By Joe Giarrusso: 

In Louisiana, a lawsuit is generally deemed abandoned when the parties fail to take any step in its prosecution for three years.  This rule is operative without any formal order.  La. Code Civ. P. art 561.  However, Act 361 of 2007 extended the period for abandonment to five years where (1) the action was initiated prior to August 26, 2005, and was not previously declared abandoned under the general three year period, and (2) the party proves that the failure to take a step in the prosecution or defense of the suit was caused by or was a direct result of Hurricanes Katrina or Rita.  The revision became effective July 9, 2007.   Click here to read the Act.