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September 2019

Which La. appellate court is the busiest?

Here’s a chart I’ve prepared for an upcoming CLE presentation showing the per-judge workload of each Louisiana Court of Appeal for 2018. (Click on or touch the chart to see it full-sized.) This shows, for each circuit, the total numbers of cases (blue), appeals (orange), and writ applications (green), divided by the number of judges in each circuit. The numbers of judges for each circuit come from La. R.S. 13:312.1. The other numbers come from the Louisiana Supreme Court’s 2018 Annual Report. We see that, any way you slice it, the First Circuit is by far the busiest appellate court in the state, and its judges have the heaviest workload.

Cases per judge by circuit


Rule X writ-grant considerations are not exclusive.

Today, I happened to come across the La. Supreme Court’s decision in Mayeux v. Charlet, 2016-1463 (La. 10/28/16), 203 So. 3d 1030. Footnote 5 of Mayeux contains a lengthy quotation from Unwired Telecom Corp. v. Parish of Calcasieu, 2003-0732, pp. 8–10 (La. 1/19/05), 903 So. 2d 392, 400–01, discussing the discretionary nature of the supreme court’s jurisdiction. It’s a reminder that, while the writ-grant considerations in Rule X are important, they are not a jurisdictional test and do not limit the supreme court’s jurisdiction. Rather, “the constitutional grant of supervisory authority to [the supreme] court is plenary, unfettered by jurisdictional requirements, and exercisable at the complete discretion of the court.” The footnote includes citations to several cases and two law-review articles discussing the supreme court’s exercise of discretionary jurisdiction, including cases where the supreme court has granted writs even though the relator had not exhausted its remedies in the lower courts. It’s worth tucking away for future reference, for cases that appear writ-worthy but don’t quite fit any of the Rule X considerations.