Researching Louisiana state law is both unique and challenging. Unlike the other 49 states in America, Louisiana is a mixed jurisdiction, blending characteristics from both the civil and common law tradition.
The citizens of the original territory rejected the common law methods used throughout the rest of the U.S. when they were purchased in the early 1800s, preferring to maintain their civil laws, which were mostly of Spanish and French Origin. However, the system of government and the judicial system were established in the image of the federal system and the systems in the other states.
Consequently, Louisiana public law, such as property law, family law, and tort law, is based in the civil tradition, while public law, such as criminal law, resembles and functions like the laws in the common law states.
The library has two books that will be tremendously useful to any researcher unfamiliar with the Louisiana legal system: