Dale M. Maas, Attorney at Law
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Lousiana's unique legal heritage

Those familiar with the way that the law works in other states may find some differences when they look at Louisiana legal structures. This is especially true when it comes to civil matters, such as contract law.

The reason: Louisiana judges in some areas of the law may use a slightly different tradition. Please read on for a brief discussion of how this could affect a contract law case.

The fact is that, as a defendant or plaintiff in a dispute, you would probably not have to worry about legal traditions. However, it would probably be in your best interest to retain counsel of someone who does understand the way that the unique system in the state works. It could influence timelines, for example. As per FindLaw, almost all civil actions in Louisiana have a one-year statute of limitations.

With that in mind, the difference is based mostly on a tradition of common law versus civil law. The other 49 states are common-law jurisdictions, while the Louisiana courts use a civil law system that is slightly more focused on judges and their interpretations of the law.

One of the key differences happens at the appellate court level. Appellate courts have significant power to review the evidence in contract law cases and potentially come to a new decision. Furthermore, contract disputes have a 10-year statute of limitations pursuant to the Louisiana Civil Code.

None of this means that judges in Louisiana make their own rules. In fact, legal professionals in Louisiana pay just as much attention to other cases and their outcomes as they do in any other part of the country. While judges in most matters tend to look at the base laws and render decisions based on the unique situation, they also take into account the history of similar situations in former cases.

All in all, the laws have just the same rigor and gravity as those of other states. The system might work slightly differently at times when it comes to contract law and appeals, but that should not be an issue for any Louisiana lawyer. 

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Dale M. Maas, Attorney at Law
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