The Honorable Kaliste Saloom, Jr.
Celebrating the Life of the Honorable Kaliste Saloom, Jr.
The Honorable Kaliste Saloom Jr.
“Visionary…firm but fair…community icon…living history…”
Those are just a few words that have been used to describe the late Judge Kaliste Saloom Jr., who passed away at the age of 99 over the weekend. He was a remarkable man, both on the bench and outside of the courthouse, as is evident by the outpouring of love and condolences by the Lafayette community.
Judge Saloom was born on May 15, 1918; he was one of seven children. When previously asked what inspired him to become a lawyer, he said his inspiration came from his widowed mother, who encouraged him and his siblings to seek a profession that was based on education and service. While his siblings chose medicine, Judge Saloom chose the law.
After attending Mount Carmel and Cathedral High School, Judge Kaliste Saloom received his bachelor's from the Southwest Louisiana Institute (now known as the University of Louisiana at Lafayette) in 1939, and from there pursued his law degree at Tulane University in New Orleans. He was admitted to the Bar in 1942. Before he could begin practicing law, the outbreak of World War II caused him to join the military. During that time, he was selected into a highly specialized branch of the American Armed Forces.
After returning to Lafayette, Judge Saloom became the Lafayette City Attorney for four years prior to being elected as City Court Judge, a position he held for 41 years. Judge Saloom considered the greatest challenge during his career to be deciding between a more lucrative law practice and a judicial-law career. He chose the latter and found a reward in administering justice as a service to his community and state.
During that time, he met his wife, Yvonne, and together they had four children, who are all licensed to practice law in Louisiana. When asked what he felt was the highlight of his career, Judge Saloom answered, “ Of course, the respect and recognition receive during my career as a lawyer and judge are cherished, however, the most rewarding is the voluntary entry into the law profession undertaken by my sons and daughter and especially the law clerk achievement of my wife, Yvonne.”
In 1993, he temporarily served on the Louisiana Third Circuit Court of Appeal, and then went into practice with his sons.
Throughout his time on the bench, Judge Saloom received numerous honors and recognition, including from the U.S. Supreme Court; Louisiana Supreme Court; the National Center of State Courts in Williamsburg, Virginia; the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in Washington, D.C.; the American Bar Association; the American Judges Association; the Louisiana Bar Foundation; and the Lafayette Bar Foundation. He also received the National Distinguished Jurist Award from the Mississippi State University Pre-Law School Society in 1987; served as a lecturer in judicial seminars in the United States, Candada, and England; was inducted into the Lafayette Bar Association Hall of Fame in 2014; and was recently honored, along with his wife, by the Council for the Development of French in Louisiana (CODOFIL) for his years of unequaled public service and support of the French Language and the mission of CODOFIL.
The late Judge Saloom will certainly be missed by all of the Lafayette community, including the Lafayette Bar Association and its members:
“Judge Saloom was a visionary whose contributions to not just the legal community, but Lafayette, will live on long after he is gone,” remarked LBA President Donnie O'Pry.
If you would like to join us as we pay respect to the Honorable Kaliste Saloom Jr. and his family, a Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10 a.m. on Saturday, December 9th at Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Church in Lafayette, LA. Visitation will be held at Martin & Castille's downtown location on Friday, December 8th from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. with a Rosary to be prayed at 6 p.m. Visitation will continue on Saturday at Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Church from 8 a.m. until time of services.
Auzenne, I. (2017, December 3) Judge Saloom dies at 99.
Family announces Judge Kaliste Saloom Jr. has died at age 99. (2017, December 3)
Son: Judge Kaliste Saloom Jr. has died. (2017, December 3)
Holliday, Susan “The Honorable Kaliste Saloom, Jr. Celebrates 70 Years Practicing Law.” The Promulgator. Feb. 2012: 10-11. Print
“Members who have been serving our community for 50 years or more.” The Promulgator. June 2007: 10-11. Print
“Introducing the Hall of Fame.” The Promulgator. Aug. 2014: 8-9. Print.