Pro Bono

While the firm maintains a varied practice, representing both plaintiffs and defendants, it has continued to take at least one case per year, which it believes is in the best interest of the public. For over 20 years, we have exhibited a commitment to pro bono litigation, civil rights, and issues of public health and justice.
Post-Katrina Schoolbus by laffy4k (CC-BY-2.0)

Post-Katrina Schoolbus

Case Study:

Wallace v. Chertoff, No. 05-5519 (E.D.La.2006)

In the post-Katrina diaspora, New Orleans had no plans of holding mayoral elections...

This was primarily attributed to the fact that there was no way to contact more than 250,000 displaced voters residing outside of New Orleans. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) had refused to provide the names and addresses of voters to would-be candidates. In response to this, the firm filed and petitioned an injunction, forcing the federal government to enact a plan to allow displaced voters to not only vote by mail, but to receive information regarding the election. In a 2006 order signed by Judge Ivan Lemelle, the United States District Judge said, in reference to the work done by our firm:

"Due in large part to one of the three cases, state officials working with plaintiff-attorneys in that case made wide-reaching beneficial changes in election laws to ameliorate the impact from these storms on displaced registered voters. [...] For the first time in modern history, thousands of our registered voters were able to vote in a city election outside of the city limits. Despite argument that African-American voters would be less inclined to vote absentee than white voters, an overwhelming majority of absentee ballots were cast by African-American voters in this election. Moreover, the comparative percentages of early black-white ballots tracked voter registration rolls. These examples further evidence an extraordinary work in progress."

(Order and Reasons, April 21, 2006, pg. 5, Doc. 112)


The Honorable Ivan L. R. Lemelle.

Jesse Jackson by Warren K Lefler (Public Domain)

The Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, Sr., 1983.

Case Study:

Jackson v. Lousiana

In the late 1980s, Louisiana reacted to Jesse Jackson’s announced candidacy for the presidency in a manner that reflected the long and sordid history of racial discrimination and polarization in elections.

Then Governor Edwin Edwards considered canceling the democratic primary election in order to prevent the Jackson campaign from having a chance of winning Louisiana. In Jackson v. Louisiana, principals in our firm filed suit to prevent Louisiana from cancelling the elections. As a result, the Jackson campaign was freed and therefore able to achieve a historic victory in Louisiana.

Activist Ron Chisom (Courtesy of the Petra Foundation)

Activist Ron Chisom

Case Study:

Chisom v. Edwards

Prior to the resolution of this case, better known as Chisom v. Roemer, 501 U.S. 380, 111 S.Ct. 2354 (1991), an African-American Justice had never had the opportunity to be elected to the Louisiana Supreme Court.

In 1986, Roy J. Rodney, Jr., along with the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and others, was a lead plaintiff attorney in the case of Chisom v. Edwards, 839 F.2d 1056 (5th Cir. 1988); 970 F.2d 1408 (5th Cir. 1992). Along with his associates at the time, Mr. Rodney filed this case after years of proposed legislation failed to reform judicial districts. This was effectively, and often intentionally, diluting the voting strength of Louisiana’s large African-American communities. The collective cases of Chisom v. Roemer and Clark v. Roemer, 500 U.S. 646; 111 S. Ct. 2096 (1991), desegregated the Louisiana Trial, Appellate, and Supreme Courts, forever changing the face of Louisiana’s judiciary. Louisiana now enjoys more women and minority judges per capita than any state in the union. These legal victories are acknowledge as a key moment in the history of Voting Rights in the South, and are commemorated at the annual Lionel Collins Dinner.

"[T]he rights case that resulted in the redistricting of the Louisiana Supreme Court."

- Litigation Management


Ballot Boxes by Keith Bacongco (CC-BY-2.0)

Case Study:

Dillon v. Papale

A bold victory in the fight against the disenfranchisement of low-income & minority voters.

In the highly-contested 1986 Senatorial race between Democratic Congressman John Breaux and Republican Henson Moore for the seat of Acadia Parish, Republicans mounted one of the most nefarious voter-purge schemes in the history of American politics, seeking to disenfranchise tens of thousands of primarily African-American voters in Louisiana. Principals in the firm prosecuted an injunction and were successful in preventing this purge.