On Friday, February 24, 2023, the Supreme Court of Louisiana publicly censured Guy E. Bradberry, 14th Judicial District Court judge for the Parish of Calcasieu.  The case is entitled “In the matter of Guy E. Bradberry” with case no. 2022-0-01828.

The matter arose from the joint petition for consent discipline filed by the respondent and the Judiciary Commission of Louisiana. Allegedly, the respondent failed to allow an attorney, that was required to appear before him, to be heard by way of defense or mitigation prior to his incarceration.

The filing states:

“The next day, April 28, 2015, a hearing was held to address the issue of sanctions for Mr. Chesson’s conduct on January 12, 2015. However, the respondent took up an issue of alleged direct contempt, addressing conduct the respondent observed in his courtroom on February 23, 2015, rather than the matter of sanctions pursuant to Article 863 for the January 12, 2015 conduct. During the hearing, the respondent denied Mr. Chesson’s attorney an opportunity to speak on behalf of Mr. Chesson, despite the attorney’s request to do so, until after the respondent had ruled and sentenced Mr. Chesson for contempt. In finding Mr. Chesson in contempt, the respondent referenced and appeared to rely upon two “statements” from witnesses to Mr. Chesson’s conduct on February 23, 2015.”

The attorney who appeared before the respondent appealed and filed a per curium with the Third Circuit Court of Appeal in which he defended his contempt finding and advocated for the sentence imposed.

The filing continues:

“Following its consideration of the appeal, the Third Circuit reversed the respondent’s ruling of direct contempt and vacated the contempt sentence. The court of appeal found, among other things, that consideration of the two witness statements “would be a flagrant violation of Mr. Chesson’s right to due process,” the notice for the April 28, 2015 hearing did not “comport[] with due process,” and the contempt sentence was “unlawful.”

Following the reversal of the sentence,  the respondent entered into a Deferred Recommendation of Discipline Agreement (DRDA). In the said agreement, the respondent was required to fulfill certain specified conditions, including obtaining additional education on the subject of recusal and complying with the law and canons governing recusal.  Consistent with the aforementioned facts, the respondent and the Judiciary Commission of Louisiana entered into a joint petition for consent discipline.

The court in response stated that the respondent’s conduct constituted a serious violation of the code of judicial conduct. And by consenting to public discipline, the court emphasized that the respondent has acknowledged the responsibility for his conduct. Based on these foregoing reasons, the court accepted the petition for consent discipline.

The Disposition states:

“Under these circumstances, we will accept the petition for consent discipline. We will publicly censure the respondent for his violations of the Code of Judicial Conduct in the Chesson and Stine matters. We will also order the respondent to pay $1,548.00 in costs. In accordance with Supreme Court Rule XXIII, § 30(e), we further order the joint pleadings filed in this matter shall become public upon the release of this opinion.”

Judge Bradberry’s courtroom is located at 1000 Ryan St # 5, Lake Charles, and can be reached at +1 337-437-3550.

A copy of the original filing can be found here.