To be filed on da Slabb: Calhoun and company file Slabbed at the 19th JDC seeking an expedited stay on the adminsitrative subpoenas

Question: Does Calhoun read Slabbed?

Answer: What local lawyer doesn’t read Slabbed?

Yesterday afternoon I received a bat signal from a reader that Team Calhoun filed new motions with the 19th JDC regarding the Ethics Administration investigation and, of course, Slabbed’s coverage was attached as an exhibit to one of the court filings. Slabbed lifers know this has happened on several occasions but IMHO the post we did back on the 15th of this month hit the topic like a laser beam in a way not seen on these pages since the Beef Plant prosecution here in Mississippi and my seminal post “Give us this day our daily” beef which was a big hit with the commercial construction communities in both Georgia and north Mississippi.

Now the latest filings from Team Calhoun were supposedly filed under seal but that is a Fayard fantasy as it was they who let the Ethics genie out of the bottle going to the 19th JDC to stop the previously confidential ethics administration investigation into the funding behind daughter Caroline’s failed 2010 Lite Gov campaign.  In addition to the motion to stay, Calhoun and company have also filed for appellate writs pulling out all the stops to stop the Ethics Administration from doing their job. With that set up one of Slabbed’s legal observers made the following observations about the latest: Continue reading “To be filed on da Slabb: Calhoun and company file Slabbed at the 19th JDC seeking an expedited stay on the adminsitrative subpoenas”

The failed Caroline Fayard Lite Gov campaign could cost Calhoun greatly: A follow the campaign cash update

Folks, last year during the special election campaign for Louisiana Lite Gov, Scott McKay at the hard line GOP resource The Hayride did some great blogging on the money behind Caroline Fayard’s candidacy.  Ms Fayard is the daughter of Calvin “Calhoun” Fayard, a class action lawyer that was affiliated with the old Castano group of lawyers led by the late Wendell Gauthier in the tobacco and aborted gun litigation.  He was nicked named Calhoun in honor of the shyster lawyer on the old Amos ‘n Andy show and certainly as crafty as he prospered after Gauthier passing. Politically connected he is currently on the Plaintiff’s steering committee in the BP litigation, where he stands to make another fortune. For those of you keeping track of which mansion on St Chas is involved on the back-end in an ostentatious show of accumulated wealth the Fayard’s are proud owners of the Wedding Cake House where luminaries such as Bill and Hillary Clinton have often stayed while in town. While he donated heavily to the McCain Campaign in 2008 Calhoun has been a huge donor to the democrats through time which explains the connection to the Clinton’s as well as why Michelle Obama stayed elsewhere during her visit to the city a couple of weeks ago.

With that said I’ll add that the state enforcement agency for campaign cash is the Louisiana Ethics Board, the same folks that have an open file on Aaron Broussard’s shithouse dealings as Parish President.  In Louisiana, secrecy involving proceedings at the ODC and Ethics Board are mandated by statute which is why that the story has not been further updated recently save for an article in early September by the Advocate which outlined a court proceeding in the 19th JDC initiated by Fayard against the Ethic Board where Team Fayard tried to halt the Ethic investigation.  Joe Gyan’s story described in detail the conduits which Calhoun used to funnel money to his daughter’s campaign and broke some new ground in the process. The implications of the ruling do not show up in that otherwise very good story folks as we might have witnessed the first cracks in Team Fayard’s legendary political influence but there is another implication that is also very important.

Linked above is the best real-time internet reporting on this topic and I also had a helpful reader prepare a synopsis that is worth having here on Slabbed as we have obtained the Ethics Board target letters, which were originally filed under seal in the 19th JDC:

In November 2010 and March 2011, complaints were filed with the Louisiana Board of Ethics alleging violations of the Louisiana Campaign Finance Disclosure Act by the DEMOPAC and the Committee to Elect Caroline Fayard, LLC.  Essentially, one of the complaints alleges donations were made to the DEMOPAC by family and friends of Caroline Fayard and allegedly earmarked to cover media buys made by the DEMOPAC on behalf of Caroline Fayard during her unsuccessful attempt to be elected Lieutenant Governor. Continue reading “The failed Caroline Fayard Lite Gov campaign could cost Calhoun greatly: A follow the campaign cash update”

AROD can't get no satisfaction: The 5th Circuit Appelate Review Panel tosses his judicial misconduct complaint

Folks the following Scribd embed speaks for itself. Anyone else notice Judge Biggers of Scruggs fame sat on the review panel?

[scribd id=31030553 key=key-o7j6be2j7ho6yn297rm mode=list]

After seeing Judge Berrigan skate on a clear conflict of interest Continue reading “AROD can't get no satisfaction: The 5th Circuit Appelate Review Panel tosses his judicial misconduct complaint”

MR-GO: Judge Duval finds Corps’ mismanagement flooded lower 9th in New Orleans following Katrina

With the world watching what the spinmasters of the insurance industry called the great New Orleans Flood,  the preventable disaster delivered  a horror beyond words.

“Judge Duval exposed 40 years of the Army Corps of Engineers’ gross malfeasance with regard to the operation and maintenance of the MR-GO,” said Pierce O’Donnell, a Los Angeles-based attorney and co-leader of the plaintiff’s legal team. “His decision is an extreme condemnation of the lack of concern for the safety of New Orleans and St. Bernard residents.”

"Duval said he was 'utterly convinced' that the corps' failure to shore up the channel doomed the channel to grow to two to three times its design width" (CainBurdeau)

Duval’s decision is also a fascinating read – all 189 pages of his Findings of Fact and the two-page Judgment.

Continuing with Mark Schleifstein, writing for the Times Picayune, the decision…sets the  stage for judgments against the govenment for damages by as many as 100,000 other residents, businesses and local governments in those areas who filed claims with the corps after  Katrina. Continue reading “MR-GO: Judge Duval finds Corps’ mismanagement flooded lower 9th in New Orleans following Katrina”

Rumors of Judge Duval’s retirement are a bit premature

A reader emailed us Troy Johnson’s heartfelt farewell to Judge Stanwood Duval that ran in the Houma Courier website that a Slabbed reader was kind enough to email in for clarification.

Judge Duval took senior status last December so while he is semi retired he remains on the bench albeit at a reduced workload.

My own opinion is that if I were a policyholder going to court in NOLA he’d be one of the judges I’d want on my case, not because he favors policyholders but because he believes the law applies equally to all the parties in his courtroom.

While Troy was a bit early in wishing the judge well his synopysis of Judge Duval’s career still makes his letter worth the read.

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MRGO April 21 – the issue and the order (part 1): Duval got ’em told

If Federal Judge Stanwood Duval had a fan club, with your membership card, you’d get a pocket dictionary and OMG would you ever need one!

Yesterday was not a good day for the government’s attorneys.  Judge Duval just flat got ’em told; and, while plaintiffs’ counsel got off light, they did not escape his pen without a scratch.

No one this far south has ever used the word pellucid to tell somebody off; but, Judge Duval did in the Order and Reasons he issued yesterday – and, given the significance of  a pellucid telling-off, part one of this two-part post looks at the order of the reasons Duval got ’em told.

There is no question that this Court was forced to continue this trial for a second time based on the Government’s need to prepare its defense, making it practically four years since Hurricane Katrina struck this city to adjudicate this issue.

Furthermore, it unquestionably ordered on October 9, 2008 that Defendant’s Expert Reports and computer generated evidence were to be produced on December 22, 2008… The Court further ordered at that time that the depositions of all Plaintiffs’ and Defendant’s Experts were to be completed by February 6, 2009.

From these facts, what is also pellucidly clear is that neither side complied with the deadlines set forth to complete this discovery. Continue reading “MRGO April 21 – the issue and the order (part 1): Duval got ’em told”

MR-GO gets ready to go – Part 2 – Duval’s Order on motions in limine gives plaintiffs green light to try their case

Breaking news of Judge Duval’s decision on the Government’s Motions in limine let readers know what happened but with little about the why.

Why is important.  So is understanding that winning a motion is no guarantee of winning a case.  Neither is winning six motions, six-and-a-half to be exact.  Instead, what Duval’s decision guaranteed is simply that pre-trial motions will not decide the major case before the trial begins.

For example, in denying the Motion to Exclude Evidence of Mental Anguish and Inconvenience, he wrote:

The United States argues that because none of Plaintiffs were present at or nearby to their respective properties, they would not be entitled to recover mental anguish or inconvenience. The Court agrees that generally this proposition is correct…Plaintiffs in their opposition memorandum do not dispute that statement of the law.

However, Plaintiffs argue…the law of vicinage applies. In the event plaintiffs were to prove that…“a plaintiff in a vicinage cause of action may recover damages for mental anguish, discomfort, irritation, anxiety, and loss of use and/or enjoyment of his property.”

The Court notes that the Government’s motion is actually in the nature of a dispositive motion, and the time for filing such has long since passed…Although the Court is certainly not convinced that the law of vicinage applies, Continue reading “MR-GO gets ready to go – Part 2 – Duval’s Order on motions in limine gives plaintiffs green light to try their case”