Mitch Landrieu on New Orleans' Confederate symbols: 'To maintain these symbols...seems to belie our progress and does not reflect who we truly are' _lowres

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON--Henry P. Julien, Jr., holds a photograph during a hearing at New Orleans City Council in New Orleans, La. Thursday, July 9, 2015. The photograph shows an NOPD officer putting Rev. Avery Alexander, a longtime civil rights leader and state representative, in a choke hold during a protest at the re-dedication ceremonies of a monument to a white lead race riot. Alexander led an effort to disrupt the ceremony, which celebrated an 1874 incident in New Orleans where a White League militia made up of ex-Confederates attacked the outnumbered metropolitan police and state militia defending the biracial Reconstruction government. The militia retreated when federal troops arrived and restored order to the city. The White League later called the violent riot the "Battle of Liberty Place" and the monument was originally placed on Canal St. before it was moved behind a parking garage near the Aquarium of the Americas. New Orleans only spent 15 months in the Confederacy and spent the majority of the Civil War under Union control when the city was captured in 1862 with zero casualties. The monuments that current Mayor Mitch Landrieu has asked to be removed from the public view in the city, which is 58% African American, were all placed many years after the Civil War as monuments to white supremacy.

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.

Civil District Court Judge Tiffany Chase beats Tracey Flemings-Davillier in 4th Circuit Court of Appeal race

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.

Follow John Simerman on Twitter, @johnsimerman.