NEW ORLEANS — The head of a grassroots legal-watchdog group in Louisiana is hoping that now that Jimmy Genovese has taken his
position as a Louisiana Supreme Court judge, he will shake off the
millions that backed his campaign.
Melissa Landry, executive director of the grassroots
legal-watchdog group Louisiana Lawsuit Abuse Watch, told The
Louisiana Record that the “unusual” election casts a pall on
Genovese, who was sworn in Jan. 3.
“I am hopeful that Justice Genovese will turn out to be the kind
of fair and impartial justice that our state needs and deserves, but
there is no question that the unusual manner in which he was elected
has given rise to a host of concerns,” Landry said in an email.
Louisiana Lawsuit Abuse Watch is a local nonpartisan, nonprofit,
citizen watchdog group intended to stop lawsuit abuse that hurts
Louisiana’s families and threatens local businesses and jobs,
according to its website. Since it was
formed in 2007, LLAW has grown to nearly 6,000 supporters across the
state, representing small-business owners, health-care providers,
taxpayers, workers and their families.
Landry cited the millions spent on the campaign this fall.
“Plaintiffs' attorneys went 'all in' on last year's Louisiana
Supreme Court race, collectively spending more than $2.38 million to
help elect Genovese,” she said.
Genovese beat 15th Judicial District Court Judge Marilyn Castle
for the Supreme Court's 3rd District seat in November for the 10-year
term. The district
encompasses eight parishes: Avoyelles, St. Landry, Lafayette,
Vermilion, Acadia, Jefferson Davis, Calcasieu and Cameron. Genovese
received 51 percent of the vote. Genovese received 51 percent of the
vote, according to the Associated
Landry said history and future judicial decisions will decide
Genovese’s place in history, if the money spent will affect his
“Whether right or wrong, this level of exorbitant spending by
millionaire personal-injury trial lawyers contributes to the
perception that justice is for sale in Louisiana,” she said.
In the November
Supreme Court race, Genovese and Castle both ran as Republicans.
Genovese had the backing
of attorneys, while Castle had the business lobby.
on his appellate court experience.
According to the Louisiana State Supreme Court website,
Genovese has his bachelor's degree from Northwestern State University
of Louisiana and his juris doctorate from Loyola University in New
Orleans. His former positions include serving on the Louisiana
3rd Circuit Court of Appeals. He was also a Louisiana state
district court judge.
He is succeeding Janet Knoll, who retired.
Court is Louisiana's highest court and is located in New Orleans.
Under the Constitution of 1974, the Louisiana Supreme Court is
of seven justices elected from districts throughout Louisiana.
In the year 2000, Supreme Court districts were reapportioned into
seven new districts, with one justice elected from each of the
The justices of
the Louisiana Supreme Court serve 10-year terms of office. The senior
justice in point of service is the Chief Justice, who is the chief
administrative officer of the judicial system.