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Midyear Meeting

New Orleans Mayor: ‘We’re Waiting for Locusts Now’

Posted Feb 6, 2012 10:40 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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New Orleans Mayor Mitchell Landrieu welcomed lawyers to his city on Monday when he addressed the ABA House of Delegates.

Landrieu was a state lawmaker and a lawyer who practiced law for 15 years before he became mayor. Now, he told the ABA House, he has the “great privilege and responsibility of watching the law as it lives.” He has a few other perks, including a parking space and freedom from CLE, he said.

Lawyers are great protectors of liberty, he said, and they also have a responsibility to act.

He noted that the ABA was forced to cancel its midyear meeting six years ago after Hurricane Katrina devastated the city. It wasn’t the only disaster to hit the city. New Orleans has been hit by several hurricanes, including Rita, and was also harmed by the BP oil spill.

“This city has suffered some of the most consequential disasters” of any place in America he said. “We’re waiting for locusts now.”

Landrieu said the city has rebuilt itself and has been “a laboratory for innovation and change.” New Orleans has rebuilt its education system, constructed 88 health care clinics, and created partnerships between government and the private sector.

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