A recent study, reported in the New York Times, claims that Judges tend to vote in favor of perceived women’s rights positions, in civil cases argued to them. The strongest argument, favoring the claim of the researchers, as stated in the researchers’ abstract, is that “judges with daughters consistently vote in a more feminist fashion on gender issues than judges who have only sons.” Further, they claim the trend is strongest in Republican-appointed judges with only one child. See the full study report.
In June 2014, the Louisiana State legislature passed Senate Bill No. 250, which amended La. R.S. 56:6(31) and permitted an exception to the issuance of permits for exotic animals (i.e. tigers) for owners in possession of the animal(s) since August 15, 2006.
The amendment was designed to specifically grant an exception to the owner of a trucking facility located in Grosse Tete, Louisiana, which has been the subject of a protracted legal and legislative battle for several years.
The bill now sits on the desk of Louisiana Governor, Bobby Jindal, waiting for his action. The Governor has given no indication how or when he intends to act.
Now, a group of interested persons has started an on-line Petition, calling it the “Last Chance to Help Tony the Tiger”. As of this posting, the organizers claim to have nearly 39,000 signatures in favor of a “veto” of Senate Bill No. 250.
Cattle farmer in Jefferson Davis Parish is found not liable for injuries resulting to a motorist, who struck one of the cows, which escaped from his pasture. Evidence was presented that the cattle broke through 3 fences, after a coyote caused them to stampede. The Court of Appeal stated that, “when an automobile strikes a horse or cow in a closed range area, the burden of proof rests upon the owner of the animal exculpate himself from ‘even the slightest degree of negligence.'” However, the Court affirmed the trial court decision, and the farmer was found to have “acted as a reasonably prudent owner of livestock.”
Another Louisiana Court of Appeal has confirmed the Louisiana Legislature’s amendment to the statutory provisions for the requirements for a motion for summary judgment. The requirement for the filing of exhibits into the record during the hearing on the MSJ has been removed, provided the exhibits are attached to the pleading for the motion for summary judgment or memorandum. Previously, in August 2012, C.C.P. art. 966 was amended to only allow consideration of evidence, which had been formally admitted into evidence during the hearing on the motion for summary judgment. This had resulted in a substantial amount of duplication of materials filed into court records, as the amended statute required the re-filing of any and all documents, during the hearing, even if it was already in the record and available to the trial court. In the matter, recently presented to the LA 3rd Circuit, the trial court was forced to rely on the 2012 version of C.C.P. art. 966, which restricted what could be considered by the Court. However, the 3rd Circuit found that the newer version of the statute, which allowed for consideration of more exhibits, was retroactively applicable, and, thus, the trial court was now required to consider more exhibits, under statutory language, which did not exist at the time of the original hearing. Therefore, the denial of the MSJ, based on lack of evidence for consideration by the trial court, was “Reversed and Remanded” to the trial court. There was one dissent, based on the argument that the trial court should be allowed to rely on the applicable statutory language at the time of the hearing.
It is reported that Target missed opportunities to stop the loss of their shoppers credit card information. The company had retained the services of a computer security firm, which did its job to recognize and notify the retain giant of the potential breach, and Target failed to timely respond and stop the transmission of the improperly gathered information to outside parties. Thus, as reported, Target assumed a duty to protect the information, but negligently performed the duty.
[This would follow the reasoning of Harris v. Pizza Hut of Louisiana, 455 So.2d 1364 (1984), – once the duty is assumed, negligence can be found if it is not performed properly. That holding would apply, even if it arises out of a criminal act.]
A Florida chiropractor filed suit against Allstate insurance, and others, including some former employees, on a defamation claim. The Plaintiff claimed that the Defendants were part of a conspiracy to defame him in a news story using “proprietary information” owned by the Plaintiff. He alleges they used misappropriated trade secrets and proprietary or otherwise confidential information. Since the former employees were Florida residents, the case could not be removed to federal court. However, the insurer sought to remove the claim to the USDC, Middle District of Florida, on diversity of citizenship and argued the Florida residents were improperly joined. The Federal judge remanded [sent it back to State court] the case, finding that the six claims against all the defendants were proper [though that does not mean the claims have merit].
[Therefore, this was a procedural move by the Defendant to “Remove” the matter from State to Federal Court, but it is not allowed, under “Diversity of Citizenship”, unless all of the named Defendants are citizens of States other than the Plaintiff and none of the Defendants are citizens of the State were the matter is pending. The Insurer challenged if all of the Defendants were properly named, by claiming that some of the Defendants (citizens of Florida) were named merely to defeat the Removal. The Court did not buy the argument.]
See Courthouse News Service for more information.
Florida 3rd District Ct of Appeal found that a posting by the Plaintiffs’ daughter on Facebook was a breach of the confidentiality provisions of the settlement agreement of an age discrimination suit between an employer and former employee. Apparently, the Plaintiffs informed their adult daughter about a settlement which included $10K in back pay, $80K in damages and $60K in attorney fees. The daughter posted that the claim had settled and the employer is “now officially paying for my vacation to Europe this summer. SUCK IT.” – A post on Facebook, which was available to about 1200 people – many who were familiar with the employer. Once the defense attorneys found out about the posting, they refused to honor the settlement agreement, and the Florida appellate court has agreed that it is violation of the confidentiality provision of the agreement. [Presumably, that would suggest that the actual claim could proceed, or the parties could settle for a significantly lesser amount.]
Read More at the Miami Herald.
AJG accused of firing, or forcing out, a former female employee who accused their mostly all-male management team of a corporate culture that excluded women. Lori Kleiman says she began working for AJG, one of the largest insurance brokerages in the world, in 2007, after the company bought her human resources company. Kleiman claims that she met, or exceeded, her revenue and profitability goals, but was later forced out when she complained about the primarily male environment. The Plaintiff seeks back and front pay, plus punitive damages, for sexual discrimination and employer retaliation.
Today (Feb 26, 2014), the US Supreme Court held that the State Court actions involving the Ponzi schemes allegedly created by Allen Stanford may proceed. There are a large number of parties directly involved with these claims in Louisiana. In a 7-2 decision, the Court found the Plaintiffs could proceed in claims against many who allegedly assisted Stanford.
The Louisiana Supreme Court reviews the extent of limitation of liability afforded to members of a limited liability company (LLC). They find that the protection is extensive, as long as the Member is working for the benefit of the LLC, and she is not in working in a professional capacity or in the commission of fraud.
OGEA vs. MERRITT; 2013-C-1085 (12/10/2013)