Jason Dagate, First Assistant District Attorney for Terrebonne Parish, has announced his candidacy for District Court Judge in Terrebonne Parish. Dagate, a Republican and career prosecutor, intends to qualify for Division B the seat being vacated by Judge John R. Walker.
“It would be a great honor to serve the people of our community as District Judge,” Dagate said when announcing his candidacy. “I believe there is no better training ground for serving as Judge than holding the position of First Assistant District Attorney. Every day, I must use my knowledge of the law, listen to all sides, and exercise sound discretion to make decisions that affect the lives of children and families. Throughout my complete and comprehensive experience as a career prosecutor, I’ve displayed the ability to be stern with violent and career criminals, while also showing compassion when necessary.”
Dagate graduated from Nicholls State University in 2003 with a degree in Business Management, and was inducted into the Nicholls State University Hall of Fame that same year. While clerking for the Louisiana Attorney General’s Office, he earned his Juris Doctor from Southern University Law Center in 2006 graduating with honors. In 2006, he was sworn into the practice of law and hired as an Assistant District Attorney by District Attorney Joseph L. Waitz, Jr. In his time at the DA’s office, he has prosecuted all types of cases, including homicides, drug racketeering, sexual abuse and violent crimes. When he was 34, Dagate was promoted to First Assistant District Attorney in Terrebonne Parish by District Attorney Joe Waitz, Jr., becoming the youngest prosecutor appointed to that position in the Parish.
In addition to prosecuting the most serious criminal offenders, Dagate served as the Drug Court Prosecutor for the 32nd Judicial District. He also served as Chief of Trials (supervising Assistant DAs in trials and case docket management), and the Director of the District Attorney’s Project LEAD Program (teaching leadership and responsible decision-making in our schools).
Dagate has also practiced civil law with his father, the late Jimmy Dagate, and brother, Jacob, representing local businesses, public bodies, and families. He also severed as co-counsel for the Terrebonne Levee and Conservation District, Houma-Terrebonne Housing Authority, and Terrebonne Economic Development Authority.
Dagate also served as an instructor for the Louisiana District Attorneys Association and the Professionals in Pre-trial Services Association, teaching prosecutors across the state at various conferences and seminars. Additionally, alongside his dad and brother, he was a past instructor for the Louisiana State Bar Association on professionalism.
In 2019, Dagate was elected by his peers to serve as President of Louisiana District Attorney’s Association ADA Board of Directors, a board he was elected to in 2013. He is an Advisory Board Member of the Terrebonne Children’s Advocacy Center, Board Member of the Louisiana District Attorney’s Association, Board Member of the Vandebilt Catholic High School Advisory Council, Leadership Terrebonne Graduate, and a volunteer youth soccer, T-ball, and softball coach.
Dagate is also a member of the Louisiana State Bar Association, Terrebonne Bar Association, Houma-Terrebonne Chamber of Commerce, Terrebonne Sportsman League, and a Parishioner of St. Francis de Sales. He is a past member of the Krewe of Terreanians, past Vice President of the Terrebonne Red Ribbon Committee, past Ad Hoc Attorney for ADAC, past board member of Colonel Athletic Association, past Chair of NSU Head Football Search Committee, and long time co-host on HTV’s “Bayou Time.”
Dagate is married to Erin Terracina Dagate, a Pediatric Occupational Therapist, and together they are blessed with two wonderful children, Emma (8) and James (6). He is the son of Jennifer Weimer Dagate and the late Jimmy Dagate.