The 2023 Civil Rights Étouffée is back live in New Orleans on February 2 and 3, 2023!

(to coincide with the first weekend of Mardi Gras parades)

Register Now!
Registration for digital attendees will open once it has been determined that the online programming will occur.


The 2023 Civil Rights Étouffée thanks its amazing co-sponsors.



Chapter Co-Sponsors

New Orleans Chapter, Chicago Chapter, Eastern District of Michigan, Eastern District of New York, Kansas & Western Missouri Chapter, Lafayette-Acadiana Chapter, Massachusetts Chapter, Minnesota Chapter, Northern District of Ohio, Oklahoma City Chapter, St. Louis Chapter, Southern District of New York Chapter, South Florida Chapter,  Tampa Bay Chapter, Utah Chapter, Washington State Chapter.

The Étouffée invites your law firm, your chapter, or your affinity association to join this list and help us continue to ensure the Étouffée is available to all regardless of financial position.



Nuts and Bolts of § 1983 Litigation Bootcamp (At EDLa Courthouse)

Whether you’re just starting out and are interested in making civil rights work your focus, you want to take a pro bono case, or if you just need to brush up on the basics, this three-session mini-bootcamp will be for you! Seminars, taught by experienced civil rights practitioners, will provide a foundation in the legal claims, defenses, and remedies in a § 1983 cause of action and practical advice to succeed in client management, discovery, and pre-trial resolution.

Rule 12(b): Cracking the Nut: Essentials of § 1983
This session will cover the basics of the § 1983 cause of action, from the statutory language to the elements of a cause of action, to liability for entities, to remedies. The session is perfect for someone completely new to § 1983 litigation or someone who might want a refresh on fundamental federal civil rights principles.
Rule 12(b): Surviving, Winning, and Avoiding, the Early Motion to Dismiss

Early motions to dismiss are frequently filed in § 1983 cases. Panelists in this session will discuss ways to survive (from a Plaintiff’s perspective) or win (from a defense perspective), a motion to dismiss, or even how to avoid them altogether with proper pleading. Topics include pleading the proper plaintiff and defendant (standing and absolute / 11th Amendment immunity issues, pleading sufficient facts (the Iqbal standard as it applies in § 1983), and pleading a claim with supported by clearly established law (qualified immunity).
The Nitty-Gritty: Practical Advice on Litigating a § 1983 Claim to Trial
The session will be a guided Q&A delving into the practical matters of litigating a § 1983 case, largely from the perspective of a plaintiff’s attorney. Topics covered will include advice for intake and managing client expectations, pre-filing research, special considerations for incarcerated clients, deposition and witness prep tips, evaluating a case in light of a Rule 68 offer, settling with insured vs. self-insured entities, and more. We expect this to be a dynamic session, so audience members should bring their questions to ask our panel of experienced litigators!

The Civil Rights Étouffée Returns to the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation’s George & Joyce Wein School of Music

Plenary and breakout panels with experienced speakers covering all areas of civil rights.

Remedies, Court Access, and Beyond:  Life after Cummings
The Supreme Court last term limited the remedies available in disability cases. It may be poised next term to limit access to the federal courts in general. What does this mean for attorneys and clients on both sides of the v.?
Panelists to include: Caryl Oberman, William Goren, Andrew Rozynski
Trauma-Informed Lawyering
Best practices for civil suit attorneys working with victims of sexual assault and other violence.
Panelists to include: Megan Bonanni, Kim Dougherty, Tasha Schwikert Ann Burgess
Frontiers in Fair Housing
Two nationally recognized fair housing experts will discuss current trends in fair housing law. Topics include emerging issues in housing discrimination based on disability and LGBTQ+ status, emotional support animals, zoning, and a forthcoming HUD regulation on segregation known as “Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing.”
Panelists to include:  Stephen Dane, Heather Abraham
The Civil Rights Issues in the Not-so-civil Immigration Detention System in the United States
Background on the civil immigration detention system and issues from access to counsel; detainee abuse; unwarranted deprivations of liberty and alternatives to incarceration; the for-profit nature of the system and obstacles that stand in the way of reform; litigation and legislative efforts to challenge the system; and what the Biden Administration is doing (and not doing) about it.
Panelists to include:  Jeffrey Feinbloom, Mark Fleming (National Immigrant Justice Center)
Policing in the United States and Reform Arising from Qualified immunity
Police Reform in a post-George Floyd World. In the wake of George Floyd’s murder, many state legislatures, including Massachusetts, passed legislation creating independent boards to certify police officers and investigate allegations of police misconduct. Hear from the Deputy Executive Director of the International Association of Chiefs of Police and a prominent Boston-based civil rights attorney, to learn more about how these actions impact the police reform movement generally and are impacting issues related to civil rights litigation in particular. Topics to be discussed include police certification, qualified immunity, and the impact of lawsuits on the certification process.
Panelists to include:  Lenny Kesten, Rep from International Assoc. of Police Chiefs
What is Going on with the First Amendment?!? A Look at the Status and Future of LGBTQ+ Rights
Don’t Say Gay or Trans in Florida schools; 303 Creative, LLC v. Elenis; Taking Offense v. State of California… and the list goes on. Numerous issues and competing doctrines are in play within the First Amendment and LGBTQ+ rights are hanging in the balance. Two immensely distinguished panelists will take us beyond the headlines to the constitutional doctrines and the civil rights they implicate.
Panelists to include: Camilla Taylor (Constitutional Litigation, Lambda Legal), J. Remy Green
From the Novice to Seasoned Practitioner, Nuts and Bolts and Issues in E-Discovery
Knowledge and expertise on e-discovery issues can be the difference between successful litigation and one with elements lacking in key evidentiary support. Three seasoned veterans of civil rights litigation will discuss e-discovery issues from beginner to intermediate to advanced.
Panelists to include:  Rob Rickner, Emma Greenwood, Andrew Lee
Indian Law
The panel will focus on the background and history of Federal Indian law as it intersects with modern civil rights issues and explains recent Supreme Court decisions (United States v. McGirt and  Oklahoma v. Castro-Huerta) impacting Indian country and reverberating throughout the nation.
Panelists to include: Kyle Kaiser (Asst Atty General, Utah), Barbara Creel (Pueblo of Jemez, Law Professor at UNM. ), Andrea Seielstad (Law Professor at Univ of Dayton)
Working Together: Effective Impact Litigation with Dozens of Co-counsel on Both Sides of the V
Hear from attorneys from various consolidated litigations in the SDNY, In Re Summer 2020 George Floyd Protesting, on how they have been able to pool resources, work together, and move towards a successful resolution for their clients and all protestors in NYC.
Panelists to include:  Jonathan Moore, Wylie Stecklow, Elena Cohen, J. Remy Green, Rob Rickner, Alicia Calzada, and others to join

Hotel Information

Melrose Mansion
937 Esplanade Avenue, New Orleans 70116
Thursday: $149, Friday $209
Booking Link:
Group Code: 230202NOCH

Hotel Peter & Paul
2317 Burgundy Street, New Orleans 70117
Thursday: $189, Friday $289
Booking Link:
Group Code: CIVIL

Homewood Suites by Hilton French Quarter 
317 N. Rampart Street, New Orleans 70112
Accessible Rooms for Hearing and Mobility Impaired
Booking Link: https://hilton link, enter dates and Homewood French Quarter in search

Register Now!

Laissez L’Étouffée Rouler

To join our mailing list or for more information, please email us at “FBA Civil Rights Law at gmail dot com” (no spaces).