by Adam Duvernay
Caddo District Judge Scott Crichton wants to be Justice Crichton.
After more than 20 years on the Caddo District Court bench, Crichton this week formally announced his intention to seek a position on the Louisiana Supreme Court. The voters’ choice on that promotion is more than a year away, but he’s starting early.
“I love the job I have. I hate to leave it, but I’m going to,” Crichton said. Win or lose, Crichton will end his career as a district judge after the Supreme Court election in fall 2014″. Because qualifying for the those, two posts falls on the same dates in August 2014, he said, he’ll either be a justice or out of a job.
Crichton will compete with Shreveport native and sitting Justice Jeffery Victory, who was elected as an associate justice of the Supreme Court for a term that began Jan. 1,1995. Victory could not be reached for comment by press time. Crichton will be 60 years old at election time in 2014, meaning if he is elected over Victory, it will be for only one 10-year term. The Louisiana Constitution forbids people older than 70 from qualifying for the position.
“One shot, that’s it,” as Crichton said.
“If I’m not elected, I will go back to work.” Just not as a judge, he added.
Crichton graduated from LSU Law School in 1980. He took a job as a Caddo District Court law clerk in August 1980 and, one year later, was sworn in as an assistant district attorney under then-Caddo District Attorney Paul Carmouche.
Crichton was sworn in as a Caddo district judge Jan. 1, 1991. He’s since been re-elected to 3 six-year terms.
“If he gets elected, you’re going to lose one of the hardest-working judges in Caddo Parish, no doubt,” said Ron Miciotto,
a Shreveport attorney who often has stood before Crichton during thge judge’s tenure on the bench. “He’s ready for the Supreme Court.”
Miciotto described Crichton as a straight and fair judge who never has shied from working after hours. The man. has
evolved over 20 years, something Miciotto said should happen for everyone, but has remained true to a by-the-book style
“When you go before Judge Crichton, you always know you have to be prepared because he’s read the whole me,” Miciotto said. “He’ll know as much as you do.” The easiest way for an attorney to get under Crichton’s skin, Miciotto said, is to show up for trial unprepared. The judge demands professionalism from everyone in his courtroom, Miciotto said, and delivers the same level of respect.
Crichton is known for his conservative rulings and avoidance of judicial activism. Off the bench, he spends many hours each year in front of high school and grade school students with his “Don’t Let This Be You” program. Those sessions – which tackle subjects like sexting, drinking and driving and, soon, home and personal defense – keep him fueled and in
touch with the community, he said.
“I’m blessed to have a law degree. With this blessing comes duty” Crichton said. “It’s not
enough for a judge to merely sit on a bench and sentence people.”