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News & Announcements

Check this page, or the News and Announcements box on the homepage, for the latest official news and announcements released by the court. You can also access archived news and announcements from this page.

February 15, 2024
The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana presents an African American History Month Celebration entitled, "We See You: Remembering and Acknowledging Lost, Erased, and Ignored Communities of Color in Louisiana,” on Thursday, February 29, noon-2 pm, in Courtroom 501 and by Zoom.  There is no charge for this 2-hour CLE with lunch provided to in-person attendees, but advance registration is required at Please see the Eastern District of Louisiana website,, for additional information and for updates.
February 7, 2024
On November 2, 2023, the Honorable Wendy B. Vitter, U.S. District Judge for the Eastern District of Louisiana, presided over a naturalization ceremony in which 31 petitioners became United States citizens.  The Daughters of the American Revolution led the Pledge of Allegiance.  Attorney José Cot, a naturalized citizen, served as Keynote Speaker.  In his remarks, he encouraged the petitioners to register to vote and participate in civic life of the United States and all it has to offer.  EDLA Assistant U.S. Attorney Mimi Nguyen served as the Attorney General’s designee and certified the petitioners’ eligibility for citizenship.  Judge Vitter then administered the Oath of Allegiance, handed out certificates, and took pictures with our country’s newest citizens.  To view photos from the ceremony, please select this link.
January 8, 2024
The Court has found that U.S. Magistrate Judge Janis van Meerveld, whose current term expires July 31, 2024, should be considered for reappointment. Accordingly, the Court has ordered the establishment of a Merit Selection Panel. The Court’s order identifies the panelists and is available here.  
January 3, 2024
On January 2, 2024, the Honorable Sarah S. Vance informed President Joseph Biden that she intends to retire from regular, active service as a U.S. District Judge effective January 16, 2024. For nearly three decades, Judge Vance has served as a district judge for the Eastern District of Louisiana. She intends to render substantial judicial service as a senior judge. Judge Vance’s letter to President Biden can be read here.
December 28, 2023
Amendments to the Local Rules of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana become effective January 1, 2024. The changes concern:  •    Rule 7.5 (Response and Memorandum),  •    Rule 78.1 (Submission Dates and Oral Argument),  •    Rule 5.6 (Procedure for Filing Documents Under Seal), and  •    Rule 26.3 (Initial Disclosures in Misappropriation of Trade Secret Cases). The amendments are available in the Court’s December 20, 2023 Order. The en banc Court approved the amendments in March 2023 and revised them following a period of notice and comment. The Court then provided a second notice period and received approval from the Rules Committee of the Fifth Circuit’s Judicial Council before adopting the final amendments. In conjunction with the amendments, the process for filing documents under seal in civil cases will also change January 1. Parties in civil cases will now file sealed documents electronically through the Court’s CM/ECF system. Instructions for filing civil documents under seal appear in amended Local Rule 5.6 and the E-Filing Under Seal instructions and FAQs. The process for filing sealed documents in criminal cases remains unchanged. For further assistance, parties can also contact the Clerk’s Office help desk at (504) 589-7788 or toll-free at (866) 209-7767.
December 22, 2023
Judge Brandon S. Long took the oath of office to become a United States District Judge for the Eastern District of Louisiana on December 21, 2023, following his nomination by President Biden and his confirmation by the United States Senate. The Court extends a warm welcome to Judge Long and looks forward to his service on the bench. 
December 12, 2023
The Court has issued a Fourth Amendment to its Hurricane Ida Case Management Order No. 1. The order amends the CMO as follows:  1.    The deadline to conduct the Informal Settlement Conference is extended to 60 days from the disclosure deadline (previous deadline was 30 days);  2.    The deadline for the Administrator to schedule mediation is extended to 150 days from the filing of the last responsive pleadings or, if falling on a later date, 60 days from denial of a motion to remand (previous deadlines were 75 and 30 days); 3. The cancellation fee for mediations cancelled within 14 days is removed where the reason for cancellation is settlement of the case.   All other provisions of the CMO remain in effect. View this PDF View CMO Exhibit B View CMO Exhibit C
December 8, 2023
Cover Photo: Copyright Suzi Altman The United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana partnered with the New Orleans Chapter of the Federal Bar Association to present a dramatic reenactment of the historic events leading to the integration of the University of Mississippi. James Meredith, the then-student who integrated the University, participated in the event, which also recounted the heroics of Constance Baker Motley (Meredith’s attorney) and Judge John Minor Wisdom, one of several judges who authored courageous desegregation decisions at the time.  Under the direction of U.S. Magistrate Judge Janis van Meerveld and performing a script co-authored by U.S. Second Circuit Judge Denny Chin and his wife Kathy Hirata Chin, a cast of federal judges and other distinguished guests reenacted the court proceedings involved in Meredith’s quest to become the first Black student admitted to the university in the 1960s. The script drew heavily from actual transcripts from the legal proceedings and was accompanied by photographs of the events as they unfolded. These real-life touches transported the audience back in time to the segregated South that Judge Wisdom (played by Chief Judge Nannette Jolivette Brown) described as “the eerie atmosphere of never-never land.” Compelling, historic, thought-provoking, infuriating, and timely, the performance received a standing ovation from the capacity crowd, as did Mr. Meredith when he was introduced to the audience to add his commentary. Following the performance, a panel featuring U.S. Fifth Circuit Judge Dana Douglas, U.S. Magistrate Judge designee Eva Dossier, and Federal Public Defender Claude Kelly shared ethics and professionalism insights drawn from the events. Attendees who filled the Court’s en banc courtroom for the performance then had the opportunity to visit with Mr. Meredith and the distinguished cast of Judges and other prominent members of the bar. The program and accompanying panel discussion continued the success of the FBA’s long-running Alvin B. Rubin Symposium, which honors Judge Rubin who served as a U.S. district and appellate judge and authored several key civil rights opinions. For the full video of the performance, please click here to use this link. Photo gallery of the event by photographer Suzi Altman.
November 22, 2023
The current term of office of United States Magistrate Judge Janis van Meerveld at New Orleans, Louisiana, is due to expire on July 31, 2024. The United States District Court is required by law to establish a panel of citizens to consider the reappointment of a magistrate judge to a new eight (8) year term. The court is currently assembling a Merit Selection Panel. The names of the panel members will be published.  The duties of a magistrate judge include the following: (1) conducting most preliminary proceedings in criminal cases; (2) trial and disposition of misdemeanor cases; (3) conducting various pretrial matters and evidentiary proceedings on delegation from the judges of the district court; and (4) trial and disposition of civil cases upon consent of the parties. Comments from members of the bar and the public are invited as to whether the incumbent magistrate judge should be recommended by the panel for reappointment by the court and may be sent via email to or mailed to Carol L. Michel, Clerk, United States District Court, 500 Poydras Street, Room C-151, New Orleans, Louisiana 70130.  Comments must be received by February 20, 2024.  
November 21, 2023
The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana has issued a general order concerning Amendment 821 to the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines. The U.S. Sentencing Commission made certain provisions of the Amendment retroactive, permitting eligible defendants to receive sentence reductions. The Court’s order establishes the 821 Screening Committee that will review the cases of defendants identified as potentially eligible for a sentence reduction by the U.S. Sentencing Commission, the U.S. Probation Office, the Federal Public Defender’s Office, or the U.S. Attorney’s Office, as well as the cases of other defendants who file motions seeking Amendment 821 sentence reductions and cases referred for screening by the Court’s judges. For additional details, please see the Court’s General Order.