SHREVEPORT– A long-standing Second Circuit appeals judge said there was never any doubt that he would seek re-election.
"My role on the court of appeal for the last 20 years has been very fulfilling because it allows me to serve the community, and to work with other judges and lawyers for the betterment of our judicial district," Judge Jay Caraway told the Louisiana Record.
Caraway has had a long and varied career.
In 35 years as a lawyer, with 20 years also being a judge, he has seen more than 6,000 legal disputes, with approximately 2,500 being appeals of criminal and civil judgments. He was also selected by the state Supreme Court to sit on the Judiciary Commission, and was invited by the Louisiana State University Law School to be an adjunct professor.
Caraway says that every experience prepares him for the next case.
"I dealt with major appellate cases as a lawyer, and argued before the appellate courts of this state and the U.S. 5th Circuit," he said. "That cumulative experience prepares me for the next set of facts, for the next dispute that I will see as a judge; and working with others judges, we can reach the proper resolution under our law."
There's no specific case that Caraway is eyeing as more important than any others. He simply considers the work of being an appeals court judge overall to be important.
"I think as a senior judge on a respected appellate court, I will have occasion to speak out about the efficient administration of the judicial branch as our state moves through this financial crisis," he said.
More often than not, judges either run for spots that are opened by another judge's resignation or retirement, or find themselves running unopposed for re-election. So it's slightly unusual that Caraway is being opposed in this election, running against Bossier/Webster Judge Jeff Cox.
Caraway did not have much to say about his opponent, simply pointing to his own record.
"I think that if the voters make a comparison of the two candidates, they will understand that I should continue in my service on the court," Caraway said.