Who We Are

Our Firm was formed over 37 years ago in Lafayette, Louisiana. Originally, the principal focus of our practice was in the marine and energy sector, which continues to be a major part of our practice today. We have one of the largest marine and energy practices between New Orleans and Houston. We have received the highest possible rating from Martindale-Hubbell (AV), the leading source of information for the legal profession for more than 130 years. Over the years, we have been involved in many major maritime casualties concerning wrongful death, personal injury, property damage and business interruption or lost profits claims. We have handled numerous oil and gas well blowouts, down-hole property claims, both offshore and onshore, and refinery damage cases. We also have a wealth of experience in defending Jones Act claims, and in handling issues involved with the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act.

We have also established a Mississippi River group representing various marine owners, charterers, cargo owners and their insurers in issues peculiar to the River, including collisions, break-aways, equipment failure, oil spills, chemical releases, and other regulatory issues involved in waterway accidents. While we generally are retained on behalf of the brown water U.S.-based operators or their insurers, our attorneys have working knowledge of the technical equipment in use on the bridges of foreign vessels which enter the lower reaches of our rivers so that meaningful effective assistance can be provided to preserve evidence promptly when exigent circumstances require ships to be arrested. Our attorneys have represented operators of numerous types of river equipment including tow boats, crew boats, harbor tugs, excursion vessels, barge owners (dry and liquid), salvors, casino vessels, fishing vessels, crane barges, as well as fleeters, berth operators, cargo owners, and their insurers.

As a corollary to our marine and energy practice, we also have extensive experience in the areas of contractual indemnity and insurance. One of our Senior Partners was the co-author of the Louisiana Oilfield Indemnity Act back in the early ‘80's. We have reviewed literally thousands of contracts and insurance policies over the years, and have earned the reputation of being well-versed in this area of the law. We also regularly negotiate marine contracts for various marine interests.

Over the years, as our reputation and exposure to other insurers expanded, so did our practice, into the non-marine or general casualty arena. Currently, we represent clients in suits involving such diverse areas as industrial casualties, automobile liability, trucking liability, road construction liability, environmental exposures, professional liability, directors and officers errors and omissions, products liability, public entity liability, education law, civil rights, employment law, and contract and construction litigation.

In recent years, we have also developed a rather large practice in handling first party property and bad faith liability cases which resulted from Hurricanes Ivan, Katrina, Rita, Gustav and Ike. These claims, both offshore and onshore, have involved significant sums.
 
In many of these cases, clients requested coverage opinions from the Firm.  We therefore continue to have a number of attorneys in our Firm who spend significant time dealing with coverage and contractual indemnity issues, with consequent case monitoring where needed.

Our Firm has fully staffed offices in Houston, Lafayette and New Orleans, and is able to provide legal representation along the entire Gulf Coast from Florida to Texas. Currently, there are 9 attorneys in our Houston office; 13 attorneys in our Lafayette office; and 5 attorneys in our New Orleans office. Our Firm is capable of handling emergency response to problems outside normal business hours. Our attorneys are always on-call 24/7 and are available to conduct on-site accident investigations wherever needed.

 

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