Fuller To Assume Vacant Judgeship In Orleans Parish Court
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The Louisiana Supreme Court has appointed criminal defense attorney John Fuller to assume the judgeship vacated last year by Frank Marullo Jr. in Orleans Parish Criminal District Court.
The New Orleans Advocate’s John Simerman reports Fuller will preside over the Section D docket pending a Nov. 8 election. Voters then will decide who will complete Marullo's six-year term, which runs through 2020.
The state's high court appointed Fuller Tuesday.
Fuller, a 15-year attorney, is the principal of John T. Fuller & Associates, a downtown New Orleans firm he opened in 2010. He began his career in 2001 as a public defender in New Orleans, serving there until Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
Marullo resigned Dec. 31, his 76th birthday, after four decades on the bench. The Supreme Court had suspended him in February 2015 as authorities determined whether he was too old to serve after winning re-election the previous fall.
The issue of Marullo's age was never formally resolved, though it seemed clear that the state's high court wasn't buying his legal argument for serving at an age well past the 70-year-old limit set by the state Constitution.
For more than a year since Marullo's benching, several retired Orleans Parish judges have been tapped to fill the empty seat. Retired Judge Jerome Winsberg, the seat's latest caretaker, will continue on through the end of April, when Fuller is slated to take the bench.
Fuller cannot practice law while he sits on the bench, nor can he qualify as a candidate for judicial office for a year following the end of his appointment, under Supreme Court rules.
Several potential candidates are lining up for what is expected to be a wide field to complete Marullo's term. District judges in Louisiana make $148,108 in annual salary, according to the Supreme Court.
Before his retirement, Marullo was the longest-serving judge in Louisiana, having been appointed by then-Gov. Edwin Edwards in 1974.