John J. Pace’s law offices in Baton Rouge and Livingston, LA provide the following links and resources for people seeking information regarding car accidents and other types of personal injury, including mass torts and class actions, as well as DWI and criminal law in Louisiana. We hope that this information is helpful to you. If you have other questions or need to speak with an attorney about a criminal defense or a personal injury or wrongful death matter, please contact John J. Pace for a consultation today.
Mass Torts/Class Actions
The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (the MDL Panel) determines whether civil actions pending in different federal districts should be coordinated by or consolidated in one federal district. Current MDLs pending in Louisiana include Deepwater Horizon cases and several products liability cases, including Vioxx litigation and defective Chinese drywall.
The Class Action Fairness Act of 2005 is a federal law which places many types of class action cases under federal jurisdiction and addresses features of class action lawsuits such as coupon settlements and attorney fees.
Personal Injury Resources
The Louisiana State Bar Association publishes consumer pamphlets which may be of interest to someone unfamiliar with the legal process of a civil lawsuit. Helpful brochures include The Judicial System: How it Works and Preparing to be a Witness: Including Deposition and Trial Testimony. A Spanish version of the former brochure is available as well.
The Louisiana Bar Association also publishes a brochure on Automobile Insurance, covering important topics such as liability insurance, uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage, medical payments coverage (Med Pay) and rental coverage.
The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development can provide you with updated information on construction projects and traffic delays, travel maps, and motorist assistance patrol services.
The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) is responsible for the nation’s highway infrastructure. One DOT agency, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), provides research and data as well as laws and regulations on vehicle safety, including child safety car seats, and information on safe driving issues such as texting while driving and other forms of distracted driving.
The arm of DOT responsible for regulating the trucking industry is the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). FMCSA regulations cover hours of service for truck drivers and required inspection and maintenance routines for truckers and trucking companies. Violations of FMCSA regulations, which can sometimes be uncovered after a truck accident, may be valuable evidence of negligence on the part of the truck driver or trucking company.
Find educational materials and information to help prevent crashes and minimize injuries from auto accidents at the website of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.
Learn about initiatives to change state and federal laws to make driving safer and reduce injuries with the Advocates for Highway Safety.
Funded by automobile insurance companies and associations, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety looks for ways to reduce injury, death and property damage losses from car accidents.
The National Safety Council uses research, education and advocacy to prevent injuries and deaths on the road due to distracted driving and other bad or negligent driving.
Louisiana Criminal Law Resources
The Louisiana State Bar Association pamphlet on The Judicial System: How it Works contains a paragraph describing aspects of the process of a criminal case, including charging documents, indictments, testimony and the presumption of innocence.
If you have a friend or family member who has been incarcerated in a state facility, visit the website of the Louisiana Department of Corrections to locate an inmate or find a correctional facility. This website will provide you with information about visitation guidelines, telephone contact, and how to send money to an inmate through JPay.
Visit the Criminal Records Department of the East Baton Rouge Parish Clerk of Court to access criminal records or apply to have a record expunged.
The mission of the Louisiana Board Of Pardons And Parole is to determine the time and conditions of release for eligible offenders. The Board rules on parole release as well as revocation. On their website you can access the Board’s meeting schedule, location and general information, and dockets and decisions for parole hearings, revocation hearings and pardon hearings.
Federal Criminal Law Resources
Headed by the United States Attorney General, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) is the central agency for the enforcement of federal laws. The DOJ website includes an overview of Federal Criminal Law, describing the mission of various federal agencies and their jurisdiction, including violations of federal criminal statutes, interstate and border offenses, and felonies that occur on Indian lands.
The United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is the arm of the DOJ responsible for enforcement of the nation’s drug laws, found mostly in the Controlled Substances Act. The DEA website includes a downloadable chart of Federal Drug Trafficking Penalties, with ranges of prison sentences and fines depending upon the type and quantity of drug involved, any previous offenses, and other factors.
The DOJ’s Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco Firearms and Explosives (ATF) focuses on violent criminals, criminal organizations, the illegal use and trafficking of firearms, acts of terrorism, and acts involving arson, bombings and explosives.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has jurisdiction over more than 200 categories of federal law, including fraud and white collar crime; violent crime including bank robbery, gangs, and online predators; and major thefts, including art theft, jewelry theft, cargo theft, retail theft and vehicle theft.
The United States Sentencing Commission was established to create the Federal Sentencing Guidelines to generate uniformity in sentencing among all the federal judges and ensure that convicted offenders received “the appropriate form and severity of punishment.”
The Louisiana Office of Motor Vehicles is responsible for licensing drivers, as well as the suspension and revocation of driver’s licenses for DWI or other violations.