Justice Matters with Attorney John "Juan" Redmann: Interview with the Honorable Judge Piper Griffin
John W. Redmann
Law Office of John W. Redmann, LLC - Metairie Office
|September 22, 2011|
Previously published by Herencia Hispana
REDMANN: Can you tell our readers something about you that perhaps is not common knowledge, that has impacted your life and the way you live it, on or off on the judicial bench?
JUDGE GRIFFIN: I'm a Christian and I am very active in my church. That impacts the way I approach life on the bench.
REDMANN: Can you tell us something about your struggle to become well-educated and a distinguished judge, and how Hispanic-Americans can learn from your story?
JUDGE GRIFFIN: You have to be open to change. When I went to college, I went as an Aerospace Engineer Major. I had been encouraged to go into this field. I spent on year in the major, but came to the reality that I had to be doing what I enjoyed doing, and that was not it. My passion was not that. You have to live your own passion. My passion, I found, is in community service, in the law, in helping people. I love to read voraciously.
REDMANN: As a minority, and as a woman, growing up in a country with biases and barriers against you, some of which still exist today, including against Hispanics, how have you been able to conduct yourself as a fair and impartial judge for everyone who comes before you?
JUDGE GRIFFIN: A good example, I think, is when people who are not of color often do not realize that they have biases. So when attorneys come before me, I am able to help them see that things are not in "black and white". Sometimes what they think is bad is a matter of context and degree, and I can help each side see more clearly and treat each side with respect.
REDMANN: What advice do you have for minorities and others who would like to pursue advanced professions like you did?
JUDGE GRIFFIN: First of all, I believe you must look beyond yourself, for me that was in looking to God. You must have faith, believe in yourself, and look at what talents you possess. I do not think you can truly succeed in life until you help someone else. Success is not based on how much money you will make in a lifetime.
REDMANN: What are some of the toughest parts of your job as a judge?
JUDGE GRIFFIN: Dealing with people who do not respect each other, and thus, do not respect the court. These are often the attorneys. Dealing with people who constantly question my intelligence as an African American female, and being able to demonstrate to them they are wrong without being arrogant. No one gave me my law degree, no one gave me my accomplishments.
REDMANN: What are some of the most rewarding aspects of being a judge?
JUDGE GRIFFIN: Helping new attorneys, empowering them to do their best. I also enjoy educating the community on the legal system. I always tell jurors there are three branches of government. All three have to function the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial. Jurors being involved makes the Judicial branch function.
REDMANN: As a lifelong New Orleanian, do you have an opinion on how Katrina has affected our region, and what role Hispanics have played and may still play in our recovery?
JUDGE GRIFFIN: Katrina has had many negative and devastating effects, but has also presented many opportunities. Many people got the opportunity to get a new start. With regards to the Hispanic community, they really stepped up to help us rebuild. Hispanics represent a labor force, that was willing to take on a job that was tremendous and at a pace that perhaps no one else could. They deserve kudos for the amazing work they did to help.
The views expressed in this document are solely the views of the author and not Martindale-Hubbell. This document is intended for informational purposes only and is not legal advice or a substitute for consultation with a licensed legal professional in a particular case or circumstance.
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