The Honorable Keva Landrum-Johnson, presiding judge for Orleans Parish District Criminal Court, Section E, has been chosen to serve as Chief Judge of the court, effective Jan. 1, 2018. The appointment denotes a significant moment in the court’s history and the City of New Orleans during this tricentennial year, as Landrum-Johnson is the first African-American woman to serve in the court’s highest office.
Landrum-Johnson will serve as Chief Judge for a two-year term, during which she will oversee all administrative functions of the court and serve as an ex officio member on each committee of the court. Additionally, Chief Judge Landrum-Johnson will continue to preside over criminal proceedings in Section E to which she is elected.
Chief Judge Landrum-Johnson said, “Orleans Parish Criminal District Court is one of the most significant institutions in the City of New Orleans, and I am honored to have earned the trust and confidence of my colleagues to lead in this capacity. My priorities as Chief Judge are to ensure the court operates efficiently and to provide vision and leadership on behalf of the citizens of New Orleans as well as the court’s judiciary, administration and staff.”
Chief Judge-Landrum Johnson will lead the court with more than 20 years of experience in law and criminal justice. She was first elected to serve at criminal court in 2008, and was re-elected to a second term in 2015. In both instances, she was elected without opposition.
Prior to being elected to the bench, Chief Judge Landrum-Johnson made history as the first female District Attorney for the State of Louisiana when she served as Orleans Parish District Attorney from October 2007 until her election as judge. In all, Chief Landrum-Johnson served a 10-year tenure with the district attorney's office, providing leadership as an assistant district attorney, a homicide and sex crimes screener, chief of the juvenile division, chief of the screening division and interim first assistant district attorney, respectively. She also taught criminal law at Southern University at New Orleans.
A native of New Orleans, Chief Judge Keva Landrum-Johnson earned a juris doctorate from Tulane Law School. She obtained a bachelor’s in political science from Washington University in St. Louis and is a graduate of Ursuline Academy.