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Robert Landry Co-Authors Book on Louisiana DWI Law

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Local attorneys Parker Layrisson and Robert Landry have authored the first book ever dedicated to explaining Louisiana DWI law. The book, entitled DWI Handbook: The Ultimate Guide to Louisiana Drunk Driving Law, was published by Word Association Publishers of Tarentum, Pennsylvania.

“This book is the result of nearly a decade practicing Louisiana DWI law and approximately five years of researching, writing, and re-writing our manuscript” said Layrisson. “Robert and I are very proud of this product. DWI Handbook is the first reference guide of its kind and it’s far more comprehensive than my previous DWI book.”

DWI Handbook provides an authoritative, insider’s perspective of Louisiana DWI law, including practical guidance in handling cases. In addition to thorough legal analysis and commentary of the elements of the crime and related statutes, the book provides guidance for nearly all aspects of a DWI case: traffic stops and arrests, field sobriety tests and chemical breath testing, criminal penalties and prosecutions, driver’s license sanctions, negotiating a plea bargain, and clearing the criminal record of a DWI charge. It also includes information on mistakes to avoid, choosing an attorney, attorney-client confidentiality and privilege, and much more.

The book retails for $19.95 (paperback) or $29.95 (hardcover) and it will soon be available for sale on amazon.com. The authors also plan to donate copies for free public use to local libraries.

http://www.amazon.com/DWI-Handbook-Ultimate-Louisiana-Driving/dp/1595719334

Layrisson and Landry dedicated the book to their wives, Brandie and Sarah.

Layrisson is an attorney with law offices in Baton Rouge, New Orleans, and Ponchatoula. He is a former city prosecutor, state assistance attorney general, and federal judicial law clerk who served as editor-in-chief of the Louisiana Law Review. He has received Martindale-Hubbell’s highest available peer review rating for legal abilities and ethical standards (AV Preeminent) and Avvo’s highest available rating (10.0 Superb). He also earned the Lexis-Nexis Lawyers.com Client Distinction Award and the Avvo Client Choice Award. Layrisson has taught DWI law, professionalism, and ethics to attorneys and judges in various continuing educations courses. In addition to this book, Layrisson has written or co-authored another DWI book, an auto accident law blog, and numerous other legal articles. He can be reached by telephone at 985-467-9525 or online at LouisianaLegalLeader.com.

Landry is a Ponchatoula native and longtime Hammond resident whose law practice is now based in Houma, Louisiana. He graduated from LSU Law Center and has been in private practice since. Prior to attending law school, Mr. Landry received two undergraduate degrees and a Master of Business Administration from Southeastern Louisiana University. He also received a minor in Spanish and is fluent in the language. Mr. Landry is a member of the National College of DUI Defense and has attended NCDD’s DUI Defense Seminar at Harvard Law School. Mr. Landry practices DWI defense throughout southern Louisiana. He can be reached by telephone at (985) 223-3213 or online at LandryLegal.com.

“We could not have done this alone,” concluded Layrisson. “Robert and I were blessed with an exceptional editor, Emily Mayeaux, a great cover artist, Lane Grigas, an outstanding publisher, Tom Costello, excellent law office coworkers, and most of all supportive families. DWI Handbook is a team effort from cover to cover.”

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Pre Trial Diversion in Louisiana

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Pre-Trial Diversion, also referred to as Pre-Trial Intervention (“PTI”), programs allow people charged with a crime such as DWI to avoid having a conviction on their record by their participation in the program.  The person must qualify for the PTI program, enroll in the program, and fulfill all of the requirements of the program in order to avoid prosecution for the crime.  Many District Attorneys and prosecutors across the State of Louisiana now conduct some type of Pre-Trial Diversion program (PTI) and include DWI in these programs.  These programs are at the discretion of the local prosecutor and, therefore, differ greatly in their requirements and characteristics from one jurisdiction, city or parish, to another.  The only way to determine if a PTI program is available is to ask the District Attorney or prosecutor.

 PTI programs are usually only available to people who have little or no prior criminal history.  In the case of DWI, they are almost always only available for first time offenders who have no other criminal convictions and have never been previously charged with DWI.  The idea behind the programs is that not every charge should result in criminal prosecution, and that first time offenders can be screened through these programs and kept from returning to the judicial system in the future.  PTI programs have been praised for their success in dealing with first time offenders in Louisiana and for their help in reducing the costs and resources incurred in the prosecution of minor crimes.  The PTI program concept is simple.  First, a person is arrested and charged with DWI.  Next, the person is offered or asks to participate in the program.  The DWI charge remains pending until the person completes the requirements of the PTI program. 

 If the person satisfies all the requirements of the program and finishes the probation period without committing any other crimes, the charges will be dismissed and the conviction will not appear on that person’s record.  If, however, the person commits another offense during the probation period or fails to meet the requirements of the program, the prosecutor can and often will revoke the participation in the program and require that person to face those charges in court.  For this reason, it is important that anyone who enrolls in a PTI program take the requirements very seriously and do everything required. 

 As stated above, successful completion of the program will result in dismissal of the charges and no conviction will appear on the person’s record.  The arrest for the charges will still appear on the person’s criminal record, but this can be easily removed by having an attorney file a motion for expungement of the arrest record with the court.  A person who completes at PTI program will automatically have the right to expunge the arrest of the charge.

 PTI programs can be highly beneficial for first time offenders and are a useful tool when deciding how to proceed in certain cases.  Although they have strict requirements, the benefits far outweigh the costs in many cases.  It is important to know all the rights involved before making any important decisions.  A good Louisiana DWI attorney can guide a defendant through the process and explain the pros and cons of PTI programs as compared to other options such as taking a plea or fighting the charges in court.  Whether participation in a PTI program is beneficial will depend heavily on the facts of each particular case and can also have an impact on the status of a driver’s license.  It is always advisable to discuss each case with a Louisiana DWI attorney before making a decision regarding PTI. 

 Robert J. Landry is located in Houma, Louisiana and performs work in Terrebonne, Lafourche, Tangipahoa, St. Tammany and East Baton Rouge Parishes.

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Expungements in Louisiana

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    Expungement is the removal or destruction of a person’s criminal record.  Expungements can be beneficial to clients for a number of reasons.  Expungements and who is entitled to them is governed by statute in Louisiana.  The law regarding expungements is complex and has been changed regularly over the last few years.  It is very important for any criminal defendant to understand the law regarding expungements during every stage of the proceedings.  Decisions made at trial will have a direct affect on whether an arrest, charge, or conviction can be expunged in the future.  

    The law regarding misdemeanors and felonies differs somewhat, but can be explained in three separate categories.  First, arrests or charges where the defendant is never convicted.  Second, charges where a person is convicted, but pleads under a special statute that allows the charge to be set aside as an acquittal at a later date.  Third, charges where a person is convicted or pleads guilty.  Each category is treated differently when it comes to expungements, so it is important to understand the differences.

    When a person is arrested for a crime and is never convicted, they are generally entitled to expungement of the criminal record from all public records.  This type of expungement removes any record of the crime from public access and cannot be used by government entities in the future.  A person could be arrested but never convicted because the prosecutor declines to accept the charges, the person enters some type of Pre-Trial Diversion, the charges are dismissed prior to trial, or the charges are taken to trial and the person is acquitted.     
   

    The second category of charges subject to expungement involve guilty pleas under special statutes.  These statutes allow defendants to plead to their charges under these special statutes which will allow the conviction to be “set aside” after a certain period of time has passed and no other charges have been received.  Lastly, defendants who plead guilty to misdemeanor offenses or who are convicted after a trial are also allowed to expunge their charges if a number of years have passed and they have no other charges pending against them.  Felony convictions are generally not subject to expungement if they do not fall under the special statute mentioned above. 

    If a charge is subject to expungement, the process for filing is straightforward and can be completed within a few weeks.  If you would like more information, please contact us to set up an appointment.   
 
    Robert J. Landry is located in Houma, Louisiana and performs work in Terrebonne, Lafourche, Tangipahoa, St. Tammany and East Baton Rouge Parishes.

 

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Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

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            The costs of sexual harassment in the workplace to both employers and employees cannot be overstated.  Employers face the prospect of huge legal fees, settlements, judgments, and lost productivity due to claims of sexual harassment, regardless of the merit of claims.  Employees who are the victims of sexual harassment could suffer emotional distress, lose career opportunities, and be forced to litigate their claim for years.  For larger companies, the prospect of a judgment in Federal Court is even more daunting, as such judgments can include attorney’s fees which can easily reach hundreds of thousands, regardless of the amount of damages awarded. 

            Federal and state laws protect employees from unwanted sexual harassment in the workplace.  Liability under both Louisiana and Federal law may be based on either “quid pro quo” sexual harassment or “hostile work environment.”  “Quid pro quo” sexual harassment occurs when an employer or supervisor with the authority to do so makes a condition of employment contingent on a sexual favor.  This is the most common form or sexual harassment and is the one with which most employers are familiar.  “Hostile work environment” harassment can occur when an employee belongs to a protected group; they were subjected to unwelcome sexual harassment; the harassment was based on sex; the harassment affected a term, condition, or privilege of employment; and that the employer knew or should have known of the harassment and failed to take proper remedial action.  It is important to note that this sexual harassment does not have to be motivated by sexual desire, it merely requires a showing that members of one sex are exposed to disadvantageous terms and conditions of employment to which members of the other sex are not exposed.  Many employers may not even be aware that this type of harassment is actionable. 

                For these reasons, it is in both the interest of the employer and employees that every business has a sexual harassment policy.  A sexual harassment policy should be in writing and distributed to every employee with a signed receipt when each employee is hired.  A good sexual harassment policy should outline what is considered sexual harassment under state and Federal law and illustrate that such behavior is unacceptable.  Most importantly, the policy must contain provisions notifying employees of procedures for reporting sexual harassment to their superiors.  The policy should also contain provisions for notifying someone outside the management of the company in the case that the manager was the offender.  Finally, the company should make certain that when an employee reports sexual harassment that the claim is investigated and proper action is taken.  It is advisable that such investigations should be performed by an independent party such as an outside attorney. 

 

            Every employer, regardless of its size, should have an attorney draft a sexual harassment policy.  The existence of a sexual harassment policy can protect the employees of a company while at the same time shielding the employer from liability.  As long as a proper sexual harassment policy is in place and the procedures are followed under the policy, the employer is protected from liability under the sexual harassment laws. 

            In addition to a formal sexual harassment policy, employers can take other steps to protect their employees and shield themselves from liability to sexual harassment claims.  Every company should take steps to train their managers and supervisors on the implications of sexual harassment in the workplace and the procedures for dealing with such activity.  Employers can also obtain liability insurance which will pay for legal fees incurred when sexual harassment claims are made.  When such insurance policies are obtained, the insurance carrier will usually require that a proper sexual harassment policy is in place before providing coverage which is certainly an appropriate requirement.

            Robert Landry is experienced with all aspects of sexual harassment law.  Contact us today to schedule an appointment in Houma, Louisiana.

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Medicaid Asset Protection/Long Term Care

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Medicaid Asset Protection/Long Term Care

 Many families deal with the prospect of having a loved one enter a nursing home or long term care facility for the final years of life.  Making the decision to admit a family member into a nursing home is always difficult and the costs of such care can be prohibitive if paid out of pocket.  For that reason, most patients in nursing homes are receiving Medicaid Long Term Care benefits which pay for the services in the nursing home.  In order to qualify for Medicaid, a patient must meet a resource and income test which sets a maximum amount of resources and income a person can have in order to have their care paid for by Medicaid.  The resource and income tests are designed to make sure recipients of Medicaid Long Term Care benefits are poor and do not have funds or assets to pay for their own care.  If a patient does not meet the requirements, they will be required to use their own funds to pay for their care until they have depleted their resources to the point that they can meet the two tests.  There are a few exemptions or exceptions to the tests, most notably for a family home or the assets and income of a community spouse. 

 The current rules for Medicaid call for a five year “look back” period for donations made prior to entering a long term care facility.  This means that someone entering a nursing home cannot simply give away their assets prior to entering and have Medicaid pick up the bill.  Medicaid will penalize the patient for such activity and they will be barred from receiving long term care benefits for a period of time based on the value of the asset transferred.  Depending on the amount, the period could be for many years; therefore, it is important to speak to a qualified attorney before making any decisions regarding such asset transfers.   

 In order to avoid the possibility of Medicaid depleting the assets of a family member, proper planning must take place long before a decision is made to enter long term care.  Most families do not realize, or at least do not realize in time, that long term care will quickly eat away assets that were built over a lifetime.  The rules regarding Medicaid Long Term Care are complex and have been changed many times over the years.  With the ever increasing costs of healthcare, it is easy to see that more changes will be in store in the future.  However, proper planning can avoid these problems and give families piece of mind when they are forced to make difficult choices.