The Promulgator The Official Magazine of the Lafayette Bar Association
: E D I INS ourt
s, C s a M Red nd a , g n i Open ity Divers
culture & diversity in the practice
february 2020 | volume 33 | issue 1 Photo by ÂŠDaniel Landry Photography
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T S R I F
LIFE MEMBER MULTI-MILLION DOLLAR ADVOCATES FORUM TM TOP TRIAL LAWYERS IN AMERICA
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Theodore Glenn Edwards, President Karen King, President-Elect Shannon Dartez, Secretary/Treasurer Maggie Simar, Imm. Past President John Swift, Foundation Chair Bart Bernard Paige Beyt Roya Boustany Stuart Breaux Robert David Claire Edwards Kyle Gideon Kenneth Hebert McKinley James Jonathan Jarrett Robert Kallam Pat Magee Jason Matt Lindsay Meador Young Gregory Mier Gregory Moroux Joseph Oelkers Dan Panagiotis
John Swift, Foundation Chair George D. Earnest III, Vice Chair Thomas R. Hightower, Jr., Imm. Past Chair Greg Tonore, Secretary/Treasurer Lindsay Meador Young, Pro Bono Advisory Chair
Dean Cole Larry Curtis Blake David Glenn Edwards Karen King Miles Matt John E. McElligott Kenny Oliver Maggie Simar
Editorial Committee Hallie Coreil, Editor Katherine Currie Matt McConnell Chris Ortte Dwazendra Smith
Lafayette Bar Staff Pam Landaiche Executive Director Katelyn Guidry Director of Marketing & Membership Development Marilyn Lopez Director of Pro Bono Services
OUR MISSION is to serve the profession, its members and the community by promoting professional excellence, respect for the rule of law and fellowship among attorneys and the court.
THE PROMULGATOR is the official magazine of the Lafayette Bar Association, and is published six times per year. The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the views of the Editorial Committee.
ON THE COVER
February hosts Black History Month and Mardi Gras. It is the perfect time to highlight diversity and culture in the practice. Cover photo by ÂŠDaniel Landry Photography
President's Message..........................................................4 Executive Director's Message.....................................5 Family Law Section Update.........................................6 Young Lawyers Section Update................................9 Diversity: Why Should We Care?..............................10 The Bar Side.............................................................................17
Celebrating Black History..............................................5 Pro Bono Honor Roll..........................................................7 Trivia Question........................................................................7 Classifieds...................................................................................12 The Grapevine.........................................................................12 Health & Wellness................................................................15 Top 10.............................................................................................16
Family Law Section Christmas Party....................7 LBA Christmas Party.........................................................8 Red Mass.....................................................................................14 Court Opening.......................................................................18
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Jessica McNabb Events Coordinator
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Cheryl Robichaux Administrative Assistant
Visit us online www.lafayettebar.org
UPCOMING EVENTS FEBRUARY 12
Winter Social & Wellness Expo POUR River Ranch @ 5:30 pm All members welcome.
Wellness Panel CLE LBA @ 12:00 pm Free to Young Lawyers | $20 LBA Members
Mardi Gras @ LBA Office Office will be open for members.
Region II High School Mock Trial U.S. Federal Court House Volunteers needed.
Mindfulness Retreat Camelia House @ 2:00 pm All members welcome.
12th Annual Birdie with the Bar Golf Tournament The Wetlands Golf Course @ 12:00 pm
To register for events, visit www.lafayettebar.org or call (337) 237-4700.
president' s message Praise for the LBA, its members and the staff!
It has been a little over two months since my installation as President of the Lafayette Bar Association and I could not be more pleased with the workings of the Association since that time. As I anticipated, and had experienced from my years on the board, our Bar Association is a well-oiled machine which functions in large part without many glitches. My role is largely ceremonial, as it should be. The key to the day-in day-out Glenn Edwards success of our Association is the staff, which fuels the beast seamlessly and steadfastly in a way that many may not notice or fully appreciate. A little staff goes a long way at the bar office and for that I, and all of us, should be eternally grateful. Over the past couple of months I have been approached by colleagues who have gone out of their way to tell me how enjoyable a recent bar event was due to the efforts of the staff or how an individual encounter with a particular member of the staff was professional and courteous and efficient. As we all know, and all too often, not many of us take the time to compliment good work, but rather unfortunately, we do not miss an opportunity to criticize what we perceive as shortcomings. The fact that folks are making a point to praise the staff tells me that the staff is on point in an extraordinary way in all that they do. December brought our annual CLE by the Hour Program. The 7+ day event was widely attended and raised just shy of $100,000.00, which was $10,000.00 more than we budgeted. I think I am safe in saying that this event represented the second most successful CLE by the Hour Event we have ever had while introducing, for the first time, videotaping of the presentations for future online CLE publication. On the day I presented in late December I spent a little time speaking with a colleague who had come to Lafayette from north Louisiana, and he was pleasantly surprised by the magnitude of the event and could not say enough about how the staff had made the experience easy and accessible. The Holiday Social was also well attended and executed flawlessly by our staff. Many attendees shared with me their compliments of the staff for the event as well as in other matters. At our January board meeting, the 2019 pro bono program was reported with record numbers and already above last year's pace for 2020. This vital service to our community touches countless lives including victims of domestic violence, the elderly and armed services members. With the balance of this message I would like to specifically recognize our staff members. This information is available on our website but I wanted to highlight it here.
Pam Landaiche, our Executive Director, is responsible for the overall administration of the Associationâ€™s activities. She manages the staff and generally oversees the day-to-day operations of the Association. She works closely with the Executive Committee Officers, Board of Directors and committees on all LBA programs and operations to develop and implement strategies aiming to promote the organization's mission. Marilyn Lopez, our Director of Pro Bono Services, oversees the daily operations of Lafayette Volunteer Lawyers Pro Bono Project on behalf of the Lafayette Bar Foundation, as well as being responsible for the coordination of outreach programs. She works closely with volunteer attorneys to help underprivileged members of the community find resolutions to legal matters. She also serves as the liaison to the Family Law Section. Katelyn Guidry, our Director of Marketing & Membership Development, is responsible for all marketing efforts of the Lafayette Bar Association including the Lafayette Bar magazine, The Promulgator, social media, website, media coverage, event sponsorship and communications. She is also responsible for the development and delivery of fully integrated development strategies to serve and strengthen the membership. Katelyn also serves as the liaison to the Young Lawyers Section and Family Law Section.
"THE KEY TO THE DAY-IN DAY-OUT SUCCESS OF OUR ASSOCIATION IS THE STAFF, WHICH FUELS THE BEAST SEAMLESSLY..." Jessica McNabb, our Events Coordinator, is responsible for the coordination of all events for the Lafayette Bar Association and Foundation, which includes working closely with different vendors around Lafayette and tending to every last detail. She is also able to assist members during the event registration process as well as answer questions about upcoming events. Cheryl Robichaux, our Executive Assistant, provides information management support to the executive director and also represents the executive director to others. She coordinates the Mediation Center reservations, working closely with Mediation Center clients to provide exceptional service and hospitality. She also operates the Lafayette Parish Law Library and assists the public with obtaining legal forms. Three of our staff members are either new to their positions or in one case brand new to the association. They perform like they have been in place as a team for decades. To them goes the majority of credit for the work of our Association. Without them we would be a shell of what we are. I ask that you join me in thanking them for their service and ask, also, that next time you meet a member of our staff that you thank her for the good work.
executive director' s message Executive Director Pam Landaiche: Upcoming Bar events you can enjoy. Tasked with touching on this issue’s theme of Cultural Diversity, I reflected on how richly blessed we in the Acadiana area are. There is authentic representation of many different cultures right here where we live, and we can experience that diversity in our many festivals where we celebrate with music, dance, and food. While all of that is great, I am interested in growing the diversity within the membership of the Lafayette Bar Association by offering events and CLEs that appeal to a broad audience. I would gladly welcome any input to that end. Since the last issue of The Promulgator, the staff here has been very busy. The LBA Christmas party was very festive and well attended. It was great to see so many members mingling and sharing in the holiday spirit. As soon as we recovered from the party, CLE by the Hour kicked off and ran full speed through the end of December. This year’s program was highly successful with some days seeing 100+ people come through the doors. Our first event of 2020 was, of course, Red Mass and Court Opening. This day-long event truly is one of my personal favorites, and this year did not disappoint. We had a fabulous turnout for mass – thanks to Richard Broussard for taking the reins on personally inviting colleagues to attend, and other attorney friends who followed suit and did the same. Court Opening began by the ceremonious passing of the gavel from outgoing Chief Judge Charlie Fitzgerald to incoming Chief Judge Marilyn Castle. It is always touching to witness the tradition of welcoming newly admitted attorneys and honoring the dearly departed from our legal community.
Now comes the part where I have to ask for the continued assistance from our members. We have many volunteer opportunities available including our pro bono programs – Counsel on Call, H.E.L.P. Program, Protective Order Panel, and pro bono cases. Call Marilyn, 337447-2187, if you would like to lend a hand. The Young Lawyers section is once again coordinating the Region II Mock Trial Competition and volunteer Pam Landaiche scoring judges and timekeepers are needed for the competition on Saturday, February 29, beginning at 8:00 a.m. at the Federal Courthouse. To volunteer, email Jessica at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 337-446-2203. Lastly, mark your calendar for the annual Birdie with the Bar Golf Tournament on Friday, March 27 at The Wetlands. Hosted by the Young Lawyers section, the golf tournament benefits the Lafayette Bar Foundation and the many pro bono programs it serves. Till next time, I wish you peace and joy.
CELEBRATING BLACK HISTORY MONTH TAYLOR JOHNSON
As a young, black, female attorney, I am my ancestors' wildest dream. Black history to me is more than just a month of celebration; it is a lifetime of appreciation and dedication to fighting for those who cannot fight for themselves. I come from a legal background and I am deeply rooted in the advancement of Black people. My father, Ernest L. Johnson, was lead counsel for the landmark case Clark v. Edwards, which led to diversifying the Louisiana State Judiciary; as a result of that case, the state of Louisiana currently has the most elected African American Judges in the country. My mother Judge Pamela T. Johnson (ret.) is the first African American Juvenile Court Judge in East Baton Rouge Parish and served in that capacity for 25 years. I grew up in the law and the fight for equal rights. Black history is everything to me because without the courage and dedication of past Black American leaders and people of different races who were emphatic and assisted in the fight for equal rights, I would not have had the opportunity to be who I am today. Black history is American history and we, as American citizens, should take pride in and be proud of where we are as a country compared to where we use to be. Granted, we do not have a perfect society and prejudice is still very much alive, therefore we should use our skills and talents to continue to contribute to the advancement and equality of all people. My husband and I contribute to this advancement by serving in our positions as staff attorneys at Acadiana Legal Service Corporation and as members of the Greater Lafayette Louis A. Martinet Society. Charles Hamilton Houston says, “A lawyer is either a social engineer or he is a parasite on society.” May we, as legal professionals, use our talents and skills to be social engineers in society, furthering the underlying message that Black history teaches us: to treat every person with respect, fairness, and continue the fight for equality. Happy Black History Month!
Black history is celebrated during the month of February in the United States whereby people of color are recognized for countless and valuable contributions made to society. It is from this spirit that diversity is highlighted and promoted throughout the year in an effort to eliminate bias in the legal profession, justice system, and in our communities. Diversity is the practice of inclusion of people from a range of different social and ethnic backgrounds, genders, sexual orientations, disability, and other under-represented groups. By promoting full and equal participation of minorities in the legal profession, justice system and our community at large ensures a leveled playing field. Everyone has a responsibility to help promote diversity.
PRESIDENT JONATHAN JARRETT
Family Law Section News THE SECRET TO BEING CONTENT Contributed by guest writer, Dyan Schnaars
• Don’t take your phone to the bathroom with you.
One of the priorities of this year’s administration of the Susan K. Woodruff Family Law Section is to focus on Wellness with the specific goal of improving the overall mental and physical health of attorneys, and our awareness of what that entails.
• You can only do your best and that’s all you can do – leave the rest up to God.
The keys to physical wellness are commonly known: get enough sleep, eat a healthy balanced diet with not too much sugar and carbs, hydrate well, don’t over imbibe in vices, do fifteen minutes of cardio three times a week, and so forth. The keys to mental health are a bit trickier: admonishing us to avoid drugs and excessive alcohol, get plenty of sunlight and rest, avoid stress, connect with others, find time frequently to do something you enjoy. For those of us who practice family law full time (not to mention those who have a mixed practice), finding time to incorporate these suggestions into your schedule can be challenging. I understand. I’m also a lawyer, wife, mother, daughter, thespian, singer, Army mom . . . (you get it . . .). Allow me to share a few tips that have helped me to feel better physically and mentally and have, I think, also helped me to BE BETTER. “You are only as happy as you determine yourself to be!” This is the same as saying you cannot decide what actions come at you, but you can decide how you will react. Decide to do yourself a favor and feed your positive physical and mental health and reject negativity before it gets rooted in.
• Compliment others (make their day!) You know you love receiving them yourself. . . • Get up from your desk at least every two hours and stretch (or run in place) whichever you feel you need the most at that point. • Eat pretty food (it matters). • Be kind and say thank you. • Don’t be afraid to walk away (or hang up). • If you feel overwhelmed, ask for assistance – give those who care so much about you a chance to show it.
FEBRUARY 10, 2020 | "Prenuptial Agreements" presented by Professor Elizabeth Carter, LSU MARCH 09, 2020 | presented by Judge David Blanchet All CLEs are $25 for Members and $50 for Non-Members. Lunch begins at 11:30a with the CLE to follow at 12:00p.
• The first thing you do each day sets the tone. Prepare yourself to be a winner (be clean, be neat, be at peace) • Foster an attitude of gratitude - speak out loud something positive about every challenging situation you come across. Keep the negative thoughts to yourself (or write them down and close the book). Dwell on what you have, not what you don’t. • Refrain from talking about people (or subjects) on which you have no direct first-hand knowledge. Say instead, “I don’t really know them,” or “I don’t know much about that.” (Hint: Don’t gossip). • In your peer and personal relationships, take time to listen more than you talk. Use the W.A.I.T. rule (Why Am I Talking?). You’ll be surprised at what is revealed to you! • Take the stairs instead of the elevator (at least on the way down). • Leave your office at lunch especially if its sunny outside. • Find something you love to do (draw, sing, play an instrument, paint, sculpt, act, cook) and block out at least fifteen minutes at least every other day to do that thing – more if you can.
During the holiday season, the Family Law Section raised funds for their annual Holiday Giving project. This year, the section presented a check to this year's recipient, AVEC Les Enfants Supervised Visitation Center, in the amount of $1,700.00 on January 7, 2020. From Section President Jonathan Jarrett: "On behalf of the Lafayette Bar Association’s Paula K. Woodruff Family Law Section, I would like to thank everyone who contributed to our annual Holiday Giving program this year. The Supervised Visitation Center is a safe space for children to visit with their non-custodial parents. Your donations will help parents give their children the most important gift of all: time spent together. " Pictured (l-r): Mandi Bucher, George Mills, Monique Eller, Geralyn Siefker, Jonathan Jarrett and Lana Duhon
Family Law Section Christmas Party The Family Law Section hosted its annual Christmas Party at the home of section member Paula Bertuccini on Saturday, December 7, 2019.
This workshop will focus on building skills for attorneys interested in navigating life, both in and outside of the practice of law, more mindfully and meaningfully. All attorneys within the Lafayette Bar Association are invited to participate. CLE Credit: 3.0 Hours of Professionalism Saturday, March 7, 2020 | 2:00 - 5:00 PM Camelia House | 708 Jefferson Blvd Lafayette, LA Register at www.lafayettebar.org featuring
Emily K. Sandoz, Ph.D. Licensed Clinical Psychologist Jonathan T. Jarrett, The Jarrett Firm
Bhyllie Mouton and Dean Doherty
Maggie Simar and Jonathan Jarrett
HONOR ROLL the following attorneys have accepted one or more Pro bono cases in the past two months
Wesley Galjour Charley Hutchens, PLC
Greg Mier Law Office of Greg Mier, LLC
Jessica Hapak Claire Bergeron Edwards, Attorney at Law
Christopher Ortte NeunerPate
Ken Jones NeunerPate
Dyan Schnaars Schnaars Law Firm
Jasmine Journet Attorney at Law
Kenneth St. Pé Kenneth D. St. Pé, APLC
Gregory Koury Koury & Hill
Shawn Trahan Attorney at Law
Paula Bertuccini and Judge Charlie Fitzgerald
Dean Doherty, Aaron Baniewicz, Wesley Galjour, Shawn Eller, Mandi Bucher and Dwazendra Smith
BEING INVOLVED IN PRO BONO IS A REWARDING EXPERIENCE AS YOU GIVE BACK TO THE COMMUNITY BUT ALSO GAIN EXPERIENCE IN THE COURT ROOM AND CLE CREDIT. CONTACT MARILYN AT THE LBA TO GET INVOLVED. Marilyn@lafayettebar.org | 337.237.4700 x 102
Kelly Sanford, Judge David Blanchet and Paula Woodson
Danielle Thompson, Dyan Schnaars, Paula Bertuccini and Dwazendra Smith
Take a Guess!
Answers on page 19
What is the oldest symphony orchestra in the US? From what country did the US buy the Virgin Islands?
LAFAYETTE BAR ASSOCIATION
Claire Edwards and Evan Edwards
Dyan Schnaars and Jonathan Jarrett
The days were merry and bright, so the Lafayette Bar decided to host its annual Christmas Party on Thursday, December 5, 2019. Members were invited to join the staff in "Keeping Spirits Bright" as they enjoyed cocktails and a full spread of delicious holiday appetizers. New this year was the addition of live entertainment, featuring the musical styling of Lindsay Leblanc (vocalist) accompanied by Tommy Guidry (pianist). The halls were decked with Christmas decorations, and members arrived wearing very festive outfits. Traditionally, the Young Lawyers Section takes up donations during the party for the recipient of their Holiday Giving program. This year, the Young Lawyers chose Foster Friends of Acadiana; all donations collected during the party were used to host the annual Christmas Party for children in foster care. The staff also gave away door prizes donated by Barczyk Chiropractic Group, Bart Bernard, Kean Miller, Claire Edwards, Maggie Simar, and Louisiana Medical Management Corporation.
Q: What do you love most about Christmas? Karen King and Shannon Dartez
Cynthia Simon, Roya Boustany and Danny Landry
"Christmas Eve Mass at St. Johnâ€™s Cathedral with my husband." - Roya Boustany " I love the spirit of giving and Christmas music. It is not officially Christmas season until I play my Christmas playlist! Also, my friends and I make sure we contribute to a non-profit cause during the holiday season as well." - Karen King "Seriously, the day after! However, on a brighter note, now that my children are all grown up, I love the renewed magic of Christmas seen through the eyes of grandchildren." -Glenn Edwards
Ian Hanlon, Andree Comeaux, Steve Bucher and Mandi Bucher
Kyle Gideon, Monique Gideon, Dean Cole and Tommy Hightower
Judge David Blanchet and Glenn Edwards
"My favorite things about Christmas time are all of the gatherings of family and friends along with the sights and smells, such as the decorations, the smell of baked cookies, peppermint, cinnamon and the smell of live Christmas trees. It all just makes me happy." - Shannon Dartez "Christmas is HUGE in the Schnaars family. My husband puts up hundreds of animated lights outside every year beginning the day after Thanksgiving. On Christmas Eve, we put on our Christmas PJâ€™s, make hot chocolate and read the Christmas story from Luke Chapter 2." - Dyan Schnaars
YOUNG LAWYERS SECTION
A MESSAGE FROM PRESIDENT
STUART BREAUX It’s time for another Promulgator column. Being YLS President has been one of the easiest things I’ve ever done, not because I’m particularly good at it, but because of our incredibly enthusiastic YLS members and the dedication of the LBA staff. Exhibit A: Our Christmas Giving Program was a huge success. Through the generosity of the bar, we were able to give $4,000.00 to Foster Friends, an organization dedicated to helping children in Louisiana’s foster care system. A few of our members were also able to participate in Foster Friends’ Christmas party, including Kyle Gideon, who, much to the delight of the children in attendance, reprised his role as Santa Claus. I would like to offer a special note of appreciation to our Community Service Committee members, Jeremy Bazile (Chair) and McKinley James, for their tremendous efforts and congratulate them on a fantastic achievement. Looking forward, I am confident that the YLS will have smooth sailing through a busy first quarter of 2020. The LBA is emphasizing health and wellness this year, and the YLS is all in. We’ve already put in work at Cycle Bar, thanks to our Health & Wellness Committee. Hopefully, our soreness will have diminished by February 12, when our Social Committee will host the YLS’ Winter Social at POUR, which will also double as a health and wellness expo. All members of the bar are invited to stop by after work for refreshments and to meet local business owners and professionals whose focus is healthy living. Then, on February 13, our CLE Committee, in conjunction with our Health & Wellness Committee, will host a CLE at the LBA featuring local mental health professionals. Come at noon with your questions to learn about common struggles faced by legal professionals and
methods to increase your psychological well-being and resiliency. Also on the calendar is the annual Region II High School Mock Trial Competition, which will be held on February 29 at the federal courthouse downtown. As of press time, eleven teams of local high schoolers have registered to compete. Volunteers are needed to serve as presiding judges, scoring judges and timekeepers, so please consider signing up through the Lafayette Bar's website or by calling the office. Speaking from personal experience, I have always found it incredibly rewarding to volunteer for this event. The competition is fierce, but these young competitors truly appreciate the feedback that they receive from practicing attorneys. Finally, our Golf Tournament Committee is working hard to plan another great Birdie with the Bar golf tournament, which will take place on March 27 at The Wetlands. Registration and more information is available on the Lafayette Bar's website. While it may only be the beginning of February, it’s never too early to start working on your short game.
"I am so proud of our bar association raising $4,000 for this year’s Holiday Giving Program. I would like to send my sincerest thank you to all of the attorneys, law firms, legal staff, and community members who donated and supported our recipients, Foster Friends. Attending the party and seeing firsthand the impact our donation had on the organization and children made me realize how important it is for us to continue our profession’s tradition of providing positive influence to the community." - Jeremy Bazile Pictured (l-r): Stuart Breaux, Roya Boustany, Jeremy Bazile, Roxeann Thomas, McKinley James and Pam Landaiche
and bar is so meaningful, so essential, that our lack of diversity threatens to undermine the rule of law in our nation. While writing this article I am imagining your audible gasps, clutching of pearls, and perhaps a dismissive chuckle. But before I lose you, let me explain how my statement is, in fact, not some hyperbolic “chicken little” story. It is supported by both research and (gasp) logic. First question: What is 'diversity'? I once read a twitter post where somebody said, “Can we please stop discussing diversity without first defining it?” That makes sense to me, so here goes:
By Jonathan T. Jarrett Please allow me to introduce myself. My name is Jonathan Jarrett. I am an attorney. I have a solo practice in Lafayette, Louisiana. I am the president of the Paula K. Woodruff Family Law Section of the Lafayette Bar Association, and I’m here to talk about diversity. If you know me you might notice that I am a white male. Knowing that, you are either 1.) scratching your head as to why I am talking to you about diversity, or, worse, 2.) feeling triggered by the fact that I am speaking from a place of privilege about a topic I ostensibly know absolutely nothing about. Please allow me to validate your concerns by acknowledging that 1.) I am a white male speaking from a place of privilege, and 2.) I am not trained in and have no education in the area of diversity. “So why, then, Jonathan, are you talking to me about this?” I am talking about it because 1.) we in the legal profession are failing and 2.) I hope that my voice joined with other voices from more diverse backgrounds might reach some of you. I had an interesting experience when attempting to address and discuss diversity amongst my fellow practitioners recently. Being the section president has given me the opportunity to develop an agenda and address things that concern me. Though my appearance might suggest that I have a certain background, I have been blessed to rub elbows with quite a diverse mix of individuals since I was a child. Diversity, in my experience, has included individuals of different racial and ethnic backgrounds, socioeconomic backgrounds, and people who represent the spectrum of LGBTQIA. Recently, I have found myself scanning meetings of our Family Law Section, the Lafayette Bar Board of Directors, and our courtrooms, and thinking to myself ‘We do not reflect the public we serve.’ As individuals certainly this is not our fault. But as a group, Attorneys and Counselors at law, it is our problem. I initially failed to stir action by bringing up the point that we are too similar to each other to reflect the public. I found there to be a lack of the proper language and forum to discuss it, and a failure to acknowledge that we are failing. So, I am here to tell you why, in fact, diversity is important. Diversity amongst the bench
DIVERSITY The concept of diversity encompasses acceptance and respect. It means understanding that each individual is unique, and recognizing our individual differences. These can be along the dimensions of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, age, physical abilities, religious beliefs, political beliefs, or other ideologies. It is the exploration of these differences in a safe, positive, and nurturing environment. It is about understanding each other and moving beyond simple tolerance to embracing and celebrating the rich dimensions of diversity contained within each individual.1 While we’re at it, let’s throw some other terms in the ring: INCLUSION Ideal.com defines inclusion in the workplace as: a collaborative, supportive, and respectful environment that increases the participation and contribution of all employees. PRIVILEGE Sian Ferguson provided the following as a basic definition of privilege: “a set of unearned benefits given to people who fit into a specific social group.” 2 (You would be SHOCKED at how difficult it is to find good citations for defining those words!) Next question: Do we, the bench and bar, mirror the public? The data suggest we do not. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics tells me that the legal profession is 88%
white. It also tells me that women make up about a third of the legal profession, but only about a fifth of law firm partners, general counsels of large companies, and law school deans.3 How about LGBTQIA? Only 2.8%.4 How does that compare to the general population? According to the Census Bureau, the general population is 60.4% white non-Hispanic or Latino ancestry. We are 50.8% female.5 The Census Bureau doesn’t collect data on LGBTQ statuses but the most recent Gallup poll says 4.5%.6 Okay, that’s all on the table. Now let me ask my next question: Do we have a problem? “We” – the legal profession. “Problem” – an issue that has a negative impact for us. Diversity of background brings with it diversity of perspective and diversity of ideas. Do we think that’s important? The first amendment cases I read in law school said they were. “Free marketplace of ideas.” Does that ring a bell? How many times have you called a colleague to discuss a case, and you end the call saying, “Well I never thought of it that way before.” Diversity of thought amongst our bench and bar makes us better lawyers. None of us have all of the answers.
Concerns exist about who the current system is working for. Mistrust of the courts runs high with African American voters, who are least likely to agree the courts are unbiased in their case decision (37% agree, 59% disagree) and are taking the needs of people into account (41% agree, 56% disagree). There is a large gap between white and African American voters on the system being fair and impartial (white: 66% describes, AA: 36% describes) and providing equal justice for all (white: 56% describes, AA: 29% describes). Voters, particularly nonwhite voters, believe more can be done by judges to understand the needs of those in their courtrooms. One cause of the lack of confidence among minorities in the judicial system may be the lack of diversity among lawyers and judges themselves. A 2009 study by the American Bar Association of racial and gender diversity on State Courts indicated that Hawaii is the only state with higher than 21% minorities occupying Judicial seats.
WHY DOES IT MATTER? WHY SHOULD WE CARE?
Diversity within our own law practices is equally important. Diversityjobs.com makes a pretty convincing case in terms of dollars and cents: Multiple studies have shown that a more diverse workforce in terms of age, gender, ethnicity, as well as veteran, disability, and LGBTQIA+ status can bolster innovation. A more diverse corporate talent pool is a competitive advantage not only because it helps companies create better products but because it helps them attract and retain the best talent from all over the world. In terms of revenue, in 2015 alone, companies in the top quartile for racial and ethnic diversity were 35% more likely to have financial returns above national industry medians and those with more women saw a 15% advantage. The same year, we also saw that diverse companies had 2.3 times more cash flow per employee over a threeyear period.7 Most of us are not operating Fortune 500 companies, but being diverse as a workforce in your own law firm helps attract talent, and consequently brings more success in court and at the bank. The judicial branch of government functions on public confidence. Our system of laws is by the people and for the people, as directed by the Constitution. Courts all over the United States have recognized that access to justice for all people, regardless of racial or ethnic backgrounds, gender, or other quality, is necessary for the Court system to function. A 2018 survey on confidence in the system of State Courts in the United States indicates that State Courts remain a trusted institution, more now than ever.8 However, while It may be true that most people have at least moderate confidence in the Court system, minorities typically express more mistrust in their assessment of fairness of court procedures:
The next highest are New York and (gasp) Louisiana, both with 20%. Women in the judiciary perform slightly better, with multiple states in the 20-30% range, the highest of which is Massachusetts with 34%.9 The good news is that the proportion of law students who identify as minorities is on the rise. According to the American Bar Association, approximately 20% of law students over the past two decades identified as minorities. The most recent study indicates that the proportion increased to 30%. However, the proportion of minorities occupying law firm positions does not mirror the rate of minorities enrolled in law school, and the higher up in the law firm you go, the lower the percentage of minorities.10 In conclusion, the answer to the question of why should we care about diversity is this: Because if we don’t, the integrity of our profession is at stake. Lack of diversity among litigants leads to less access for minorities. Lack of diversity among bench and bar leads to lack of faith among minorities in the court system, and therefore a lack diversity among litigants. This leads to minorities seeking remedies outside the justice system, and a breakdown of the system of law. The public perception of the bench and bar as impartial arbiters of justice is essential to the integrity of the legal profession. The lack of diversity among the bench and bar has the effect of eroding faith in our justice system. Diversity in the legal field is essential to the entire system of government in the United States because the lack of diversity undermines faith in our system of law. 1 http://www.qcc.cuny.edu/diversity/definition.html 2 White Privilege and Male Privilege: A Personal Account of Coming to See Correspondences through Work in Women’s Studies, McIntosh, 1988. 3 https://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2015/05/27/law-is-the-leastdiverse-profession-in-the-nation-and-lawyers-arent-doing-enough-to-change-that/ 4 https://www.nalp.org/0219research 5 https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/fact/table/US/RHI825218. 6 https://news.gallup.com/poll/234863/estimate-lgbt-population-rises. 7 https://www.diversityjobs.com/2019/06/corporate-gender-ethnic-veteran-disabilitylgbtqia-diversity/ 8 https://www.ncsc.org/~/media/Files/PDF/Topics/Public%20Trust%20and%20 Confidence/SoSC_2018_Survey_Analysis.ashx 9 http://www.judicialselection.us/uploads/documents/Racial_and_Gender_Diversity_ on_Stat_8F60B84D96CC2.pdf 10 https://www.fastcompany.com/90201095/law-schools-are-very-diverse-so-whyarent-law-firms
ATTORNEY Breaud & Meyers, PLC based in Lafayette seeks to hire an attorney with at least three years of experience in litigation. The firm’s practice concentrates in business litigation, medical malpractice defense and admiralty and maritime law. Strong research and writing skills are favored. The firm offers a competitive compensation package in addition to paid medical insurance, 401k Profit Sharing Plan, etc. If you are interested, please forward resume and cover letter to email@example.com.
Oats & Marino seeks to hire an attorney to handle diverse litigation cases, representing state and local governmental agencies, institutions of higher learning, businesses, and private individuals. Qualified candidates have litigation experience and are capable of taking a serious role in litigation matters, as sole counsel or litigation team leader as appropriate. The firm handles a wide variety of matters, many of which involve unusual fact patterns and complex or novel issues of law. Experience with governmental legal issues, employment law, real estate law, or transactional work is beneficial but not mandatory. Competitive compensation package combined with a collegial work environment make this an excellent opportunity. All inquiries are strictly confidential. Please forward a cover letter that includes a description of trial and deposition experience and responsibilities, resume, and salary requirements to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Oats & Marino seeks to hire an attorney proficient in writing briefs, performing legal research, and drafting contracts regarding complex areas of federal and state law. The firm handles a wide variety of matters, many of which involve unusual fact patterns and complex or novel issues of law, for a diverse base of clients including state and local governmental agencies, institutions of higher learning, businesses, and private individuals. Experience with governmental legal issues and handling litigation matters is beneficial but not mandatory. Competitive compensation package combined with a collegial work environment make this an excellent opportunity. All inquiries are strictly confidential. Please forward a cover letter that includes a description of legal experience and responsibilities, resume, and salary requirements to email@example.com.
T HERESA DE B ÊCHE & A SSOCIATES Theresa de Bêche, RN, MN, CLNC Legal Nurse Consultant 1390 Players Club Court Gulf Breeze, FL 32563
Phone: 850-934-0296 Cell: 337-781-0335 firstname.lastname@example.org
THE GRAPEVINE JudgeTMarc Amy (retired) has joined the maps Panel of Neutrals, HERESA DE B ÊCHE mediating and arbitrating cases throughout Louisiana. & A SSOCIATES Last November St. Landry Parish District Attorney Earl Taylor Theresa de Bêche, RN, MN, CLNC announced his retirement after 23 years in office and named Nurse Consultant 1st Legal District Attorney Charles Cravins as Phone: his successor. Cravins 850-934-0296 337-781-0335 assumed Taylor’s role beginning FebruaryCell: 1, 2020. Cravins was 1390 Players Club Court email@example.com Gulf Breeze, FL 32563 sworn in by Louisiana Supreme Court Justice, The Honorable James P. Genovese on February 1, 2020 at the Delta Grand Theater. Blake David, founding partner with Broussard and David, a Personal Injury Law Firm in Lafayette, LA, was selected to serve on the LEDA Board of Commissioners by the Lafayette T HERESA DE B ÊCHE City Parish Council in the Fall of 2019. The Lafayette Economic & A SSOCIATES Development Authority Board of Commissioners works in conjunction with LEDA staff to promote the economic health Theresa deParish. Bêche, RN, MN, CLNC of Lafayette Legal Nurse Consultant
850-934-0296 Caffery, Oubre, Campbell & Garrison,Phone: LLP337-781-0335 is pleased to Cell: 1390 Players Club Court firstname.lastname@example.org announce that Lauren Camel Begneaud has become a partner Gulf Breeze, FL 32563 of the firm.
All attorneys are invited to meet and have lunch with U.S. District Judge Michael Juneau for one hour at his chambers on the 4th floor of the U.S. Courthouse on Friday, April 24, 2020 at 12:00 noon. Space is limited. To reserve your seat, please RSVP by calling or emailing Barbara at 337-593-5100 or email@example.com. Andrus Boudreaux - Complete Title congratulates Founding Partner, Philip Boudreaux, for being awarded the “AV Preeminent” rating again this year from Martindale-Hubbell! This award is the highest possible rating, both in legal ability and ethical standards, and reflects the confidential opinions of fellow members of the Bar and the Judiciary.
Calling all chefs! 12
Have a recipe that's an old family favorite or won awards at the local parish fair? Let us feature it in The Promulgator and share it with our members! Send your recipes to: firstname.lastname@example.org
The cathedral stood quietly against the backdrop of a clear blue sky on the afternoon of Friday, January 10, 2020. At noon the bells rang out signifying that mass was soon beginning, and attorneys, judges, officials of the church, and members of the community ascended the steps to the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist to celebrate one of the legal community's most beloved traditions: Red Mass. This mass, which is also held around the world, invokes the Holy Spirit to pray for peace and justice during the upcoming year. Celebrating the Mass was the Most Reverend J. Douglas Deshotel, D.D., Bishop of the Diocese of Lafayette, and the Most Reverend Michael Jarrell, D.D. Bishop Emeritus. The Very Reverend Father Jim Brady, Pastor St. Pius X Catholic Church, was the guest homilist. The First Reading was read by Judge Charlie Fitzgerald, 15th Judicial District Court, and the Offertory Gifts were brought up by Glenn Edwards, Karen King, Shannon Dartez, and Greg Tonore. With the conclusion of mass, the congregation was invited to attend a luncheon in the Cathedral Center, sponsored by Broussard & David Law Firm.
Many years ago, when the Louisiana summer was too much for buildings without central air, the courthouses would close and would re-open in the fall with a ceremony. This became known as Court Opening, which is now held at the beginning of the year in conjunction with the annual Red Mass. Robert Kutcher
Judge Castle thanks Judge Fitzgerald for his time as Chief Judge.
Newly Admitted Attorneys to the 15th JDC
This year, Court Opening took place at the 15th Judicial District Court in Lafayette, LA on Friday, January 10, 2020. Following the opening of court, the Honorable Judge Charlie Fitzgerald conducted the Call to Order and led the Pledge of Allegiance, then performed the Passing of the Gavel to new Chief Judge the Honorable Judge Marilyn Castle. Reverend John Cannon of Asbury United Methodist Church gave the invocation, and Lafayette Bar Association President Glenn Edwards gave the Welcome Address. Lafayette Bar Association President-Elect Karen King introduced the judges and honored guests in attendance, and Secretary/Treasurer Shannon Dartez introduced the newly admitted attorneys to the court. Addressing the newly admitted attorneys was Mr. Robert Cole, who spoke about his experience as an attorney and gave lawyers young and old solid advice for practicing law professionally and ethically. Louisiana State Bar Association President Robert Kutcher also addressed the court and gave remarks on behalf of the LSBA. Lafayette Bar Association Immediate Past President Maggie Simar introduced those who would be eulogizing attorneys who had passed away in the last year, including John Allen Bernard (eulogized by Roger Ishee), Jean Breaux (eulogized by John Chappuis), Aubrey Denton (eulogized by daughter Aubrey Denton), Frank Flynn (eulogized by Billy Parker), Randall Guidry (eulogized by Emelie Guidry Miller), and Steven Matt (eulogized by Lester Gauthier). In conclusion, the Honorable Judge Marilyn Castle gave closing remarks and adjourned court. Following Court Opening, members of the bench and bar and guests gathered at Jefferson Street Pub for a reception, sponsored by Bart Bernard Law Firm, Becker & Hebert, Davidson Meaux Sonnier McElligott Fontenot Gideon & Edwards, Kean Miller, Liskow & Lewis, NeunerPate and Onebane Law Firm.
Evan Edwards, Judge John Trahan, Judge Frances Bouillion, Roger Ishee, Judge M'Elise Trahan and Greg Tonore Judge David Blanchet and Lester Gauthier
Blake David, Judge Marilyn Castle and Frank Neuner
Judge Robert Summerhays and City Marshall Michael Hill
Karen King, Robert Torian, Michelle Kallam and Robert Kallam
The 15th JDC welcomed newly admitted attorneys: Catherine Ashy, Natalie Awad, Paul Babineaux, Hunter Bernard, Kaylyn Blosser, Raven Boxie, Teddi Buller, John Cook, Kevin Ellis, Rebecca Guidry, Christopher Handy, Jessica Hapak, Randee Iles, Xavieria Jeffers, Meagan Johnson, Jasmine Journet, Robert Killingsworth, III, David Kobetz, Logan Pearce, John Piccione, Erin Rosson, Zebediah Stearns, Jr., Jamillia Stevenson, Jeremy Trahan, Larry Trahan, Marina Wilson
HEALTH & WELLNESS with Katherine Currie
Office Culture Annual Check-Up It is challenging to define an intangible like “culture.” As it relates to your firm culture, there are two ways to classify it: culture by construct and culture by chance. Culture by construct envisions written values handed down from the top, whereas culture by chance refers to a synergy organically created by personalities. More and more, we hear about firm culture and its impact on our wellness. The start of a new year is a time of reflection, and it may be rewarding to assess your workplace culture and resolve to positively impact it, whether through your actions or through conversations with decision-makers. Are there clearly-defined values? Are firm values codified, understood, and actually exhibited? If not, can you spearhead the initiative? Can you make the suggestion to those in charge? Memorializing firm values ensures understanding of expectations and creates a bond among the firm. According to The Path to Lawyer Well-Being, “When organizational values evoke a sense of belonging and pride, work is experienced as more meaningful. Experiencing work as meaningful is the biggest contributor to work engagement – a form of work-related well-being.” Does your culture support your wellness? Do both aspects of your office’s culture support you? The Path to Lawyer Well-Being suggests that one way organizational culture can encourage wellness is through a clear vacation policy that supports detachment from work. “In their study of 6,000 practicing lawyers, law professor Larry Krieger and psychology professor Kennon Sheldon found that the number of vacation days taken was the strongest predictor of well-being among all activities measured in the study. It was a stronger predictor of well-being even than income level.” From where does your culture originate? According to Law Firm Culture and Core Values, “‘Culture’ develops from the bottom up, not the top down. Everyone at your firm is responsible for culture. While law firm leadership is instrumental in setting the tone through the firm’s vision and values, they can’t declare and enforce culture. Culture comes from interactions with everyone.”
Richard T. Haik, Sr.
M E D I AT O R , SPECIAL MASTER United States District Judge WESTERN DISTRICT OF LOUISIANA
As one of the best bosses of our time, Michael Scott, once said, “An office is a place to live life to the fullest. To the max. An office is a place where dreams come true.” After reviewing these considerations, how did your annual check-up go?
16th Judicial District Court STATE OF LOUISIANA
Law Firm Culture and Core Values, LAWYERIST (Dec. 9, 2019), https://lawyerist.com/ hiring-staffing/firm-culture/. Mary Rosenfeld D’Eramo, Esq., Swimming with the Stream: Does Your Law Firm Culture Position You for Growth and Success?, MESTEL & COMPANY, https://www. mestel.com/swimming-with-the-stream-does-your-law-firm-culture-position-you-forgrowth-and-success/. The Path to Lawyer Well-Being: Practical Recommendations for Positive Change, AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION (August 2017), https://www.americanbar.org/content/ dam/aba/images/abanews/ThePathToLawyerWellBeingReportRevFINAL.pdf
Email: R T H a i k S r @ m m r b l a w. c o m mmrbhlawoffice.com | 800.856.6776
USEFUL CAJUN PHRASES Who hasn’t exclaimed, “Laissez le bon temps rouler!” at least once in their lives (or at least practiced the concept)? But there’s more to Acadiana’s linguistic heritage. Consider any of the following the next time your legal argument calls for extra spice:
1. Gris gris [GREE-gree] - Voodoo amulet, useful for cursing the opponent or enticing luck. “My client’s soon to be ex-wife put the gris-gris on him. He cannot find a job, and thus cannot pay support.” 2. C’est tout [Say too] – That’s all. "Ladies and Gentlemen of the Jury – c’est tout.”
3. Ça c’est bon [Sa say bohn] – That’s good. “Your Honor – ca c’est bon!” 4. Ça va [Sa va] – That’s enough. “Counselor – ca va!”
5. Lache pas la patate [lawsh-paw-lah-pah-tat] – Literally, don’t let go of the potato; figuratively, don’t give up. "Let’s settle this, guys. Lache pas la patate!” 6. Tracas [TRAH KAH] trouble; problem. “My client was merely an innocent bystander to the ensuing tracas.”
7. Couillon [KOO YON] - imbecile; fool; crazy person. “The defendant corporation is liable in solido with its couillon employee.” 8. Envie [ahn VEE] - desire; want; inclination. “Now into Court, comes Plaintiff, through undersigned counsel, who hereby seeks to quell his envie for additional documents.”
9. Canialle [kah NAHY] - Mischievous. “This is more than a fishing expedition, Your Honor. This is purely a canialle attempt to publicize my client’s private affairs!” 10. Chaoui [SHAH WEE] – Raccoon. “Due to a sudden chaoui attack early this morning, the undersigned respectfully requests a continuance of the above-referenced matter.” [Editor’s Note: This is a true story, shared with permission of the victim.]
The B ar Side by greg moroux
CLE We'd Like to See...
First, a necessary admission: I began practicing law when there was no mandatory CLE for Louisiana lawyers. I remember the precise moment, like the death of JFK, where I was, what I was doing, and what I was thinking when I heard that the Board of Delegates had passed a proposal to the Louisiana Supreme Court for mandatory CLE for Louisiana lawyers. At the beach (Biloxi, not Sandestin), CLE, next to a pool, talking to someone who keeps up with these things in a year that is still marked in print using Roman numerals.
Don’t spoil this one for your friends either.
I also recall the moment, before it was mandatory in Louisiana, I realized what mandatory CLE does to lawyers. I was at a Trial Advocacy School and the attorneys from mandatory states were frantically looking for the reporting form like water after a three-day desert trek. I recall thinking how nice it was my arm was not among those in the tangle toward the reporting form stack.
Ethical Billing Made Simple Ethical billing is difficult?
I am thinking of where we started and where we are now. CLE has gone from a good professional idea to a swarm of promotions to a cottage industry: Dog Law; Revocable Living Trusts; Cannabis and Vaping Law; Navigating Federal Court; How to Handle an Advocating Expert; Dealing with Rambo Tactics; The Anal Retentive Opponent; Preparing Smart Contracts; Client Engagement Agreements; Parental Alienation & Parental Alienation Syndrome; Client Engagement Contracts to Defend Malpractice Claims; Ethical Billing Made Simple; Brewery and Distillery Law 101; Workplace Gambling: Minimizing Theft & Liability Exposure Dog Law Now we can talk about Parental Alienation and Parental Alienation Syndrome. Revocable Living Trusts Can be found on Netflix and is a riveting must see. Don’t spoil the ending for your friends and family. Cannabis and Vaping Law Does anyone really care after a few tokes? Navigating Federal Court As if the rule books are not enough… How to Handle an Advocating Expert Short seminar, if he’s yours: Just shut up and let him go. Dealing with Rambo Tactics This I gotta see, and worth the price of admission just for the war stories. The Anal Retentive Opponent Got the tip on this one. Just wear your tie crooked with the skinny end longer than the wide end, and he will go nuts about the tie and forget about his case.
Parental Alienation & Parental Alienation Syndrome Ever have a teenager in your house? You have? You know this one. Client Engagement Contracts to Defend Malpractice Claims Spoiler alert – The protagonist dies…of boredom. (Note: The CLE hour reporting form is more interesting.)
Brewery and Distillery Law 101 Actually, sounds like fun. Workplace Gambling: Minimizing Theft & Liability Exposure Workplace Gambling when combined with Brewery Law, actually is fun. Now for some suggestions: Cat (feline, and shame on you for thinking anything else) Law: The elements of proof for suing the owner of a cat who only shows you indifference and pretends you’re not there. How to Deal With Excessively Nice and Cheerful Opponents Untangling When your Client Likes the Opposing Lawyer More than He Likes You. Navigating Justice of the Peace Court and all its rules. Preparing Smart Letters to the Clerk of Court The Ins and Outs of the Borderline Personality or Full Out Psychotic Opponent No Billing Made Difficult I am now “age exempt.” If you look up my CLE requirements for the year, you will see those words next to my name printed in bright red, all caps, the only red letters on the page (as if to politely omit the words: “be looking for his obituary”). When I informed Lynn (my wife) of this fact, she squared her shoulders to me, and said seriously: “That’s a strange rule,” (puzzled look from me) and then with this added explanation: “Greg, don’t you think at your age you would need more CLE?” Greg Moroux serves on the LBA Board of Directors and has been a practicing lawyer and living in Acadiana for most of his life. He has been a contributor to this publication for several years.
Preparing Smart Contracts The Preparing Stupid Contracts is a better use of your time. Client Engagement Agreements
We congratulate, our partner, Daniel J. Finch, on his one-year anniversary with our firm. Daniel has a diverse legal practice and accepts referrals in the following matters: • High net worth transfer tax planning and advice • Estate planning (wills, trusts, powers of attorney, etc.) • Probate and succession administration • Estate and trust litigation • Business transition, planning and advice • Medicaid planning • Matrimonial agreements and other spousal property matters • Estate (Form 706) and gift (Form 709) tax 900 E. Saint Mary Blvd., Suite 200, Lafayette, Louisiana 70503-2378 return preparation PO Box 51347, Lafayette,audits Louisiana 70505-1347
Interpreters | Translators LEGAL | OIL & GAS | TECHNICAL Depositions / Documents / Court All Major World Languages
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FAMILY LAW "To Protect What Matters Most"
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