Washington — The U.S. Senate Tuesday confirmed Baton Rouge lawyer John W. “Johnny” deGravelles as a federal judge in Louisiana.
He will take the seat formerly held by U.S. District Judge James Brady, of Baton Rouge, who earlier this year assumed senior status, meaning he would be taking a reduced case load.
A founding partner at the firm of deGravelles, Palmintier, Holthaus & Frugé, deGravelles specializes in civil litigation representing individuals and businesses. He has practiced extensively in both state and federal court. He received his bachelor’s and law degrees from LSU.
He serves as an adjunct faculty member at the LSU Paul M. Hebert Law Center and Tulane University Law School’s Summer Program in Rhodes, Greece. He was honored as a Fulbright Scholar for his work on international maritime education.
DeGravelles will serve on the bench for the Middle District of Louisiana, comprising the parishes of Ascension, East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, Iberville, Livingston, Pointe Coupee, St. Helena, West Baton Rouge and West Feliciana. The court convenes in the Russell B. Long Federal Courthouse on Florida Street in downtown Baton Rouge.
U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., recommended deGravelles to President Barack Obama for nomination to the judgeship in December. DeGravelles also received support from Baton Rouge-area elected officials, legal educators and lawyers. Federal judicial nominations require confirmation by the Senate.
“I’m very gratified my colleagues gave a unanimous vote in favor of Johnny to serve on the bench in the U.S. Middle District in Louisiana. Throughout the confirmation process, I was continually impressed with his extraordinary leadership, impressive legal career and service to Louisiana,” Landrieu said.
The vote for deGravelles was unanimous.
“I will be joining a stellar group of judges in the Middle District,” deGravelles said in a prepared statement. “I will work extremely hard not only to merit the confidence placed in me by Senator Landrieu, but to make a meaningful contribution to the fine work already being done by the judges and court staff in this District.”
The other federal judges are Chief U.S. District Judge Brian A. Jackson and U.S. District Judge Shelly Dick, who was sworn into office earlier this year.
DeGravelles worked as an environmentalist in the 1980s and founded Citizens for a Clean Environment group.
He also had chaired the Louisiana Trial Lawyer’s Association Hurricane Katrina/Rita Relief Committee and served as president of the association. After the 2010 BP oil disaster, he coauthored the law article “The Deepwater Horizon Rig Disaster: Issues of Personal Injury and Death.”
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