Richard Ducote, Esq. LinkedIn

Attorney in Pittsburgh, PA
Licensed in Louisiana (1978) and Pennsylvania (2009), he has been one of the nation's leading child abuse/domestic violence litigators and law reformers for 32 years. Immediately following his law school graduation he created a specialized program to provide and train attorneys for abused and neglected children in the Jefferson Parish (Louisiana) Juvenile Court. That project, which developed the Tulane University School of Law Juvenile Law Clinic, was one of only four in the country nationally recognized by the federal government for its innovative court improvements. In Louisiana during the early 1980's, as an appointed special district attorney in 19 parishes (counties), he tried child abuse/ termination of parental rights cases in 40 courts. Through his efforts in the courtroom, social service agency offices, and the legislature, the Louisiana foster care system for the first time moved hundreds of forgotten children into adoptive homes. In 1984, he began his nationwide focus on complex child custody cases involving domestic violence and child abuse, eventually resulting in pro hac vice appearances in over 40 states. In 1991, he drafted for successful enactment the Louisiana Post-Separation Family Violence Relief Act (La. R.S. 9:361-369), the first state law barring abusive parents from serving as custodians, and forcing them to pay all costs and attorney's fees. This law, which has been called model legislation by the Harvard Law Review, has been replicated in many states and foreign countries. He has written over a dozen other child welfare /child custody statutes passed in Louisiana and other states. Mr. Ducote has been an ardent critic of due process flaws in family courts, the inappropriate delegation of authority to guardians ad litem, and incompetent mental health evaluators and theories in custody cases.

He was appointed to the clinical psychiatry faculty at LSU Medical Center in New Orleans, and regularly conducts mandated certification training for California custody evaluators. He has served as an invited trainer and presenter at many national, state, and local programs sponsored by the American Bar Association, the U.S. Department of Justice, the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, the Institute on Violence, Abuse & Trauma, state and national domestic violence coalitions, child welfare agencies, and law schools. His work has resulted in honors and awards from Justice for Children, The National Association of Social Workers, the Young Lawyers Division of the ABA, The LSU School of Social Work, the Louisiana Foster Parent Association, and the California Protective Parents Association.

Mr. Ducote was featured in the 2005 PBS Documentary Breaking the Silence: Children's Stories, and in Small Justice: Little Justice in America's Family Courts. Articles in Newsweek, Oprah Magazine, Parade Magazine, Money Magazine and many newspapers around the country have quoted him. New Orleans Magazine named him on of the top lawyers in the city. As a Martindale-Hubbell "AV" attorney since his first rating in 1988, he is also admitted to the bars of the U.S. Supreme Court; the U.S. Fourth, Fifth and Ninth Circuit Courts of Appeals; and the U.S. District Court for the Eastern, Middle and Western Districts of Louisiana, the Northern and Eastern Districts of Texas, the Northern District of Ohio, and the District of Colorado. In January 2011, he was awarded an LL.M. degree in Child & Family Law from Loyola Chicago School of Law, where he recently taught a course on advanced issues in domestic relations law addressing child abuse, domestic violence, and family court flaws.

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Areas of Law

  • Divorce and Custody Cases
  • Child Physical or Sexual Abuse
  • Domestic Violence
  • Problematic Child Custody Evaluators
  • Mental Health Professionals
  • Child Abuse
  • Sexual Abuse
  • Domestic Violence Tort Cases
  • Criminal Defense of Abuse Victims
  • PAS Attorney
  • Family Court Due Process Violations
  • Child Custody and Domestic Violence Appeals
  • Problematic Guardian Ad Litem
  • Abusive Clergy or other Professionals
  • Civil Right Violations
  • Other Serious Personal Injury
  • Malpractice by Attorneys, Physicians and Mental Health Professionals
  • Sexual Abuse Custody Case
  • Parental Alienation Syndrome


Peer Rating


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5.0 out of 5.0
  • Meets very high criteria of general ethical standards
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Experience & Credentials



Admission Details

Admitted in 1978, Louisiana and U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana
1983, U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit
1986, U.S. District Court, Middle District of Louisiana
1987, U.S. Supreme Court and U.S. District Court, Northern District of Ohio
1988, U.S. District Court
Northern District of Texas
U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Texas and U.S. District Court, Western District of Louisiana
1993, U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
2009, Pennsylvania
1999, U.S. District Court, District of Colorado
U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit

Law School Attended

Loyola University School of Law
Class of 1978

Loyola Chicago School of Law
Class of 2011
Child and Family Law

University Attended

Tulane University of Louisiana
Class of 1974

Contact Information


412-687-2020 Call Now


Send email to Richard Ducote, Esq.

Office Information
Richard Ducote, Esq.
 4800 Liberty Avenue, Third Floor,
Pittsburgh, PA 15224


Richard Ducote, PC (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania)

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