United States District Court for the Western District of Louisiana

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Western District of Louisiana
Fifth Circuit
LA-WD Seal.gif
Judges: 7
Posts: 7
Vacancies: 0
Active judges
Chief: Dee Drell
Senior Judges
Magistrate Judges
Former Judges
Key:
(Numbers indicate % of seats vacant.)
0%0%-10%
10%-25%25%-40%
More than 40%

The United States District Court for the Western District of Louisiana is one of ninety-four United States district courts. When decisions of the court are appealed, they are appealed to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, based in New Orleans, Louisiana, at the John Minor Wisdom Federal Courthouse.

The United States Attorney for the Western District of Louisiana represents the United States in civil and criminal litigation in the court. The current district attorney is Stephanie A. Finley.[1]

Vacancy warning level

The United States District Court for the Western District of Louisiana's vacancy warning level is green. The court currently has no vacancies.

Pending nominations

There are no pending nominations for the United States District Court for the Western District of Louisiana.


Active judges

Article III judges

JudgeBornHomeAppointed byActiveChiefPreceededBachelorsLaw
Judge Patricia Minaldi1959Somerville, MAW. Bush 05/09/2003 - PresentJames TrimbleWesleyan U., 1980Tulane Law, 1983
Judge Richard Haik1950Lafayette, LAH.W. Bush 05/30/1991 - Present2002 - 2009John Duhe, Jr.University of Southwest Louisiana, B.S., 1971Loyola Law, J.D., 1975
Judge Rebecca Doherty1952Fort Worth, TXH.W. Bush 11/05/1991 - PresentNew Seat|104 Stat. 5089Northwestern State U., Louisiana, B.A., 1973Louisiana State U. Law, J.D., 1981
Judge Maurice Hicks1952New Orleans, LAW. Bush 05/21/2003 - PresentDonald WalterTexas Christian U., B.A., 1974Louisiana State U., J.D., 1977
Chief Judge Dee Drell1947New Orleans, LAW. Bush 04/10/2003 - Present10/15/2012 - PresentF.A. LittleTulane U., B.A., 1968Tulane Law, J.D., 1971
Judge Robert James1946Ruston, LAClinton 08/03/1998 - Present2009 - 10/15/2012John ShawLouisiana Tech U., B.A., 1968Louisiana State U. Law, J.D., 1971
Judge Elizabeth Erny Foote1953Lafayette, LAObama 06/15/2010 - PresentTucker MelanconLouisiana State U., 1974Louisiana State U. Law, 1978


Senior judges

JudgeAppointed byActiveChiefSeniorBachelorsLaw
Senior Judge Tucker MelanconClinton 02/11/1994 - 02/13/200902/14/2009 - PresentLouisiana State U., B.S., 1968Tulane Law, J.D., 1973
Senior Judge Tom StaggNixon 03/08/1974 - 02/28/19921984 - 199102/29/1992 - PresentLouisiana State U., B.A., 1943Louisiana State U. Law, LL.B., 1949
Senior Judge Donald WalterReagan 07/11/1985 - 11/29/200111/30/2001 - PresentLouisiana State U., B.A., 1961Louisiana State U. Law, J.D., 1964
Senior Judge James TrimbleH.W. Bush 09/16/1991 - 09/12/200209/13/2002 - PresentLouisiana State U., B.A., 1955Louisiana State U. Law, LL.B., 1956


Magistrate judges

JudgeActiveBachelorsLaw
Magistrate Judge James Kirk12/15/1998 - Present
Magistrate Judge C. Michael Hill2001 - Present
Magistrate Judge Kathleen Kay12/17/2008 - Present
Magistrate Judge Karen Hayes06/25/1997 - Present
Magistrate Judge Mark Hornsby01/14/2005 - Present
Magistrate Judge Patrick Hanna


Jurisdiction

The Parishes of the Western District of Louisiana (click for larger map)

The Western District of Louisiana has original jurisdiction over cases filed within its jurisdiction. These cases can include civil and criminal matters that fall under federal law.

The geographic jurisdiction of the Western District of Louisiana consists of all the following parishes in the western part of the state of Louisiana.[2]

Caseloads

pChart

pChart

Federal Court Caseload Statistics*
YearStarting case load:Cases filed:Total cases:Cases terminated:Remaining cases:Median time(Criminal)**:Median time(Civil)**:3 Year Civil cases#:Vacant posts:## Trials/Post
2013 3996377977752853 49229.212.9133 (2.9%)015
2012 2851354363942384 401011.311.4107 (3.0%)022
2011 2648273053782506 28728.913.8103 (4.3%)023
2010 2711256052712619 265210.310.6136 (6%)8.421
2009 2565278753522612 27409.412.4130 (5.6%)7.526
2008 2715253252472655 259211.21290 (4.2%)017
2007251728895406291524918.99.993 (4.1%)014
*All statistics are taken from the Official Federal Courts' Website and reflect the calendar year through September.    **Time in months from filing to completion.
#This statistic includes cases which have been appealed in higher courts.    ##This is the total number of months that any judicial posts had spent vacant that year.

Notable cases

For a searchable list of opinions, please see Opinions of the Western District of Louisiana.

History

Federal courts in Lousiana were established by Congress on March 26, 1804, with one post to cover the territory of Orleans. This was the one and only time that Congress granted a district court with the same jurisdiction as the state courts to a territory. On March 3, 1823, Congress divided the district into the Eastern District of Louisiana and the Western District of Louisiana. On February 13, 1845, Congress consolidated the districts into one district, with one post over the entire state. On March 3, 1849, Congress again divided the district into the Eastern District of Louisiana and the Western District of Louisiana, only to reunite it into one district again on July 27, 1866. Finally, Congress divided the district for the last time on March 3, 1881. Then on December 18, 1971, Congress split the Middle District of Louisiana from the two existing districts, resulting in the current jurisdictions. Over time, six additional judicial posts were added to the Western District of Louisiana for a total of seven posts.[11]

Judicial posts

The following table highlights the development of judicial posts for the Western District of Louisiana:[11]

Year Statute Total Seats
March 26, 1804 2 Stat. 283 1(Whole State)
March 3, 1823 3 Stat. 774 1(1 shared)
February 13, 1845 5 Stat. 722 1(Whole State)
March 3, 1849 9 Stat. 401 1
July 27, 1866 14 Stat. 300 1(Whole state)
March 3, 1881 21 Stat. 507 1
May 31, 1938 52 Stat. 584 2
May 19, 1961 75 Stat. 80 3
June 2, 1970 84 Stat. 294 4
October 20, 1978 92 Stat. 1629 5
July 10, 1984 98 Stat. 333 6
December 1, 1990 104 Stat. 5089 7

Former chief judges

In order to qualify for the office of chief judge in one of the federal courts, a judge must have been in active service on the court for at least one year, be under the age of 65, and have not previously served as chief judge. A vacancy in the office of chief judge is filled by the judge highest in seniority among the group of qualified judges. The chief judge serves for a term of seven years or until age 70, whichever occurs first. The age restrictions are waived if no members of the court would otherwise be qualified for the position. Unlike the Chief Justice of the United States, a chief judge returns to active service after the expiration of his or her term and does not create a vacancy on the bench by the fact of his or her promotion.[12][13]

Former judges

For more information about the judges of the Western District of Louisiana, see former federal judges of the Western District of Louisiana.

Federal courthouse

The Western District of Louisiana has five federal courthouse.

See also

External links

References


LouisianaLouisianaLouisiana Supreme CourtLouisiana Courts of AppealLouisiana District CourtsLouisiana Family CourtsLouisiana Juvenile CourtsLouisiana Parish CourtsLouisiana City CourtsLouisiana Municipal CourtsLouisiana Traffic CourtsLouisiana Justice of the Peace CourtsLouisiana Mayor’s CourtsUnited States District Court for the Eastern District of LouisianaUnited States District Court for the Middle District of LouisianaUnited States District Court for the Western District of LouisianaUnited States bankruptcy court, Eastern District of LouisianaUnited States bankruptcy court, Middle District of LouisianaUnited States bankruptcy court, Western District of LouisianaUnited States Court of Appeals for the Fifth CircuitLouisiana parishesLouisiana judicial newsLouisiana judicial electionsJudicial selection in LouisianaLouisianaTemplate.jpg