Orleans Parish Civil District Court Judge Clare Jupiter was hospitalized Thursday afternoon after suffering a medical problem in her chambers that one source said appeared to be a heart attack.
Emergency medical personnel were called to the courthouse about 1 p.m., and Jupiter was taken by ambulance to Interim LSU Hospital for what court spokesman Walt Pierce would describe only as a “medical problem.”
A spokeswoman for the hospital could not immediately report her condition.
Chief Judge Kern Reese said Thursday afternoon that he was waiting to hear from Jupiter’s family.
Reese said Jupiter, 62, had been in a conference with attorneys when she had “some kind of health episode. We are not sure what it is.”
He said there were no signs of her having any health problems prior to Thursday’s event.
“Clare is one of those phenomenal kind of people. She swims every day. She does yoga. She eats very healthy. She was in excellent condition,” Reese said. “This was a total shock to us.”
Jupiter won a second term unopposed this year for the Section E seat that she won in a runoff in 2011 over Nakisha Ervin-Knott. The seat went vacant when Judge Madeleine Landrieu moved to the state 4th Circuit Court of Appeal.
Before then, Jupiter was a private attorney best known for representing the Orleans Parish School Board.
Her brother, Steven Jupiter, is a judge at New Orleans Traffic Court.
Former U.S. Rep. William Jefferson was an early partner in Jupiter’s law firm, a fact that drew criticism from one of her opponents in 2011. When she ran, Jupiter said that while she practiced law with Jefferson before he was elected to Congress, and long before he was convicted of bribery in 2009, she never played a role in his political machine.
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