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David A. Marcello

Adjunct Professor of Law and Executive Director, The Public Law Center
BA, cum laude, 1968, Williams College; JD, 1971, Tulane University

E-mail:  dmarcello@tulane.edu 
Telephone:  504.862.8847
Office:  Weinmann Hall, Room: 130-C


David Marcello's focus on public law arises from his extensive experience with open meetings and public records, governmental ethics, zoning and municipal law, legislative drafting and agency rulemaking.

During the 1970s, he was statewide coordinator for the Conservation Coalition, the first statewide environmental lobby in Louisiana; founded and directed the Louisiana Center for the Public Interest, the state’s first public-interest law firm; and served as executive counsel to New Orleans Mayor Ernest N. “Dutch” Morial, representing city agencies and employees on public bidding, open meetings, public records, zoning and other public sector legal concerns.

In 1994-95, he chaired Mayor Marc H. Morial’s 40-member Charter Revision Advisory Committee, which accomplished the first comprehensive revision of New Orleans’ Home Rule Charter in the 40 years since its launch in 1954. He wrote about some of the charter changes in "Systemic Ethics Reform" for the Brookings publication Resilience and Opportunity.

As general counsel to the Regional Transit Authority during 1980-87, he handled the RTA's buyout of the formerly private transit system and advised the RTA in its successful campaign for taxing authority. He secured legislation allowing the 1984 World’s Fair to transfer property to the Rouse Corporation for the $60 million Riverwalk development on New Orleans’ riverfront. He later represented Rouse in obtaining an exemption from Sunday-closing laws for Riverwalk.

He also worked as staff attorney for New Orleans Legal Assistance Corporation; legal consultant for an urban planning firm; and counsel for several neighborhood associations. As executive director of The Public Law Center, he runs the Legislative and Administrative Advocacy Clinics and teaches courses on legislation and agency rulemaking, described in his Clarity (Winter 2013) article, “Teaching Plain Language Drafting in a Legislative and Administrative Advocacy Clinic.”

His law review publications include "The Ethics and Politics of Legislative Drafting" (Tulane); "Housing Redevelopment Strategies" (Loyola); "Administrative Practice Under the 1974 Constitution" (LSU); and "Community Benefit Agreements" in The Urban Lawyer.

Marcello has taught legislative drafting in Bulgaria, the Dominican Republic, Republic of Georgia, Moldova, Mongolia, the Netherlands, Nigeria, and South Africa. Since 1995, he has organized and conducted a two-week International Legislative Drafting Institute at Tulane Law School.

Professor Marcello's CV

Fall - Legislative & Administrative Advocacy
Spring - Advanced Legislative & Administrative Advocacy

View publications by clicking the categories.
Articles Book Reviews


View news comments

The New Orleans Advocate, "Tulane law expert: Why 2015 could be landmark year for New Orleans ethics reform," 12/07/15 
Nola.com, "New Orleans Ethics Review Board members will start disclosing finances," 10/22/15
The Lens, "City Council to consider ordinance that requires Ethics Board to file ethics forms," 10/22/15
The New Orleans Advocate, "Truce between New Orleans Inspector General, Independent Police Monitor a big win," 10/21/15
Nola.com, "Ethics Review Board isn’t doing enough to enforce rules," 08/13/15
Nola.com, "Ethics report on New Orleans: Lots of progress since Katrina, but long way to go," 07/09/15
Nola.com, "Chevron ordered Plaquemines councilman to recuse himself in vote on environmental damage lawsuits," 11/19/14
Times-Picayune, "Whistleblower bill stalls in Louisiana House," April 20, 2012
Times-Picayune, "NORA puts hold on blighted property seizures without auction," April 17, 2012
The Hullabaloo, "Professor duo develops website," Friday, November 11, 2011
The Times-Picayune, "New Tulane website shows public agencies, what they do and how ...," Wednesday, November 2, 2011
Newsmax, "Website Helps New Orleans Residents Monitor Their Government," Thursday, October 27, 2011
NEMS360.com, "Katrina's 6th anniversary finds Gulf Coast on mend," Tuesday, August 30, 2011
The Times-Picayune, "Contracts should be done in the open: A guest column by David Marcello," Monday, May 16, 2011
Voice of America News (audio) " Writing Laws So Lawyers Are Not the Only Ones Who Can Read Them," Thursday, December 16, 2010
Times-Picayune, "Policies on electronic public records assessed by legislative committee," Thursday, November 18, 2010
New Orleans Gambit, "Why Not Access Public Records Electronically?" Monday, November 15, 2010
Times-Picayune, "Mitch Landrieu adds muscle to New Orleans? fight on blight," Thursday, August 26, 2010
Project On Government Oversight, "Louisiana Legislature Passes Resolution to Get BP to Implement Transparency Agenda," Wednesday, July 7, 2010
The Times-Picayune, "Activist lawyer says City Council e-mail dispute is about transparency," Thursday March 12, 2009
Baton Rouge Business Report, "Disaffirming expropriation," Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Mlive.com (Michigan), "7 proposed amendments on ballot," November 2, 2008
New Orleans CityBusiness, "City attorney opposes call for contract transparency," Monday, July 14, 2008
New Orleans CityBusiness, "Transparency lacking in city service contracts," Monday, May 19, 2008

For media inquiries, email lawcommunications@tulane.edu

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