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Louisiana Third Circuit Court issues a shocking string of ‘activist’ decisions

A new report from LLAW shows that the Third Circuit Court of Appeal in Louisiana has been issuing “activist” decisions. The report also states that, out of all the appellate courts in the state, the Third Circuit Court has had the most rulings overturned by the Louisiana Supreme Court.

Judicial activism, as defined by Colleen Pero, is a “judge who or a court that possesses a tendency to write new law or establish public policy from the bench rather than apply existing laws to the facts and questions before them.” The Third Circuit Court continues to step outside its clearly defined limits by assuming that its rulings do not have to adhere to already established laws.

Read more in The Hayride on how these cases demonstrate the Third Circuit Court’s history of activism.

  • Oliver v. Magnolia Clinic – This case illustrates the inconsistent application of a well-established legal statute by the 3rd Circuit in an apparent attempt to manipulate the law to achieve a preferred outcome – namely a higher award for the plaintiff.

  • Arabie v. CITGO – The trial court and the 3rd Circuit apparently ignored a clear expression of public policy by the Louisiana Legislature; acted to import and apply laws from another state; and selectively applied the law to facts to support a desired outcome.

  • Bourque v. Essex Insurance Co. – In this negligence suit, the 3rd Circuit invalidated the findings of two Louisiana juries, took the unusual step of conducting a de novo review, and awarded the plaintiff damages of more than $1.2 million.

  • Guillory v. Lee & Menard v. Lafayette Insurance Co. – In these cases, the 3rd Circuit reportedly erred in amending and reversing the findings of Louisiana juries and abused its discretion as an appellate court by substituting its own factual findings for those of the original triers of fact.

  • Jane Doe v. Southern Gyms & Price v. Martin – The 3rd Circuit appears to have misinterpreted long standing legal standards as they relate to the plaintiffs’ burden of proof in class action certifications.

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