J. Frank McInnis
1886 – 1959
Who was J. Frank McInnis?
Jesse Frank McInnis, known as J. Frank McInnis, was a judge of his state's Second Circuit Court of Appeal from Minden, Louisiana. In 1952, McInnis succeeded Robert F. Kennon of Minden, in the circuit judgeship which Kennon vacated to become governor of Louisiana. Prior to his appeals court service, McInnis served for twenty-two years on the now 26th Judicial District Court.
The son of Jesse McInnis, McInnis was born on a farm near Castor in Bienville Parish in north Louisiana. From 1919-1924, he was the deputy Webster Parish clerk of court under John H. Tillman, in which capacity he independently studied for the law. In 1923, he was admitted to the Louisiana bar and began the practice of law in Minden. One of his early law partners was another attorney originally from Castor, John T. Campbell, who also for a time was the secretary of the Louisiana State Senate.
On January 1, 1930, Governor Huey Pierce Long, Jr., appointed McInnis, a fellow Democrat, to the new 26th District state court, created in 1926 and based in Benton, the seat of Bossier Parish. After his short-term appointment, McInnis was elected to full terms on the district court in 1930, 1936, 1942, and 1948. Some 80 percent of McInnis' criminal court rulings were upheld on appeal. He noted, however, that few criminal cases were at that time appealed.
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