The Honorable Richard Durbin
Senate Judiciary Committee
Dear Chairman Durbin:
On behalf of the Alliance for Justice (AFJ), a national association representing more than 150 public interest and civil rights organizations, I write to support the confirmation of Darrel James Papillion to the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana.
A seasoned plaintiff’s lawyer, Mr. Papillion has spent his career representing injured workers, advocating for survivors of sex abuse, and fighting voter disenfranchisement in his home state of Louisiana. Growing up in the rural community of St. Landry Parish, Mr. Papillion learned about the justice system while working in the parish courthouse and Opelousas City Hall as a student. He went on to earn degrees from Louisiana State University and A&M College and the Paul M. Herbert Law Center at Louisiana State University in 1994.
After law school, Mr. Papillion launched a career committed to helping plaintiffs access justice. In 1999, Mr. Papillion joined Walter, Thomas, Papillion, Cullens, LLC, where he was named a partner in 2001. Notably, he handled numerous civil cases on behalf of workers injured or killed on the job and served as co-counsel in a recent voting rights case. In 2020, thanks to his reputation as a seasoned attorney and dedicated member of the community, Mr. Papillion was appointed Special Prosecutor for the East Baton Rouge District Attorney’s Office to help the state manage emergency laws passed to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
A lifelong Louisianan, Mr. Papillion is deeply involved in his community. He is active in the Louisiana State Bar Association (LSBA), serving as Co-Chair of the LSBA Continuing Legal Education Committee. Mr. Papillion also served on the board of the Louisiana Bar Foundation, sitting on numerous committees including the Ethics Advisory Committee, the Legislation Committee, and the Rules of Professional Conduct Committee before serving as president from 2016 to 2017. His community involvement beyond the legal profession includes his service on the Board of Directors for the Louisiana Art & Science Museum.
Well-known and respected in Baton Rouge, Mr. Papillion was named one of the Top 40 Under 40 by the Baton Rouge Business Report and has been named a Louisiana Super Lawyer annually since 2006. In 2019, Mr.
Papillion was named the Lawyer of the Year in the Baton Rouge area for his work in personal injury litigation. A seasoned litigator, Mr. Papillion has dedicated his professional life to serving the people of Louisiana as a plaintiff’s attorney—an area of the legal profession that is underrepresented in our federal judiciary.
Mr. Papillion’s temperament, his commitment to public service, and his legal accomplishments all prove he is well suited to the federal bench and would make an exceptional addition to the Eastern District of Louisiana. I urge you to support his confirmation.