Bernard Bagert, Sr.

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Bernard John Bagert, Sr.​​

Judge of the New Orleans
Criminal Court
In office
July 9, 1956​ – December 31, 1972​

Born February 13, 1913 ​​
New Orleans, Louisiana, USA​​
Died September 7, 1982 (aged 69)
New Orleans, Louisiana
Resting place Greenwood Cemetery
in New Orleans
Political party Democrat
Spouse(s) Philomen Schilleci Bagert
Children Ben Bagert

Bonnie Louise Bagert
Broderick A. "Brod" Bagert
Barbara Lourdes Bagert
Joseph M. and Louise Betpouey Bagert

Alma mater Loyola University New Orleans College of Law​​
Occupation Attorney​​

United States Coast Guard service

Religion Roman Catholic

Bernard John Bagert, Sr. (February 13, 1913 – September 7, 1982), was an attorney and a criminal court judge in his native New Orleans, Louisiana.


The son of Joseph M. Bagert (1875-1950) and the former Louise Betpouey (1884-1974), Bagert graduated in 1935 from the Roman Catholic-affiliated Loyola University New Orleans School of Law. He practiced law until 1956 except for military duty from 1942 to 1946 with the United States Coast Guard. Bagert was appointed Orleans Parish criminal district judge on July 9, 1956, a position he held until December 31, 1972.[1]

Appointed judge at the same time was Edward Haggerty, who became the presiding judge in 1969 for the trial of Clay LaVerne Shaw (1913-1974), a prominent New Orleans businessman who was the former managing director of the International Trade Mart, charged with conspiracy in the assassination of U.S. President John F. Kennedy. Bagert was a member of a three-judge panel that decided, based heavily on Bagert's conclusion, that Orleans Parish District Attorney James Carothers "Jim" Garrison (1921-1992) had sufficient evidence to prosecute Shaw, for alleged conspiracy to assassinate U.S. President John F. Kennedy. However, Shaw was acquitted after a 40-day trial and an hour of jury deliberation. [1]

In 1970, Judge Bagert removed himself from the trial of fifteen Black Panthers arrested following a gun battle with New Orleans police at the Desire Housing Project. Bagert was the owner of the Uptown building where the Panthers had made their headquarters.[1]

Bagert and his wife, the former Philomen Schilleci (1917-2003), had four children,[2] including former state Senator Ben Bagert, a Democrat-turned-Republican who withdrew from the 1990 U.S. Senate race against the powerful Democrat incumbent at the time, J. Bennett Johnston, Jr. Another son, Broderick A. "Brod" Bagert, Sr. (born 1947), is an author who formerly served on the New Orleans City Council. The Bagert daughters were Bonnie Louise Bagert Carpenter (1946-2013), an educator in New Orleans, and Barbara Lourdes Bagert[3](born 1950) of Hammond in Tangipahoa Parish.[4]

Judge Bagert died at the age of sixty-nine in New Orleans and is interred with his wife at Greenwood Cemetery.[5]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Bagert, Bernard John, Sr.. A Dictionary of Louisiana Biography: Louisiana Historical Association. Retrieved on April 15, 2020.
  2. Philmene Schillecci Bagert. Retrieved on April 15, 2020.
  3. Bonnie Louise Bagert Carpenter. Retrieved on April 15, 2020.
  4. Barbara Bagert's Reputation Profile. Retrieved on April 15, 2020.
  5. The New Orleans Times-Picayune, September 8, 1982; "Bernard J. Bagert, Sr.," Biography of Louisiana Judges (1971).