Hon. Helen Ginger Berrigan
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of La., New Orleans, LA

HON. HELEN “GINGER” BERRIGAN is a United States District Court Judge in the Eastern District of Louisiana and a New York native. She was appointed to the bench by President Bill Clinton in March of 1994. She served as chief judge of the Eastern District from 2001 until 2008. Prior to her appointment as a federal judge, she was a criminal defense attorney. She was a staff attorney to the Governor's Pardon, Parole and Rehabilitation Commission and press secretary to Civil Rights Leader, Charles Evers. She also served as a legislative aide to Senator Joseph Biden and a free-lance and staff reporter to many regional publications. Judge Berrigan is the author of Louisiana Criminal Trial Practice. In addition to her experience as a journalist and lawyer, she has served on the boards or as a member of several legal organizations, including the Louisiana Association for Criminal Defense Lawyers, New Orleans Association for Women Attorneys, chairman of the Criminal Law Section of the Louisiana State Bar Association, the Louisiana Sentencing Commission, American Civil Liberties Union and the Federal Bar Association. She is an adjunct professor at LSU & Loyola Schools of Law. She is regular speaker at Continuing Legal Education programs sponsored by area law schools, bar associations and other professional organizations. Among her many awards are the Louisiana State Bar Association's Pro Bono Publico Award, Special Achievement Award from the Louisiana Council for Equal Rights; the Louisiana Capital Defense Project Special Achievement Award, the Justice Albert Tate, Jr. Award from the Louisiana Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, YWCA Role Model and, more recently, the "Elaine R. Fisher Award" presented by the Federal Bar Association for exemplary community, public & charitable service. Judge Berrigan received her Juris Doctor in 1977 from Louisiana State University Law School, a M.A. in Communication from American University in Washington, D.C. and her undergraduate degree from University of Wisconsin.