Louisiana Campaign to Preserve Civil Legal Aid

In May 2014, the FBA, New Orleans Chapter, adopted a resolution in support of the Louisiana Campaign to Preserve Civil Legal Aid.    It  joined the efforts of the Louisiana Bar Foundation, Louisiana State Bar Association and key Louisiana legal aid organizations by adopting the resolution.  The campaign will raise funds for civil legal aid and increase awareness of the growing civil legal needs of our indigent citizens.

Civil legal aid provides free legal assistance to those who would otherwise go unrepresented: women who are victims of domestic violence, children who need a stable home or special education, the elderly whose economic security or health care is in jeopardy, consumers impacted by improper lending practices, communities impacted by disasters and many more. Unlike criminal cases, there is no constitutional guarantee of counsel in civil cases.

Declines in funding combined with Louisiana’s high poverty place our already challenged legal aid system in crisis. “Our civil legal aid programs will not survive without our help. Assistance from the legal community is critical to maintaining and developing resources that will provide low income Louisiana citizens meaningful access to the justice system,” Hon. Wendell Manning, LBF President.

Funding for civil legal aid will have a ripple effect, impacting not only the families served, but the community at large. Schools, businesses, government agencies and the state as a whole benefit from resolving civil legal problems. To learn more about the campaign or to make a donation, contact Laura Sewell at the Louisiana Bar Foundation, 504-561-1046 or laura@raisingthebar.org.


The following awards will be presented at the Chapter’s Annual Meeting and Awards Luncheon on August 28, 2014.  We hope you will join us in congratulating and thanking the award recipients and their families for their dedication.

President’s Award:  Kara Van de Carr, Executive Director of Eden House
This award was conceived in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.  Its purpose is to recognize a lawyer for contributions to community leadership outside the practice of law.

John R. “Jack” Martzell Professionalism Award: Wayne J. Lee, Member at Stone Pigman Walther Wittmann, LLC
This award is named in honor of the late John R. “Jack” Martzell.  It recognizes an attorney who best exemplifies outstanding professionalism in the practice of law.
Camille F. Gravel, Jr. Public Service Award:  Mark Moreau, Co-Executive Director of Southeast Louisiana Legal Services (posthumously)
This award is named in honor of the late Camille Gravel, a veteran trial attorney and a champion in the battle for civil rights and equal justice irrespective of financial means.  The Camille Gravel Award recognizes an attorney who has done substantial pro bono legal work in keeping with the spirit and values exemplified by Mr. Gravel.