NEW ORLEANS – The Louisiana State Bar Association has named a Metairie-based attorney as its new president.
Richard K. Leefe, a senior partner at Leefe Gibbs Sullivan & Dupré, was sworn in as the 73rd president of the Louisiana State Bar Association (LSBA) by Louisiana Supreme Court Chief Justice Bernette Joshua Johnson at the LSBA annual meeting in early June.
Leefe is well known for successfully representing 36 former employees, 35 of which were white and one who was Hispanic, of the New Orleans District Attorney’s Office who claimed they were fired due to racial discrimination after the election of former D.A. Eddie Jordan. Jordan resigned shortly before a $3.3 million court settlement was granted in favor of the plaintiffs, which nearly bankrupted the D.A.’s office.
As LSBA president, Leefe has vowed to further develop the newly established Senior Lawyers Division and the collaborative projects of the Senior Lawyers and Young Lawyers Divisions.
“The whole idea of the Senior Lawyers Division, as originated by former LSBA President Mike Patterson, is to keep our senior lawyers involved,” Leefe said. “We are wasting a great asset. The senior lawyers are a source of wisdom, knowledge and experience that we need to use in many ways. We need to keep them involved rather than let them drift away from the practice.”
Leefe also intends to address concerns with legal education, adequate funding for access to civil law justice programs and appropriate criminal law funding for indigent defense.
Prior to practicing law as a full-time profession, Leefe had decades of experience in academia teaching courses at Loyola University College of Law from 1976-2002, where he also earned his Juris Doctorate in 1974, and at Huazhong School of Law in Wuhan, China where in addition to teaching a law course he utilized his engineering bachelor’s degree that he received in 1969 from Louisiana State University to teach a Ph.D. engineering course. He most recently taught a courtroom evidence class to executive MBA students at Loyola University Business School.
For his efforts in the classroom Leefe received the Distinguished Service Award from Loyola University College of Law in 1992, the Excellence in Education Award from Professional Education Systems in 1991 and the LSBA Young Lawyers Section Award of Appreciation in 1991.
He also is the author of the treatise Louisiana Code of Evidence Practice Guide, 3rd edition, published by Lexis Publishing in 2005, and wrote the 1st and 2nd editions in 1990 and 1995.