LBF staff will return to the office on May 18 but the office will remain closed to the public through August 31, 2020

Louisiana Bar Foundation Statement on Social Justice

As the principal organization responsible for funding civil legal aid in Louisiana, the Louisiana Bar Foundation is keenly aware of its responsibility to organizations and volunteer lawyers who every day provide direct legal services to the marginalized and underserved members of our community. The clients of these volunteer lawyers and organizations might not otherwise have access to the courts and, by extension, to justice. The promise of “justice for all” rings hollow if those most in need do not have access to the courthouse or if our system of civil justice continues to fail them. The Foundation is committed to providing resources to organizations and volunteers alike who, by providing direct legal services to their clients,  are working every day to end discrimination and disparate treatment in housing, employment, health care and domestic relationships, and who thereby promote and achieve the social justice that should be at the heart of our society.

President's Message June/July 2020

President's Message June/July 2020

In these unprecedented times, the number of our citizens facing life-changing challenges increases every day. Through no fault of their own, more families find themselves qualifying for civil legal aid and more civil legal issues are surfacing. Civil legal aid is a vital component of the societal response to, and recovery from, the current public health crisis.

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Louisiana Bar Foundation Awards $8.7 Million for Civil Legal Aid

The Louisiana Bar Foundation (LBF), a statewide organization,  recently awarded more than $8.7 million in grants to assist women, children, the elderly, people with disabilities, the newly unemployed, and those facing loss of their homes with civil legal aid issues. Civil legal aid is free legal advice, representation, or other legal assistance provided to low-income and vulnerable people who cannot otherwise afford legal help.

Through a network of nonprofit, civil legal aid organizations who serve Louisiana’s poorest citizens, these funds will provide services that go to the very heart of the health, safety and security of many of Louisiana’s citizens and their families.

LBF President, Skip Philips said, “In these unprecedented times, the number of our citizens facing life-changing challenges increases every day. Through no fault of their own, more families find themselves qualifying for civil legal aid and more civil legal issues are surfacing. Civil legal aid is a vital component of the societal response to, and recovery from, the current public health crisis.”

Access to civil legal aid makes our community stronger by helping people avoid foreclosure, protect themselves from domestic violence, gain custody of loved ones, and safeguard economic security.

Click here to see a list of 2020-21 grantees receiving $8.7 million.

Welcome 2020-2021 LBF Board of Directors

Welcome our new board of directors: 2020-21 president of Louisiana Bar Foundation Harry J. (Skip) Philips, Jr. of Baton Rouge; Vice President Christopher K. Ralston of New Orleans; Treasurer Alan G. Brackett of New Orleans; and Secretary Deidre Deculus Robert of Baton Rouge.

New board members are; Wendy E. W. Giovingo, Monroe; H. Minor Pipes III, New Orleans; Maggie T. Simar, St. Martinville; Shayna L. Sonnier, Lake Charles; and Hon. Ray S. Steib, Jr., Gretna.

Other members of the 2020-21 board of directors include: Amanda W. Barnett, Alexandria; Patricia Bonneau, Mandeville; Charles “Chuck” Bourque, Jr., Houma; Hon. Guy E. Bradberry, Lake Charles; Hon. John C. Davidson, Alexandria; Edmund J. Giering IV, Baton Rouge; Eugene G. Gouaux, Jr., Lockport; Karleen J. Green, Baton Rouge; Camille Jackson, Alexandria; Julie M. Lafargue, New Orleans; Alainna R. Mire, Alexandria; John C. Nickelson, Shreveport; David E. Verlander III, Monroe; and Zebulon M. Winstead, Alexandria. 

Louisiana Bar Foundation Statement on Social Justice

As the principal organization responsible for funding civil legal aid in Louisiana, the Louisiana Bar Foundation is keenly aware of its responsibility to organizations and volunteer lawyers who every day provide direct legal services to the marginalized and underserved members of our community. The clients of these volunteer lawyers and organizations might not otherwise have access to the courts and, by extension, to justice. The promise of “justice for all” rings hollow if those most in need do not have access to the courthouse or if our system of civil justice continues to fail them. The Foundation is committed to providing resources to organizations and volunteers alike who, by providing direct legal services to their clients,  are working every day to end discrimination and disparate treatment in housing, employment, health care and domestic relationships, and who thereby promote and achieve the social justice that should be at the heart of our society.

Thank You Gala Donors!

Thank you to the LBF donors who made their 2020 Gala sponsorships charitable/business donations. We appreciate your generosity and support. These donations allow the LBF to continue funding the work of our grantee partners to help those of limited means avoid eviction and disputes over medical and consumer debt, provide protection from domestic violence, and myriad other legal problems as a result of this pandemic.

For a list of donors pdf click here (735 KB) .

COVID-19 and Louisiana’s Civil Legal Aid Network

In the COVID-19 era, the Louisiana Bar Foundation supported civil legal aid network are the first responders to those who need help navigating the legal system.

 

Unfair Eviction – Protecting Homes

     Although Orleans Civil District Court judges halted all residential evictions due to the pandemic, sanitation worker John Parker* found himself locked out of his apartment for paying his rent four days late. His landlady refused to comply.  She received a flood of phone calls, including staff from the Mayor’s Office who heard about it on social media.  After working with a Southeast Louisiana Legal Services attorney who filed a petition on Parker’s behalf, the judge ruled the eviction unlawful and ordered the landlady to allow him entry. Soon after, Parker had a shiny, brass key in his hand.  This time, thanks to his legal aid lawyer, the door opened.

 

Domestic Violence - Protecting Families

     Kelly Smith* endured years of abuse at the hands of her boyfriend. He berated her, beat her, and choked her. In the fall of 2019, when she was several months pregnant with their child, he threatened to kill her. In fear for her life, she finally broke of the relationship. She believed it was important for her child to have a relationship with his father, so she allowed him to have limited visitation.   

     In April, with the stay at home order still in place, the child’s father asked to deliver a gift to the child. As soon as he arrived, he snatched the child and fled. He refused to answer her phone calls or respond to any of her attempts to contact him. She called the police and was told they could not do anything without a restraining order from the court. With the help of a SLLS legal aid attorney, Kelly was able to obtain a temporary restraining order and her baby was safely returned to her.

 

Unemployment – Protecting Benefits

     After spending months balancing several part-time jobs, Sharon Wise* was excited to start a new full-time job in January 2020. She was relieved that she would finally be earning enough money to meet her family’s monthly expenses. Then the COVID-19 pandemic hit our state. In April 2020, Sharon was laid off.

     She immediately applied for unemployment benefits hoping they would provide enough income to stabilize her family until she could get back to work. Weeks passed without any word on the status of her application. When she checked her application status online, she was shocked to find she had been disqualified. She was unable to resolve the problem and sought the help of a SLLS legal aid attorney. Within two days, the Unemployment Office removed Sharon’s disqualification and approved her for unemployment benefits.

 

Civil legal aid is a critical but often overlooked solution to helping vulnerable people and communities recover from disaster. Whether the disaster is natural, manmade, or a global pandemic, the type of civil legal needs that arise are similar. The economic hardship caused by business closures and illness creates conflicts only the civil justice system can resolve, such as:

Missed rent payments leading to eviction notices;
People being wrongly denied public benefits that can keep their families afloat (stimulus/unemployment);
Increased incidents of domestic violence due to quarantines;
Disputes over medical and consumer debt; and
Stay at home orders resulting in custody issues for minor children and an increase in abuse and neglect cases.
 

The inability to resolve these problems can tear families apart or drive people and an entire community further into poverty.

The Louisiana Bar Foundation (LBF) is the single, largest statewide funder that is fully committed to ensuring that Louisiana’s civil justice system is accessible to all. With more than 30 years of experience serving as a trusted authority and responsible steward of funds, the LBF has a network of well-established partnerships with more than 70 grantees across the state’s 64 parishes that are leading community-driven efforts to help hundreds of thousands of Louisiana residents gain access to the civil justice system.

 

 

 

Philips to Lead the Louisiana Bar Foundation 2020-21 Board

Welcome Harry J. (Skip) Philips, Jr. of Baton Rouge, the 2020-21 president of Louisiana Bar Foundation. Other officers are Vice President Christopher K. Ralston of New Orleans; Treasurer Alan G. Brackett of New Orleans; and Secretary Deidre Deculus Robert of Baton Rouge. The full board will be announced at a later date.

 

President Harry J. “Skip” Philips, Jr.

Philips is a partner of Taylor, Porter, Brooks & Phillips, L.L.P. in Baton Rouge. He practices primarily in the areas of commercial and personal injury litigation and insurance law. He received his BS and JD degrees from Louisiana State University.

 

Vice President Christopher K. Ralston

Ralston is a litigation partner and litigation group coordinator at Phelps Dunbar LLP.  His practice is focused on business disputes, including litigation of real estate, intellectual property, tax and licensing disputes.  He received his undergraduate degree from the College of William and Mary and his law degree from Tulane University Law School.

 

Treasurer Alan G. Brackett

Brackett is the managing member of Mouledoux, Bland, Legrand & Brackett in New Orleans, where his practice is focused on representing clients in defense of maritime personal injury claims, including federal longshore and Defense Base Act workers’ compensation claims. He obtained both his B.A. and J.D. from Tulane University.

 

Secretary Deidre Deculus Robert

Robert is executive counsel for Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development, where she serves as the chief legal officer for the department. Prior to accepting this appointment, she served as general counsel for the Southern University System and deputy director of the Litigation Division of the Louisiana Attorney General’s Office. Robert obtained her B.A. from Louisiana State University and her law degree from Southern University Law Center, where she serves as an adjunct professor.

Make Your Nomination Now for 2020 Distinguished Honorees and Calogero Justice Award

Nominations for 2020 Distinguished Honorees and Calogero Justice Award must be submitted electronically by Friday, September 18, 2020.

Please take the time to submit the name(s) of nominees from your area. Be sure to include a brief statement on nominees. All nominations must be submitted to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by Friday, September 18, 2020.

 

2020 Distinguished Honorees

Each year at the Gala, the LBF honors a Louisiana distinguished jurist, attorney and professor who, by reason of his or her professional activities have distinguished themselves in their chosen career and have brought credit and honor to the legal profession.

pdf Click here to nominate a distinguished honoree. (77 KB)

 

2020 Calogero Justice Award

The Calogero Justice Award honors an individual or organization for a significant contribution to the Louisiana justice system.

pdf Click here to nominate a Calogero Justice Award recipient. (74 KB)

 

If you have any questions, please contact Danielle J. Marshall at 504-561-1046 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Support 365 Days of Justice!

Support 365 Days of Justice!

At the Louisiana Bar Foundation, we believe justice is for everyone, every day.

Celebrate a special event or a loved one by dedicating a day in their honor. Donations range from $25 to $365 depending on which days you purchase.

Buy a Day!

The Louisiana Bar Foundation is a non-profit 501(c)(3) entity organized under the state of Louisiana.



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