Louisiana Supreme Court - 400 Royal St., New Orleans, LA 70130 | Tel: 504-310-2300 Hon. Bernette J. Johnson. Chief Justice.  John Tarlton Olivier., Clerk of Court.  Sandra A. Vujnovich. Judicial Administrator
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 Louisiana Supreme Court Justices

Chief Justice Bernette Joshua Johnson

Louisiana Supreme Court Justice Bernette J. Johnson
Louisiana Supreme Court Chief Justice Bernette J. Johnson



Bernette Joshua Johnson, Chief Justice Louisiana Supreme Court, installed as the 25th, on the 1st of February 2013 was born with courage in her DNA. Courage-- a cornerstone of all virtues is the embodiment of Chief Justice Johnson. A forerunner, she’s the first of many, a quintessential officer of the court—conscientious and fair. As a community organizer with the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, Chief Justice Johnson educated and galvanized parents of school aged children. Her fortitude would be a gateway to the desegregation of schools throughout the Deep South. Application of similar campaign strategies would see domestic laborers acquire social security benefits and the right to earn a minimum wage. While studying law, she interned with the United States Department of Justice Civil Rights Division. Chief Justice Johnson worked on discrimination cases that would structure the framework for the implementation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Manager, counselor, litigator, all mastered-- then she ascended to the judiciary. 

The first woman elected to serve Orleans Parish Civil District Court in 1984, as an advocate, in all fairness, Chief Justice Johnson established a system that utilized the training and skills of certified social workers to support matters of the family. Custody, alimony and child support cases were referred to the Children’s Bureau and Family Services for mediation prior to reporting to court.  Considering the financial limitations of most, fees were charged on a sliding scale. In 1994 she was elected to the Louisiana Supreme Court. She worked, was re-elected without opposition in 2000, then she accepted the position of Chief Justice.

Chief Justice Johnson is a woman of color. She is concerned about the human condition and how a lack of diversity on the bench plays an integral role in how the law is applied. Chief Justice Johnson is committed to the pursuit of equality.


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Louisiana Supreme Court, 400 Royal St., New Orleans, LA 70130
Clerk of Court's Office (504) 310-2300
Judicial Administrator's Office (504) 310-2550
Law Library of Louisiana (504) 310-2400
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