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Communications professor pens 'Courtroom Carnival'

October 14, 2011

Alexander signing her new book at the Society of Professional Journalists/Radio Television Digital News Association annual convention in September. Photo by Kevin Zansler.

New Orleans is world-renowned for taking the simple and mundane and turning it into a Carnival-like event, from parades to funerals and, yes, even to legal proceedings. Loyola University New Orleans School of Mass Communication associate professor and award-winning journalist S.L. Alexander has chronicled several of these colorful courtroom clashes in a new book, “Courtroom Carnival: Famous New Orleans Trials.”

The book focuses on a “who’s who” of Louisiana’s political and civic elite whose trials and tribulations captured widespread public attention. Featured are 10 of New Orleans’ most colorful characters, including four-time Louisiana governor Edwin Edwards, Popeyes Chicken founder Al Copeland, former Jefferson Parish Sheriff Harry Lee, long-time Orleans Parish District Attorney Harry Connick Sr., controversial New Orleans Police Department officer Antoine Saacks, and former state senate president Michael O’Keefe.

"Covering court cases might be seen by some as unexciting," said Alexander. "But these cases are highly entertaining, the result of colorful personalities involved in court proceedings taking place ‘The Louisiana Way.’"

Alexander will give a talk on “Courtroom Carnival” at the Louisiana Book Festival in Baton Rouge on Saturday, Oct. 29, from 9:45-10:15 a.m.in the Louisiana State Capitol House Committee Room 4, with a book signing immediately afterward.

Alexander will also join co-host Ted O'Brien of WRBH-FM's Writers Forum along with Susan Larson and Fred Kasten of WWNO-FM on a panel discussion "Speaking of Books," from 4-5 p.m. in House Committee Room 5.

Several former local journalists with Loyola ties collaborated with Alexander on “Courtroom Carnival,” including Charles Zewe, MA ‘03, Erin Bremer ‘06 and Jennifer John Block, MA ’07. Loyola University photographer Harold Baquet contributed several photos of news subjects from his days as a photojournalist. Distinguished educator Lynn Koppel and noted attorney Glenn Watts also contributed to the book.

For more information on how to order a book or to learn about upcoming book signings, go to “Courtroom Carnival.” To schedule an interview with Alexander, contact Matt Lambert in Loyola’s Office of Public Affairs at mlambert@loyno.edu or 504-861-5448.

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