HONORABLE JAY C. ZAINEY
HONORABLE JAY C. ZAINEY was appointed by President George W. Bush to the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana on February 19, 2002. He is the past President of the Louisiana State Bar Association. As State Bar Association President, he created the Community Action Committee and the Committee to Provide Legal Services for the Disabled. These two committees are purportedly the first of their kind in the nation. Jay is a 1969 graduate of Jesuit High School, and serves on the Board of Visitors of the Ave Maria Law School.
Jay is co-founder of SOLACE, a Louisiana State Bar Association program, which provides services to members of the legal community and their families who experience tragedies, and who otherwise have special needs. There are currently over 20,000 volunteer attorneys throughout the state who participate in the SOLACE Program. SOLACE Programs have now been developed in 27 states, Puerto Rico, and programs are being developed in other states.
In May 2004, Jay organized the Homeless Experience Legal Protection (H.E.L.P.) Program. In this program, over 450 attorneys provide legal consultation services and notary services at five homeless centers in New Orleans. HELP Programs are now in 37 cities throughout the country. Plans are underway to start H.E.L.P. Programs in other major cities. The Program has been instrumental in assisting many members of the homeless community escape the bonds of homelessness, rebuild their lives, and restore their dignity. H.E.L.P. volunteers are also assisting members of the homeless community obtain their birth certificates, identification cards and social security benefits. The program operates recurring legal clinics at homeless shelters, using volunteer attorneys to bring legal consultation and services directly to the homeless individuals. Homeless individuals generally lack access to legal services and to the courts because homelessness engenders a fear of the system and makes it highly unlikely that they will voluntarily visit a courthouse or seek out an attorney. HELP clinics address this problem by making legal services available to the homeless, on a regular and reliable basis, in the surroundings in which the clients are comfortable.
He assisted in developing a Homeless Court in New Orleans, and is assisting in developing Veterans Courts in Jefferson Parish, St. Tammany Parish, Terrebonne Parish, Lafourche Parish and in Federal Court.
Jay has also worked with the Louisiana State Bar Association Committee to Provide Legal Services for the Disabled in providing pro bono legal services to people with disabilities and their families, and has assisted Tulane Law School develop its Disability Law Society, one of the first of its kind in the country.
In October, 2004 Jay and his wife Joy founded the God’s Special Children Program. The
program includes a monthly mass for people with special needs, their families and friends.
Jay and Joy co-founded St. Andrew’s Village, a faith-based long term living community for adults with disabilities. St. Andrew's Village will provide a loving environment for many of God’s special angels. Jay proudly serves as President of the Board of St. Andrew’s Village.
Besides serving as president of the Louisiana State Bar Association, Jay is also past president of the Jefferson Bar Association, Former Chair of the Pro Bono Project, Former member of the New Orleans Chapter of the Executive Board of the Federal Bar Association, and is Past-President of the Judge John C. Boutall American Inn of Court. He also served on the American Bar Association’s Hurricane Katrina Task Force, and has written a chapter in “Lawyer’s Working to End Homelessness,” a book published by the American Bar Association’s Commission on Homelessness and Poverty.
He served in the United States Air Force Reserves from 1970-1976.
In 2011, Chief Justice John Roberts appointed Judge Zainey to serve on the Judiciary Commission Codes of Conduct Committee.