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April 19th, 2017

Civil Rights Attorney Lolis Elie Passes Away

Lolis Edward Elie
The National Bar Association mourns the loss of Lolis Edward Elie, a brilliant and dedicated lawyer who helped desegregate New Orleans.

Lolis Elie was a civil rights attorney, a native of New Orleans, Mr. Elie attended Howard University and Dillard University, and later graduated in 1959 from Loyola Law School.  In 1960, the New Orleans chapter of the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) asked Mr. Elie and his firm to represent CORE after a sit-in campaign. Mr. Elie and his firm defended CORE President Rudy Lombard and three others who were arrested for staging a sit-in protest at the lunch counter of the McCrory Five and Ten Cent Store in New Orleans. They appealed the case to the United States Supreme Court which, in its decision, declared the city’s ban on sit-ins unconstitutional. Mr. Elie was one of seven supporters of the Freedom Riders who met with then-Attorney General Robert Kennedy in 1961, when Kennedy encouraged them to shift their efforts to registering black Southerners to vote.

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