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. Brown  
Date: September 30, 2021
Docket Number: 2018-KA-01999

Justia Opinion Summary: A grand jury indicted defendant David Brown on three charges of first degree murder. The State noticed its intent to seek the death penalty, designating several statutory aggravating circumstances. Following the close of...

IN RE: JOSEPH N. MAYER, III
Date: September 30, 2021
Docket Number: 2020-B-01335
Fairbanks Development, LLC v. Johnson et al.  
Date: September 30, 2021
Docket Number: 2020-C-01031

Justia Opinion Summary: Jessica Petersen and Charles Johnson began living together while Petersen was attending college in Georgia. Although Johnson worked as a mechanic, the couple’s lifestyle was funded almost entirely by a trust created for...

Cook v. Sullivan  
Date: September 30, 2021
Docket Number: 2020-C-01471

Justia Opinion Summary: The issue in this child custody matter was whether the trial court applied the correct law in awarding joint custody to Sharon Sullivan, the biological parent, and Billie Cook, a non-parent and Sharon’s former same-sex p...

Zapata v. Seal  
Date: September 30, 2021
Docket Number: 2020-CC-01148

Justia Opinion Summary: The Louisiana Supreme Court granted review in this case to examine the interplay between two provisions of the Louisiana Code of Civil Procedure in the context of partial summary judgment. The specific issue presented wa...

Kunath v. Gafford  
Date: September 30, 2021
Docket Number: 2020-CC-01266

Justia Opinion Summary: The child at issue in this case, Grayson, was born on February 14, 2013 to a mother with a significant history of drug abuse; Grayson allegedly had drugs in his system at birth. Shortly thereafter, in March 2013, Grayson...

Louisiana v. Johnson  
Date: September 30, 2021
Docket Number: 2020-K-00743

Justia Opinion Summary: The State of Louisiana alleged that in July 2015, defendant Walter Johnson, JaQuendas Octave, Jay Lyons, and Casey Johnson took jewelry, cell phones, wallets, money, and credit cards at gunpoint from Roussel’s Antiques o...

Succession of James Conway Liner, III  
Date: June 30, 2021
Docket Number: 2019-C-02011

Justia Opinion Summary: James Conway Liner, III (“Mr. Liner”) executed two notarial testaments: one in 2013 and another in 2015 (purporting to revoke all prior testaments). The 2013 testament, executed pursuant to La. C.C. art. 1577 for testato...

Louisiana v. Burton  
Date: June 30, 2021
Docket Number: 2019-K-01079

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant Randall Burton was found guilty as charged of the second degree murder of Cody Fletcher. The trial court sentenced him to serve life imprisonment at hard labor without parole eligibility. The court of appeal af...

Louisiana v. Louisiana Land & Exploration Co. et al.  
Date: June 30, 2021
Docket Number: 2020-C-00685

Justia Opinion Summary: Arising under the 2006 version of La. R.S. 30:29 (referred to as Act 312), this oilfield remediation case involved the Vermilion Parish School Board (“VPSB”), individually and on behalf of the State of Louisiana, as peti...

Baack v. McIntosh et al.  
Date: June 30, 2021
Docket Number: 2020-C-01054

Justia Opinion Summary: This dispute over uninsured motorist ("UM") coverage arose from a motor vehicle accident on Louisiana Highway 6 near Natchitoches. Martin Baack, an employee of Pilgrim’s Pride Corporation, was driving his work vehicle wh...

Rismiller et al. v. Gemini Ins. Co.  
Date: June 30, 2021
Docket Number: 2020-CA-00313

Justia Opinion Summary: Because the Louisiana Supreme Court found in its original opinion that plaintiffs had a right of action under La. C.C. arts. 2315.1 and 2315.2, their constitutional challenge was pretermitted and “that part of the distri...

Bergeron v. Richardson et al.  
Date: June 30, 2021
Docket Number: 2020-CC-01409

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff Brenda Bergeron, individually and on behalf of her husband, Donald Bergeron, filed a medical malpractice claim against Donald Richardson, M.D. and Paul Hubbell, III, M.D. A medical review panel unanimously foun...

IN RE: KEVIN C. SCHOENBERGER
Date: June 30, 2021
Docket Number: 2021-B-00191
Comeaux v. Louisiana Tax Commission  
Date: May 20, 2021
Docket Number: 2020-CA-01037

Justia Opinion Summary: Taxpayers Kraig and Kelly Strenge appealed directly to the Louisiana Supreme Court a declaration by a district court that La. R.S. 47:1990 was unconstitutional, as applied. The district court’s ruling on partial summary...

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.