Avery Pardee Named Board Chair of Innocence Project New Orleans

Avery Pardee 236 4x5NEW ORLEANS – The board of directors of Innocence Project New Orleans, a nonprofit legal organization that works to free innocent and unjustly sentenced people in Louisiana, has elected Avery Pardee as its new board chair by unanimous vote. Pardee replaces Frank Neuner, founder and managing partner at NeunerPate in Lafayette, La., who served as the board chair since June 2019 and was a member of the board since 2014.

Pardee is a partner in the litigation practice group at Jones Walker. She is a career defense attorney and represents clients in white collar criminal matters, internal and government investigation, and commercial litigation. She is a 2007 graduate of Tulane University law school, cum laude, and 2004 graduate of Georgetown University, magna cum laude. In 2022, she served as president of the Louisiana Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and is the Louisiana chapter leader of the Women’s White Collar Defense Association.

Since joining the IPNO board in March 2021, she has been an active member of the board helping to develop and launch a five-year strategic plan that includes finding a new home for the growing organization. As a member of the building committee, Pardee has thoughtfully listened to what the staff and clients need and want in a new space and has helped the IPNO leadership envision and explore a variety of options and opportunities.

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“We are thrilled to have Avery as the chair of our board of directors,” said Jee Park, executive director of IPNO. “She has dedicated her career to criminal defense work and brings a broad and deep understanding and appreciation of what it is we do at IPNO for factually innocent people who are wrongfully convicted and those unjustly sentenced. She has always been a leader in providing pro bono representation to the poor and is committed to serving her community in a variety of ways.” 

“I am honored to be elected chair of the IPNO board,” said Pardee. “IPNO takes on challenging cases of wrongful conviction, including those where DNA evidence is not available. More recently, IPNO has expanded its mission to represent those who were sentenced to unjustly long sentences for relatively minor offenses. IPNO’s work is life-changing for the people it represents and is a crucial part of the criminal legal system in our state.”

Pardee resides in New Orleans with her husband and two sons. 

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