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Press Release: Legal Lines with Locke Meredith

Guest: Tony Marabella

Show #66


Attorney Locke Meredith interviews Anthony (“Tony) Marabella.  Marabella is running for judge on the 19th judicial court in the upcoming elections.

Marabella grew up in Baton Rouge, working at his father’s service station on Perkins road all through high school (Catholic High) and even through LSU Law School.  After graduating from Law School, Marabella worked in the City Prosecutor’s office for the Parish Attorney’s office.  Here, he prosecuted DWI’s and misdemeanor cases. A misdemeanor is a crime that is punishable for up to six months in jail.   Anything over six months is potentially a felony.  After two years in the City Prosecutor’s office, Marabella got a job as assistant DA with Ossie Brown as DA.  Here he was doing some of the same kinds of cases as at the City Prosecutor’s office, but then Marabella got to prosecute career criminals, with lifelong prosecutor Ralph Roy.  Career criminals are those with at least three felony convictions.  After a year and a half doing this, Marabella was appointed by the DA to be section chief of this section. As section chief, Marabella oversaw two felony assistants.   Marabella said he prosecuted probably forty or fifty serious felony trials while in that position.  In total, Marabella spent five years at the DA’s office, leaving in 1978, which he said was a tough decision.

Marabella left the DA’s office and worked for a year and a half at the Pubic Defender’s office, and then moved on to private practice.   In his private practice, Marabella handled a bit of everything: family court, personal injury, business litigation, but criminal was what he found himself gravitating toward.  Marabella began to do more and more criminal defense work, as he had done before in his old job working with the DA’s office.  Marabella was also appointed as judge ad hoc forty or fifty times, judging misdemeanor cases.  At this point, Marabella has experienced all facets of the criminal process: prosecutor, defense attorney, and judge.

Next, Meredith asks Marabella why he would want run for judge.  Marabella responds by expressing his thanks for what this community has given to him, and that he wants to give back to it, quite simply.  Marabella was the first of his family to graduate from college, first to go to Law School, and has been successful in his law practice.  Despite the paycut he will take if elected, Marabella wants to serve the community that has been so good to him, quite simply.

The process of running has been unfamiliar to Marabella.  He explains the process.  First, the position he is running for is opening because his friend, Mike McDonald is moving to the first circuit court of appeals.  After this, Marabella began calling up lawyers to get their support.  Marabella was clear to let us know he was after their votes not their money.  The support of local lawyers and judges Marabella found to be phenomenal.  Next, Marabella needed the support of the public.  He threw a fundraiser at Drusilla Seafood Restaurant with the help of Hilliard Moore, his campaign manager, and Ralph Stevens, his treasurer.  Marabella was overjoyed at the turnout, especially by non-lawyers, friends from elementary school and other walks of life.

Initially Marabella ran unopposed.   This meant he only used a few radio spots and some signs, but didn’t have to spend a lot of money campaigning.  However, on the last day of qualifying, a contester arrived.

To continue to reach the public, Marabella got a team together, about twenty friends a family, and they have been walking neighborhoods on Saturday’s knocking on doors and wearing “Vote for Tony Marabella, Judge” shirts.  Marabella was pleasantly surprised to find people to be incredibly receptive and friendly in this experience.

Tony is running for judge for the 19th judicial court, and elections are on October 5th.