GL-og, A Law Blog

Removing the Mystery from the Legal Process

Your Occupational License

Adrian LaPeyronnie - Thursday, April 03, 2014
Q. What do the following occupations have in common?

Accountant, Acupuncturist, Addictions Counselor, Arborist, Architect, Athletic Trainer, Attorney, Appraiser, Auctioneer, Audiologist, Barber, Court Reporter, Chiropractor, Contractor, Cosmetologist, Dentist, Dental Hygienist, Dietitian/Nutritionist, Electrologist, Embalmer, Emergency Medical Technician, Engineer, Exercise Physiologist, Florist, Funeral Director, Gambling Counselor, Home Inspector, Interior Designer, Jockey, Landscape Architect, Landscape Horticulturalist, Licensed Practical Nurse, Licensed Professional Counselor, Marriage and Family Therapist, Message Therapist, Midwife, Registered Nurse, Nursing Facility Administrator, Occupational Therapist, Optometrist, Perfusionsit, Pharmacist, Phlebotomist, Physical Therapist, Physician, Physician’s Assistant, Plumber, Podiatrist, Polysomnography Tech, Private Investigator, Psychologist, Radiologic Technologist, Real Estate Appraiser, Real Estate Agent, Real Estate Broker, Repossession Agent, Respiratory Therapist, Sanitarian, Security Guard, Social Worker, Speech Language Pathologist, Surveyor, Teacher, Veterinarian, Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor,  Wholesale Drug Distributor of Legend Drug or Devices?

A. Each of these occupations is licensed by the state of Louisiana.  

Q. What do the following state boards have in common?

Board of Certified Accountants, Board of Medical Examiners, Addictive Disorder Regulatory Authority, Horticulture Commission, Board of Architectural Examiners, Board of Medical Examiners, Louisiana State Bar Association, Real Estate Appraisal State Board of Certification, Auctioneers Licensing Board, Board of Examiner for Speech Pathology and Audiology, Board of Barber Examiners, Cemetery Board, Board of Examiners of Certified Shorthand Court Reporters,  Board of Chiropractic Examiners, Board for Contractors, Board of Cosmetology, Board of Dentistry,  Board of Examiners in Dietetics and Nutrition, Board of Electrolysis Examiners, Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors, Office of Public Health/Bureau of EMS, Professional Engineering and Land Surveying Board, Board of Medical Examiners, Horticulture Commission, Board of Home Inspectors, Board of Interior Designers, Racing Commission, Board of Practical Nurse Examiners, Board of Nursing, Licensed Professional Counselor Board of Examiners, Board of Massage Therapy, Board of Medical Examiners, Board of Examiners of Nursing Facilities Administrators, Board of Nursing, Board of Optometry Examiners, Board of Pharmacy, Board of Physical Therapy Examiners,  State Plumbing Board, Board of Private Investigators, Board of Examiners of Psychologists, Board of Radiologic Technology Examiners, Real Estate Appraisal State Board of Certification, Real Estate Commission, Board of Nursing, Office of Financial Institutions, Board of Examiners for Sanitarians,  Board of Private Security Examiners, Board of Social Work Examiners, Department of Education,  Board of Veterinarian Examiners, Licensed Professional Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors Board of Examiners and Board of Wholesale Drug Distributors?

A. These are occupational licensing boards for the state of Louisiana.

 

A list of the Louisiana licensing boards and the respective occupations licensed by these boards can be found here. While this listing is thorough, it does not represent all of the Louisiana agencies and Louisiana commissions that regulate and license various occupations.

If you receive any notice of complaint against you from the state board which regulates your occupation, it is best to seek the services of an attorney .  Complaints are not to be taken likely, as they may affect your ability to earn a living.  An occupational license is your property right, and it may not be denied, amended, suspended, or revoked without due process.  You should seek out an attorney skilled and practicing in the area of administrative law upon receipt of any notice of complaint to protect your occupational license, that is, your license by which you earn a living. 

While the Constitution of the United States of America and the Constitution of the State of Louisiana provide protections to you and your property right in your license, in Louisiana there are two other possible sources of law providing both substantive due process and procedural due process to you when your occupational license is at issue.  The first source of law providing you protection is the Louisiana Administrative Procedure Act.  This Act provides a general framework for the regulation and licensing of occupations regulated by the state of Louisiana. The second source of law protecting your rights to your professional license are the  law, rules and regulations of the specific state board, commission or agency regulating your occupation.  When a state board, commission or agency has its own particular law, rule or regulation, it will supercede the provisions of the Louisiana Administrative Procedure Act in most instances.

In future posts, I will discuss legal protections that you may have concerning occupation license application, occupational license renewal, occupational license amendment, occupational license suspension and occupational license revocation.

 

Greenberg & LaPeyronnie is not your lawyer, and therefore the information contained in this blog post is simply informational, not legal advice. However, if you have any questions or are seeking legal advice, please call us at 504-366-8118 to set up a consultation today. 

What Is Mediation and How It Can Help You Settle Your Lawsuit

David Greenberg - Friday, March 21, 2014
The mediation process is very helpful to help resolve many types of lawsuits. Mediation is a form of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR). The ADR movement exploded in earnest in the mid-to-late 1970s and early 1980s.

What is mediation?

Mediation is the process of attempting to settle lawsuits or other disputes by use of a third party, a mediator, who acts as a link between the parties to assist in negotiations and facilitate resolution of the lawsuit or dispute. Mediators receive special training teaching them how to be effective mediators. Prior to mediation occurring, the attorneys for the parties to the lawsuit usually prepare a position paper giving relevant information to the mediator to present the facts to him and set forth the nature of the lawsuit.

Court ordered mediation.


Court ordered mediation can be conducted by the trial judge, a magistrate judge, or hearing officer. Court ordered mediation tends to be less successful than voluntary mediation for the simple reason that it is a process which is ordered to occur as opposed to the parties voluntarily agreeing to participate. In court ordered mediation, the judge, magistrate judge, or hearing officer leading the mediation suggests possible ways that the case should resolve itself without the need for a full trial before a judge or a jury. The parties to the lawsuit have the right to accept the recommendations of the mediator, reject the recommendations of the mediator, or modify them, and to settle the case on any terms to which they agree.

Voluntary mediation.

Voluntary mediation is a process where the parties voluntarily employ someone to act as a mediator. There are many firms which employ mediators in southeast and south-central Louisiana. This mediator is an attorney who is paid to act as a neutral third party, hear the case from the parties to the litigation, and suggests ways that the lawsuit may be resolved. There is a mediation date scheduled and on this date, the parties and their attorney’s meet with the mediator, usually at his office. The mediator’s job is to point out the strengths and weaknesses of each party’s case and to make recommendations as to how to resolve a case based upon these observations. Once again, the parties to the lawsuit have the right to accept the recommendations of the mediator, reject the recommendations of the mediator, or modify them. In voluntary mediation, the process involves parties submitting offers and counteroffers back and forth until the parties reach have a deal in place settling their case, or reach an impasse. If the case is settled, it is confirmed in writing by the parties to the lawsuit and their attorneys at the end of the mediation session. The actual settlement of the case usually occurs within 30 days of the mediation.

When is mediation useful?

Voluntary mediation tends to be useful when the discovery phase of a lawsuit has occurred and the parties need an independent third-party to review the facts and offer suggestions as to how a case may be settled. Many courts order mediation. The author has found that court-ordered mediation is not as successful based upon the demands placed upon court personnel and further, that the parties are ordered to participate in the process, i.e., it is mandatory. Voluntary mediation tends to be more successful as the parties are participating in the process voluntarily and they have the undivided attention of the mediator whom they are paying directly to assist them to attempt to resolve the case.

Statistics show that approximately 80 to 85% of the cases in which the voluntary mediation process is employed, are resolved either at the mediation session or shortly thereafter.

Mediation is simply another tool used by trial attorneys to attempt to resolve cases for the benefit of their clients.

 

Greenberg & LaPeyronnie is not your lawyer, and therefore the information contained in this blog post is simply informational, not legal advice. However, if you have any questions or are seeking legal advice, please call us at 504-366-8118 to set up a consultation today. 

Could Your Facebook Account Lose Your Case?

Ann Thompson - Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Could your Facebook account lose your case? Absolutely. Both I and other attorneys at Greenberg & LaPeyronnie have personally won several cases by strategically using the other party's Facebook account information against him or her.

 

Almost everyone is on Facebook these days. Most people know to check their settings and keep their profiles private, especially if they are a party to a lawsuit. And never "friend" opposing parties or opposing counsel. (One would think that would be obvious, but....) But should you be on Facebook at all, if you are involved in litigation? Attorneys are routinely using Facebook pictures and posts as evidence in trials. Could this woman be you?

 

Examples of Real Cases

 

Although it can happen in any case, domestic lawsuits and personal injury cases are the most likely candidates for Facebook abuse. In a domestic case involving false allegations of abuse, I used the alleged victim’s Facebook post stating that she would do or say “anything” to get back at her ex-boyfriend, our client. Her claim was dismissed. I am aware of personal injury cases which have been “zero-ed” when a supposedly severely injured party was tagged in Facebook pictures carrying his child on his shoulders or enjoying beers with friends and family. Recently, a Florida court rescinded a settlement of $80,000.00 after the plaintiff's daughter violated a confidentiality clause by bragging about the settlement on Facebook. If you are a plaintiff in a personal injury suit or you have an ongoing domestic case, it is probably in your best interest to shut down your Facebook profile altogether.

 

What Can Be Produced

 

The good news for you: Facebook is notorious for failing to respond to subpoenas (unless, of course, the requesting party is in California or domesticates the subpoena in California, is in law enforcement, or is the federal government). But that won't stop the court from ordering you to download your account information in full - including your password, pictures, and private messages - and turn it over to the other side. And if you don't comply with that order? Or get caught deleting portions of that account? Well, things might look pretty grim for your case.

 

Deleting or Deactivating Your Account

 

What if you to get rid of your account altogether? Keep in mind that permanently deleting a Facebook account may count as destruction or spoliation of evidence. (Although Facebook may internally retain some or all of your information; given their screwy privacy policies, no one really knows.) And deactivating a Facebook account doesn't eliminate your account; it just prohibits access to it, until you log back in. 

 

What to Do

 

But hope is not lost. If you don't have an active Facebook account, the other side is less likely to want to obtain your records. And they must have some reason to do so - some courts have ruled that a "fishing expedition" to see what they might find is not enough. If you've been smart, haven't posted anything about your lawsuit, haven't lied to opposing counsel, and your privacy settings are sky-high, there will be little reason for opposing counsel to request your information, and little reason for the judge to order you to produce it.

 

Long Story Short

 

Keep your profile as private as possible, but assume everything on Facebook is totally public; deactivate (not delete) your account if you are a party to a lawsuit; don't lie or exaggerate; and don't post anything - ever - about the subject of your case.

 

Want more information? Start herehere, and here.

 

Greenberg & LaPeyronnie is not your lawyer, and therefore the information contained in this blog post is simply informational, not legal advice. However, if you have any questions or are seeking legal advice, please call us at 504-366-8118 to set up a consultation today.