Kay Karre Gautreaux – Candidate for 15th JDC District Judge

Kay Karre’ Gautreaux, a native of Lafayette and practicing attorney of 33 years, is our guest today. She is a candidate for judge in the 15th Judicial District, Division K, in Lafayette Parish, in the upcoming November 3rd election. 

A graduate of LSU Law School, Kay has experience in civil and criminal law, all areas of litigation, and managing jury and non-jury cases. She served as a law clerk for two district judges in state court (Judge Bennett J. Gautreaux) and federal court (Judge John Shaw for twelve years). Additionally, Kay has been appointed by the Louisiana Supreme Court on several occasions as a judge pro tempore in Lafayette City Court. She has handled cases ranging from misdemeanor and felony crimes to civil litigation to family matters such as divorce or succession matters. She currently manages her own law firm handling private client matters at Kay Karre Gautreaux, LLC in Lafayette.

In addition to her law practice, Kay has served on the board of the Lafayette Parish Bar Association, Lafayette Volunteer Lawyers, UL Lafayette Alumni, St. Thomas More Advisory Council, Our Lady of Fatima Foundation, Our Lady of Fatima Alumni Council, Acadiana Republican Women’s Organization, Lafayette Women’s Chamber of Commerce and Lafayette Junior League of Lafayette.

Her achievements include being selected as the Outstanding Young Lawyer for State of Louisiana, University of Louisiana Volunteer of the Year, Louisiana State Bar Foundation Fellow Honoree, 2012 Distinguished Warrior Award, and Named “Best of Acadiana. ”

Kay is married to Mitch Gautreaux and they have two children, Michelle and Matthew. She is one of six siblings, four of which are attorneys, and all have been fortunate to achieve advanced education being the children of Albert and Inez Karre. Kay jokingly shared that she has 41 first cousins on her mom’s side! They still gather twice a year to keep up their loving connection.

Kay’s dad, Albert Karre, was a highly-esteemed attorney in Lafayette as well as a WWII hero, who taught her a great deal about serving clients and how to deal with people who trusted him to take care of their interests. In his day, the clients would deliver pecans or other goods to cover their bills if they didn’t have the ready cash. Her dad was her role model and she realized she wanted to follow in his footsteps of service by providing legal services to those in need.

The Gautreaux family: Matthew, Michelle, Kay and Mitch.

A sweet note to share about how Kay got her name: her dad, Albert Karre, opened a jewelry shop in Crowley when he returned from WWII, named “Kay’s Jewelers.” Kay’s parents bestowed that lovely name upon her and we know that tribute carries forward poignant family memories.

During our interview, Kay shared her love of Lafayette, her deep roots in the community, and her fond memories of the Oil Center as she grew up. As a student at Our Lady of Fatima High School, she would have field trips to watch LAGCOE as it was held at the Blackham Coliseum. The experiences left a lasting impression her as she learned the impact that the oil industry had on Lafayette’s economy. People came from all over the country to visit Lafayette and she expressed deep regret over the demise of the oil industry and hopes people appreciate how important the oil sector has been to the development of Lafayette.

I believe strongly in our court system and our system of justice.  I believe I can be a positive representative of this court system by helping it work fairly, efficiently, and instill confidence that I am not only knowledgeable of the law, but will follow the law.  I am the only candidate who has been a legal assistant to two judges in state and federal court, giving me experience in how a judge’s office is run. I am the only candidate actively engaged in civil and criminal litigation.”

Gautreaux shared that the COVID pandemic has resulted in a tremendous backlog of cases. If elected, she hopes to add trial weeks, have more pre-trial conferences remotely, add jury weeks, and take whatever measures are necessary to address this issue and afford people their day in court in a timely manner.

For more information on Kay Karre Gautreaux’s campaign for 15th JDC Judge, Division K, please visit https://kgforjudge.com.