Message from the President Message from the President by by wuxiangyu


									                                                          Message from the President
                                                                         by Stevan C. Dittman

                                           The New Orleans Chapter of the Federal Bar Association has successfully
                                     come through trying times. Despite the ongoing impact of Hurricane Katrina
                                     on our community, our Chapter has over 1200 members and remains the largest
                                     chapter in the nation. The size of our membership aptly demonstrates not
                                     only our past successes but manifests our hopes for the future. This year the
                                     Chapter intends not only to maintain the traditional events that have proven
                                     so successful over the years but also to encourage new programs and services
                                     for our members. We are also but one year away from a remarkable event: our
                                     hosting the Federal Bar Association’s Annual Meeting and Convention in New
                                     Orleans from September 22nd through 25th, 2010.
                                           The vitality of our Chapter was manifest at our annual luncheon at the Plimsoll Club. New officers
                                     were installed, and various awards were given, including the President’s Award to Paul Pastorek, the
                                     State’s Superintendent of Education, the Jack Martzell Professionalism Award to Marian Mayer Berkett
                                     and Russ Herman, and the Camille F. Gravel Award for Pro Bono/ Public Service to those attorneys who
                                     gave of their time and talent to represent indigent defendants in postconviction proceedings. Our annual
                                     luncheon meeting also boasted record attendance, with Chief Justice Catherine “Kitty” Kimball of the
                                     Louisiana Supreme Court providing the keynote address.
                                           The Chapter’s Board of Directors is committed to sponsoring a number of public service projects and
                                     continuing education programs again this year. The Lunch with the Court Program is again underway,
                                     affording our members the opportunity to meet with Judges in order to discuss, in an informal setting,
                                     federal practice. This fall we will again host our Federal Judges’ Reception. The annual Malcolm Monroe
                                     Federal Practice Seminar will be held on November 20, 2009, affording lawyers not only CLE credit but
                                     an opportunity to be sworn in to the bars of the Eastern, Middle, and Western Districts of Louisiana as
                                     well as the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. A legal writing workshop and a federal/state practice CLE are
                                     in the works, and our Younger Lawyers Division will again host its Holiday Party in the Fifth Circuit’s
                                     Great Hall. Spring will see our annual Rubin Symposium as well as other programs.
                                           Designing and administering programs such as these demand much work and dedication from our
                                     Board of Directors as well as our Younger Lawyers Division. Each member of the Board takes on
                                     numerous responsibilities, which include development of educational programs and production of The
                                     Advocate, our quarterly publication. The New Orleans Chapter is fortunate, in particular, to have several
                                     members of the federal judiciary who serve on our Board, Chief Judge Vance, and Judges Africk, Barbier,
                                     Engelhardt, Lemelle, Lemmon, and Magistrate Judge Knowles, all of whom are as active in the Board’s
                                     functions as our attorney members. Unlike other chapters around the nation, we are fortunate to have
                                     an Attorney Conference Center in the federal building, a place where attorneys can not only get a cup
                                     of coffee and a snack but find an internet connection, a Xerox machine, and meeting rooms while they
                                     litigate cases in our federal court.
                                           I recently attended a Federal Bar Association conference for chapter leaders in Arlington, Virginia,
                                     and I was astounded, owing to the efforts of my predecessors, how many times I heard other chapters
                                     being informed “Well you might not be able to do it like New Orleans does, but at least you can try.”
                                     The reputation and excellence of our Chapter were rewarded at the FBA’s Annual Meeting last month

                                                                                                                              cont’d on page 2

Fall Edition 2009 • Vol. 19, no. 1                  Editorial Board: WEndy Hickok roBinson, douglas MoorE and cElEstE coco-EWing
                                                 CAMILLE GRAVEL, JR.
Excerpted from a speech given by Judge Ginger Berrigan, United          file was a statement of the victim, interviewed the day after the
States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, upon       offense, in which she said she could not identify her assailant, his
the award to Camille Gravel of an Angola Hall of Fame Award             age, not even whether he was white or black. This statement had
on July 10, 2009                                                        never been disclosed to the defense. In fact, at the trial, the victim
     Camille Gravel, my hero, left an impact on just about every        positively identified Newton as the man who raped her. Without
aspect of Louisiana law. He is probably most well known to most         Camille’s advocacy, this totally innocent young black man may
of you for being Executive Counsel to Governor Edwin Edwards            well have been executed.
for his first two terms in office and for his highly publicized              During Camille’s first 30 years practicing law, in the 1940’s,
defense of political leaders who found themselves in trouble with       1950’s and 1960’s, he said the machinery of justice unfortunately
the law, including Gov. Edwards, State Senator Michael O’Keefe,         depended in large measure on race; the race of the assailant, and
Agriculture Secretary Gil Dozier, and many others.                      the race of the victim. If victim was white, the accused black,
     But what I want to focus on tonight is not the politically         the all white juries were likely to convict. If victim was black,
powerful, but rather what Camille did for the powerless people of       and the assailant white, acquittals were more common. If it was
the state, those obscure and disadvantaged individuals who had          a black on black crime, the white jurors largely didn’t care about
no one to speak on their behalf except him. For that is really          the outcome. Only when both the victim and the assailant were
where he made his most significant and enduring contribution,           white was justice ever likely fully served.
and where he was the most inspiring.                                         Camille soldiered on nonetheless, representing countless
     Camille realized in law school that he wanted to be a              mostly young black men, for free, in that stifling atmosphere
criminal defense attorney. In an interview near the end of his          of prejudice. He also employed black people, helped them
career, he said, “I liked the idea of representing people who had       financially, and protected them during Ku Klux Klan activity. He
problems. And the people with the most serious problems were            even had the singular distinction of having a cross burned on his
those charged with criminal conduct. I wanted to just help people       lawn, something I suspect he took as a compliment.
in trouble, who needed an advocate.”                                         And this racial prejudice permeated the bar as well. Louis
     To begin his career as a lawyer, in the early 1940’s, Camille      Berry was the first black lawyer in Alexandria. The custom at that
pestered the judges in Alexandria to appoint him to indigent            time required a local lawyer to formally introduce any new lawyer
criminal cases. Most of the many clients he represented for             to the Alexandria Bar Association before they could actually
free were black, facing their charges in an environment where           practice. Berry asked several white lawyers to introduce him,
segregation reigned, in which all the judges and jurors were            but they declined. Later, Camille heard some lawyers laughing
white.                                                                  about how Berry couldn’t find anyone to sponsor him. Camille
                                                                        called Berry on the phone and told him he would be honored to
     In the 1950’s, one of his significant cases was that of            introduce him into the Alexandria Bar Association. And did.
Lester Newton, a black man accused of raping a white woman.
Newton was convicted and sentenced to death. Camille had not                 Racial prejudice also unfortunately infected the judiciary.
represented Newton at trial, but became irate when he learned           Camille had a longtime friend who was a judge in a neighboring
that one of the prospective jurors, who ended up serving on the         parish. Camille represented a young black man accused of
jury, had told someone else “They better not take me on the jury        negligent homicide in a car accident in that parish before that
because I’m ready to fry that nigger.” When he heard this, Camille      judge. The person killed was white. Camille was convinced
volunteered to represent Newton on appeal for free. Over the            this was simply a tragic car accident, with no negligence by
next seven years, Camille worked the case painstakingly through         the driver. Nevertheless, he was worried that the all white jury
the state and federal court systems, trying to obtain relief for        might nonetheless convict, because the defendant was black and
what he considered a serious injustice. He ultimately succeeded         the victim white. Believing this judge to be a fair man, Camille
in obtaining a new trial. By then a new district attorney had taken     waived the jury. To his surprise, the judge convicted his client and
office in Alexandria. When the new D.A. reviewed the file, he           sentenced him to the maximum five years in prison. A few weeks
contacted Camille to tell him he was dropping the charges. In the       later, Camille was having dinner with the judge, and he told the

                                   Message from the President (cont’d)
in Oklahoma City, where we received the Chapter Activity Award for            The New Orleans Chapter of the Federal Bar Association exists
our overall Chapter activities, The Outstanding Newsletter Award for    to serve our members. We look forward to seeing you at our events.
The Advocate, and no less than three Presidential Citation Awards for   If there is any way that we can be of assistance, please contact me at
the 17th Annual Rubin Symposium, the “Bankruptcy and Consumer  or our administrative assistant, Camille Zeller,
Law for Nonspecialists” seminar, and the “Copyright and Creativity”     at the Attorney Conference Center.
program, all of which our Chapter sponsored within the past year. No
other Chapter in the nation was so impressively or repeatedly honored
at the national level.
 2                                                                                                                               Advocate
                                           CAMILLE GRAVEL, JR. (cont’d)
judge he was surprised at the verdict. The judge acknowledged           editor of the Alexandria newspaper in 1980, in tribute to Camille,
the weakness of the case, but then said, “Well, Camille, you know       saying he knew “of no other white man in this state who has
we have all these problems with these niggers. We needed to do          been more dedicated to the problems of the weak, the oppressed,
something about all these niggers.” Camille left the table and          the down-trodden, the have-nots, and those least able to defend
didn’t speak to the man socially again.                                 themselves than Camille Gravel.”
    Camille did get the conviction reversed for lack of evidence,            When I came to work for him in 1978, Camille was in his
and his client went free.                                               early 60’s, politically powerful and a legend in his own time.
   Camille’s criminal defense work on behalf of African                 When I asked him one day what it was like to have so much
Americans also paralleled his politics at the time.                     power, he told me the only value in having power was to use it on
                                                                        behalf of those who didn’t.
     In 1956, he was elected as one of Louisiana’s Democratic
National Committeemen and he attended the national convention                I remember one night I was working late by myself at his
that year. Also, that same year then Governor Earl Long had urged       office and a distraught woman called up because her son had just
Camille to run for Attorney General of the state of Louisiana.          been arrested. I was a newly minted lawyer and really didn’t
Camille declined, in significant part because he did not want to        know what to do so I told her to call back in the morning when the
defend, as Attorney General, the laws upholding segregation in          office was open. About half an hour later, the phone rang again
the state. He began to publicly declare that “segregation was           and it was Camille. The woman had called him at home, gotten
morally wrong,” an extremely unpopular position in Louisiana            him out of bed. In that half hour time period, Camille had called
in the 1950’s.                                                          a judge (gotten him out of bed as well) to have a bond set, called
                                                                        a bondsman to arrange for a bond and made an appointment for
     Camille then took a substantial step further and helped draft      me to meet with the woman and her son first thing in the morning.
the civil rights plank of the Democratic Party for the 1956             He said she probably didn’t have any money, but that that was
Convention, which condemned segregation outright. As a                  okay.
result, anti-integration forces back in Louisiana met and voted
to recall Camille as a representative from Louisiana. This was               In 1976, Loyola University Law School in New Orleans
an unprecedented move. Camille appealed his ouster to the               awarded Camille an honorary doctorate of law, “in recognition
Democratic National Committee and was reinstated by the                 of his distinguished career in the law, his courageous dedication
committee. Needless to say, he took tremendous grief back home.         to the cause of social justice, his unselfish public service and his
                                                                        loyalty to the church.”
     Across the aisle from the Louisiana delegation during that
pivotal 1956 Convention was the Massachusetts delegation,                    In 1986, Camille was the first recipient of the Justice Albert
where Camille met a young senator named John F. Kennedy                 Tate Award from the Louisiana Association of Criminal Defense
and they became friends. In 1957, after all the turmoil over            Lawyers. In 2000, the Louisiana Association of Criminal Defense
the civil rights plank, Camille received a letter from Senator          Lawyers established the Camille Gravel Scholarship to help with
John Kennedy, commending Camille for being a real “profile              training of Louisiana criminal defense lawyers primarily engaged
in courage” for helping to draft and publicly support the anti-         in indigent defense. A few years ago, the Federal Bar Association
segregation platform. “Although present events may make your            of New Orleans created the Camille Gravel Pro Bono Award, to
position more difficult,” said the future President, “I am convinced    go each year to an attorney who has done substantial pro bono
that in the long run your position will prove to be the best for your   legal work in the past year.
state, the country and our party.”                                           I think if Camille were here today, and asked to say something
     In the 1960’s through the 1990’s, Camille continued his            to all of us, he would perhaps quote a passage from one of his
advocacy of behalf of those who needed it most. He was appointed        favorite poems, by Ralph Chaplin. It is particularly appropriate
by Governor Edwards to represent the public at the Constitutional       now that Camille himself is gone.
Convention in 1973 and 1974. In that capacity, he was pivotal in            Mourn not the dead that in the cool earth lie
the drafting and the passage of the Declaration of Rights Section,          Dust unto dust
producing a series of rights and privileges, particularly in the area       The calm, sweet earth that mothers all who die
of criminal law, that were significantly more expansive than the            As all men must;
rights guaranteed in the Bill of Rights of the U.S. Constitution.
                                                                            But rather mourn the apathetic throng
He was a member of the statewide Louisiana Indigent Defender
Board, the Governor’s Commission on Pardon, Parole and                      The cowed and the meek
Rehabilitation. He took on the representation of prisoners, the             Who see the world’s great anguish and its wrong
most disliked and politically powerless of all, before the Pardon           And dare not speak!
and Parole Boards.                                                           Camille Gravel spoke loud and clear for 65 years. And this
     Louis Berry, the black attorney that Camille introduced into       state, country and all of us blessed to know him are that much
the Alexandria Bar Association years before, wrote a letter to the      the better for it.

 Advocate                                                                                                                              3
                                                      CLERK’S CORNER
                                By: The Honorable Loretta G. Whyte,
                     Clerk of Court, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana

                        E-FILING –A MAJOR STEP FORWARD
   Get ready to enjoy the convenience of filing your new civil suit right from your office computer. No more rushing to the
Courthouse at 4:55 p.m. or shipping a new complaint overnight to avoid having a case prescribe.
    The Eastern District of Louisiana is now accepting complaints and other initiating documents filed electronically. Together
with e-filing your Complaint or Notice of Removal, you will also pay the filing fee on-line and have your prepared summons
signed, sealed and returned to you electronically.
    Attorneys have been e-filing other pleadings for quite a while now, and they confirm that it has resulted in great savings of time
and expense. Many of you have asked when we would extend these benefits to initiating the suit as well, so we know you will be
pleased to welcome this next step in the electronic filing process. As with other filings, the system will accept new suits 24 hours
a day, seven days a week.
     Although we have tried to keep it as close
                                                        For Immediate Release:     October 7, 2009
as possible to traditional paper filing, there are
necessary differences. Even those attorneys who         REGISTRATION AVAILABLE FOR
are experienced with e-filing complaints in other       FIFTH CIRCUIT ELECTRONIC CASE FILING
courts will have to learn a few unique procedures
for the Eastern District of Louisiana. There are                  The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals will begin offering
several excellent opportunities planned to help         electronic case filing (ECF) to attorneys on a voluntary basis in
you with this. The Federal Bar Association has          December 2009. Please check the court’s ECF website at: http://www.
generously offered to sponsor a seminar providing for new information as it becomes available.
CLE credit at no cost (see opposite page). Court
                                                                  In preparation for ECF implementation in December, we
staff will also continue to conduct hands-on
                                                        are pleased to announce that attorneys may now register their user
classroom training at the courthouse. Finally,
                                                        identification and address information for the Fifth Circuit ECF through
on-line training modules will be available on the
                                                        the PACER Service Center. Attorneys can request a new account or
court’s web site. Each of the training programs is
expected to last no more than an hour. It is really     update an existing account to add the Fifth Circuit at: http://pacer.psc.
essential for everyone to take advantage of one of .
these programs.                                         We will act on each request and will notify applicants when their account
                                                        is approved. During the initial influx of requests, we ask for your
    Schedules for the classroom training are not
                                                        patience because we will have a large number of accounts to review.
100% certain as of this writing, but be on the
                                                        However, we will process your requests as quickly as possible.
lookout for important information to be posted
on the court’s web site and e-mailed to you.                      If attorneys do not already have a PACER account, they should
                                                        apply for that as well. CM/ECF accounts are linked to their (or their
                                                        firm’s) PACER account so that only one login/password is required to
                                                        use CM/ECF for filing or case review.
                                                                  We also invite the public to register for “interested person”
                                                        accounts that do not provide filing privileges, but allow the user to
                                                        receive notification in cases when filings are made. Follow the link
                                                        above to register but select “other” instead of “attorney”.

 4                                                                                                                         Advocate
           CLE Seminar – USDC EDLA’s New Mandatory Rules for
             Electronic Filing of New Complaints, Removals and
               Other Initial Filings beginning October 19, 2009
                                               presented by

              The Clerk’s Office of the Eastern District of Louisiana and
                The Federal Bar Association - New Orleans Chapter

                       NO TUITION ~ NO REGISTRATION FEE
                                    Seminar Registration Required
                                             Topics include:
           • Filing the Initial Complaint                      • Paying filing fees
           • Filing a Notice of Removal                        • Issuing summons for service
           • Handling emergency relief (TROs, etc.) • Determining case assignment

      Date:          Tuesday, October 27, 2009
      Time:          11:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon
      Location:     Ceremonial Courtroom, 5th Floor
                    United States District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana
                    500 Poydras Street, New Orleans, Louisiana

                                               Registration Form

      Name: ______________________________________________________________________
      Email: ____________________________ Firm/Employer: ____________________________
      Address: _____________________________________________________________________
      Phone: _______________________________ Fax: __________________________________

      Please Return this Form to:    Camille Zeller, Attorney Conference Center
                                     Hale Boggs Federal Building, Room B364
                                     500 Poydras Street
                                     New Orleans, Louisiana 70130
                                     Phone: (504) 589-7990

Advocate                                                                                       5
                                                         Please help us honor our judiciary
                                                 and celebrate their contributions to our community.
                                                                 Federal Bar Association
                                                                 New Orleans Chapter’s
                                                   Annual Federal Judges’ Reception
                                                                 Cocktails and Buffet Dinner
                                                                 Featuring the Joe Simon Trio

                                                          Thursday, November 12, 2009
                                                                6:30 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
     R.S.V.P. to 504-589-7990                        Louisiana Supreme Court • 400 Royal Street
If you are interested in attending this year’s Annual Judges’ Reception, please forward your completed registration form to Camille
Zeller at the Attorney Conference Center, 500 Poydras Street, Room B-364, New Orleans, Louisiana 70130. Please contact Camille if
you are interested in participating as a sponsor of this event.

                     Louisiana Supreme Court Building - 400 Royal Street – French Quarter • 6:30–9:00 p.m.

                                                         Registration Form

Name (Individual or Sponsoring Firm):____________________________________________________________________________

Address: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________

Phone: _________________ Fax: ___________________ E-mail: _____________________________________________________

A.     No. of persons attending: ____ at $50.00 per person, or
                               _____ at $45.00 per person (federal law clerks and employees)

B.     Sponsorships: ___       Platinum ($1,250 – 10 tickets)
                     ___       Gold     ($750 – 5 tickets)       SPONSORS: Please submit a separate list
                     ___       Silver ($500 – 2 tickets)         of the persons who will attend the event.

                     Total enclosed: $ _______________

Please return this form and remittance to:
         Camille Zeller
         Attorney Conference Center            NOTE:     Please make checks payable to:
         Room 364, 500 Poydras Street                    Federal Bar Association
         New Orleans, LA 70130
         Phone: (504) 589-7990

6                                                                                                                      Advocate
                               sponsored by the youngers lawyers division of
                            the federal bar association, new orleans chapter

                                              friday, november 20, 2009
                    registration 8:00 a.m. • seminar 8:30 a.m.-12:45 p.m.
        pan american life center, 601 poydras street, 11th floor, new orleans, la 70130
    Each year the Younger Lawyers Division of the Federal           practice in federal courts and facilitating interaction and
Bar Association New Orleans Chapter, hosts the Malcolm W.           communication between the bar and the judiciary. The many
Monroe Federal Practice Seminar. Malcolm W. Monroe was              benefits of Federal Bar Association membership include
president of both the national Federal Bar Association and the      invitations to Federal Bar Association activities and functions,
New Orleans Chapter and a leader in the New Orleans legal           such as our popular Lunch with the Court program and our
community. It is in his honor that we present this seminar each     annual Federal Judges’ Reception, special member rates for
year.                                                               CLE programs, complimentary subscriptions to national and
    The Malcolm W. Monroe Federal Practice Seminar                  local Federal Bar Association publications and numerous
offers attorneys a unique opportunity to fulfill continuing legal   opportunities to interact with members of the federal bench
education requirements and, at the same time, obtain                and bar.
admission to all federal courts in Louisiana, including the U.S.        This year we are pleased to offer a half-day seminar
Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, in a joint admission        on a variety of topics that should prove both entertaining
ceremony held at the end of the seminar.                            and educational, presented by experienced practitioners and
    In addition, by registering for the seminar, attendees          federal judges. Presentations will focus on ethics, professionalism,
become members of the Federal Bar Association, an                   law office management and federal practice.
organization dedicated to improving the quality of                      The registration deadline is Friday, November 6, 2008.

       If you are interested in attending this year’s Malcolm Monroe Federal Practice Seminar, please contact
       Camille Zeller at the Attorney Conference Center (589-7990), or visit the website at:

  The packet of district court enrollment forms must be completed and received at the ATTorney ConFerenCe CenTer
                                          no LATer THAn noVeMBer 7, 2008

                                              NEW MEMBERS
                            The Federal Bar Association welcomes its new members:
                           John T. Balhoff                                                        M. L. Juran
                             Sher Garner                                                        Attorney at Law
                      P. Michael D. Breeden III                                                Bernard Marcus
                           Attorney at Law                                            Lehmann Norman & Marcus, LC
                         Cynthia M. Cimino                                                     Adam P. Massey
              Federal Public Defenders Office - EDLA                                   Krebs, Krebs & Jurgens, PLLC
                          Alison DeClouet                                                   Benjamin B. Saunders
            Stanley, Reuter, Ross, Thornton & Alford LLC                                    Davis & Saunders, PLC
                         Carl E. Hellmers III                                                Patrick J. Schepens
                              Frilot, LLC                                          Lewis, Kullman, Sterbcow & Abramson
                          Russ M. Herman                                                     Christina M. Soileau
                Herman, Herman, Katz & Cotlar, LLP                                     Milling Benson Woodward, LLP
                         Darleen M. Jacobs                                                   Hanna M. Verlander
               The Law Offices of Darleen M Jacobs                                              Attorney at Law
                          Kristina L. Junot                                                    Zachary L. Wool
                Bienvenu, Foster, Ryan & O’Bannon                               Stanley, Reuter, Ross, Thornton & Alford LLC

If you would like to become a member of the FBA, or know someone who would like to become a member, please call
Eric R. Nowak, Membership Chair at 504-522-7885, or Camille Zeller at 589-7990 for more information.
 Advocate                                                                                                                           7
                                  FEDERAL BAR ASSOCIATION 2009
                              ANNUAL MEETING AND AWARDS LUNCHEON
     On August 21, 2009, the New Orleans Chapter of the Federal Bar Association
held its Annual Meeting and Luncheon at the Plimsoll Club on the 30th Floor of
the World Trade Center overlooking the Mississippi River. The 310 attendees
were treated to lunch, chapter business, and an enlightening talk by Chief Justice
Catherine D. “Kitty” Kimball of the Supreme Court of Louisiana. James M.
Garner, now immediate Past President, welcomed our members to the event with
a short update on the state of the chapter, which remains the largest FBA chapter
in the nation.
     In addition to chapter business, Mr. Garner presented the President’s Award, an
annual award that recognizes a lawyer for community leadership outside the practice
of law. This year’s recipient was Paul Pastorek, Louisiana’s State Superintendent
of Education. Mr. Pastorek received the President’s Award for his leadership and
hard work to improve education in New Orleans and in the State.
    Next, the Honorable Sarah S. Vance, Chief Judge of the United States District
Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, presented the John R. “Jack” Martzell
Professionalism Award for outstanding professionalism in the practice of law to             Chief Justice Catherine Kimball
recipients Marian Mayer Berkett and Russ Herman.
     The final award, the Camille F. Gravel, Jr. Pro Bono Award, was
presented by Chief Judge Vance to several attorneys who have handled
federal and state post-conviction proceedings on a pro bono basis. The
award recipients were K. Eric Gisleson and Charles D. Marshall, III of
Chaffe, McCall, Phillips, Toler & Sarpy, L.L.P.; Lawrence J. Ernst of
Christovich & Kearney, L.L.P.; John Jerry Glas and Douglas R. Elliott
of Deutsch, Kerrigan & Stiles; Richard G. Duplantier, Jr. and Doris T.
Bobadilla of Galloway, Johnson, Tompkins, Burr & Smith; M. Richard
Schroeder, Andrew R. Lee and Avery B. Pardee of Jones Walker; Kim
M. Boyle of Phelps Dunbar LLP; David S. Bland of LeBlanc Bland,
P.L.L.C.; Lindsay A. Larson, III of King, Krebs & Jurgens, P.L.L.C.; L.
Eades Hogue of Lemle & Kelleher, L.L.P.; Joe B. Norman and Michael
D. Rubenstein of Liskow & Lewis; G. William “Bill” Jarman and
Charles S. Trey McCowan, III of Kean Miller; and William A. Porteous,                   The passing of the gavel fron
III, posthumously, of Porteous, Hainkel & Johnson, L.L.P.                              Jim Garner to Stevan Dittman

     After the award ceremony, Chief Judge Sarah Vance briefly addressed the
Chapter. Thereafter, Judge Eldon E. Fallon held the election of our Chapter’s
officers and Board of Directors for 2009-2010. The Nominating Committee’s
slate of officers and directors was unanimously approved, and Judge Fallon
administered the oath of office to them.
    Stevan C. Dittman received the gavel and assumed the role of our Chapter’s
new President. Other officers elected were Barry W. Ashe, President-Elect/
Treasurer, the Honorable Kurt D. Engelhardt, Vice President, Aimee M. Quirk,
Recording Secretary, and Eric R. Nowak, Membership Chair.
    The annual meeting’s formal business activities were followed by an
informative and entertaining keynote speech by Chief Justice Kimball. She
discussed the state court system and ongoing improvements to the administration
of justice. The meeting was adjourned and another busy year begins for our

                                                                                            Chief Judge Sarah S. Vance
 8                                                                                                                      Advocate
                                FEDERAL BAR ASSOCIATION 2009
                            ANNUAL MEETING AND AWARDS LUNCHEON

                                                                                                        Stevan Dittman and
 Joe B. Norman accepting the           Nannette Jolivette Brown, Kelly Legier, Allen Miller,              Nathalie Walker
Camille F. Gravel, Jr. Pro Bono          Past President Mike McGlone, Tracey Knight
Award on behalf of the recipients                 and Wendy Hickok Robinson

     Hon. Lance Africk, Russ Herman, Fred Longer,                       Hon. Jerry A. Brown and Past President John Butler
          Arnold Levin, Hon. Kurt Engelhardt

     Judy Barrasso, Chief Justice Kitty Kimball,             Chris Zainey, Hon. Jay Zainey, Miles Clements, Hon. Lance Africk,
             Chief Judge Sarah Vance                                          Pam Turgeau, Louie Layrisson

Advocate                                                                                                                     9
                               FEDERAL BAR ASSOCIATION 2009
                           ANNUAL MEETING AND AWARDS LUNCHEON

                                                                            Montgomery Barnett Table with
                                                                            David Guerry, Patrick O'Keefe, Ashley Belleau,
                                                                            Paul Pastorek, Andrew Lilly, Steve Williamson,
                                                                            Ryan McCabe

                                                                         Irving Warshauer, Stevan Dittman, Robert David

          Camille Zeller, Helen Gioe, Mary Ann Garner,
        James Garner, Jo Aline Chocheles, Tracie Garner
                                                                                                      John Jerry Glas,
                                                                                                      Claire Glas,
                                                                                                      Matt Moreland

James Garner and
 Award Recipient,
   Paul Pastorek,
 Superintendent of

                          Hailey Grisamore, Penny Herman Grisamore,
                         John R. "Jack" Martzell Professionalism Award
                               recipient Russ Herman, Stephen Herman

10                                                                                                           Advocate
                               FEDERAL BAR ASSOCIATION 2009
                           ANNUAL MEETING AND AWARDS LUNCHEON

   Helen Gioe, Tracie Garner, James Garner, Mary Ann Garner,         Don Haycraft, Janet Daley Duval, Erin Arnold
                         Adrian Garner

                                     FEDERAL BAR ASSOCIATION
                                   2009-2010 BOARD OF DIRECTORS

                Standing: Hon. Charles “Fritz” Fulbruge, Barry Ashe, Eric Nowak, Janet Daley Duval,
                Kevin Klibert, Doug Moore, Chuck Talley, Christopher Alfieri, Wendy Hickok Robinson,
                                  Celeste Coco-Ewing, Steven Griffith, Allen Miller
                     Seated: Tracey Knight, Kelly McNeil Legier, James Garner, Stevan Dittman,
                                     Hon. Sarah Vance, Nanette Jolivette Brown

Advocate                                                                                                            11
                          By Nannette Jolivette Brown
    The Federal Bar Association, New Orleans
Chapter sponsored a Mediation Workshop on
Thursday, September 10 at the U.S. District
Court House in the Courtroom of the Honorable
Lance M. Africk.

     Panelists were Lance M. Africk, U.S.
District Judge for the Eastern District of
Louisiana, Sally Shushan, U.S. Magistrate Judge
for the Eastern District of Louisiana, Professor
Bobby Marzine Harges of MAPS and Loyola
University School of Law, and Bernard H.
McLaughlin, Jr., Esq. of McLaughlin Mediation
in Lake Charles and Lafayette. The program          Peter Wanek, Bernard H. McLaughlin, Jr., Professor Bobby Marzine Harges,
was moderated by Peter Wanek of McCranie,            Hon. Sally Shushan, Hon. Lance M. Africk, and Nannette Jolivette Brown
Sistrunk, Anzelmo, Hardy and McDaniel and
this writer, Nannette Jolivette Brown, Attorney/
Mediator with Chaffe McCall, L.L.P.

     This was an interactive workshop with the
moderators posing questions to the panelists for
their view and interpretation and then drawing
participation from the audience. The program
began with an explanation of the mediation
process making distinctions and drawing
similarities between private and court-ordered

     The group went on to discuss what should
go into the lawyer and client’s preparation
for the mediation, including an assessment of
the client’s role and participation, and frank
discussions about realistic expectations. There           Bernard H. McLaughlin, Jr., Professor Bobby Marzine Harges,
was an exchange about the expectations of                        Hon. Lance M. Africk, and Hon. Sally Shushan
mediators from lawyers and their clients and
about what lawyers and their clients expect
from mediators.

     The panel members also discussed the
psychology and methodology they each employ
during the mediation process and shared their
own individual closing techniques and methods
for breaking impasse.

     The participants were awarded two hours
Continuing Legal Education credit. The group
extended a special thank you to Camille Zeller
of the FBA staff, for her help in organizing this
event.                                                                        An attentive audience

 12                                                                                                                Advocate
                                                                On September 10-12, 2009, the National Convention of
                                                            the Federal Bar Association was held at the Skirvin Hilton in
                                                            Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The New Orleans Chapter was
                                                            well represented at the convention. Chapter President, Stevan
                                                            Dittman and Director and National President-Elect, Ashley
                                                            Belleau were joined by Directors and Chapter Past-Presidents
                                                            Virginia Schlueter, Matthew Moreland, and Patrick O’Keefe.
                                                            The members of the chapter were able to attend multiple tracks
                                                            of continuing legal education including federal criminal law,
                                                            federal civil practice, and expert discovery in federal lawsuits.

                                                                During the Awards Ceremony of the National Convention,
 Ashley Belleau addresses         Ashley Belleau promotes   the New Orleans Chapter was repeatedly honored. The
      the convention               the 2010 Convention      Chapter received the Chapter Activity Award for our overall
                                      in New Orleans        Chapter activities, The Outstanding Newsletter Award for The
                                                            Advocate, and three Presidential Citation Awards for the 17th
                                                            Annual Rubin Symposium, the “Bankruptcy and Consumer
                                                            Law for Nonspecialists” seminar, and the “Copyright and
                                                            Creativity” program.

                                                                The convention also marked the opportunity to promote
                                                            the 2010 National Convention which will be held in New
                                                            Orleans at The Ritz Carlton in the French Quarter. The 2010
                                                            Convention will culminate with the Presidential Installation
                                                            Ceremony during which New Orleans Chapter Director Ashley
                                                            Belleau will be sworn in as National President.

    Patrick O’Keefe, Ashley Belleau, Virginia Schlueter,
          Stevan Dittman and Matthew Moreland

                   Save The Date
                                     for the
           2010 NatioNal CoNveNtioN
           iN New orleaNs, louisiaNa
                September 23 – 25, 2010
       An exciting lineup of CLe Seminars and networking events
             are in the works, so mark your calendars now.

               Advance sponsorships are also available.
     For more information, contact Camille Zeller at 504-589-7990

Advocate                                                                                                               13
                                                Trials & TribulaTions
In re FEMA Trailer Formaldehyde MDL, 07 -1873, Section                tactics on a disputed plumbing debt. The plaintiff claimed the
N (Jury trial held September 14-24, 2009.)                            agency, in its efforts to collect the disputed debt, had threatened
                                                                      to have him arrested and to have a lien place on his property. He
Products liability and Negligence                                     also claimed the agency was not registered as a debt collector
                                                                      in violation of state law, and that it had used a business alias in
This was the first of several bellwether trials in the Multi-         violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA).
District Litigation concerning formaldehyde exposure in trailers      As a result of these tactics, the plaintiff alleged that he suffered
provided by FEMA to disaster victims. In this case, Alana             anxiety and depression. The agency disputed the allegations as
Alexander claimed she and her minor son were harmed by                well as the causal connection between the alleged acts and the
exposure to formaldehyde fumes while living in a travel trailer       injuries claimed.
provided by FEMA as emergency housing in the aftermath
of Hurricane Katrina. Before trial, the Court dismissed the           After one hour of deliberations, the jury rendered a verdict for
son’s claims against the government as time-barred under              the plaintiff, finding the agency had violated the FDCPA. But
the 2 year statutes of limitations in the Federal Torts Claims        the jury awarded no damages.
Act; Alexander then voluntarily dismissed her claims against
FEMA. The defendants at trial were Gulf Stream Coach,                 Huey v. Super-Fresh/Sav-A-Center, Inc., 07-1169, Section I,
Inc., the manufacturer of the trailer, and Fluor Enterprises, the     1 (Jury trial held July 13, 2009.)
contractor that installed the trailer on plaintiffs’ property. The
plaintiffs maintained Gulf Stream was liable because the trailer      Breach of Lease/Misrepresentation/Insurance
was “unreasonably dangerous” under the Louisiana Product
Liability Act. They claimed Fluor was liable based on its             Hurricane Katrina damaged a supermarket building leased to
hauling and installation of the trailer. In addition to denying       Sav-A-Center. The lessors of the building sued Sav-A-Center
liability, defendants maintained that neither of the plaintiffs had   and its guarantor for bad faith breach of the lease and wrongful
suffered compensable injuries while living in the trailer.            deprivation of insurance proceeds related to the building
                                                                      damage, seeking to recover past due rent, insurance premiums,
The jury rendered a verdict for the defendants. The jury              real estate taxes, and forbearance fees that plaintiffs paid its
found that the trailers were not “unreasonably dangerous” in          mortgage holder. The lessors also sued Sav-A-Center’s insurer
construction and that Fluor had not acted negligently.                for damages and penalties under Louisiana Revised Statutes
                                                                      Title 22 Sections 658 and 1220.
Potter v. TECO Marine Serices, LLC, 08-294, Section L                 The jury returned a verdict for the lessors on their claims of
(Jury trial held August 10-13, 2009.)                                 negligent misrepresentation and abuse of rights. The award
                                                                      was $1.165 million. The Court then sequestered the award in
Maritime/Personal Injury                                              a related matter filed by the lessors’ mortgage holder. As to the
                                                                      insurer, the jury found it had not been provided with satisfactory
A member of the crew of a barge claimed he was injured when           proof of loss and thus was not liable under either Sections 658
he fell off a ladder while sanding and painting the vessel. He        or 1220 of Title 22.
sued the barge owner for the injuries on claims of negligence
and unseaworthiness to recover medical expenses, lost wages,          Motharam, Inc. v. Scottsdale Insurance Co., 07-4499,
and pain and suffering. The barge owner maintained that the           Section R (Jury trial held June 22-24.)
crew member had failed to use the ladder properly, and further
that the plaintiff’s injuries were limited to aggravation of an       Insurance/Bad Faith
existing injury, and that the plaintiff was capable of returning to
work and therefore had failed to mitigate his damages.                The owner of a building on the corner of Royal and Canal
                                                                      Streets sued its insurer claiming the insurer’s tender for wind-
Following a three day trial, the jury found each party at fault       related damage due to Hurricane Katrina was insufficient.
in equal measure. The jury awarded $15,000 in future medical          The building owner maintained, among other things, a Jack
expense, $40,000 in lost wages, and $125,000 in future wages.         Daniels billboard mounted on the building had acted as a sail
                                                                      during Hurricane Katrina and pulled the front façade loose.
Neyland v. Balsano & Gersh & Associates, Inc., 08-4431,               The insurer, which had already made a tender on the claim,
Section A (Jury trial held August 10, 2009.)                          maintained that the uncompensated portion of the damage was
                                                                      either pre-existing or unrelated to the wind claim.
Fair Debt Collections Practices Act
                                                                      The jury rendered a verdict for the insurer, finding that the
A debt collection agency was sued for alleged illegal collection      insurer owned no additional funds under the policy.

14                                                                                                                            Advocate
                                      Trials & TribulaTions (conT’d)
Angela King, M.D. v. University Healthcare L.C., 08-1060,           United States of America v. Akasi Lee, et al., 08-0148,
Section S (Jury trial held July 27-31, 2009.)                       Section S (Jury trial held August 31, 2009.)

Title VII/Equal Pay                                                 Medicaid Fraud

A former anesthesiologist at Tulane University Hospital sued        A New Beginning of New Orleans entered a provider agreement
the hospital claiming she worked considerably more hours            to provide personal care services to eligible recipients meeting
than male anesthesiologists when she returned to work soon          the medical necessity requirements for Medicaid’s Early and
after Hurricane Katrina and for several months thereafter.          Periodic Screening, Diagnosis and Treatment Program. The
She alleged that the hospital had discriminated against her         purpose of the program was to prevent institutionalization of the
on the basis of her sex, retaliated against her by refusing to      recipients by providing personal care services in their homes.
negotiate a new employment agreement and by terminating her         Akasia Lee was the owner of A New Beginning and assigned
employment, violated the Equal Pay Act by not compensating          staff to provide personal care services to children who were
her on the same basis as male anesthesiologists for the same        unable to care for themselves. The grand jury charged Akasia
work, breached an alleged oral contract that she would be paid      Lee, Queban Lee, Una Favorite Brown, Melinda Langley,
at an hourly rate for the excess hours that she worked after        and Ernestine Girod with conspiracy to execute a scheme to
Hurricane Katrina, and violated the Louisiana Unpaid Wages          defraud Medicaid by creating false documentation establishing
Statute by not paying her an “excess hours bonus” that she had      that the personal-care services were being performed to
earned by working the excess hours. The hospital denied that        qualified Medicaid recipients, and, as to Ernestine Girod
it had engaged in any discrimination, retaliation, or unequal       and Una Favorite Brown, making false statements to agents
pay, and further denied that an oral contract existed or could      of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the United States
exist when the written employment agreement contained an            Department of Health and Human Services. The total amount
“integration clause,” and denied that it had promised bonus         allegedly involved was $3.9 million. Akasia Lee and Queban
was “wages” for purposes of the Louisiana statute.                  Lee pleaded guilty and testified at trial. Una Favorite Brown,
                                                                    Melinda Langley, and Ernestine Girod proceeded to trial before
The jury rendered a verdict for the plaintiff and awarded           a jury.
plaintiff $32,700 on her Equal Pay Act claim. The court
awarded an additional $32,700 as liquidated damages under           The jury found all three defendants guilty of a conspiracy. Una
the Equal Pay Act. The jury also found the hospital liable for      Favorite Brown was found guilty of health care fraud and of
unpaid wages under the Louisiana statute. The jury returned         making false statements. Melinda Langley was found guilty
a verdict for defendant on plaintiff’s Title VII and breach of      of two counts of health care fraud and not guilty of the three
contract claims.                                                    remaining counts. Ernestine Girod was found guilty of health
                                                                    care fraud and of making false statements.
Catcor Services, Inc. v. Plaskett et al., 07-3672, Section J
(Bench trial held August 10, 2009.)                                 United States v. Mose Jefferson, 08-085, Section S (Jury trial
                                                                    held August 10-21, 2009.)
Breach of Contract
                                                                    Bribery Conspiracy, Bribery, Money Laundering Conspiracy,
The plaintiff wired money at the instruction of its consultant      Obstruction of Justice
to a shipyard as a deposit for the construction of a barge. The
plaintiff later discovered the defendants had no intention of       In an indictment, the grand jury charged Mose Jefferson with
constructing the barge, and that the plaintiff’s money had been     one count of conspiring to commit
applied to another account. The defendants refused to return        bribery in connection with a school board program receiving
the money. The plaintiff brought suit against its consultant, the   federal funds, three counts of bribery of a school board member,
shipyard, and a third party whose account was credited with         one count of money laundering conspiracy, and two counts of
some of the plaintiff’s funds, on ground of breach of contract,     obstruction of justice.
fraud, conversion, unfair trade practices, tortuous interference
with a contract, and unjust enrichment.                             The jury returned a verdict of guilty on two counts of bribery
                                                                    of an agent receiving federal funds, and on the two counts of
Following a bench trial, the Court held that all defendants         obstruction of justice, but acquitted on the conspiracy charge
were liable to plaintiff for repayment of deposit ($385,000.00),    and one count of bribery and the money laundering count.
consulting fee ($75,153.98), Naval architect fee ($48,000.00),
and attorney’s fees (to be determined). The Court also awarded
prejudgment interest at Louisiana’s legal rate.

 Advocate                                                                                                                       15
Federal Bar Association                                                                           FIRST CLASS MAIL
                                                                                                   U.S. POSTAGE
New Orleans Chapter                                                                                    PAI D
c/o Stevan C. Dittman                                                                              PERMIT NO. 665
Chapter President                                                                                 NEW ORLEANS, LA
500 Poydras St., Room 364
New Orleans, LA 70130
Interested in becoming a member of
the Federal Bar Association?
Federal Bar Association
1220 North Fillmore St., Suite 444
Arlington, VA 22201
(571) 481-9100
Fax (571) 481-9090
Membership Chair
Eric R. Nowak
c/o Attorney Conference Center
500 Poydras Street, Room 364
Hale Boggs Federal Building
New Orleans, LA 70130
(504) 589-7990
Membership fee includes both national and
chapter membership in the FBA. You can apply
online at
Editorial Board: WEndy Hickok roBinson, douglas MoorE and cElEstE coco-EWing
                                     and monitor our website,, for exact dates.
                                          Be sure to check future issues of the Advocate
                            September 23-25, 2010 .......... 2010 Annual Meeting in New Orleans
                                                 December 9, 2009 .......... Last Chance CLE
                                                December 7, 2009 .......... Federal State CLE
                                               December 2, 2009 .......... YLD Holiday Party
                     November 20, 2009 .......... Malcolm Monroe Federal Practice Seminar
                                 November 12, 2009 .......... Annual Federal Judges’ Reception
                                           October 27, 2009 .......... CLE Seminar - E-Filing
                                                 will present the following events:
                                     The New Orleans Chapter and its Younger Lawyers’ Division
                                 SAVE THE DATES FOR UPCOMING EVENTS:

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