Louisiana State Bar Association Plan Of Legal Specialization

The Louisiana Board of Legal Specialization was first adopted in 1993 by the Louisiana Supreme Court and was restated in its entirety in March 2017. The purpose of the Adobe Acrobat Document Plan is to advance the standards of the legal profession by encouraging specialized education in various fields of practice. Further, the Plan is designed to promote the availability, accessibility and quality of the services of lawyers in particular fields of law in order to better serve the public interest and improve public access to appropriate legal services. The Louisiana Board of Legal Specialization (LBLS) is charged with regulating and administering all matters pertaining to specialization in the practice of law and regulating the certification of lawyers as specialists. The LBLS has certified as specialists some members of the Louisiana State Bar Association who practice in the following areas: Appellate Practice, Business Bankruptcy, Consumer Bankruptcy, Estate Planning and Administration, Family Law, and Tax Law. Lists of those members who qualify under the foregoing areas of law can be found at Linkwww.lascmcle.org/specialization/law-specialists.aspx


Second Public Meeting in Baton Rouge to Receive Comments on LBLS Employment Law Standards and Labor Law Standards Suspended by HOD & BOG

Dear Members,

The objective of the Louisiana State Bar Association Plan of Legal Specialization (“Plan”) is to promote the availability, accessibility and quality of the services of lawyers in particular fields of the law in order to better serve the public interest and improve public access to appropriate legal services and to advance the standards of the legal profession by encouraging specialized education in various fields of practice. There are currently ten approved specializations: Tax Law, Family Law, Business Bankruptcy Law, Consumer Bankruptcy Law, Labor Law, Employment Law, Estate Planning and Administration, Appellate Practice, Environmental Law and Health Law.

The Louisiana Supreme Court established the Louisiana Board of Legal Specialization (“LBLS”) in 1993 to assist consumers in finding a lawyer who has demonstrated ability and experience in specialized fields of law. The Louisiana Supreme Court included the specialty of Employment and Labor Law in the original Plan of Legal Specialization. In September 2014, the Louisiana Supreme Court approved the separation of Employment Law and Labor Law into two specializations. The LSBA House of Delegates (“HOD”) and Board of Governors (“BOG”) had approved the two separate specializations at their meeting in June 2014 without any opposition. The LBLS held a public hearing on April 13, 2016 on the proposed Labor Law Standards and Employment Law Standards. The standards for both specializations were revised to reflect concerns raised at the public hearing.

On January 21, 2017, the LSBA House of Delegates approved two LBLS Resolutions adopting standards for both Employment Law and Labor Law. No one in the House of Delegates spoke against either Resolution. The LSBA Board of Governors ratified the action of the House of Delegates.

One year later two members of the House of Delegates filed two Resolutions (Employment Law and Labor Law) to suspend the standards for Labor Law and Employment Law for further study, which were heard on January 20, 2018. The Louisiana Board of Legal Specialization opposed the Resolutions. The LSBA House of Delegates and Board of Governors passed the Resolutions and the Standards were suspended for further study and consideration.

The 2018 Resolutions instruct LBLS to conduct further study into whether a majority of the affected practitioners support the Standards “in light of prior survey data demonstrating greater opposition than support” and “whether concerns over discriminatory effects and unfair competitive advantages can be adequately addressed.”

In compliance with the 2018 Resolutions, the Louisiana Board of Legal Specialization voted to hold public meetings to obtain comments from the Bar regarding the Standards governing specialization in Employment Law and Labor Law

The first public meeting was held on August 16, 2018 in New Orleans. LBLS Chair Carl J. Servat III presided over the meeting and Board Member William R. Corbett attended the meeting. LBLS thanks LSBA President Barry H. Grodsky for his attendance and participation in the meeting and the interested members of the Bar who attended and voiced their opinions.

In order to receive input on the Employment Law Standards and Labor Law Standards from interested members of the Bar throughout the state, LBLS plans to hold additional hearings in Baton Rouge, Lafayette, and Shreveport in 2018 and early 2019.

The LBLS will hold its second public hearing on Wednesday, October 3, 2018, at the LSU Law Center, 2nd Floor, Tucker Room, W303, Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70803 at 5:00 p.m. Parking is available on campus at a metered spot or in the Union Square Garage for $1.50 per hour.

The purpose of the public hearing is to determine whether the LBLS Employment Law Standards and Labor Law Standards need to be revised based upon the Resolutions passed on January 20, 2018. LSBA members also may submit comments to the LBLS Employment Law Standards and Labor Law Standards to Mary Ann Wegmann by email (MaryAnn.Wegmann@lsba.org.) or by letter addressed to the LBLS, 601 St. Charles Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70130.

You may review the Employment Law Standards and the Labor Law Standards on the LBLS website at https://www.lascmcle.org/content/pdf/Employment_Law_Standards.pdf and https://www.lascmcle.org/content/pdf/Labor_Law_Standards.pdf.

If you are interested in additional information, please contact Specialization Director, Mary Ann Wegmann, at (504) 619-0128, 1-800-421-5722, or MaryAnn.Wegmann@lsba.org.

Sincerely yours,
Carl J. Servat III, Chair
Louisiana Board of Legal Specialization


Health Law is the Newest Specialty Area in Louisiana

Dear Members:

The Louisiana Supreme Court created the Louisiana Board of Legal Specialization to oversee existing areas of legal specialty and to develop new areas of legal specialty, as requested by fellow members of the bar. The Louisiana Board of Legal Specialization is charged with recommending specialty areas. The recommended specialty areas must then be approved by the Louisiana State Bar Association House of Delegates and the Louisiana Supreme Court.

On behalf of the Louisiana Board of Legal Specialization, I am pleased to announce that on September 28, 2017, the Louisiana Supreme Court approved Health Law as the newest area of legal specialty. The Louisiana State Bar Association Plan of Legal Specialization has been amended to include Health Law as an approved area of specialty under the jurisdiction of the Louisiana Board of Legal Specialization.

In an effort to provide information to members of the bar who are interested in additional areas of specialization, the Louisiana Board of Legal Specialization has adopted written policies.

If you are interested in additional information concerning the new Health Law specialty, or if you would like to inquire about a new specialty area, please contact our Specialization Director, Mary Ann Wegmann, at (504) 619-0128, 1-800-421-5722, or MaryAnn.Wegmann@lsba.org.

Sincerely yours,
Carl J. Servat III, Chair
Louisiana Board of Legal Specialization


Two New LBLS Certification Designations Approved

The LBLS petitioned and received approval from the LSBA House of Delegates and the Louisiana Supreme Court to revise the LSBA Plan of Legal Specialization and the LBLS Rules and Regulations to provide for two (2) new certification designations, specifically, “inactive” and “senior”.

The inactive certification designation was created to accommodate specialists who have to leave or suspend the practice of law on a temporary basis but wish to maintain their specialization certification.

The senior designation was established to accommodate specialists who no longer practice law on a full time basis but wish to maintain their specialization certification.

The criteria for these designations is stated in Rule 13 and Rule 14 respectively in the LBLS Rules and Regulations. A copy of the Plan of Legal Specialization, LBLS Rules and Regulations, individual LBLS Standards and the appropriate application form(s) may be downloaded at https://www.lascmcle.org/specialization/index.aspx.

Qualifying Specialists who have relinquished their certification within the past year and would like to have their certification reinstated under the senior certification designation may also apply.

In addition, in an effort to make more CLE credits available to specialists, the LBLS has also made some revisions in approving programs for specialization CLE credit. In some instances, portions of programs that may not have qualified for specialization CLE credit in the past may now qualify for credit. All specialization CLE requests must be submitted to LBLS and will be evaluated by the specialization CLE committee on a case by case basis.

Please direct all questions to Specialization Director Mary Ann Wegmann at (504) 619-0128 or email MaryAnn.Wegmann@lsba.org.