Catherine D. Kimball,
Former Chief Justice of the Louisiana Supreme Court and Stroke Survivor
Chief Justice Catherine D. “Kitty” Kimball ended a stellar career on January 31, 2013, when she retired from the Louisiana judiciary. Chief Justice Kimball has the distinction of being the first woman to serve on the Louisiana Supreme Court, eventually becoming the Court’s first female Chief Justice in 2009. Prior to her election to the Court in 1993, Chief Justice Kimball worked in the Louisiana Attorney General’s Office (1971-1973) and the Louisiana Commission on Law Enforcement and Administration of Criminal Justice (1973-1981), as a sole practitioner (1975-1982), as Assistant District Attorney, 18th JDC (1978-1982), and as Judge, 18th JDC (1982-1992), becoming Chief Judge in 1990.
Chief Justice Kimball has earned numerous honors throughout her career. A sampling of her recognitions include: being inducted into the Louisiana Political Museum and Hall of Fame in 2011; receiving the Louisiana Bar Foundation’s Distinguished Jurist Award in 2006; and becoming the first recipient of the Louisiana Champion of Juvenile Justice Award in 2010. Chief Justice Kimball has continually served on or chaired committees with influential and important work, such as the Southeast Louisiana Criminal Justice Recovery Task Force. As a co-founder of the Sunshine Foundation, Chief Justice Kimball has benefited the lives of Louisiana’s most vulnerable residents. The foundation annually distributes copies of a book entitled You Are Sunshine, which teaches children about self-esteem, to preschoolers throughout the state. The book was written by Chief Justice Kimball’s friend and psychotherapist Shirley Porter. Additionally, Chief Justice Kimball received the 2008 Judge of the Year Award from the Louisiana CASA Association in recognition of outstanding service and commitment to CASA in Louisiana.
Chief Justice Kimball had a stroke on January 10, 2010 and spent five weeks at Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center. She was released from a rehabilitation hospital February 22, 2010.