This past September 12th our very own Deontrinelle A. Green, was in attendance for the Martinet Legal Society of Louisiana Annual Gala. This year’s event was a Jazz Brunch and Silent Auction held at the beautiful Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans. Music was provided by the Kyle Roussel Trio with Master of Ceremonies Brandon Davis and current GNO President, Cashauna Hill welcoming guests. The event also honors Chief Judge Carl E. Stewart, United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit with a Lifetime Achievement Award.

Congratulations to all the recipients!

Ernest N. Morial Award presented to a judge who has been a “pacesetter” – Judge Clare Jupiter, Orleans Parish Civil District Court.

P. Tureaud Award presented to a GNO Martinet member who has been very active in the local bar and/the state bar association – Rachael D. Johnson, The Hartford Financial Service Group, Inc.

Earl J. Amedee Award presented to a member of the community who has advanced the cause of justice – Norris Henderson, Voice of the Ex-Offender (V.O.T.E.) 

The Society’s objectives were to encourage interchange of ideas, promote legal scholarship, advance the science of jurisprudence, promote the administration of justice, uphold the order and ethics of the courts and the profession of law, and promote the welfare of the legal profession in Louisiana.

The Society is named after Louis A. Martinet, who was the first Black graduate of Straight University Law School in 1875. In addition, he was an editor, doctor and teacher. In 1891, he organized the Citizen’s Committee to offer legal resistance to the Separate Car of Law of Louisiana, which led to his role as the key strategist in the Plessy v. Ferguson case. Because Martinet and R.L. Desdunes, various Black attorneys mobilized the community efforts, shaped the case and edited a key document in the appellate process.

Other Black attorneys practicing in Louisiana during Martinets era included: C. Clay Morgan, Louis A. Bell, Thomas Morris Chester, Eugene Luscy, R.L. Desdunes, Robert Brown Elliot, Thomas de Saille Tucker, Pinckney Benton, Stewart Pinchback, John Francis Patty, Rene C. Pierce, Charles Robertson and Frank B. Smith.

On May 13, 1957 The Times-Picayune printed an article announcing the organization of the Louis A. Martinet Legal Society of Louisiana. The founders were: Earl J. Amedee, Israel M. Augustine, Louis Berry, Lionel Collins, Robert F. Collins, Nils R. Douglas, Lolis E. Elie, Norman C. Francis, Benjamin J. Johnson, Alvin Jones, Vance B. LaCour, Ernest N. Morial, Revius O. Ortique, Jr., JT Powell, James Smith, A.P. Tureaud, Freddie Warren and Lawrence Wheeler. According to the article, A.P. Tureaud was elected president of the statewide organization, as well as president of the New Orleans chapter. Other state officers included Earl J. Amedee (Financial Secretary) Vance B. LaCour (Corresponding Secretary) and TJ Powell (Treasurer). The New Orleans chapter’s leadership also included Earl Amedee and Benjamin Johnson.

Today, there are over 600 African American attorneys, judges and other elected officials in the greater New Orleans area. In 1998, the New Orleans Martinet Legal Foundation was incorporated as the 501©(3) arm of the organization. Through the Foundation, Martinet awards scholarships to law school students and participates or sponsors other community projects.

The previous information was taken from the event program and the image above is from the Martinet GNO Chapter website.



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