A trusted servant leader, Royce was raised in a home that fostered concern for others and the belief that everyone deserves an opportunity to succeed in life. One of Royce’s first examples of these values was his father, who served children with disabilities as an Adapted Physical Education Teacher for the Orleans Parish School System. Royce also inherited an entrepreneurial spirit from his grandparents, who owned and operated a small corner grocery store during the 1950s-70s.
Royce’s unparalleled work ethic was developed at an early age. In high school, Royce worked summers as a bricklayer’s assistant, learning the value of hard work and sweat equity. During college at Xavier University, he supported himself earning tips working as a busboy at Mandina’s Restaurant.
After living through the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, Royce experienced an awakening for service. He immersed himself into rebuilding his community by serving as Chief of Staff to former New Orleans City Councilmember James Carter. He then moved to Washington, DC to attend Howard University School of Law, where he founded the Howard Energy and Environmental Law Society to advocate for environmental justice. He also worked as an intern at the Environmental Protection Agency and the White House Council on Environmental Quality. After serving as a law clerk for Judge Thomas J. Motley on the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, Royce returned home to practice energy law.
Royce is a champion for criminal justice reform. As Special Counsel for the Louisiana Supreme Court, Royce focused on state and local criminal justice reform policy. Royce observed the human impact of inefficiencies and inequities in our criminal justice system and worked to change the system. He spearheaded the management of a half-million dollar grant to develop and adopt better practices for the assessment and collection of court costs, fines and fees.
Royce is an innovator and experienced policymaker. As Chairman of the New Orleans City Planning Commission he fought to protect and preserve the character of New Orleans’ historic neighborhoods, and voted against whole home short term rentals. Royce helped to create and enforce progressive zoning policies that aim to nurture social innovation and improve the quality of life for all residents.
Defined by his genuine and constant drive to serve his community, since 2012, Royce has volunteered as a mentor to male teenagers through the nationally-renowned Silverback Society. He is the Immediate Past President of the Louis A. Martinet Legal Society, Inc., and used his presidency to increase the society’s commitment to legal access by conducting numerous free legal service and outreach clinics across the City. He is also the co-founder and President of the A.P. Tureaud, Sr. Legacy Committee, with the mission to honor the legacy of preeminent Louisiana civil rights attorney, A.P. Tureaud, Sr., and to educate the public about his remarkable contributions to social justice.
Royce’s leadership and dedication to community and public service has been recognized by the New Orleans Regional Leadership Institute (2017 Fellow; Leadership Award Recipient). He was also honored as one of Xavier University of Louisiana’s 2015 40 Under 40, is a member of the Education Leadership Institute (2016 Fellow), and the New Leaders Council (2014 Fellow). In 2012, Royce was elected to serve on the Orleans Parish Democratic Executive Committee.
Royce now runs his own small business, Duplessis Law Firm, LLC, focusing on civil litigation and criminal defense. He is married to Krystle Ferbos Duplessis, Esq., and they are proud residents of Central City.
These experiences have fueled Royce’s desire for service and prepared him to serve as the next State Representative for District 93. Royce is a trusted servant leader who will work to ensure that government is listening to its citizens, prioritizing accountability, and delivering positive outcomes for the people of New Orleans.