Louisiana Supreme Court Decisions

The unique origins of the Louisiana Supreme Court date back to the French and Spanish heritage of the state. Seven justices serve on the Court, which holds discretionary jurisdiction over all cases other than those involving the death penalty. This means that the Court can choose whether to review a case. The justice with the greatest seniority on the Court serves as the Chief Justice, who is viewed as the chief administrative officer of the judicial system in Louisiana. In 2008, a Tulane University study questioned the impartiality of the justices, arguing that they favored parties and attorneys who had made contributions to them. However, Chief Justice Pascal Calogero pointed out errors in the data and methodology of the study, which undermined its conclusions.

Each justice serves a 10-year term. Louisiana is divided into seven districts for the purposes of these elections, and each district elects a justice. These elections are partisan, which means that the party affiliation of the justice appears on the ballot. To run for election to the Louisiana Supreme Court, a candidate needs to be domiciled in the district, circuit, or parish in which they are running for election for at least one year before the election. They also must be younger than 70 and must have been admitted to practice law in Louisiana for at least 10 years.

A justice may be removed from the Louisiana Supreme Court if they are impeached by the Louisiana House of Representatives in a majority vote and convicted by the Louisiana Senate in a two-thirds vote. Alternatively, a justice may be removed from the Court if the judiciary commission in the state recommends removal. If a current justice on the Court chooses to pursue an office outside the judicial branch, they must resign from serving on the Court. They cannot receive contributions to a non-judicial campaign while serving on the Court.

Browse Opinions From the Louisiana Supreme Court

Recent Decisions From the Louisiana Supreme Court
Louisiana v. Clark  
Date: June 26, 2019
Docket Number: 2012-KA-0508

Justia Opinion Summary: After his second trial, appellant Jeffrey Clark was found guilty of the 1999 first degree murder of Captain David Knapps during a failed attempt to escape from the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola, where appellant...

Louisiana v. Leger  
Date: June 26, 2019
Docket Number: 2017-K-2084

Justia Opinion Summary: The Louisiana Supreme Court granted certiorari in this case to review an appellate court judgment that modified defendant David Leger’s five vehicular homicide convictions to negligent homicide, vacated his sentences and...

Louisiana v. Thomas  
Date: June 26, 2019
Docket Number: 2017-KP-0649

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant Darrell Thomas was unequivocally identified by both Traavis and Stephan Harris as the person who exited a black SUV and started firing at them. The shooting took place near the Take-a-Bag store on Milam Street...

IN RE: PATRICK A. GIRAUD
Date: June 26, 2019
Docket Number: 2018-B-1646
W&T Offshore, LLC v. Texas Brine Corp.
Date: June 26, 2019
Docket Number: 2018-C-0950
Palowsky v. Campbell et al.  
Date: June 26, 2019
Docket Number: 2018-C-1105

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiffs filed suit against certain judges of the Fourth Judicial District Court (Louisiana) as well as a law clerk employed by that court. Essentially, plaintiffs alleged the law clerk “spoliated, concealed, removed,...

Boothe v. Louisiana Dept. of Transportation & Development  
Date: June 26, 2019
Docket Number: 2018-C-1746

Justia Opinion Summary: On December 11, 2008, the Baton Rouge area experienced a snowstorm. The storm was of sufficient magnitude to result in the issuance of a winter weather advisory and closure of area schools. The schools reopened the next...

Bias v. Louisiana Physical Therapy Board  
Date: June 26, 2019
Docket Number: 2018-C-2042

Justia Opinion Summary: The Louisiana Physical Therapy Board (“Board”) was established under the provisions of La. R.S. 37:2403, requiring that the Board shall consist of seven members appointed by the governor and further provided at least one...

Louisiana v. Hughes  
Date: June 26, 2019
Docket Number: 2018-K-0006

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant Brian Hughes was arrested in the parking lot of Grant Junior High School, near Dry Prong, Louisiana. A search incident to arrest revealed a plastic bag in defendant’s pocket, which contained a substance that ap...

Louisiana v. Folse  
Date: June 26, 2019
Docket Number: 2018-KK-1518

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant Kelly Folse, a veterinarian, was charged with aggravated cruelty to animals, and illegal use of a weapon, arising from the allegation she shot her neighbor’s dog in River Ridge. Defendant was arrested and her h...

Gotch v. Scooby's ASAP Towing, LLC et al.  
Date: June 26, 2019
Docket Number: 2019-C-0030

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff Terry Gotch filed this suit for damages against defendants Joseph Derousselle and his employer, Scooby’s ASAP Towing, LLC (“Scooby’s”). Plaintiff alleged he was a guest passenger in a vehicle driven by Alydia M...

Soileau v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.  
Date: June 26, 2019
Docket Number: 2019-C-0040

Justia Opinion Summary: In a workers’ compensation matter, the Louisiana Supreme Court was presented with the question of whether an employee’s motion to compel her employer to choose a pharmacy other than the pharmacy at its retail stores to f...

IN RE: DANTE JEROME BUTLER
Date: May 8, 2019
Docket Number: 2018-B-1812
IN RE: JOHN JULIUS STEGER, IV
Date: May 8, 2019
Docket Number: 2018-B-1979
Murphy v. Savannah  
Date: May 8, 2019
Docket Number: 2018-C-0991

Justia Opinion Summary: Robert Murphy was operating his motorcycle on a two-lane stretch of Louisiana Highway in a southerly direction. At the same time, Shauntal Savannah was driving her Nissan Maxima in the northbound lane. As she pulled into...

The opinions published on Justia State Caselaw are sourced from individual state court sites. These court opinions may not be the official published versions, and you should check your local court rules before citing to them. We make no warranties or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained on this site, or the information linked to on the state site.