||David Marcello is a 1968 Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Williams College and holds a 1971 J.D. degree from Tulane Law School, where he was an assistant editor of the Law Review and member of the Order of the Coif. He has served as Executive Director of The Public Law Center since the program began in 1988.
Mr. Marcello’s involvement with administrative and legislative processes in Louisiana includes serving in 1972 as statewide coordinator for the Conservation Coalition—the earliest appearance in Louisiana of a statewide environmental lobby; during 1978-80, acting as Executive Counsel to Mayor Ernest N. “Dutch” Morial of New Orleans, representing city agencies and employees in public bidding, open meetings, public records, zoning, and other public sector legal concerns; coordinating the City of New Orleans’ legislative program in the 1994 regular session of the Louisiana Legislature; and chairing a 40-member Home Rule Charter Advisory Committee, which successfully undertook the first comprehensive revision of New Orleans’ Charter in over four decades.
From 1980 to 1988, Mr. Marcello engaged in the private practice of law, representing a variety of clients in administrative and legislative matters. He served as General Counsel of the Regional Transit Authority (RTA) from 1980 to 1987, securing legislative authority for new taxing powers and expanded jurisdiction for the agency. He represented the 1984 World’s Fair in securing legislation to authorize the transfer of riverfront property to the Rouse Company and subsequently represented Rouse in the passage of legislation exempting its Riverwalk project from Louisiana’s Sunday closing laws. As counsel to the Board of Examiners of Certified Shorthand Reporters, he has drafted numerous Acts strengthening the regulation of court reporters in Louisiana.
He also has a long-standing involvement in legislative training. From 1974 to 1978, as Executive Director of the Louisiana Center for the Public Interest, he supervised students clinically placed with the program by Loyola, Tulane, Yale, and Northeastern law schools. Professor Marcello also taught a class at Loyola Law School on legal problems of the poor during the same period. From 1985 through 1987 he taught Legislative Process at Tulane Law School. He has spoken on legislative drafting at conferences in the U.S. and Canada and in August, 1997 conducted a legislative training program in Johannesburg, South Africa for members of the national and provincial parliaments. In March, 1998 he traveled to the Dominican Republic to train judges participating in a judicial reform program.
Idella Wilson, who serves as Assistant Director of The Public Law Center, is a 1988 graduate of Tulane Law School, where she was honored as Outstanding Woman Law Graduate and received the Hirsch Public Service Award. While a student at Tulane, she founded the Hispanic Law Student Association, La Alianza, and served as Treasurer of the Tulane Law Women. She joined the Tulane Public Interest Law Foundation and received a Public Interest Scholarship in 1986.
Following graduation and immediately prior to joining the Center, Ms. Wilson served for two years as a staff attorney with the Texas Legislative Council, where she researched and drafted legislation under the auspices of the Texas Legislature and was responsible for the codification of statutes. Ms. Wilson joined The Public Law Center in 1990.
In August 1997, Ms. Wilson and the Center's Executive Director, David Marcello, conducted a four-day legislative drafting workshop in Johannesburg, South Africa for legislators and drafting personnel from various provincial parliaments, the Ministry of Justice, and law school. As a result of that workshop, she was invited by the Legislature of the Province of the Eastern Cape in Bisho, South Africa to deliver several presentations in October 1997 on legislative drafting. Since then, she and Mr. Marcello have conducted training programs in the Dominican Republic, Moldova, Georgia, and Bulgaria. She has also taught drafting in Tajikistan and, most recently, South Sudan.
Ms. Wilson has a substantial background of more than ten years teaching at both the secondary school and college levels prior to her supervision and training of law students at The Public Law Center. She has a Master’s degree in Foreign Language Education. She brings a trilingual capability to the program, as a native speaker of Spanish who is also fluent in French.