Brigid Collins, a private defense attorney and former prosecutor, was named to an Orleans Parish magistrate commissioner’s post on Tuesday by a vote of the dozen judges at Criminal District Court, Judicial Administrator Rob Kazik said.
Collins, 37, becomes one of four commissioners under Magistrate Judge Harry Cantrell.
The commissioners set bail amounts and preside over probable-cause hearings and other early court proceedings in felony cases. They also sign arrest and search warrants.
Commissioners may practice private law while serving in the post, which comes with a $77,000 salary.
Collins replaces Juana Marine-Lombard, who resigned after more than five years as a magistrate commissioner when Gov. John Bel Edwards appointed her in December to serve as commissioner of the state Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control.
Collins, a 2003 Loyola law school graduate, started that same year as an Orleans Parish assistant district attorney. She prosecuted cases until 2011, when she left to practice law with prominent local defense attorney Frank DeSalvo.
Long eager for a seat on the bench, Collins qualified in 2014 to run for the Section D seat at criminal court but dropped out when 40-year incumbent Frank Marullo announced he would run again.
Marullo resigned at the end of the year while awaiting a Louisiana Supreme Court decision on whether he was too old, at age 75, to serve under the state constitution.
“I am thrilled by the opportunity to serve the residents of Orleans Parish, and I am honored by the display of confidence in my abilities by the judges of criminal court,” Collins said in a statement. “I assure the residents of Orleans Parish that I will serve the people in a professional and courteous manner. I hope that I make the community proud.”
The judges’ vote took place behind closed doors.