Louisiana Supreme Court - 400 Royal St., New Orleans, LA 70130 | Tel: 504-310-2300 Hon. Bernette J. Johnson. Chief Justice.  John Tarlton Olivier., Clerk of Court.  Sandra A. Vujnovich. Judicial Administrator
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2012 Press Releases

CONTACT PERSON: VALERIE WILLARD

PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICER
(504) 310-2590

 JULY 16, 2012

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


This statement is being issued to clarify recent media accounts related to the dispute over the Office of the Chief Justice of the Louisiana Supreme Court and to provide greater understanding of the procedures and operations of the state Supreme Court.


On June 13, 2012, the Louisiana Supreme Court issued Order No. 12-O-1342 which was signed by Chief Justice Catherine D. “Kitty” Kimball on behalf of the court. The Order was entered as a means of resolving an unprecedented, constitutional dispute that involves three justices by allowing an opportunity for those asserting a claim to present their legal argument to the Court. At issue is who has more seniority for the purpose of ascending to the Office of Chief Justice upon the retirement of Chief Justice Kimball in early 2013.


The Order notes the recusation of the three justices with an interest in the outcome of the dispute, and assigns three ad hoc (“for this purpose only”) justices. For this matter the Court selected the three Court of Appeal Chief Judges with the most seniority as Chief Judge to participate.


Amicus curiae (“friend of the court”) briefs may be filed, as always, pursuant to the procedure provided under the Louisiana Supreme Court Rules, Rule VII, Section 12.


As with all matters before the Court, the Louisiana Supreme Court does not take a premature position on any dispute that must be decided. It is for this reason that written briefs have been sought. Only after all interested parties have made their positions known in writing and provided their legal arguments on the matter in dispute will a written opinion be released by the Court, and then only after thoughtful review and discussion has taken place and a majority vote cast.

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