A Law Library of Louisiana Free CLE
Co-sponsored by the Supreme Court of Louisiana Historical Society
“Who is Sally Miller? The Stranger Than Fiction
Case of MILLER v. BELMONTI”
by Judge Hadley W. Fontenot
Thursday, October 26, 2017
12 p.m. – 1 p.m.
Courtroom, Louisiana Supreme Court, 400 Royal Street
One hour credit
On Thursday, October 26, 2017, the Law Library of Louisiana and the Supreme Court of Louisiana Historical Society will co-sponsor a free CLE program presented by Judge Hadley W. Fontenot. Judge Fontenot will explain and examine a 19th Century New Orleans case, both on the trial court level and on appeal before the Louisiana Supreme Court, which culminated in Miller v. Belmonti (11 Rob.La.339 (1845)). Its controversy generated newspaper articles throughout the country, and it has been cited by a number of courts of varied jurisdictions and states. Set against the backdrop of antebellum Louisiana, the case brought to light the burning issues of the period, beginning with the exploitation of helpless immigrants, and ultimately exposing the cruelty and contradictions of the institution of African slavery. Judge Fontenot’s presentation will draw upon related publications, as well as a review of original court documents, judicial opinions, news articles, and miscellaneous writings regarding the matter.
Hadley Ward Fontenot, a graduate of Louisiana State University Paul M. Hebert Law Center, served for 32 years as judge of the 14th and 38th Judicial District Courts. He has also served by special appointments on other courts, including the 1st and 3rd Circuit Courts of Appeal. He is past president (and currently Président Honoraire) of the Louisiana Chapter of the Henri Capitant Society. He was an original member of the standing Committee on Uniform Rules for District Courts until adoption of the rules. In 2003, Judge Fontenot contributed an article to the Louisiana Law Review entitled The Louisiana Judicial System and the Fusion of Cultures (63 La. L. Rev. 1149 (2003)). In November of 2014, he delivered a paper on American Rules of Evidence to an international symposium in France hosted by the University of Paris. Since his retirement, Judge Fontenot has balanced special assignments from the Louisiana Supreme Court with his interest in local history and genealogy.