Content tagged “Lawyer”

Local law firm now accepting Bitcoin for payment

Local real estate attorney Bryan G. Jeansonne kicked off the new year with a new way of doing business. On Wednesday, Jeansonne's firm, Dore Jeansonne, began accepting the digital currency Bitcoin as a method of payment, along with more traditional modes of payment like credit cards and personal checks. "A lot of people find it easier to use than regular currency," says Jeansonne, explaining why his firm decided to begin accepting Bitcoin. For those unfamiliar with the technology, Bitcoin is a four-year-old electronic currency that in many ways functions like any other currency. It was created by a software developer and is accepted as payment by a growing number of merchants, both online and in the real world. What makes Bitcoin unique is that it is decentralized and no single institution controls the Bitcoin network. Jeansonne says for his clients there are a couple of potential advantages to using the digital currency. "There are a lot fewer fees than payment processing companies...

Ex-BP engineer convicted on one obstruction charge, acquitted on second

A former BP drilling engineer was convicted today of deleting text messages from his cellphone to obstruct a federal investigation of the company's massive 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Kurt Mix was found guilty on one charge and acquitted of a second charge. A federal jury deliberated for more than nine hours over three days before reaching the verdict on his case. The count of obstruction of justice carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Mix will be released on his present bond, and sentencing is scheduled for March 26. The Associated Press reports Mix hugged his friends and family members in the courtroom before leaving the courthouse hurriedly. "I'm only going to speak through counsel," he told one reporter trying to ask him a question. Trailing behind her brother in the courthouse lobby, Bridget Mix called the verdict "just unbelievable." "You can't wrap your head around any of it," she said. Prosecutors argued that the 52-year-old engineer...

Local lawyer recounts Supreme Court experience

Local attorney Phil Preis of Baton Rouge's Preis Gordon law firm was at the counsel's table Monday as the Supreme Court discussed a case that could impact compensation for Stanford Group victims. "I was about four feet from Justice [Stephen] Breyer," he says. "It was a wonderful experience. Our whole law firm went just to see it." Washington attorney Tom Goldstein handled oral arguments, though Preis Gordon helped prepare the briefs. Preis says the atmosphere was cordial, yet adversarial, and less formal than he expected. "Nobody really gets to make a presentation," he says. "As soon as we sat down, [the justices] started asking questions." Preis' clients want to sue firms that worked with Stanford, claiming those firms negligently aided the fraud, while the federal government says allowing a state class action would interfere with the SEC's enforcement powers. While the fraudulent Stanford CDs were not "covered securities" under the law, since they weren't backed by real...

Local attorney says '60 Minutes' coverage 'a little sensational,' but with 'some legitimate points'

Local personal injury attorney Gordon McKernan was relaxing with his family in front of a Disney World hotel room TV Sunday night when he saw a snippet from one of his firm's TV commercials in an episode of CBS's 60 Minutes. It was hardly a case of positive PR. The story, which also showed similar commercials from firms around the U.S., explored the rise of fraudulent disability claims nationwide and suggested one of the reasons more cases are being filed with the Social Security Administration is because of aggressive "trolling" by disability lawyers, who get a cut of the benefits if they're awarded. "We've got a system that is being gamed pretty well right now," Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Oklahoma, tells 60 Minutes. The report also spotlights the practice of a West Virginia law firm that made $70 million off disability claims last year, many of which were fraudulent, according to former employees...

Holding serve

There is reason for optimism among LSU Law Center graduates hitting the streets this year. Since 2010, as the economy has rebounded in the Capital Region and nationwide, job opportunities for LSU Law Center graduates have remained above 90%.