Walter Marshall Sanchez

Walter Marshall Sanchez

Walter Marshall

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Firm founder, Walter M. Sanchez, has represented people in matters involving criminal law, family law and professional disciplinary actions since 1984. Mr. Sanchez has earned a reputation as an attorney for diligence in the protection of his clients’ rights and the respect of colleagues in the legal profession.

Since 2007, he has been selected each year by his peers for inclusion in Louisiana Super Lawyers ® in Criminal Law and in Best Lawyers in America ® in Family Law. Mr. Sanchez is a frequent lecturer on criminal and family law issues at both the national and state level and has been a member of the LSU Law School Trial Advocacy Training Program faculty since 1993. He has testified before the Louisiana legislature on criminal justice issues annually for over 20 years.

In 1998, he was elected President of the Louisiana Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and, in 2007, received the association’s highest honor, the Justice Albert Tate Award.

Since 1999, as the result of his knowledge and experience, the Louisiana Supreme Court has appointed him, on an as-needed basis, to serve as Judge Pro Tempore for Sulphur City Court. The Court has also appointed him to numerous board and committees seeking to improve the criminal and civil justice system of the state. In the wake of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, he helped draft legislation which provided a system for the relocation and continued operation of the state’s civil and criminal justice system in the case of future catastrophes. Walt has worked with lawyers from across the country and state to improve Louisiana’s chronically underfunded and overloaded indigent defense system. In 2007, he helped craft legislation which resulted in the complete restructuring of the Louisiana indigent defense system, a bill which is being looked to as a model for systemic reform in other states.

Areas Of Practice

  • Criminal Law
  • Drug Violations
  • White Collar Crimes
  • Family Law
  • Juvenile Law
  • Computer Crimes
  • Criminal Defense
  • Sex Crimes

Bar Admissions

  • Louisiana, 1984
  • U.S. District Court Western District of Louisiana, 1985
  • U.S. Supreme Court, 1989
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 5th Circuit, 2016
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of Louisiana, 2018


Louisiana State University Law Center, Baton Rouge, Louisiana

    • J.D. – 1984
    • Honors: Winner, 1984 Flory Trial Moot Court Competition

Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana

  • B.S. – 1981
  • Major:Management and Administration

Representative Cases

  • State v. Bartholomew Cross, 747 So. 2d 94 (LA Supreme Court 1995)
  • State in the Interest of D.W., 865 Sol 2d 45 (LA Supreme Court 2004)
  • Fastabend v. Fastabend, 606 So. 2d 794 (La. App. 3 Cir. 1992)
  • Hernandez v. Hernandez, 640 So. 2d 818 (La. App. 3 Cir. 1994)
  • Jones v. Jones, 747 So. 2d 94 (La. App. 3 Cir. 1999)
  • Black v. Simms, 12 So. 3d 1140 (La. App. 3 Cir. 2009)

Professional Associations

  • National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Member, 1985
  • Louisiana Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Past President, 1985
  • Southwest Louisiana Bar Association, Member
  • Southwest Louisiana Bar Association, President, 2009 to 2009
  • Louisiana State Bar Association
  • American Bar Association

Certified Legal Specialties

  • Board Certified Family Law Specialist, Louisiana Board of Legal Specialization, 1995 to present


  • Faculty Member, Trial Advocacy Training Program, Paul M. Hebert Law Center, LSU, 1993 to Present
  • Presenter, Paul M. Hebert Law Center
  • Presenter, Tulane Law School
  • Presenter, Loyola University School of Law
  • Presenter, Louisiana Judicial College
  • Presenter, Louisiana Association of City and Juvenile Judges
  • Presenter, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • Presenter, American Civil Liberties Union
  • Presenter, National Legal Aid and Defenders Association
  • Presenter, Louisiana Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • Presenter, Louisiana Public Defenders Board
  • Presenter, Southern University School of Law
  • Presenter, Southwest Louisiana Bar Association

Honors and Awards

  • Recipient, Judge Albert Tate Award, Louisiana Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers – 2007
  • Listed in “Louisiana Super Lawyers”, Criminal Law
  • Listed in “The Best Lawyers in America”, Family Law
  • Listed in “The Best Lawyers in America”, DWI Defense
  • Listed in “Top Lawyers of Acadiana”, Acadiana Profile Magazine
  • Recipient, Philanthropist Day Award, Family Foundation of Southwest Louisiana
  • Citizen of the Year Award, Southwest Louisiana Chapter, National Association of Social Workers
  • Member, Order of St. Charles, Diocese of Lake Charles
  • Selected, “Best Aggressive Attorney”, Times of Southwest Louisiana, Reader’s Poll
  • Member, American Mensa, Ltd.
  • Fellow, Louisiana Bar Foundation
  • Selected “Best Lawyers” Lake Charles Family Attorney of the Year, 2015

Ancillary Businesses

  • Appointed by the Louisiana Supreme Court, Judge Pro Tempore, Sulphur City Court, on an as needed basis, 1999 – Present
  • Lake Charles City Court, 2013 – Present

Sanchez Burke

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