NOLA Criminal Law News Updates
“Jazz Fest, as always, is working with all relevant law enforcement agencies–local, state and federal–to assess any security concerns and to provide the highest level of special event preparedness available,” the statement reads.
“Assessment is ongoing and, in light of any pertinent information learned regarding yesterday’s events in Boston, we will make any adjustments to our comprehensive security plan deemed necessary.”
It doesn’t take much reading between the lines to forecast that this year’s security lines at the Fairgrounds will be longer than usual. It is also safe to say that the bag checks this year likely will be far more through than in year’s past. With that in mind, there are several things to bear in mind for people headed out to the Fest this year:
- Plan for a longer than usual amount of time to get through screening. Leave early enough that the extra time you spend in line doesn’t cause you to miss your favorite act.
- Don’t expect to get away with smuggling in your favorite contraband, whatever it might be. As a criminal defense attorney in New Orleans, I represent scores of people each year who are arrested in and around Jazz Fest. I have written in year’s past about ways to avoid trouble at Jazz Fest, and reiterate with emphasis this year that bags DO get searched. But many who are familiar with the security lines know that historically you can generally get smaller “essential” items into the Fest pretty easily. Just be warned that things will be different this year, and what used to be a cursory glance into your bag, might turn out to be an outright search.
Enjoy yourself this year, but be safe and plan on being screened a little more thoroughly, and having it take just a little bit longer.
Inmates in Orleans Parish Prison were the stars of a shocking video shown in Federal court in New Orleans on Tuesday. The video was shown during a hearing in connection with the proposed consent decree over the troubled Orleans Parish Prison system, and it showed instances of drug and alcohol use, as well as possession of at least one loaded weapon inside the jail.
But is wasn’t just the fact that inmates had access to drugs and alcohol, or even weapons, in jail that was so shocking. It was the manner in which they were possessed and used, and the cavalier nature of the display of it all that made it so compelling and disturbing. (more…)
In a post for Law Blogs, called Five Questions Series: Fascinating Insight from Successful Law Bloggers, Emily Durand-Wood writes about my good friend Ernie Svenson’s new book, Blogging in One Hour for Lawyers, and a series he has been running on the companion blog to the book called “Five Questions for a Law Blogger“.
Thanks to Emily for writing about Ernie’s blog, and specifically for referencing part of the blog where I talk about my biggest challenge to blogging: the time commitment. I also like the fact that Emily referred to me (at least parenthetically) as a successful law blogger – I hope I am. And so, in the spirit of making the most of my time, I give you Emily’s take on Ernie’s “five questions”:
The standard five questions are:
- Have there been any unexpected benefits to blogging, and if so, what are they?
- What unexpected challenges did you find in blogging?
- What did you envision would happen when you first started blogging?
- Given what you know now about blogging, what advice would you give to lawyers contemplating taking the plunge?
- If you were going to start this over again, what things might you do differently? (more…)
It’s “Super Gras” in New Orleans – the Super Bowl and Mardi Gras all rolled into one 10-day extravaganza. Welcome to the biggest party on earth. With Super Bowl XLVII this weekend and Mardi Gras all next week and weekend, it’s sure to be crazy around town. And in my 20 years as a criminal defense attorney in New Orleans, when it’s crazy around town, one thing is sure to happen – people are going to get arrested.
From years of experience, I have also gleaned plenty of ways to avoid this unhappy fate, and instead to enjoy yourself over these next number of festive days and nights – trouble free. So, here goes – my “un”official, top-secret, insider’s guide: the top 7 ways to avoid getting arrested while you party and enjoy the Super Bowl and Mardi Gras in New Orleans:
- Tip No. 1 - Drink responsibly. Sure, you will undoubtedly drink less responsibly than normal, but drinking even somewhat responsibly is probably still good enough to keep you out of trouble. In my experience, over 90% of the trouble people find themselves in during party time could be avoided if they were not so intoxicated. The urge to make bad decisions (or perhaps more the inability to avoid making bad decisions) is fueled by alcohol. Keep it somewhere above buzzed but under bombed, and you odds of avoiding trouble are greatly increased. (more…)
Former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue announced on Tuesday that all suspensions and penalties for Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma and defensive end Will Smith, along with former linebacker Scott Fujita and defensive lineman Anthony Hargrove, have been vacated.
In vacating the punishment Tagliabue noted the lack of any real evidence of any bounty system, and in doing so seemed to acknowledge a basic principal of law and justice: in order to be found guilty of an wrongful act, there has to be some evidence of wrongdoing. (more…)