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“Vessel” is not Limited to Vessels Engaged in Commerce: Plaintiff was injured while aboard Defendant’s pleasure yacht in 2011.  In 2015, Plaintiff filed a negligence based lawsuit in federal court.  Defendant filed a motion to dismiss on the grounds that the statute of limitations for a maritime tort barred the claim.  Plaintiff argued that the maritime statute of limitation did not apply because his case was not maritime in nature since he was aboard a pleasure yacht rather than a seagoing vessel. The court found that Defendant satisfied both the locality and nexus tests, and because admiralty jurisdiction was established the three-year

Design-Build Contracts Authorized for Tunnel Replacements: Louisiana state law prohibits design-build contracts unless an exception is made by the legislature.  The ban against design-build contracts stems from the thought that it gives too much power and money to a single firm, rather than having two or more firms design and build infrastructure projects separately.  However, proponents point out that such contracts often save time and money.  The Louisiana Senate and Governor Jindal agreed with the latter, leading the governor to sign into law Senate Bill 159. The obvious impact for New Orleans will be two new ferries replacing the aging

Air Conditioning is not a Constitutional Right for Death Row Inmates: Three death row inmates at Angola filed suit against the Louisiana Department of Corrections and various officials alleging that the lack of air conditioning on death row amounted to a violation of the Eighth Amendment, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the Rehabilitation Act.  The inmates argued that their health conditions were made worse by high temperatures, and that their being kept in hot cells amounts to cruel and unusual punishment. The trial court ruled in favor of the Eighth Amendment claim but rejected the disability claims. The trial

Factors in Deciding OCSLA Jurisdiction: Plaintiff filed suit under the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA), alleging injuries to his left elbow, cervical spine, and lumbar spine as the result of an accident that occurred while working on Ram-Powell, a tension-leg fixed platform, located in the Gulf of Mexico in Viosca Knoll Block 956. The parties agreed that under OCSLA the substantive law for injuries occurring on fixed offshore platforms located on the outer continental shelf is the law of the adjacent state. However, they disagreed as to which state’s law applied. Plaintiff argued that Louisiana law should apply as it

A Mineral Lessee does not Have a Duty to Police the Waterways: In June 2014, Plaintiff was checking his crab traps when his skiff struck a submerged piling. Plaintiff’s vessel was damaged by the collision, and he sustained injuries to his head, neck, back, and other areas. He alleged that the negligence of Hilcorp Energy Company and Roustabouts, Inc. caused the accident. It is well established that a private company assumes liability for damages resulting from a collision of a boat with an obstruction in navigable waters when it has ownership, custody or is responsible for placement of the obstruction in the

Collaborative Law: The philosophy of our firm is to offer people an alternative, when possible, to the traditional litigation model of dispute resolution. The key issue is not who is right or wrong, but how can the issues presented (often caused by an inability to effectively communicate and financial stress) be reconciled by the parties themselves under the guidance of certified professionals through the Collaborative Law process or via Mediation. In our opinion, the obligation of a family lawyer is to facilitate the settlement of conflict and to carefully evaluate the responsibility of each party to bring the subject matter

Preventing Divorce: One in two marriages ends in divorce. Given those odds, it’s easy to think of marriage as a gamble. However, by taking a few basic steps, you can raise your odds considerably. Here are four ways to make sure your marriage can weather any storm. 1.  Have fun together The number one difference between couples that stay together and couples that split up is how much fun they have together. It may sound obvious, but as responsibilities mount, it can be easy to view your spouse as more of a business partner than a life partner. Find fun

How Men Heal from a Breakup: Men pride themselves on feeling powerful, competent, and effective in their world. They receive a sense of fulfillment in feeling successful and doing well. Men take great pride in being independent and self-sufficient.  Then, they fall in love. They allow themselves to be vulnerable to another, they get close and sometimes they end up getting hurt and their hearts get broken. Surprisingly, men generally are the first to fall in love and the last to fall out of it. Men have more difficulty handling their emotions than women because they have been trained to be

Who Wants to Retire? People in their twenties don’t plan for retirement because they think they’ll never die. People in their thirties don’t plan because they are too busy building careers and acquiring assets. People don’t plan during their forties because they’re too busy paying off the college tuition of their children. Most don’t start planning until their fifties, sixties, and seventies and sometimes that’s too late. It’s not too late for you. When are you going to plan? Is your plan current? Laws frequently change and plans should be reviewed and updated to reflect these changes. We offer estate

Updating a Will: People often ask how often they need to review and update their wills and estate planning documents.  Many assume that once they have prepared a will, durable power of attorney, and/or other related documents, these will last for the rest of their lives and never need to be updated. A Will is Your Chance to Write the Law that Favors You: For most people, the most effective method of engaging in sensible estate and Medicaid planning is as straight-forward as preparing a Last Will and Testament and Durable Power of Attorney.  Wills and powers of attorney give