Jefferson Parish

Jefferson Parish, was, in fact, named in honor of Founding Father, Thomas Jefferson. A bronze statue of Jefferson stands at the entrance of the General Government Building in Gretna where all the courtrooms for the 24th Judicial District Court are located, as well as the Justice of the Peace courtroom for the Parish’s 1st District. This tribute stems from Jefferson’s substantial involvement in the purchase of Louisiana Territory from France in 1803 and his push for the passage of the Congressional Act for the Admission of Louisiana’s as a State in the Union. Act of Congress April 8, 1812, c. 50, 2 U.S. Stat. 701.

Interestingly, there was opposition to the passage of the Act and the admission of the Louisiana Territory by Josiah Quincy, a congressman from Boston. Quincy argued that the United States Constitution ‘did not permit the admission of a state on the other side of the Mississippi, a state peopled by a foreign nation, speaking a foreign tongue, and following strange laws and customs;’ as:

It was not for these men that our fathers fought…. It was not for them this Constitution was adopted. You have no authority to throw the rights and liberties, and property of this people, into a ‘hotch-pot’ with the wild men of the Missouri, nor with the mixed, though more respectable race of Anglo-Hispano-Gallo Americans, who bask on the sands, in the mouth of the Mississippi. I make no objection to these from their want of moral qualities or political right. The inhabitants of New Orleans are, I suppose, like those of all other countries, some good, some bad, some indifferent. . . . But, I oppose this bill from no animosity to the people of New Orleans, but from the deep conviction that it contains a principle incompatible with the liberties and safety of my country. . . . The bill, if it passes, is a death-blow to the Constitution.”

George Dargo, The Digest of 1808: Historical Perspectives, 24 Tul. Eur. & Civ. L.F. 1, 3-4 (2009)

Of course the Parisian critics had their own, more favorable opinion of the admission of Louisiana as a state in the Union. It seems Louisiana and its Napoleonic Code was an enlightenment of the established legal system within the United States, of which they did not favorably view.

“The Province of Louisiana, though separated for the present, from the GREAT EMPIRE, by a certain concurrence of events, continues to evince the highest veneration for all our political institutions. To avoid the barbarous yoke of a Gothick system of jurisprudence called the common law of England, the principles of the civil law have been expressly and exclusively adopted as the basis of a new code which is shortly to be promulgated in that Province. M. Louis Moreau Lislet, a French jurisconsult, has the honour of digesting this code; which in fact is a paraphrase of the Napoleon code.

George Dargo, The Digest of 1808: Historical Perspectives, 24 Tul. Eur. & Civ. L.F. 1, 2 (2009)(citing an article on the La Lanterne Magique, entitled “French Views with Respect to Louisiana”).

Thus begins the noted differences of Louisiana’s legal system to all other states within the Union. The differences continue to today and they raise an important point with respect to the hiring of an attorney for your injury that occurs within Louisiana and Jefferson Parish. Cliff Cardone received his Juris Doctorate from Loyola Law School in New Orleans and has practiced under the Civil Code for more than 35 years. He has further handled hundreds of matters in Jefferson Parish making him a good choice for your case arising in Jefferson Parish.

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