Please release me, let me go Protection in Branch qui tam in the context of Judge Vance’s post-trial Order in Weiss v Allstate

Branch is rockin’ and rollin’ over Protective Orders!  Chain of fools was the opening act for please release me, let me go Elvis-impersonating Allstate’s attempt to place trial exhibits under seal in Weiss v AllstateJudge Vance’s post-trial Order in Weiss provides context for an examination of the protective motions and orders in Branch:

To counter the presumption in favor of the public’s common law right of access to court records, Allstate argues that the Court should seal the documents designated Exhibits 7, 31, and 31A because other courts have found similar insurance materials to be confidential in nature, and thus subject to a protective order. Allstate also asserts that it would be prejudiced in litigating other claims arising from Hurricane Katrina if plaintiffs in those other cases had access to the exhibits outside of the normal course and scope of discovery. The Court finds that neither interest is sufficient to overcome the right of public access in this instance.

Allstate does not point to a single document or excerpt of a document within the approximately 185 pages that comprise Exhibits 7, 31, and 31A that might be harmful to its competitive position. Its failure to do so is particularly telling given the facially benign nature of these exhibits. Exhibit 7 includes a press release, a list of publicly available phone numbers, tips to policyholders affected by Hurricane Katrina, and suggested answers for its personnel to use when responding to questions from policyholders with hurricane claims. Exhibit 31 and 31A contain customer service guidelines to be followed by Allstate personnel, including information that was intended to be passed along to customers. It is not apparent that these documents contain sensitive material of any kind.

Judge Vance’s use of the word benign provides an interesting contrast to “our documents are malignant” espoused by insurer defendants in Katrina policyholder litigation.  As a result, there has been an epidemic of protection orders in federal courts in both Mississippi and Louisiana. However, as the Order indicates, insurers cry “malignant” but submit the “benign”.

Why our courts have been quick to issue protective orders will be one of the legacy questions of Katrina litigation.  Some have suggested the Magistrate Judges were convinced protective orders were the only way to assure plaintiff’s access to needed documents – a suggestion that begs another why.  Rather than speculate at the answers, let’s look at evidence of alternatives. Continue reading “Please release me, let me go Protection in Branch qui tam in the context of Judge Vance’s post-trial Order in Weiss v Allstate”

Breaking: Senator Jim “Dumb” Bunning flips off the Nation. The NFIP has expired. Hope you don’t flood today.

Folks Senator Jim Bunning, (Asshole, KY), really showed his fanny a few minutes ago to ABC news reporters Jonathan Karl and Z. Byron Wolf. ABC news has the story:

Senator Bunning was even more expressive before the cameras arrived, using a little sign language.

When Senate producer Z. Byron Wolf spotted Bunning exiting his office, Bunning said, “I’m not talking to anybody.” When Wolf asked him to stay and talk to our cameras, Bunning walked toward the elevator and shot the middle finger over his head.

Now for the embed of the asshole’s on camera tirade: Continue reading “Breaking: Senator Jim “Dumb” Bunning flips off the Nation. The NFIP has expired. Hope you don’t flood today.”

The closer the kin the deeper in. A quick look back at Wrinkled Robe, Tim Coulon, Montz, Tom Wilkinson and corrupt 24th Judicial District judges. UPDATED

We’re sitting on several tips here at Slabbed some of which resulted from the visit Nowdy and I paid Saturday to the hive in Jefferson Parish.  One tip that stands out is how one or more pedophiles skated in criminal court due to the connections they enjoyed in Parish government. What I don’t know is whether the Montz case is related to Tim Coulon being caught on FBI surveillance tape begging crooked Judge Bodenheimer’s for leniency for his perverted kin. I’m hoping the Slabbed Nation can tell me if parish Attorney Tom Wilkinson’s representation of Montz, a  sexual offender that skated, is related to Coulon’s tape recorded conversation with Judge Bodenheimer. In a way the unfolding political corruption scandal is the child of Operation Wrinkled robe which exposed corruption of epic proportions in the 24th Judicial District Courts. Let’s review by visiting the Wiki entry on disgraced former Judge Ronald Bodenheimer:

Ronald Bodenheimer was a judge in Jefferson Parish, Louisiana, convicted of various federal charges resulting, in part, from an FBI probe called Operation Wrinkled Robe. Bodenheimer spent more than three years in federal prison, additional time in a half-way house, and was released on September 21, 2007, to serve the remainder of his term under probation under house confinement.

Bodenheimer began his legal career with the state as a prosecutor with the Jefferson Parish District Attorney’s Office. In 1999, Bodenheimer won an election to become judge by defeating Jim Donelon , an established politician with overwhelming support by Jefferson Parish elected officials. Bodenheimer had the reputation of being a “law and order” judge and had been criticized by social activists for his heavy-handed conviction statistics. During his short term on the bench, Bodenheimer set the Jefferson Parish record for the longest prison sentence, 881 years for a remorseless armed robber….. Continue reading “The closer the kin the deeper in. A quick look back at Wrinkled Robe, Tim Coulon, Montz, Tom Wilkinson and corrupt 24th Judicial District judges. UPDATED”

La de sir

The Dalai Lama Leaves the Whitehouse. Desiree strikes again.

I tell you folks Desirée Rogers is the gift that keeps on giving as she embarks on a style over substance tour attempting to reclaim a name and reputation she never enjoyed in the Chicago business community. Our readers may recall after Party-Gate Ms Rogers was invited to tell her story to Congress but the Obama Administration declined to make De sirée available for them tough, hand-on-the-bible questions she certainly would have been asked. Of course, there were also a series of more recent gaffes that were not as widely reported including the picture of the Dali Lama leaving the Whitehouse with bags of trash stacked up outside. That gaffe was preceded by the Whitehouse Office of Protocol offering the nearly blind British Prime Minister a set of DVD’s to watch. Ms Rogers style over substance way of conducting her affairs really showed through. By God De sirée has her story though and she is sticking to it and as long as she is content to lay on the BS we’ll be content to highlight it. Perhaps she should wear that Oscar de la Renta gown and call a press conference, yeah that’s the trick. The Times Picayune has the story:

Free for the first time to speak out about the circumstances surrounding the party-crashers at the White House state dinner in November, outgoing White House Social Secretary Desiree Glapion Rogers said Sunday her office followed established protocol to the letter that night, and reports that her office was not monitoring the gate when guests arrived are “just wrong.”

“Let’s just get the record straight, ” said Rogers, a New Orleans native, in a telephone interview from Chicago, where she made her career before being tapped by the Obamas as White House social secretary. Continue reading “La de sir”