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Special Election recommendations

2nd April 2013   ·   0 Comments

There is a Special Election this Saturday in Orleans and Jefferson. As some attend municipal elections in Gretna and Westwego, two Judgeships will be on the ballot in the City and in East Jefferson. Each will play a critical role, from civil to criminal law, with both individuals keenly focused on the importance of Drug Courts and rescuing our young people from a life of crime before it is too late.

That is reason enough to vote. Please go to the polls this Saturday before 8:00 p.m.

ORLEANS PARISH—Juvenile Court Judge: Doug Hammel

The story elsewhere in the current edition outlines how Hammel got involved in juvenile issues, but it does not begin to explain the countless volunteer hours of pro bono work that he donated on behalf of kids in trouble.

Hammel has become a fixture at juvenile court, often being the first on call when a parent has not the resources for a child who has run afoul of the law, and the Public Defender just does not have the availability to adequately serve every kid accused.

He has also been outspoken on keeping children mainstreamed in school, and how sometimes otherwise well-meaning Charter School principals can parlay an accidental fist fight in the parking lot into ridding themselves of a disruptive classroom student. Overreaction to misconduct which once earned a detention, Hammel noted, has too often of late become incarceration at the Youth Studies Center and trial before the Juvenile Court. And, most of the time, a permanent expulsion from the neighborhood school.

Hammel has vowed to end this miscarriage of teacher authority, and return troubled kids–that can be saved–to the classroom. Some cannot, but those who can avoid a jail cell should have the mentoring to do just that. Hammel vows to make sure those children do not fall through the cracks, and we believe him.

Please vote for Doug Hammel on Saturday.

JEFFERSON PARISH, EAST BANK—24th Judicial District Court, Division D: Hilary Landry

It takes a special type of judge to handle both civic and criminal dockets, which is the common practice of courts outside of Orleans Parish. It takes, quite simply, a marathon runner like Hilary Landry.

It takes someone who created the model for Drug Courts that are being used across the state. It takes someone who has practiced everything from corporate to domestic law, and still had time to devote a special focus to legally representing women who have endured physical and psychological abuse.

It takes a mother of three who has managed to balance her home life with mentoring the at-risk, coaching a teen track team, and still ranking as one of the foremost attorneys of her generation. A youthful prodigy, in fact, who graduated from law school years younger than most of her contemporaries, and at the same time achieving notoriety as a concert pianist.

She may have run the Ironman and other triathlons, but it takes an Ironwoman to be a 24th JDC Judge. If you live in Metairie, Harahan, River Ridge, or Kenner, please turnout on Saturday to vote for Hilary Landry.

This article originally published in the April 1, 2013 print edition of The Louisiana Weekly newspaper.

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