Judge Guidry sworn in as first African American Chief Judge in more than 100-year history of the First Circuit Court of Appeal

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The Honorable John Michael Guidry, a life-long resident of East Baton Rouge Parish, was sworn in as the 15th Chief Judge of the Louisiana First Circuit Court of Appeal at an investiture ceremony yesterday, January 19, 2023, at 2:00 p.m.  Judge Guidry will serve as the first African American Chief Judge in the more than 100-year history of the First Circuit Court of Appeal. The ceremony will take place at the courthouse located at 1600 North Third Street, Baton Rouge, Louisiana.    


The First Circuit is one of five Louisiana intermediate appellate courts and is domiciled in East Baton Rouge Parish.  The court serves the following sixteen parishes: Ascension, Assumption, East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, Iberville, Lafourche, Livingston, Pointe Coupee, St. Helena, St. Mary, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, Terrebonne, Washington, West Baton Rouge, and West Feliciana.

Judge Guidry is a proud graduate of McKinley Senior High School, class of 1980.  He earned a bachelor of arts degree in Political Science from Louisiana State University in 1983.  In 1987, he graduated with cum laude honors from the Southern University Law Center.

Prior to assuming the bench, Judge Guidry served in the Louisiana Legislature.  He began his career as a legislative assistant to the Honorable Joseph A. Delpit.  He also served as the Assistant Clerk of the Louisiana House of Representatives and as an assistant parish attorney. In 1991, Judge Guidry was elected to the House of Representatives to represent House District 67.  Two years later, in 1993, he was elected to the State Senate to represent Senate District 14.


In 1997, Judge Guidry was elected to the First Circuit Court of Appeal.

In addition to his judicial and legislative career, Judge Guidry served as a commissioner of the Greater Baton Rouge Port Commission and the Greater Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport Commission.  Since 1988, Judge Guidry has served as an adjunct professor at the Southern University Law Center, where he has taught a governor, district attorneys, legislators, and even fellow members of the judiciary. He also served as an adjunct professor in the Nelson Mandela School of Public Policy at Southern University for more than 25 years.

Judge Guidry is a frequent lecturer at continuing legal education seminars and a member of several professional organizations, including the Louis A. Martinet Legal Society, as well as the Baton Rouge, Louisiana, National, and American Bar Associations.  As a judge, he holds memberships in the American Judges Association, the Louisiana Conference Court of Appeal Judges, and the Louisiana Judicial Council of the National Bar Association.  Judge Guidry was elected as the Louisiana Conference of Court of Appeal Judges’ representative to the Louisiana Judicial Council for two, three-year terms in 2009 and 2012, and has been twice appointed by the Louisiana Supreme Court, on the recommendation of its Chief Justice, to serve on the governing body of the Louisiana Judicial College.  In 2014, Judge Guidry served as President of the Louisiana Judicial College Board of Governors.  He is also a member of the Louisiana Domestic Violence Judicial Curriculum Advisory Committee and a member of the Baton Rouge Bar Association Pro Bono Committee.


Judge Guidry is an ordained deacon and formerly served as the Sunday School Superintendent at Fairview Baptist Church in Baton Rouge.

He is married to Carol Fowler Guidry, with whom he has two children, John Morgan Guidry and Kennedy Michelle Guidry.