Obama picks Green, deGravelles for Middle District posts

President Barack Obama announced his nominations Thursday of Walt Green to be U.S. attorney and John deGravelles as U.S. District Court judge for the Middle District of Louisiana.

Green has been serving as acting U.S. attorney since July 1, when Don Cazayoux stepped down to join a private law firm.

Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., submitted Green’s name as her sole recommendation for the position in October.

“Walt Green is universally respected, extremely experienced, and he shows strong leadership abilities and wants to make a real difference for good in our community,” Landrieu said in a statement. “I am proud to have been able to recommend a person of such high caliber to serve in this position.”

Contacted by phone, Green said he was limited in what he could say until he is confirmed by the Senate.

He said, “I’m honored by the president’s nomination and look forward to the Senate’s confirmation process.”

The Middle District of Louisiana is composed of the parishes of Ascension, East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, Iberville, Livingston, Pointe Coupee, St. Helena, West Baton Rouge and West Feliciana.

As the acting U.S. attorney, Green is tasked with carrying out the mission of the U.S. Department of Justice to combat terrorism and threats to national security, violent crime and public corruption, and to protect the public from hate crimes, human trafficking and exploitation.

Green is a graduate of LSU and the Tulane University Law School. He served on active duty in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1993 to 1997. He then joined the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Las Vegas as an assistant U.S. attorney before returning to Baton Rouge in 2000.

DeGravelles is a lawyer and founding partner of the deGravelles, Palmintier, Holthaus and Frugé law firm, where he practices civil litigation representing individuals and businesses.

Landrieu recommended deGravelles as the replacement for U.S. District Judge James J. Brady, who notified the White House in August that he would assume senior status, meaning he would be taking a reduced case load.

“After thorough and careful consultation with respected members of the legal community from the region and personal interviews with several highly qualified candidates, it was clear that his sharp and sensible reasoning and strong character will add to the already impressive talent on this bench,” Landrieu said of the president’s nomination in a statement.

“John brings years of experience as a litigator, professor and respected advocate and enjoys a broad base of support from the legal system.”

DeGravelles could not be reached for interview but said in a statement that it was an honor to be nominated by the president.

“I do not believe there is a better way to serve our system of justice,” he said. “The Middle District is blessed with exceptional judges, and I am excited for the opportunity to contribute to this tradition of excellence.”

DeGravelles is an adjunct faculty member with the LSU Paul M. Hebert Law Center and the Tulane University Law School. He also does pro bono work for death-row inmates.

His nomination also is subject to Senate confirmation.