HONORABLE SUSAN M. CHEHARDY currently serves as Chief Judge of the Louisiana 5th Circuit Court of Appeal. She received her Juris Doctorate from Loyola University of the South Law School in 1985. Upon graduation she held the position as law clerk for the late Hon. Veronica Wicker for the 85’-86’ term. In August of 1986 she was employed as an associate with the firm of Gauthier, Murphy, Chehardy, Sherman & Breslin, engaged in the practice of personal injury litigation. In 1989 she became a partner in the firm of Chehardy, Sherman, Ellis & Breslin. In 1991, she opened her own general litigation practice, Chehardy & Nielsen.
In January of 1992 she was appointed by the Louisiana Supreme Court as judge pro tempore to Division C of the 24th JDC. In September of 1992 she was elected judge of Division N of the 24th JDC. She served as judge of Division N, winning re-election without opposition to her district court seat in 1996. In October of 1998 she was elected to Division D of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeal, the first woman to be elected to that Court. She was re-elected without opposition in 2002 and 2012. In January of 2013, she was sworn in to her new term as the first female Chief Judge of the Louisiana Fifth Circuit Court of Appeal. Judge Chehardy is a member of the American Bar Association, the Louisiana State Bar Association, the Jefferson Bar Association and the New Orleans Bar Association, as well as a retired member of the Federal Bar Associations of the Eastern and Middle Districts. She is also a member of the American Judges Association, the Council of Chief Judges of the State Courts of Appeal, the Louisiana Association of Appellate Judges, the Fifth Circuit Judges Association, the Fourth and Fifth Circuit Judges Association, the Association of Women Judges and the American Judicature Society.