The majority of cases which we handle are filed in the State of Louisiana. As licensed Attorneys in this state, we are authorized to practice before all 44 Districts in the State District Courts. For example, the 19th Judicial District Court has only one Parish, East Baton Rouge Parish. This is an especially important court, because suits against the State, and other important corporate defendants may be filed in the 19th Judicial District Court.
However, many of the Judicial Districts are comprised of multiple Parishes. For example, the 18th Judicial District Court is comprised of Iberville, West Baton Rouge, and Pointe Coupee Parishes. The four Judges of this court rotate from courthouse to courthouse in the various parishes.
Louisiana also has a Federal Court System. That system is divided into 3 Districts, the Middle District (Baton Rouge and the surrounding Parishes), the Eastern District (Orleans and the surrounding parishes), and the Western District (ranges from Shreveport to Lafayette and includes the rest of the state). The Federal Court is a court of limited jurisdiction but is one which is extremely important especially in Products Liability Cases as well as cases based on Federal Statute. More information about these Federal Courts is contained in the section below on Courts of Appeal.
Courts Of Appeal
Both the Federal and State court systems have the courts of appeal. In the State of Louisiana, we have five Districts called Circuits. For example, the First Circuit is located in Baton Rouge and covers an area defined by the Legislature. In the Federal Court System, Louisiana is Part of the 5th Circuit Court of Appeal which includes Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi. We are fortunate in Louisiana to have the principle location of the 5th Circuit in the city of New Orleans. Finally, both the State and Federal Systems have a “Supreme Court.” These courts have the final say in the Appellate process and the exercise of their jurisdiction is discretionary.
We are members of all of the courts which we have mentioned here, including all State Courts as well as the three Federal District Courts, 5th Circuit Court of Appeal, and the United States Supreme Court. What’s more, we have experience in cases involving all of the Federal Courts and most of the numbered District Courts in the State of Louisiana.
Through the years, we have had the opportunity to file suits in several other states of the union. This is made possible by the Doctrine of “Reciprocity” which holds that the states will allow on an individual case basis a lawyer from Louisiana to file and proceed with cases even though he is not licensed in the reciprocal state. There are numerous requirements of that doctrine, including the need to enroll “local counsel,” a lawyer from the subject state in order to assist and receive notices and so forth in the reciprocal state. Examples of states in which we have practiced include New Mexico, Arizona, Texas, Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Delaware, New York, and California.
When citizens of other nations have been injured in the United States, or when they have been injured by the actions of citizens of the United States, their rights to proceed in State Courts and Federal Courts throughout the land is a well-recognized fact. Such cases often require the attorney to retain local counsel in the foreign Plaintiff’s jurisdiction. We have extensive experience representing plaintiffs from various nations including Spain, The Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Jamaica, The Philippines, Uruguay, and others.