|Voter's Guide, 2020 Fall Elections, Louisiana
|Position ||Associate Justice, Supreme Court, 4th District |
|Name||Jay Bowen McCallum|
|Present Employer / position||Second Circuit Court of Appeal|
|Length of residence in Jurisdiction||60 years|
|List of educational institutions and degrees||Northeast Louisiana University (ULM) Bachelors of Business Administration (1982).|
Louisiana State University: J.D. (1985).
|Prior elected and appointed positions||Judge, Second Circuit Court Of Appeal.|
Judge, Third Judicial District Court.
Member, Louisiana House of Representatives, District 12.
Assistant District Attorney.
Member, Louisiana Sentencing Commission.
Member by Appointment, Louisiana State Law Institute.
|Civic involvement and affiliations||First Baptist Church, Farmerville, Louisiana, Deacon.|
Union Parish Chamber of Commerce, Past President and Board Member.
Bernice Lodge # 239 F&AM, Past Master.
Farmerville Lions Club, Past President.
NRA, Life Member
Questions specific to the position
|1. Discuss your prior court experience with emphasis on criminal and civil law as a practicing attorney and as a District Court Judge.
||I began the practice of law in Farmerville, Louisiana in 1985. I had a general practice. My civil trial practice consisted mainly of defending individuals and small businesses in dozens of trials. I had a large real estate practice and transactions practice. I also represented clients in criminal proceedings and numerous trials.|
I then served as an Assistant District Attorney for the Third Judicial District prior to being elected to the Louisiana House of Representatives.
For fifteen years I served as a trial judge for the Third Judicial District Court. As a judge in a court of general jurisdiction, I presided over hundreds of civil and criminal trials. These included both bench and jury trials. When hearings are included, the number of matters I presided over and conducted would be in the thousands. I have firsthand knowledge and experience of all portions of the trial process and procedure.There is hardly any type of civil or criminal matter that I have not presided over.
|2. Describe your appellate practice trial experience as an attorney, or as an appeals court judge.
||As an attorney I represented clients at the appellate level for seventeen years. I was even retained on occasion to assist other lawyers and their clients in the appellate process.|
I currently serve on the Louisiana Second Circuit Court of Appeal. While I have years of appellate experience, I am better able to serve as an appellate judge because I have trial court experience.
|3. In a June 8th letter, Louisiana Supreme Court Chief Justice Johnson acknowledged "the part we each play in maintaining a system that leaves many of our fellow citizens, especially our African American citizens, feeling that they cannot breathe." Do you agree that the Louisiana criminal justice system disproportionately impacts African Americans? If so, what will you do as a Supreme Court Justice to lessen that impact?
||The primary responsibility of a judge is to make sure that every person is treated fairly and impartially. This is something that I did for fifteen years as a trial judge and now do as an appellate judge. This emphasis on fair treatment starts at the top and the Louisiana Supreme Court must set the standard for this and ensure that all of the courts in the state are treating the individuals who appear before them fairly and impartially.|
|4. It has come to public attention there is a lack of transparency when judges have been disciplined. What will you do to ensure transparency?
||The Supreme Court has already taken some steps in the right direction in response to public and legislative impetus. Additionally, the disciplinary process is currently much too slow. Ensuring that these measures are carried out is of paramount importance and that is what I intend to do. As an appeals court judge, I have worked with my colleagues to reform and improve the procedures of that court.|
|5. What are your views as a judicial candidate about streamlining procedures and preventing lawsuit abuse, while also ensuring access to the courts, particularly for lower income and indigent parties?
||My experience at both the trial and appellate court levels provide me with the knowledge to improve our legal system. I am familiar with the problems and, in many cases, have already instituted improvements.Technology can be used to expedite the judicial process and make it more cost effective for both taxpayers and indigent participants alike. The judicial system has been too slow to adopt and incorporate technological advances. One consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic has been to force courts into using technology in ways they had avoided before. Many courts have been surprised how much these technological innovations have assisted them in caring out their responsibilities and expediting the process.|
Jury selection needs to be streamlined and more efficient. Prospective jurors should be subjected to the least amount of inconvenience as possible. As a trial judge I implemented procedures that greatly increased the efficiency of jury selection without sacrificing due process or fairness.
Those who bring frivolous lawsuits should be sanctioned. More needs to be done to discourage frivolous lawsuits and allow the courts to focus their time on those legitimate matters of litigation.