A. J. McNamara
|A. J. McNamara|
|Judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana|
|Preceded by||Edward James Boyle, Sr.|
|Succeeded by||Jay Zainey|
|Louisiana State Representative from Jefferson Parish|
|Born||Abel John McNamara
June 9, 1936
New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.
|Died||December 2, 2014
|Resting place||Greenwood Cemetery, New Orleans|
|Political party||Democratic-turned-Republican (1977)|
|Spouse(s)||Alma J. (née Loisel) McNamara|
|Parents||Henry D. and Ruby (née Price) McNamara|
|Alma mater||Jesuit High School (New Orleans)|
|Occupation||Attorney; retired judge; former engineer|
|Service/branch||United States Navy (1959-1962)|
Abel John McNamara (June 9, 1936 – December 2, 2014), was a Louisiana state representative from 1976 to 1980 and judge of the New Orleans-based United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, who served full-time from June 21, 1982, until the fall of 2001, when he assumed senior status.
McNamara, a son of Henry D. and Ruby (née Price) McNamara, graduated in 1954 from the Roman Catholic Jesuit High School in his native New Orleans. In 1959, he received a Bachelor of Science degree in engineering from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. In 1968 he received his Juris Doctor degree from Loyola University College of Law.
McNamara served in the United States Navy from 1959-62. From 1966-68, while in law school he was a bailiff and law clerk for U.S. District Judge Herbert W. Christenberry of the same court on which McNamara served. He maintained a private law practice from 1968-82.
In 1976, he joined three other attorneys in forming the partnership Hailey, McNamara, McNamara, and Hall. The name was changed to Hailey, McNamara, Hall, Larmann & Papale in 1982, when A. J. McNamara was appointed to the district judgeship. The firm is the largest in Jefferson Parish and one of the largest litigation operations in metropolitan New Orleans.
While practicing law, McNamara served in the Louisiana House of Representatives from populous Jefferson Parish in suburban New Orleans. Elected in the first-ever jungle primary of 1975, he was a Democratic representative from 1976 to 1977, and a Republican convert from 1977 to 1980. He did not seek reelection in the 1979 primary.
In 1976, as a Democrat, McNamara cast a critical vote against the Equal Rights Amendment in the House Civil Law Committee. The unfavorable committee vote effectively killed the prospects of ratifying the amendment for the second time in Louisiana.
In the 105-member Louisiana House, McNamara served with six other Republicans at the time: Clark Gaudin of Baton Rouge, three Caddo Parish members, Art Sour, B.F. O'Neal, Jr., and Bruce Lynn, and two converts to GOP, Michael F. "Mike" Thompson of Lafayette, and Lane Carson of New Orleans.
In 1980, McNamara supported the Ronald W. Reagan and George Herbert Walker Bush national ticket. President Reagan thereafter nominated McNamara for the bench on May 5, 1982, for the seat vacated by Judge Edward James Boyle, Sr., and the U.S. Senate quickly confirmed him.
McNamara resided in Metairie, Louisiana with his wife, the former Alma J. Loisel. The couple had two sons, John Price McNamara and Dwight Loisel McNamara (1967-2005), and two daughters, Joni McNamara Parent and Nancy Ann McNamara Miller (died 2014).
- "Retired U.S. District Court Judge A.J. "Buddy" McNamara, 78, died Tuesday". New Orleans Times-Picayune. Retrieved December 3, 2014.
- "Membership in the Louisiana House of Representatives, 1812-2016: Jefferson Parish". legis.la.gov. Retrieved December 2, 2014.
- "Hon. Abel John "Buddy" McNamara Obituary". New Orleans Times-Picayune. Retrieved December 3, 2014.
- A. J. McNamara at the Biographical Directory of Federal Judges, a public domain publication of the Federal Judicial Center.