The Louisiana Appellate Project

The Louisiana Appellate Project (LAP) was formed as a 501(c)(3) non-profit law office on April 1, 1996. It was the first program or agency established by the Louisiana Indigent Defender Board (now Louisiana Public Defender Board). The Louisiana Appellate Project provides appellate services for indigents in all non-capital felony appeals in all Louisiana districts. Effective August 1, 2005, LAP became responsible for appeals of felony grade delinquency adjudications.

Appellate work includes work in the appellate courts of Louisiana, and, when appropriate, filing writs to the Louisiana Supreme Court. It also includes cases appealed by the State, such as when a court declares a statute unconstitutional.

Every district public defender office has contracted with LAP to supplement their staff with these services. There is no cost to the district public defender. Almost all funding for LAP comes from the Louisiana Public Defender Board, with minor income from the LAP annual seminar. By concentrating appellate work across all five Louisiana Circuit Courts to LAP attorneys, clients appeals are handled by attorneys with the skills, experience and time to focus on the unique needs of appellate work. This arrangement similarly allows public defenders to focus on trial practice as their primary duties.

LAP employs a director, three supervisors and 22 appellate counsel, for a total of 26 attorneys. LAP attorney staff averages more than 23 years of experience, and more than nine years of employment with LAP. In fiscal year 2009, LAP handled 580 appellate cases.

Contact information:

The Louisiana Appellate Project
Director: Christopher A. Aberle
P.O. Box 8583
Mandeville, LA 70470
Office and fax (985) 871-4084

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