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Louisiana State Bar Association Diversity Statement


The Louisiana State Bar Association (LSBA) recognizes that achieving diversity in the legal profession is an evolutionary process that requires the Association's continued effort and commitment.

The LSBA is committed to diversity in its membership, Board of Governors, staff, House of Delegates, committees and all leadership positions. Diversity is an inclusive concept that encompasses race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, gender, age, sexual orientation and disability.

The LSBA is a richer and more effective Association because of diversity, as it increases our strengths, capabilities and adaptability. In addition, a diverse group of talented legal professionals is important to the success of law firms, law departments, public service organizations and other organizations that include attorneys.

Through increased diversity, the LSBA and its members can bring more varied perspectives, experiences, backgrounds, talents and interests to the practice of law and the administration of justice.
 

Diversity — Inclusion — Professionalism 


Latest Diversity News and Events

Upcoming Local and Specialty Bar Events - 2019-20
Here is a list of upcoming local and specialty bar events for the 2019-2020 Bar year. Please check the list frequently - changes and updates are added regularly. If you would like your bar organization's event listed, please let us know! Send an email to outreach@lsba.org with the event details (date, time, location).

View Schedule

SAVE THE DATE! 13TH ANNUAL CONCLAVE ON DIVERSITY- March 27, 2020
The 13th Annual Conclave on Diversity in the Legal Profession "Celebrating 55 Years of Civil Rights: Moving from Why to How" is scheduled Friday, March 27, 2020 and it will be held at the Sheraton New Orleans Hotel, 500 Canal St., New Orleans, LA. More details to come. 


SAVE THE DATE! Natchitoches Lights CLE Seminar - December 13, 2019
The LSBA’s Committee on Diversity in the Legal Profession is hosting the “Natchitoches Lights” CLE seminar on Friday, December 13, 2019 at the Chateau Saint Denis Hotel, Natchitoches, LA. More details to come.


Hon. Bernadette D’Souza sworn in as 2019-20 President of National Association of Women Judges – October 18, 2019
On October 18, 2019, Hon. Bernadette G. D’Souza was sworn in as the 2019-20 President of the National Association of Women Judges at the 41st Annual Conference. The conference was held on October 15 – 19, 2019 at the Omni Los Angeles Hotel in Los Angeles, CA.


Chief Judge Carl Stewart to be honored with the Edward J. Devitt Service Award – October 17, 2019
On October 17, 2019, Chief Judge Carl E. Stewart, United States Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals was honored with the 2019 Edward J. Devitt Distinguished Service to Justice Award at the U.S. Supreme Court.

The Edward J. Devitt Distinguished Service to Justice Award recognizes an Article III judge who has made significant contributions to the administration of justice, and improvements to society as a whole.


4th JDC Court Opening – September 6, 2019
On September 6, 2019 the 4th JDC Bar Association held its annual Opening of Court. Hon. Daniel J. Ellender, Chief Judge, 4th Judicial District Court opened the ceremony, provided greetings and introductions and recognized new members. 4th JDC Bar President, April M. Hammett, McNew, King, Mills, Burch & Landry, LLP provided closing remarks. A reception followed at the Vantage Banquet Hall.

TOP Photo ID (L to R): April M. Hammett, McNew, King, Mills, Burch & Landry, LLP, 2019-20 4th JDC Bar Association President; Jessica L. Fitts, Cummins and Fitts, LLC; and Sarah M. Smith, J Garland Smith and Associates.

BOTTOM Photo ID (L to R): Front Row: Hon. H. Stephen Winters, 4th Judicial District Court; Hon. B. Scott Leehy, 4th Judicial District Court; Hon. Robert C. Johnson, 4th Judicial District Court; Hon. Larry D. Jefferson, 4th Judicial District Court; and Hon. Marcus L. Hunter, 4th Judicial District Court.

Back Row: Hon. D. Milton Moore, III, Louisiana Court of Appeal, Second Circuit; Hon. James M. “Jimbo” Stephens, Louisiana Court of Appeal, Second Circuit; Hon. Jefferson B. Joyce, Monroe City Court; Hon. C. Wendell Manning, 4th Judicial District Court; Hon. Alvin R. Sharp, 4th Judicial District Court; Hon. Daniel J. Ellender, 4th Judicial District Court; Hon. Sharon I. Marchman, 4th Judicial District Court; and Hon. J. Wilson Rambo, Fourth Judicial District Court.


Alexandria Bar Association Court Opening – September 4, 2019
On September 4, 2019 the 9th JDC Bar Association held its annual Opening of Court. Hon. Greg Beard, Chief Judge, Ninth Judicial District Court opened the ceremony. Alexandria Bar Association President, Ronnie G. Beard, provided introductory remarks; Joshua J. Dara, Jr., Gold, Weems, Bruser, Sues & Rundell, Young Lawyers Section, introduced new attorneys; and Robert A. “Bob” Kutcher, 2019-20 LSBA President welcomed new attorneys. A reception followed.

Photo ID (L to R): Matthew L. Nowlin, Keiser Law Firm, Treasurer, Alexandria Bar Association; Ronnie G. Beard, Attorney at Law, President, Alexandria Bar Association; Robert A. “Bob” Kutcher, Kutcher Tygier & Luminais, LLP, 2019-20 LSBA President; Michael S. Koch, Neblett, Beard & Arsenault, Immediate Past President, Alexandria Bar Association; and Jonathan D. Stokes, Gold, Weems, Bruser, Sues & Rundell, Vice President, Alexandria Bar Association.


2019 -20 LSBA Diversity Committee Orientation – September 7, 2019
On September 7, 2019 the Diversity Committee met at the Louisiana Bar Center for an orientation and business meeting. Committee members engaged in ice-breaking activities and reviewed Diversity Committee and Subcommittee programming for the 2019-20 bar year. 

Photo ID (L to R): Back Row: Sowmaya Mandava, 24th JDC; Jared E. Nelson, LA Attorney General's Office; Wayne J. Lee, Stone Pigman Walther Wittmann, LLC; Dan L. Tran, Attorney at Law; Demarcus J. Gordon, Kelly Hart & Pitre; Courtney H. Payton, Aaron and Ginna; Monica M. Vela-Vick, Phelps Dunbar, LLP; Susan R. Laporte, Kuchler Polk Weiner, LLC; Justin W. Stephens, Tabary & Borne, LLC; and Deidre D. Robert, Southern University System.

Front Row (L to R): Troy N. Bell, Courington, Kiefer & Sommers, LLC; John A. Womble, Frederick A Miller & Assoc., Co-Chair; Denia S. Aiyegbusi, Deutsch Kerrigan, LLP. Co-Chair; J. Dalton Courson, Stone Pigman Walther Wittmann, LLC, Co-Chair; and Lynn Luker, Stanley, Reuter, Ross, Thornton & Alford, LLC.


Baton Rouge Bar Association 90th Anniversary Celebration – August 16, 2019
On August 16, 2019 the Baton Rouge Bar Association hosted its 90th Anniversary Celebration at the City Club of Baton Rouge.

The celebration featured a cocktail reception and concluded with an awards ceremony.

TOP PHOTO BRBA past presidents with Current BRBA president, Amy C. Lambert. Photo ID (L to R): Michael W. McKay, Stone Pigman Walther Wittmann, LLC; Michael H. Rubin, McGlinchey Stafford, PLLC; Amy C. Lambert, Taylor, Porter, Brooks & Phillips, LLP; Chistine Lipsey, McGlinchey Stafford, PLLC; and Leo C. Hamilton, Breazeale, Sachse & Wilson, LLP.

BOTTOM PHOTO BRBA Staff. Photo ID (L to R): Lynn S. Haynes: Claudia A. McBride; Robin Kay; Julie Ourso; Landon T. Hester; Donna Buck; and Ann K. Gregorie, Executive Director.


Louis A. Martinet Legal Society, Southwest Louisiana Chapter, Scholarship Gala – August 2, 2019
On August 2, 2019, the Louis A. Martinet Legal Society, Southwest Louisiana Chapter held its second annual CLE Seminar and Scholarship Gala at 8:00 a.m. – 4:10 p.m. at the Golden Nugget Casino Lake Charles.

Professor Angela A. Allen-Bell, Southern University Law Center, served as the guest speaker. 

A dinner cruise followed from 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. 


Photo ID (L to R): Marshall J. Simien, Jr., Attorney at Law; Kendrick J. Guidry, Plauche, Smith & Nieset; Taylor Alexander, Calcasieu Parish District Attorney's Office; Nadine D. Gills, Attorney at Law; Lee M. Schwalben, Attorney at Law; Curtis L. Guillory, Attorney at Law; James E. Burks, Attorney at Law; Ezra Pettis, Jr., Delphin Law Offices, PLC, President, SWLA Martinet Legal Society; Mark A. Delphin, Attorney at Law; Lydia Guillory-Lee, City of Lake Charles; Janet D. Madison, Todd Clemons & Associates; Hon. David A. Ritchie, Fourteenth Judicial District Court; Danielle C. Claiborne, Delphin Law Offices, PLC; Hon. Ulysses G. Thibodeaux, Chief Judge, Third Circuit Court of Appeal; Brittany E. Bell, Calcasieu Parish District Attorney's Office; Amariha B. Fort, Attorney at Law; Ashley N. Freeman, Acadiana Legal Service Corp; Hon. Dianne M. Mayo, LA Workforce Commission; Bobby L. Holmes, Holmes LA LAW, LLC; Chantell M. Smith, LA Workforce Commission; Derrick D. Kee, Attorney at Law, Immediate Past President, SWLA Martinet Legal Society; Pamela V. Mathews, Attorney at Law; Hon. Ronald F. Ware, Fourteenth Judicial District Court; Professor Mark N. Melasky, Intellectual Property Consulting, LLC; Todd S. Clemons, Todd Clemons & Associates; Professor Evelyn Wilson, Southern University Law Center; and Arthur J. O’Keefe, Attorney at Law.


GNO Louis A. Martinet Legal Society Receives ABA E. Smythe Gambrell Award – August 9, 2019
On August 9, 2019, the Greater New Orleans Louis A. Martinet Legal Society, Inc. was recognized with the ABA E. Smyth Gambrell Award for its Pathways and Pipelines to Success program at the NABE/NCBP/NCBF joint luncheon at the ABA’s Annual Meeting in San Francisco, CA.

The E. Smythe Gambrell Professionalism award recognizes programs that promote integrity and dedication to the legal profession. As a recipient of the award, GNO Louis A. Martinet Legal Society received a $3,500 check.   

Photo ID (L to R): Robert “Bob” A. Kutcher, Richard Kutcher Tygier & Luminais, LLP, 2019-20 LSBA President; Cory J. Vidal, Hancock Whitney Bank, 2018-19 GNO Louis A. Martinet Legal Society, Inc. President; Alainna R. Mire, Alexandria City Attorneys Office, 2019-20 LSBA President-Elect; and Barry H. Grodsky, Taggart Morton, LLC, 2018-19 LSBA President.


Judy Perry Martinez Sworn in as 2019-20 ABA President – August 13, 2019
On August 12, 2019 New Orleans attorney Judy Perry Martinez was sworn in as the 2019-20 ABA President at the ABA Annual Meeting in San Francisco.

Chief Justice Bernette Joshua Johnson administered the oath of office. 

Photo ID (L to R): Chief Justice Bernette Joshua Johnson, Louisiana Supreme Court and Judy P. Martinez, Simon, Peragine, Smith & Redfearn, LLP, 2019-20 ABA President.


Specialty Bars Conference – August 24, 2019
On August 24, 2019, the LSBA's Diversity Committee hosted the Specialty Bars Conference at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in New Orleans, LA. 

TOP LEFT: Session One “The Difference Between Getting In and Staying In: Moving Toward Inclusion” Photo ID (L to R): J. Dalton Courson, Stone Pigman Walther Wittmann L.L.C., Co-Chair, LSBA Diversity Committee; Denia S. Aiyegbusi, Deutsch Kerrigan LLP, Co-Chair, LSBA Diversity Committee; and Luis A. Leitzelar, Jones Walker LLP. 

TOP RIGHT: Session Two “Defending Disciplinary Action” Photo ID (L to R): Richard P. Lemmler, Jr., Ethics Counsel, LSBA; Yolanda Cezar, Screening Counsel, Louisiana Attorney Disciplinary Board; and William N. “Billy” King, Professional Programs Practice Assistance Counsel, LSBA. 

BOTTOM LEFT:  Session Three “The Disproportionate Impact of Non-Unanimous Juries” Photo ID (L to R): Senator Jean-Paul J. Morrell, Louisiana State Senate, District 3 and Edward L. Tarpley, Jr., Ed Tarpley Law Firm, LSBA Board of Governors, Sixth Board District. 

BOTTOM MIDDLE: Session Four “Women’s Personal and Professional Development – A Perspective from the Bench” Photo ID (L to R): Honorable Karelia R. Stewart, First Judicial District Court and Honorable Keva M. Landrum-Johnson, Orleans Criminal District Court. 

BOTTOM RIGHT: Session Five “The Future of the Legal Profession: Making Strides with Technology” Photo ID (L to R): Abid Hussain, Hussain Law LLC and Jessica M. Vasquez, Attorney at Law. 


Federal Bar Association (FBA), New Orleans Chapter Annual Meeting – August 22, 2019
On August 22, 2019, the Federal Bar Association, New Orleans Chapter held its Annual Meeting and Luncheon from 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. at the Intercontinental New Orleans Hotel. Saad M. Soliman, founding Executive Director of the Peers Mentoring Center and Peace by Piece, Inc. was the keynote speaker.

During the luncheon, Immediate Past-President, Kathryn M. Knight presented the President’s Award, John R. “Jack” Martzell Professionalism Award, and the Camille F. Gravel, Jr. Award to recipients. 

Following the presentation of awards, Hon. Nannette J. Brown, United States District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana presided over the election of officers: Hon. Nanette J. Brown, President, Federal Bar Association, New Orleans Chapter; Steven F. Griffith, Jr., President-Elect; Michael J. Ecuyer, Treasurer; Donna P. Currault, Recording Secretary; Brian J. Capitelli, Membership Chair; and Alysson L. Mills, Young Lawyers Division Chair.

The luncheon concluded with remarks from the chapter President, Hon. Nannette J. Brown.

Photo ID (L to R): Marcus V. Brown, Entergy; Hon. Nannette J. Brown, Chief Judge, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of LA, 2019-20 FBA New Orleans Chapter President; and Robert A. “Bob” Kutcher, Richard Kutcher Tygier & Luminais, LLP, 2019-20 LSBA President.


Specialty Bars Subcommittee Meeting with 2019-20 LSBA President – August 23, 2019
On August 23, 2019, the Specialty Bars subcommittee met with 2019-20 LSBA President Robert A. “Bob” Kutcher. The meeting was held in conjunction with the LSBA Board of Governors meeting at the Ritz Carlton New Orleans. The meeting served as a platform for Specialty Bars to discuss upcoming events and how the LSBA can continue to support Specialty Bar initiatives.

Photo ID (L to R): Micah C. Zeno, Gordon, Arata, Montgomery, Barnett, McCollam, Duplantis and Eagan, LLC, Co-Chair, LSBA Outreach Committee; Dean David D. Meyer, Tulane University Law School; Lykisha R. Vaughan, Southeast Louisiana Legal Services, Baton Rouge Martinet Legal Society, Inc.; Victor J. “Vic” Suane, Jr., Kean Miller, LLP, Baton Rouge Martinet Legal Society, Inc.; Christine T.C. “Chrissy” Bruneau, Cotten Schmidt, LLP, Louisiana Asian Pacific American Bar Association President; George W. Britton III, Attorney at Law, Northeast Louis A. Martinet Legal Society President; Michael B. Victorian, Phelps Dunbar, LLP, Co-Chair, LSBA Outreach Committee; William C. Bradford, Jr., Jesse Stone Legal Society President; Robert A. “Bob” Kutcher, Richard Kutcher Tygier & Luminais, LLP, 2019-20 LSBA President; Franchesca L. Hamilton-Acker, Acadiana Legal Service Corp, Louis A. Martinet Legal Society, Inc. Greater Lafayette Chapter President; Cory J. Vidal, Hancock Whitney Bank, GNO Louis A. Martinet Legal Society, Inc. President; Ezra Pettis, Jr., Delphin Law Offices, PLC, Louis A. Martinet Legal Society, Lake Charles Chapter President; and Demarcus J. Gordon, Kelly Hart & Pitre, Chair, LSBA Minority Involvement Section.


Get Involved! Become an LSBA Professionalism Facilitator

Are you interested in:
  • Increasing your diversity knowledge and skills?
  • Boosting your confidence in delivering effective diversity and inclusion training?
  • Improving your understanding of stereotypes, prejudices and cultural differences?
  • Discovering new ways to reduce bias?
  • Helping others become more culturally competent?
  • Gaining tools to promote diversity and inclusion through training?

If so, you may want to consider becoming an LSBA Professionalism Facilitator. Facilitators are attorney volunteers that give of their time to educate others on promoting diversity and inclusion in the legal profession. If you are interested in joining us, please contact us at diversity@lsba.org.


Louisiana State Bar Association
601 St. Charles Avenue
New Orleans, LA 70130
(800) 421-LSBA(5722) / (504) 566-1600