Mary E. Roper
"I was drawn to the practice of law by my desire to help people. I wanted to stand up for those who were unable to stand up for themselves. In practicing law, I am able to do that on a daily basis."
Martindale-Hubbell client Reviews 100%, high ethical standing
Mary E. Roper was the Parish Attorney for the City of Baton Rouge and the Parish of East Baton Rouge from 2008-2014, where she served as the chief legal advisor to the City of Baton Rouge and Parish of East Baton Rouge. She was the first female Parish Attorney and was the first employee to rise through the ranks to this position.
From 1993 to 1994, Mary was an Assistant City Prosecutor. She then moved to the Litigation Section where she handled wrongful death, premises liability, road defect, and personal injury defense, as well as 42 USC Section 1983 civil rights cases (excessive force, false arrest, and false imprisonment defense). Mary was soon promoted to the position of Legislative Section Chief, where she was the head of the legislative section for the office and responsible for drafting legislation and advising the Mayor-President, the Metropolitan Council and the City-Parish department heads on the legality and constitutionality of proposed legislation. Additionally, Mary continued to maintain a litigation caseload. After serving in that capacity for many years, spanning three mayors and four different Metropolitan Councils, Mary was tapped by E. Wade Shows as his First Assistant, making her the second in command of the office. Mary served as the First Assistant Parish Attorney from 2005 to 2008 until E. Wade Shows resigned. Upon Shows departure, Mary was appointed by the Metropolitan Council to assume the role.
In her role as Parish Attorney, Mary supervised all Divisions of the office (Administrative - Property, Personnel, Code Enforcement, Legislation; Litigation; Collections; Risk Management; Alcohol Beverage Control Board; and City Prosecutor's Office). Her career in local government exposed her to the intricacies of local and state agencies, boards, and commissions and provides her with an inside perspective in representing clients before such entities. In addition to providing legal advice to the Mayor-President and the Metropolitan Council, Mary represented the Alcohol Beverage Control Board, the Mosquito and Rodent Control Board, the Animal Control Board, the City-Parish Employees Retirement Board, and the Planning and Zoning Board in various capacities. She also worked closely with the Downtown Development District, the Convention and Visitor's Bureau, and the Baton Rouge Redevelopment Authority on certain endeavors. Further, as Parish Attorney, Mary was a member of the Mortgage Finance Authority Board where she served throughout her term.
In addition to her municipal work, Mary served the indigent for over a decade by representing persons on appeal in felony criminal matters that were unable to afford an attorney. Her work in this area was through the Louisiana Appellate Project, a non-profit agency serving the needs of the indigent throughout the state of Louisiana.
Following her departure from the Parish Attorney's Office, Mary served as "Of Counsel" to the law firm of Shows, Cali, and Walsh, LLP from 2014 to 2019, before forming ROPER LIGH. Mary's areas of practice at Shows, Cali & Walsh, LLP included federal multi-party and class action defense for the Louisiana Department of Corrections (42 USC 1983 civil rights and ADA claims); governmental agency, board, and commission representation, including serving as the legal advisor to Louisiana's Drug and Device Board; state and federal employment discrimination litigation for the Louisiana Department of Revenue and the Board of Supervisors for the University of Louisiana System (age and disability discrimination); defense of manufacturers and dealers of modular and manufactured homes for manufacturing and installation defect claims in arbitration and litigation; federal anti-trust litigation for the Louisiana State Board of Nursing; contractual disputes for business owners; insurance coverage disputes; Louisiana Unfair Trade Practices Act and non-compete litigation; as well as providing legal advice to car dealerships in both personnel, customer service, and franchise matters.
Mary brings a wealth of experience to the practice of ROPER LIGH. She has an AV preeminent rating from Martindale-Hubbell from both her peers and the judiciary, which is the highest attorney rating in terms of professional ability and expertise, as well as adherence to the professional standards of conduct and ethics.
Juris Doctor, University of Alabama School of Law, Tuscaloosa, Alabama, 1992
Bachelor of Arts, Political Science, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA, 1988
Louisiana State Bar
United States District Court, Middle District
United States District Court, Western District
United States District Court, Eastern District
United States Court of Appeal, Fifth Circuit
United States Supreme Court
Reaching the Babies through the Mothers: The Effects of Prosecution on Pregnant Substance Abusers, 16 L. Psych. Rev. 171 (1992).
Same-Sex Marriage; A Brief History Leading up to Obergefell v. Hodges, The Baton Rouge Lawyer, Vol. 1, Issue 4 (June/July/August 2018).
Presenter, "Caught in a Crossfire - Rambo Litigator or Witness for the Prosecution", Dean Henry George McMahon American Inns of Court Continuing Legal Education Presentation, February 25, 2010 and March 25, 2010.
Panelist, "LLC Jeopardy for Litigators and Transactional Lawyers", Dean Henry George McMahon American Inns of Court Continuing Legal Education Presentation, October 28, 2010.
Panelist, "Superwomen - Female Attorneys Challenging the Rules of the Game", Louisiana State Bar Diversity Committee, Continuing Legal Education Panel Presentation, November 19, 2010.
Panelist, Community Justice Symposium, "Crime and the Criminal Justice System", Baton Rouge Bar Association, April 7, 2011.
Presenter, "Civility Matters", Dean Henry George McMahon American Inns of Court Continuing Legal Education Presentation, October 27, 2011.
Presenter, "The Evidence Game - Judges Feuding", Dean Henry George McMahon American Inns of Court Continuing Legal Education Presentation, October 24, 2013.
Presenter, "Family Feud: Pre-Game Warm Up: Preparing Client and Witnesses for a Deposition, ADR, and Trial", Dean Henry George McMahon American Inns of Court Continuing Legal Education Presentation, September 25, 2014.
Presenter, "What I Wish I Had Known at My First Jury Trial", Dean Henry George McMahon American Inns of Court Continuing Legal Education Presentation, March 25, 2015.
Presenter, "Professionalism - Family Feud Style", Dean Henry George McMahon American Inns of Court Continuing Legal Education Presentation, October 22, 2015.
Presenter, "If CBS News Covered the Ratification of the U.S. Constitution", Dean Henry George McMahon American Inns of Court Continuing Legal Education Presentation, December 7, 2016.
Guest Speaker, Career and College Day - East Baton Rouge Parish School System (Woodlawn Middle School, Baton Rouge, LA), November 3, 2017.
Presenter, "The Ethics of Threatening", Dean Henry George McMahon American Inns of Court Continuing Legal Education Presentation, March 22, 2018.
Moderator, Judicial and Attorney Presentation and Panel Discussion, "Practicing Law Without Exacting Misery on Others", Professionalism Continuing Legal Education Program, Baton Rouge Bar Association Bench Bar Conference 2018.
American Bar Association
- Litigation, Civil Rights, and Business Law Sections
Louisiana State Bar Association
- Elected Member, House of Delegates (2016-present)
Dean Henry George McMahon American Inns of Court
- President, 2018-2020
- Member, Executive Committee (2015 - present)
Baton Rouge Bar Association
- Past Council Member, Young Lawyers Section
- Publications Committee (2016 - present)
- Arts Judicata Committee (2016 - present)
- Volunteer Judge/Attorney Mentor, Baton Rouge Teen Court
- Volunteer, Baton Rouge Bar Association Law Day Program
- Volunteer, Baton Rouge Bar Junior Partners' Academy
- Volunteer, Eggstravaganza Easter Event
Louisiana Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
- Past Service, Board of Directors
- Past Appointee, Louisiana Governor's Sexual Assault Task Force
Federal Bar Association
- Member, Litigation Section
- Member, Baton Rouge Chapter
Baton Rouge Bar Association of Women Attorneys
- Vice-President, 2018-2019
- Tribute Award Recipient for Outstanding Contribution to Women in the Legal Profession
- Member, Law Day Committee
Volunteer Judge, LSU Law School Moot Court Competition
Volunteer, East Baton Rouge Schools Job Shadowing Program
Past Member, Executive Board, Louisiana Justice Coalition
Board Member, Krewe of Lyonnesse, Childrens' Mardi Gras Krewe
Member, LSU Foundation, Laureate Society
Member, Baton Rouge Bar Foundation
2017 Fellow, Louisiana Bar Foundation

ROPER LIGH has a diverse practice, with years of experience in various areas of the law.ADMINISTRATIVE LAW - Our years of experience in municipal government give us the knowledge and skills to provide representation to individuals appearing before local, state, and federal administrative bodies.CIVIL AND CRIMINAL APPEALS - ROPER LIGH attorneys have experience in local, state, and federal criminal litigation and appeals. Cases handled include traffic violations, misdemeanors, and felonies.CORPORATIONS AND CONTRACTS - The lawyers of ROPER LIGH are well-versed in Corporate and Business Law, including entity Formation (Partnership, LLC, Corporation); Contractual Disputes; Unfair Trade Practices Act; Non-Compete Agreements; and Litigation.CIVIL RIGHTS - We are experienced in representing government entities in the defense of civil rights claims under state and federal law, including but not limited to excessive force under 42 USC 1983, false arrest, and false imprisonment. Additionally, we are able to provide representation to individuals who have been the victim of a civil rights violation in these areas.COLLECTIONS - ROPER LIGH represents both creditors and debtors in collection matters regarding debts which are sought to be enforced.AGENCY AND BOARD REPRESENTATION - ROPER LIGH advises government agencies, boards, and commissions in their legal obligations under the law, such as the Louisiana Public Records Law and the Louisiana Open Meetings Law.HOMEOWNER AND CONDO ASSOCIATION - We advise homeowner and condo associations in drafting and amendment of entity documents, including corporate charters, subdivision restrictions, restrictive covenants, bylaws, and in the collection of assessments and fines/filing of liens. We also represent individual homeowners in such disputes. PERSONAL INJURY - ROPER LIGH's Personal Injury practice includes the representation of injured individuals, as well as the representation of businesses in defense of such claims, including insurance coverage disputes. WILLS AND SUCCESSIONS - ROPER LIGH drafts legal documents for individuals to plan for their future - wills, powers of attorney, healthcare directives, and trusts. Additionally, we provide representation for heirs and/ or executors in succession matters, such as the probate of a will and obtaining a judgment of possession. ROPER LIGH, experienced, attorneys, Louisiana law firms, Baton Rouge, administrative law, criminal appeals, corporate, contracts, collections, collection services, civil rights, excessive force, false arrest, agency, boards, representation, homeowners, condo, litigations, personal injury, wills, successions, Mary Roper, Randy Ligh, parish attorney, former prosecutor, defense attorney, notary, accident, wreck, insurance, lawsuit, court, hearing, legal, Louisiana attorney, Louisiana lawyer, collection attorney, collection lawyer, public records law, legal advisor, government attorney, government lawyer, legal representation, legal help, Baton Rouge law firm, Chinese lawyers, Asian lawyers, Chinese attorney, Asian attorney, female attorney, female lawyer, women attorney, women lawyer, lady attorney, lady lawyer, Truck, 18 wheeler, Negligence, Auto, Automobile, Dwi, Alcohol, MIP, Underage, DUI, HOA, Estate, Estate planning, Creditor, Debtor, Covenants, Declarations, Restrictions