A writ in time
The best place to look up a Louisiana statute

How long will this appeal take?

I’m often asked by a client or a colleague how long the overall appeal process will take, or how long a particular piece of it will take (e.g. how long after oral argument will the court render a decision). Although I can never answer such questions precisely, I have a reasonable basis for making an estimate: the time standards promulgated by the Louisiana Supreme Court. You can find them in the Rules of the Louisiana Supreme Court under Part G, General Administrative Rules, § 6. Or you can just click on this handy link.

Please note that the time standards are not hard-and-fast deadlines; they are goals that the courts of appeal and supreme court are supposed to strive for. And by their own terms, the standards apply only under “normal and usual circumstances.” Your mileage may vary. Still, when your client asks how long the process will take, it’s nice to have some objective guidelines to refer to in answering the client’s question.

Note too that the time standards don’t kick in until the record is lodged in the court of appeal. To figure how long it will take for the record to be lodged, refer to La. Code Civ. P. art. 2125.


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Celia C. Elwlell, RP

When doing an appeal, have you had clients were under the mistaken impression that the appeal would "re-try" the case and make them "whole" -- as if the law could take away anything bad and put them back as they were before the initial lawsuit? A supreme court judge once told me that justice and law the are often two completely different things . . . .


Actually my clients are litigation-savvy. They know what can and can’t be done on appeal.

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