Judge Lloyd Medley promises “to continue what I’ve been doing” if he’s elected to a fourth term in Civil District Court.
“The only real issue is who is the most qualified,” said Medley, who was first elected in 1996.
He was elected by his colleagues to serve as Civil District Court’s chief judge from 2008 to 2010. During that time, he said, the court’s finances got into the black for the first time since Hurricane Katrina.
Medley’s courtroom management has been questioned by his opponent Nakisha Ervin-Knott. He said he runs his court on time.
“I don’t know if that’s a real issue,” he said. “Judges don’t move cases; lawyers do.”
Medley said he’s “never gotten negative feedback about how I run my courtroom.”
Ervin-Knott also claimed that Medley has treated women unfairly in court. “I’ve never had a complaint,” he responded, “about someone [being] treated unfairly — women, men, gay or straight.”
He also pointed out that three-quarters of his staff is female.
Medley supports building a new courthouse to replace the current facility, which judges say is cramped and outdated.
He said the court needs to be modernized. Lawyers must bring computers and other equipment that he believes should already be inside the building.
Mayor Mitch Landrieu tried to convince the judges to move into a “civic center” in the former Charity Hospital building, but he dropped that idea due to rising construction estimates and a lack of funding. The judges, meanwhile, don’t have financing or a location lined up for a new building.
The city should “lead the way” to work out details, including financing, Medley said.
In 2011, WWL-TV reported that civil and city judges in New Orleans had spent more than $250,000 since 2009 traveling to legal seminars. Medley spent about $21,000, the second-highest amount.
In 2012, the Louisiana Legislative Auditor concluded that Civil District judges, like their colleagues in City and Criminal courts, had improperly spent money from their Judicial Expense Fund on supplemental insurance.
Medley was one of the participants. He told auditors that prior judges had determined that it was legal. “The moment we thought it might be questionable, we discontinued it,” he told The Lens.
Although elected, Medley said his role is different from other officeholders.
“I’m a jurist, not a politician,” Medley said. “The law does not want me to become political.”