A Remarkable Year

Friends and Supporters,

None of us want to return to the time when local government was ignored, unaccountable, and often ineffective.

Fortunately, since 2007 Court Watch NOLA’s vigilance has made New Orleans’ criminal courts more timely, professional, and efficient. The courtroom presence of CWN’s dedicated volunteers forces judges to start court on time, encourages professionalism, and saves taxpayers time and money by significantly reducing courthouse delays. These are factors that help ensure a transparent and fair system for everyone — victims, witnesses, defendants, family members, testifying police officers, and jurors. Continue reading

Judicial Runoffs on Saturday, Dec. 6!

Saturday is election day, so don’t forget to vote! In addition to the U.S. Senate and Public Service Commission races, Orleans Parish will vote on two judicial races. So now’s the time to do your research: Janet Ahern and Monique Barial are facing off for a family court judgeship, while Freddie Charbonnet and Desiree Cook-Calvin are competing for a juvenile court seat. Mr. Charbonnet and Ms. Cook-Calvin both participated in the Judicial Candidates Forum co-sponsored by Court Watch NOLA in October, so check it out on YouTube to learn more about them. 

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Criminal Justice Budgeting Season: Something’s Gotta Give

It’s everybody’s favorite time of year – when criminal justice leaders hope that the Mayor and City Council will leave a blank check in each of their stockings. Now that the city budget has stabilized after years of deficits, virtually every single criminal justice agency is begging for more money than the Mayor is proposing. Here’s the list (the dollar amount is not their total budget – it’s how much more they want over and above what the Mayor is proposing):

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Criminal District Court Election Results

Congratulations to Judge Marullo on his re-election, and to Judge-Elect Williams on his win in the November 4 election. While the courts cleared the way for Judge Marullo to run for re-election despite the constitution’s mandatory judicial retirement age, whether he can actually take office is an open question. Judge-Elect Williams, meanwhile, will take over the Section G docket in January, and our court watchers are looking forward to getting to know him.

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Make An Educated Choice on Election Day

Every election, tens of thousands of registered New Orleanians fail to vote in judicial elections. Some are focused on the top of the ticket, and some don’t feel educated enough about judicial candidates. Fortunately, Court Watch NOLA is here to provide you with the resources you need to make an educated decision. So check these out and remember to vote on Tuesday, November 4:

And check out more news and notes from CWN’s October newsletter!

Get Informed on 10/22 at the Judicial Candidates Forum!


Get informed before you vote! Court Watch NOLA and other community organizations are presenting a judicial candidates forum on Wednesday, October 22 from 6:30 – 8:00 pm at Touro Synagogue. Lee Zurik will be moderating the forum and WYES will be webcasting it. Virtually all of the juvenile and criminal court candidates will be attending what should be an informative and interesting event. Join us!

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What Makes a Good Judge?

This is the question that voters, attorneys, judges, and legal scholars have been asking for years. And it is an especially important question to ask before voting in a judicial election. While the study of judicial effectiveness is as much an art as a science, Court Watch NOLA has a suggested answer to that question in its new op-ed piece on the Project Justice NOLA website.
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Learn More About Criminal Court Candidates

Learn more about the candidates for Criminal District Court judgeships by checking out WYES’ recent candidate interviews. The interview topics include timeliness, efficiency, accountability, and transparency, all subjects near and dear to Court Watch NOLA’s heart. You can also learn more about incumbent Judges by checking out CWN’s new “Elected Officials” pages (via the menu above). The Nov. 4 election may be voters’ only chance in the next six years to have a say in how Criminal District Court is run, so let’s make our decisions educated ones!