Published in January 2015 Louisiana Super Lawyers

Q: How does one end up being appointed to this position?

A: It is a decision that’s made at the Louisiana Supreme Court level. I’m pretty amazed that I ended up receiving this appointment because they come up very, very infrequently, and there’s a lot of competition, as you might imagine. It’s a pretty spectacular gift to have this opportunity.

I think that I was considered because I’m generally, I think, considered to be a hard worker. I have practiced law now for 33 years. I practice in this courthouse, along with others, quite a bit. I’m a regular speaker on professionalism and ethics, so I hope I have a reputation as someone who follows the rules.

My first case that was percolating up for trial was a multimillion-dollar, very complex case. These guys worked me to death.

Q: So much for easing into the job.

A: It ended up settling. But I have to tell you, I’ve been affirmed on my three opinions that have gone up for review by the higher-ups. I’m on cloud nine about that. I would expect that they would disagree with me just as easily as agree with me. I’m just doing the best I can.

The judge who had this position resigned to run for mayor. It created this opening. There’s an election that’s taking place, and one of the requirements to be appointed is that you have to agree not to run, because it would obviously be a real advantage to someone trying to run for the job if they were actually sitting.

I’ve taught at Tulane Law School for 29 years, and what I am doing is bringing my students over to let them see how the courthouse works; how the oral argument, status conference or trial actually plays out. They get to actually see the paperwork that’s public record. They can volunteer as externs, and I’m giving them little assignments. Of course, we’re double-checking to make sure they haven’t overlooked anything because they are students.

They’re really getting the opportunity to participate. You can’t really, as a judge, rely on a law student for the kind of work that we’re doing. But if we can let them at least participate on the basis that they’re able to contribute, I think it’s a tremendous teaching opportunity.

Read entire story at