Filed Under:  Local

Judge Keva Landrum-Johnson makes history, named Chief Judge at Orleans Criminal Court

2nd January 2018   ·   0 Comments

The Louisiana Weekly Staff Report — In a historic appointment, Orleans Parish Criminal District Court Judge Keva Landrum-Johnson ascends to a higher role in the court. Effective Jan. 1, Landrum-Johnson will serve a two-year tenure as chief judge of criminal court, becoming the first African-American woman to serve in that office.

For the past 10 years, Landrum-Johnson has presided as judge of Section E of criminal court. She was first elected to that office in 2008, and is currently serving a second term.



As chief judge, Landrum-Johnson will continue to preside over criminal trials and proceedings allotted to her section while also overseeing the administrative functions of the court and serving as an ex officio member on court committees.

In Orleans Parish, criminal court has jurisdiction over all criminal felony and misdemeanor cases, and, also, administers intervention services, drug testing, collections and the jury commission. The court employs approximately 150 individuals, including 12 elected criminal court judges, one elected magistrate judge and four commissioners.

Landrum-Johnson said, “Orleans Parish Criminal District Court is one of the most significant institutions in the City of New Orleans, and I am honored to have earned the trust and confidence of my colleagues to lead in this capacity. My priorities as Chief Judge are to ensure the court operates efficiently and to provide vision and leadership on behalf of the citizens of New Orleans as well as the court’s judiciary, administration and staff.”

The appointment is Landrum-Johnson’s second historical accomplishment in her 20 years of practicing law and public service. In 2007, she became the first African-American woman in Louisiana to serve as District Attorney when she served as Orleans Parish District Attorney. During her tenure as district attorney, she worked to re-establish the public’s trust in the office, fought contractor fraud, and brought the first Forensic DNA summit to the city of New Orleans.

Prior to that post, Landrum-Johnson spent 10 years climbing the ranks as an assistant district attorney in Orleans Parish. In that capacity, she served as a homicide and sex crimes screener, chief of the juvenile division, chief of the screening division and interim first assistant district attorney. Landrum-Johnson has also worked in private practice, public defense and is a former criminal law professor at Southern University at New Orleans.

A New Orleans native, Landrum-Johnson earned a juris doctorate from Tulane Law School and a bachelor’s in political science from Washington University in St. Louis. She is also a graduate of Ursuline Academy.

This article originally published in the January, 2018 print edition of The Louisiana Weekly newspaper.

Readers Comments (0)

You must be logged in to post a comment.