Civil District Court Judge, Div. B - M. Montero


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Campaign Phone (504) 418-1690
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Campaign Website Address
Facebook Suzy Montero for Judge
Twitter @voteMontero

Length of residence in jurisdiction 53 years (less 7 years during college and law school)
Profession Attorney at Law
Present employer / position (if self-employed, what type of business) Law Office of Warren A. "Chip" Forstall
List of post-secondary institutions attended and degrees obtained

Southern Methodist University, BA 1985
LSU Law Center, JD 1991

Civic involvement and affiliations (list up to 5)

Forum for Equality Member
IWO Member
Tulane Women's Basketball Mentoring Program (Since 2011)
HRC Federal Club
Lakeshore Property Owners Association

Prior elected and appointed positions

This is my first political endeavor I have not had any prior elected positions.
I have been appointed by judges in state court on multiple occasions to represent interdicts, orphans and as a Special Master.
I have served as an Adjunct Professor at Tulane University Law School teaching Trial Advocacy.

As an attorney what is your civil court trial experience? How many civil court jury trials have you handled? What is your record for settlements?

I was admitted to the Louisiana State Bar on April 10, 1992. During those 24+ years, I have tried jury trials in state and federal court. I do not have an exact count but estimate at least 15, probably upwards of 20 jury trials. These trials have include personal injury actions, toxic tort claims, 1983 Civil Rights cases, employment discrimination cases, and commercial litigation involving complex commercial transactions / business matters. While I am not running for the Criminal Court, I have also tried criminal jury trials in both state and federal court. During my 24+ years I have represented well over 500 individual clients in cases where a suit was actually filed. (I have represented many more clients in matters where suit was not filed). The vast majority of cases filed settle. As a rule, cases settle only after the lawyers on all sides have had the opportunity to conduct proper discovery to determine the facts and narrow the legal issues that will be litigated in the event the matter actually goes to trial. An efficiently run court is vital to the lawyers and litigants to allow a lawsuit to be properly postured for settlement. I would estimate that probably 90% of the cases I have filed (both judge or jury trials) have settled prior to trial.

What personal experience do you have that qualifies you to be a civil district court judge?

I have had the honor to represent clients ranging from publicly traded corporations to a child orphaned when his father was killed in combat, in matters ranging from complex commercial litigation to pre-nuptial contract challenges. Through those representations, I have met people from every walk and station of life and had the unique look into the actual lives of these individuals. I have heard their stories. I have been witness to their lives, their struggles, and their successes. I believe that actual real life experiences are vital for a civil district court judge - as a judge is often required to to distill facts and law against a backdrop of the practical reality of his or her decisions. I have also had the privilege of working under and training under the legendary Jack Martzell for nearly 10 years. He was a brilliant lawyer whose voice and guidance I hear literally every day in my practice. Over these 24+ years - in law and life - through training and experience, I have become keenly aware that - just because you may have a big stick, that does not mean it is best to use it. Through my life experiences I have developed the discretion and temperament to understand when the big stick is necessary or when a deft touch is more appropriate. I know that these experiences will serve me on the bench when called upon to render judgment in matters affecting our citizen, our city and the organizations and businesses that hope to prosper here. I know that these experience will guide me to insure that all litigants - regardless of their background are afforded the opportunity to have their voices heard, to have their case judge fairly and to be treated with equal dignity before the court.

How many years have you had an active law practice?

24 years and 9 months. I was sworn into the Louisiana State Bar on April 10, 2016. I have been in active and uninterrupted litigation practice in New Orleans, in Orleans Parish since the date of my admission to the Louisiana Bar. Mine has been a multi-faceted practice and I have represented clients in virtually every area of law that might appear in court including: divorce cases, custody, alimony, child support, adoption, name changes, community property partitions, interdictions, tax sales redemption, challenges to pre-nuptial contracts, challenges to wills, succession disputes, personal injury, defamation, 1983 Civil Rights cases, white collar criminal cases, grand jury inquiries, toxic tort claims, class action cases, Jones Act cases, products liability claims, medical malpractice, contract disputes, redhibition claims and property damage / mold claims. I have put in the work and am prepared to bring this experience to the Civil District Court Bench.