Moving on and movin' along: LSU fills van Heerden's old position, Ivor signs with BP and where is Tim Whitmer these days? Corrected

Let’s start todays job hunt round robin with LSU, which appears to have contradicted their own testimony on why Ivor van Heerden was let go per this Bill Barrow report:

Ivor van Heerden, released from his Louisiana State University faculty post, has cited new evidence in asking a federal judge to reconsider his rejected request to get his old job back.

The high-profile coastal researcher accuses LSU of parting ways with him because he so vocally blamed the Army Corps of Engineers for the levee breeches that flooded much of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.

In seven pages of filings, van Heerden tells U.S. District Judge James Brady that the LSU Coastal and Environmental Engineering Department on June 1 voted to hire a new associate professor, the same rank that van Heerden held until his contract expired last month. Making that new hire, van Heerden argues, is in direct conflict with LSU’s previous statements citing budget constraints to justify not renewing van Heerden’s deal.

Brady cited that defense when he declined on May 27 — five days before the College of Engineering’s new hire — to issue an injunction ordering LSU to hold van Heerden’s faculty spot open pending a jury trial on his claims.

A rolling stone gathers no moss but a coastal scientist in need of work these days ain’t smellin’ the oil and a BP Contractor, in a PR master stroke, has snatched up van Heerden. Editilla at the Ladder scooped that piece of news: Continue reading “Moving on and movin' along: LSU fills van Heerden's old position, Ivor signs with BP and where is Tim Whitmer these days? Corrected”

Breaking News! Judge dismisses RICO suit against Dick Scruggs and SMBD

With pleasure I eat ↑ (some of) my my words about Judge Keith Starrett who followed the law despite the fact his resulting Order dismissed the RICO case against Dick Scruggs and SMBD; i.e., Young v Scruggs:

Defendant Richard F. Scruggs was a highly successful trial lawyer who gained international fame from settlements with large tobacco companies. The plaintiffs, who are both attorneys, worked for Scruggs, Millette, Bozeman and Dent, P.A, (“SMBD”) a law firm and predecessor to defendant SMBD. The plaintiffs assert that they dedicated a large part of their legal career to assisting the defendants in obtaining the tobacco settlements.

On July 1, 1999, the plaintiffs entered into written agreements with the defendants which provided for the plaintiffs’ services in the tobacco litigation. The plaintiffs were employees of and not shareholders in the firm. As part of their compensation for services rendered in certain tobacco litigation, SMBD agreed to pay each plaintiff five percent of the net attorney fees the firm received from the tobacco litigation. Their agreement calculated “net fees” after certain deductions from gross proceeds, including fees due to other associated attorneys and “any other obligations by [the] firm in connection with tobacco litigation other than obligations to firm shareholders.” SMBD paid the plaintiffs through regular quarterly payments.

During and after the tobacco litigation, the defendants were involved in attorney fee disputes with Alwyn Luckey and William Roberts Wilson, both of whom claimed damages from fees earned in earlier asbestos litigation through association with the defendants. Luckey and Wilson also both sought a portion of the defendants’ tobacco attorney fees under a constructive trust theory, i.e., they should recover a portion of the defendants’ tobacco attorney fees because (they claimed) Scruggs and SMBD used asbestos fees due them to finance the tobacco litigation…

This court has previously addressed a similar issue in a RICO claim brought by Wilson and Luckey against the defendants and others for recovery of asbestos and tobacco attorney fees. In that case, Wilson and Luckey alleged that defendant Scruggs had committed predicate acts in furtherance of a scheme to deprive them of attorney fees. Wilson v. Scruggs, No. 3:02cv25TSL, slip op. at 16 (S.D. Miss. Sept. 29, 2003). In granting the defendants’ motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim, Judge Lee found that the alleged predicate acts did not meet the “continuity” requirement because they were all alleged to be “pursuant to a single effort to effectuate a single wrong against no one other than” Wilson and Luckey...

The plaintiffs’ allegations of racketeering activity are composed of nearly identical claims Continue reading “Breaking News! Judge dismisses RICO suit against Dick Scruggs and SMBD”

Slabbed catches up with Rob Young and his case against the sand berms

Lifers here at Slabbed no doubt remember our introduction of Rob Young to the Slabbed nation back in March 2009 and again early this year. Rob is a professor of coastal ecology at Western Carolina University and director of the Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines and is attracted to our beaches like a fly to light. Naturally I was not surprised to find Western Carolina just issued a press release which announced Rob and team are joining the fray:

Scientists from Western Carolina University’s Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines are lending their expertise to help determine the best way to mitigate damage to coastal communities from the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

The scientists from PSDS, an internationally known program that uses science to influence public policy affecting management of shorelines across the globe, are evaluating the many coastal engineering proposals for responding to the oil spill.

“So far, we have conducted two aerial reconnaissance surveys of the area that is being affected by this environmental disaster,” said Rob Young, PSDS director. “In addition, scientists from the program have been working on the ground in coastal Louisiana to assess the impact.” Continue reading “Slabbed catches up with Rob Young and his case against the sand berms”

As quiet desperation settles over the area Haley waxes nonsensical on Fox News

From this

I’m disappointed, disenfranchised and depressed. They are going to finish us off this time. We’re sacrificial lambs, for what I don’t know, I reckon the dollar. Here on the Coast, we already know how things work, we slaves pay the price for the misdeeds of our plantation owners. As far as they are concerned, we are the problem here. We’re so screwed.

And this

I have been sitting here watching the live feed from the well head….this is after the latest fix….the only thought that comes to mind watching everything excaping is BP is killing us by the hour..Brings a new meaning to the term water torture

To this

Gov. Haley Barbour said on “Fox News Sunday” that “we have had virtually no oil” wash up on the Mississippi coast.

He says media reports are creating a false perception that “the whole coast from Florida to Texas is ankle-deep in oil” and are hurting tourism. Continue reading “As quiet desperation settles over the area Haley waxes nonsensical on Fox News”