Louisiana civil codes 'exacerbate' New Orleans' dysfunction, according to report

By Alejandro de los Rios | Mar 7, 2011


A specialist hired by New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu said Louisiana's civil laws make bureaucratic dysfunction worse and has led to a "shocking" situation in City Hall.

David Osborne, who has worked as a turnaround consultant for 25 years, said he was shocked at the state of New Orleans' city government, calling it the "least competent city government" and "the most corrupt."

"More than in common law jurisdictions, Louisiana has sought to construct a comprehensive anticipate-ever-possibility web of rules, statutes, and even constitutional provisions," the report states.

"Those efforts, layered on decade after decade, encrust the work environment and make the shift to results and performance-oriented government exceedingly difficult."

The report does not specifically mention the Orleans Parish Civil District Court, which is housed in a building attached to City Hall.

Landrieu hired Osborne to help formulate a plan to turnaround city government and deal with a $62 million budget deficit.

Recently, the Louisiana Lawsuit Abuse Watch (LLAW) group released a study stating that Louisiana municipalities spent more than $52 million in litigation from 2006-2009.

The LLAW study states New Orleans spent $14.1 million on fighting lawsuits in the three years before Landrieu was elected to office.

According to a records search at Orleans Parish Civil District Court, the city of New Orleans was named as a litigant in 835 lawsuits in 2009. That number rose to 874 lawsuits in 2010. Already, the city is named in 64 new lawsuits in 2011.

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