The Louisiana Supreme Court has appointed veteran local attorney Henry Julien Jr. to fill a vacant seat on the Orleans Parish Civil District Court bench.
Julien, 69, will occupy the Division A seat left vacant by Judge Tiffany Chase's election in October to the state 4th Circuit Court of Appeal.
His wife, Ethel Simms Julien, has been a judge at Civil District Court since 1995.
The Supreme Court announced the appointment on Wednesday. Henry Julien will hold the civil court seat from Jan. 1 until the end of May, or whenever voters elect a new judge to fill the post.
The Division A primary is scheduled for March 24, with an April 28 runoff if needed. Qualifying starts Jan. 3.
Julien is a graduate of Xavier University and Columbia University law school who was admitted to the Louisiana bar in 1972.
He first served as an assistant state attorney general and later became the first black general counsel of the state Department of Insurance before becoming an Orleans Parish prosecutor for three years.
Now in private civil and criminal practice with the Kullman Firm, Julien has served on the city's Industrial Development Board and its Human Relations Commission. He also is a former board chairman for the Public Access Television Network.
Among his more high-profile criminal defense cases, Julien represented Ashton "Pound" Price, one of 10 accused members of the "39'ers" gang who were convicted in February following a six-week federal trial.
Julien has taken the bench before, having served as an ad hoc judge in New Orleans Municipal Court, according to the Supreme Court.
"It's kind of like a capstone to a career, in a way, having that opportunity to sit as a judge for a short period of time," he said Wednesday.
Julien turns 70 in January, making him ineligible to run for the seat under the state's age limit of 70 for judges.