erin J. Wilder Doomes to step down from presiding," and request "for Legal Protection from the most High and Lord Jesus Christ." When "the Lessor Magistrate Erin Wilder Doomes" beseeched her to stop doing whatever it is she's trying to do with a "final warning to Plaintiff regarding these issues," we assumed her 15 minutes of fame were over.

But no, we'll be damned (hopefully not by "Christ/Yahshua"), she went and did it again. Unfortunately, per the March 9 order, the new filings are STRICKEN FROM THE RECORD. But we know from Magistrate Doomes March 18 Ruling and Order that they "violate each of [her] prior warnings." In spite of it all, Magistrate Doomes maintains her composure throughout. We see no ground for recusal.

Posted: March 18, 2021

Predictions are Hard - Independent Negligence Lives

Just when it seemed like one could safely predict the future (of independent negligence claims against employers), a court flips the script. Not so Judge Dick in the MDLA. She granted two partial summary judgments dismissing independent negligence claims in Moats v. Knight Specialty Ins. Co., MDLA # 3:20-cv-00083; and Watlington v. Knight Global Trucking, LLC, MDLA # 3:19-cv-00553. But, in the Western District, Judge Cain "declined to follow the Erie guess made by other federal district courts," as well as the judgments of Louisiana state trial and appellate courts. Moreaux v. Clear Blue Ins. Co., WDLA # 2:18-cv-01255.

Posted: March 11, 2021

Respondeat superior: Latin for no independent negligence claims

Add Judge Dick's ruling in Zinamon v. STR Transport, Inc., USDC-MDLA # 3:19-cv-00656 to the growing list of judgments endorsing the rule that Louisiana law does not allow independent negligence claims against an employer stipulating to course and scope of employment.

Posted: Feb. 25, 2021

Adventures in Pro Se Pleadings # 3 - On Appeal

Louisiana's Code of Civil Procedure does not exempt pro se plaintiffs from asking for a jury or securing the right to jury trial with a bond. Nor does it, nor does the Louisiana Constitution, nor does the U.S. Constitution guarantee civil litigants a right to counsel.

So, having refused to put on a case, and after storming out of Judge Castle's court in protest of her refusal to seat a jury and appoint him counsel for trial, the Third Circuit affirms her judgment dismissing his claim for sexual harassment at work.

Posted: Feb. 4, 2021

Adventures in Pro Se Pleadings # 2

This series should have begun a long time ago, but ...

the best time to start is years ago, or now.

After repeated failures to explain why her medical malpractice lawsuit belongs in federal court, Judge Morgan dismisses plaintiff's suit again, this time with prejudice. Key quote:

The Court has previously recognized Plaintiff’s attempts to assert federal jurisdiction were frivolous. Defendants argue dismissal with prejudice is necessary, as Plaintiff has been undeterred by the Court’s prior dismissals. Plaintiff argues she did not submit her claim in bad faith, and has not intended to harass, delay, or embarrass the Defendants. The facts indicate otherwise.

Posted: Jan. 28, 2021


Regarding Magistrate Judge Scott Johnson's instruction in Satterfeal et al v. LoanCare, LLC et al, USDC-MDLA # 3:18-cv-01021:

Any requests for extension, which are not encouraged, must demonstrate good cause and be filed prior to the expiration of the relevant deadline.

"Not encouraged" should be understood as encouragement. Or a strong suggestion.

Posted: Jan. 27, 2021

Adventures in Pro Se Pleadings

With a story like that, you'd think he could have found representation!

Posted: Jan. 7, 2021

Thou Shalt Zoom

The First Circuit declares that in person court appearances remain disfavored under the Louisiana Supreme Court June 5, 2020, order providing "that all matters should continue to be conducted with the use of video and telephone conferencing whenever possible. " Live testimony "by teleconference, video link, or other visual remote technology" is authorized under the Code of Civil Procedure "when compelling circumstances are shown." See La. C.Civ.Proc. art. 1633.1.

In a custody metter pending in West Baton Rouge Parish, the trial court recently ordered that "all parties and all Counsel of Record" appear before the court. Under current COVID conditions, the order was an abuse of discretion.

Posted: Dec. 10, 2020

TRO No! JBE Enjoins the House

Another attempt to cut off Governor Edwards' COVID mandates Zoomed to defeat Thursday before 19th JDC Judge William Morvant. The Eastern and Western Federal District Courts and now the 19th JDC have rejected various challenges to the Governor's public health authority. The latest attempt by the legislature to force and end to executive orders restricting public activities in Louisiana was based on La. R.S. 29:768 which provides:

§768. Termination of declaration of public health emergency

A. The state of public health emergency shall continue until the governor finds that the threat of danger has passed or the disaster or emergency has been dealt with to the extent that the emergency conditions no longer exist and terminates the state of public health or emergency by executive order or proclamation, but no state of public health emergency may continue for longer than thirty days unless renewed by the governor.

B. The legislature, in consultation with the public health authority, by a petition signed by a majority of the surviving members of either house, may terminate a state of public health emergency at any time. This petition terminating the public health emergency may establish a period during which no other declaration of public health emergency may be issued. Thereupon, the governor shall issue an executive order or proclamation ending the state of public health or emergency.

Acts 2003, No. 1206, §1.

Governor Edwards' brief addressing the issues before the court on his Petition for Declaratory Judgment and Injunctive Relief and the opposing Petition for Temporary Restraining and Preliminary Injunction filed by Clay Schexnayder in his capacity as the Speaker of the Louisiana House of Representatives is posted below. Judge Morvant held the legislators' action to be unenforceable as the statute permitting action by a single chamber violates the state constitution. At the time this post was prepared, no written documentation of the court's action was available.

Posted: Nov. 12, 2020