Labor & Employment: Louisiana
THE FIRM This renowned national labor and employment boutique brings its extensive breadth and depth of experience to bear in Louisiana. The team acts for company management on the full spectrum of issues, including ERISA work, discrimination cases and traditional labor law matters. The group in New Orleans acts for a number of national clients, including SEACOR Marine, and also handles complex state and regional cases. Recent highlights include representing Northrop Grumman during the appeal of a race discrimination and retaliation charge.
Sources say: "They have a lot of excellent lawyers." "They care about the client's affairs and are willing to go the extra mile."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Keith Pyburn is described as "a statesman with a very good reputation." His labor practice includes acting for company management on collective bargaining, discrimination cases and union election issues. He recently represented Entergy in statewide negotiations to renew three-year bargaining power for unionized workers.
Edward Harold has an excellent reputation as an employment litigator, handling employment discrimination cases and ERISA litigation. His highlights include obtaining a summary judgment in favor of a client facing a charge of religious discrimination.
Michael Mitchell has a strong traditional labor practice encompassing collective bargaining work and unfair labor practice proceedings before the NLRB. He receives strong praise from sources as "a great listener" whose "advice is really spot on." His key clients include Austal USA, Enterprise Rent-A-Car and Glazers.
Highly experienced practitioner Robert McCalla is also singled out as an "excellent lawyer." His practice covers ERISA litigation and discrimination lawsuits.
Sandra Mills Feingerts is noted for her work on ERISA benefit plans and related tax compliance work. Sources note that her key strengths include "the combination of her technical knowledge and her willingness to work closely with clients."
THE FIRM Jones Walker fields a solid and sizable labor and employment practice across its offices. The group has a particularly strong stable of employment litigators, and has recently achieved a number of significant summary judgments for clients. The firm also offers considerable experience in advising companies on preventive employment plans.
Sources say: "It is the biggest firm in New Orleans, and commands a lot of respect." "The service is exemplary."
KEY INDIVIDUALS High-profile attorney Sidney Lewis is a "good, solid labor and employment lawyer who understands both sides of the picture." His current practice focuses primarily on preventive counseling and early litigation negotiations.
Sources are united in their praise for the "very client-oriented" Jennifer Anderson, saying: "She takes no prisoners and is tenacious in defending your company in litigation." She handles advisory and litigation work for a range of clients, with an emphasis on the healthcare, energy and hospitality sectors.
Mark Adams is another key attorney in the group, whose practice centers on federal contract work, including affirmative action plans. Sources enthuse that he is "very accessible and knowledgeable."
Respected attorney Cornelius Heusel has many years' experience of appearing on behalf of management before federal and state courts in relation to a broad spectrum of labor and employment matters.
THE FIRM This established labor and employment boutique maintains a fine reputation in the state. The experienced litigation team defends management against the full spectrum of claims before state and federal courts, and has recently been particularly active in age discrimination cases and FMLA cases. It also handles traditional labor law work, for both unionized and non-unionized clients. The firm has offices in New Orleans and Baton Rouge, as well as in Mississippi and Alabama.
Sources say: "An excellent firm." "They have been around a long time."
KEY INDIVIDUALS The highly experienced Ernest Malone is an "outstanding lawyer," sources report. He acts for employers on a broad range of labor and employment issues, including discrimination, ERISA, labor and day-to-day compliance work.
Dwayne Littauer is a "well-respected" attorney in the group. He handles employee benefits work, and focuses primarily on helping management create employee benefit plans for health, retirement and disabilities.
Howard Linzy also earns positive feedback, and predominantly handles traditional labor law work for clients, including decertification elections, union organizing and contract negotiations.
"Smart litigator" Samuel Zurik is developing a strong reputation for defending employers against litigation and arbitration employment claims.
THE FIRM Coats Rose has become an established name for labor and employment work in Louisiana, and is chosen counsel for a wide range of large companies across the region. The firm has been involved in an increased amount of union-related work of late, and also handles the full spectrum of employment cases as well as helping clients with ongoing training.
Sources say: "They are awesome – they're responsive, give good advice and defend us well."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Clyde Jacob is one of the leading labor attorneys in the state, and is highly rated by peers and clients alike. Sources praise his "excellent practical judgment" and highlight him as a "straight shooter who cuts to the chase."
Walter Christy is also a leading figure at the firm. He handles high-profile litigation cases in the labor and employment field, both in Louisiana and across the country.
THE FIRM This respected regional firm's solid labor and employment practice group is particularly recognized for its ability to handle employment litigation and EEOC matters. The firm's strong client base includes large corporate employers, and the team offers a wide range of experience on discrimination, retaliation and harassment charges. The group also focuses on preventive planning work and has a strong employee benefits team.
Sources say: "They were thorough, extremely painstaking and attentive to fact and nuance." "They provide practical advice as well as a legal black and white answer."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Leading attorney Nan Alessandra has "tremendous intellect," say sources. She advises clients on procedure and training, and also handles employee and labor litigation in federal and state courts.
On the employee benefits and executive compensation side, Jane Armstrong receives enthusiastic praise from clients, who note her "ability to take hold of the situation and get the relevant facts pulled together."
Commentators report that Kim Boyle is "an incredibly skilled lawyer" with "an encyclopedic knowledge of all the facts and nuances of the case." She is an active employment litigator who frequently appears on behalf of clients before the EEOC.
In the Baton Rouge office, respected attorney Susan Furr is an "excellent and timely" choice, say sources. Her recent work includes responding to EEOC charges, completing investigations and litigating for corporate clients in harassment and discrimination cases.
Thomas Kiggans is another "solid performer" with experience in workplace harassment cases. His recent successes include achieving a summary judgment in favor of a client regarding claims of sexual harassment and retaliation in the US Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit.
THE FIRM The labor and employment department at Adams and Reese has a diverse client base featuring well-known names AIG, Chubb and Tulane University, among others. The team has a strong traditional labor practice covering union avoidance and litigation. It also represents insurance companies that have provided insurance against employment claims. Recent highlights include defending Loyola University against litigation relating to the downsizing of its workforce following a decrease in enrollments after Hurricane Katrina.
Sources say: "My go-to firm for labor law." "A large firm that operates in multiple states."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Brooke Duncan focuses on traditional labor law work and is very well respected in this arena. "He is well versed in all labor law issues, and has never steered me wrong," said one client. Duncan's clients include Loyola University and Air Conditioning Contractors of America.
Sources also praise established partner Leslie Lanusse, who handles employment litigation work, including discrimination cases. She also represents the insurers of employment practice liabilities.
THE FIRM Baker Donelson's experienced employment law team focuses on collective action and class action cases, both in the Southeast region and nationally. Its court work includes defending employers against claims relating to race, sex and age discrimination, harassment and wage and hour disputes. The team also provides ongoing advice to clients regarding their employment policies. Clients hail from a wide range of sectors, including energy, marine and construction.
Sources say: "Very knowledgeable about Louisiana laws and its idiosyncrasies."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Highly regarded partner Phyllis Cancienne has developed a superb reputation for undertaking employment litigation. Her recent work includes acting for the defendant on a large race discrimination case filed by employees. Sources comment that "she has the substantive skills, is extremely responsive and also has an uncanny instinct for knowing just what we need."
Steven Griffith is another key partner in the group. He handles collective action suits and has developed notable expertise in wage and hour cases.
THE FIRM The arrival of labor and employment attorneys Fredrick Preis and Eve Masinter in 2012 has bolstered this firm's already solid practice. The newly formed group has a robust reputation for traditional labor law issues, and also has an active employment litigation offering. The firm has seen an increase in union-related work of late, with highlights including representing a client in connection with a decertification election.
Sources say: "Terrific reputation and respect in this community."
KEY INDIVIDUALS The highly experienced Murphy Foster is an expert in labor and construction law, and is recognized as a "strong labor litigator." His recent cases include defending Performance Contractors in a FLSA class action case in Texas.
Respected litigator Eve Masinter came to the firm from Lemle & Kelleher in 2011. She is experienced in employment litigation before state and federal courts and the EEOC, and is skilled in defending a variety of class action case types.
Fredrick Preis is another new arrival at the firm, and brings extensive expertise in traditional labor law and construction. Sources appreciate his "many years of knowledge of the workplace and of the law."
THE FIRM This Baton Rouge-based firm undertakes a wide range of employment and traditional labor law matters, including litigation and preventive advice. The group has a diverse client base and is highly popular with employers from the industrial sector. It recently acted on a significant class action claim under state whistle-blower statutes. The team is also active in discrimination and retaliation cases, and in representing employers in administrative issues before the EEOC.
Sources say: "Very competent, responsive and timely in their advice."
KEY INDIVIDUALS The highly respected Melanie Hartmann is "responsive to your questions and needs," say appreciative clients. She specializes in employment litigation, including defending clients facing discrimination and retaliation lawsuits, and appearing before the EEOC.
Fellow employment specialist Edward Hardin is another key contact. His practice focuses on ongoing employment issues, and he also has experience in handling litigation and union issues.
THE FIRM This labor and employment group's compact size belies its superb capabilities in representing employers from the energy and industrial sectors, and counts a number of the largest US oil and gas companies as clients. In the last year, the group has been particularly active representing employers in labor arbitrations. The team has also recently handled work relating to noncompetition clauses and confidentiality agreements.
Sources say: "A good firm that is very well known." "Well connected throughout the oil and gas industry."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Thomas McGoey is "one of the real stars" of the sector, with "lots of experience and knowledge in this area." He handles employment-related litigation and arbitration, and achieves notable successes in contract negotiations.
Randye Snyder is another "well-respected" partner at the firm. She heads the employee benefits practice group and focuses on the tax and ERISA aspects of employee plans.
Acclaimed attorney Howard Shapiro
of Proskauer Rose LLP is a nationally recognized practitioner in this field. As one source explained: "Howard is the best person to have in your corner because he is professional and calm but also able to command the room."
Interviewees also praise the "quality of his analysis."
Since publication, ERISA litigation expert Charles Seemann
has joined Jackson Lewis from Proskauer Rose. He has also carved out a strong reputation in the market. According to clients, "he thinks outside the box"
and also "knows everything that's ever happened in a case."
, also of Jackson Lewis LLP, receives superb praise from clients, many of whom describe her as a "very thorough litigator"
with "invaluable knowledge and a down-to-earth style."
She focuses on ERISA litigation, and recently represented Nortel Networks in the resolution of a class action suit involving 35,000 employees alleging breach of fiduciary duty.
Her colleague Magdalen Bickford
impresses clients as a "responsive, smart and aggressive lawyer."
She handles day-to-day matters and litigation for employers. Her recent highlights include securing a summary judgment in favor of her client, showing that a whistle-blower claim had not been made out.
Respected practitioner Vicki Crochet
of Taylor, Porter, Brooks & Phillips, LLP is "an excellent attorney in this area of law,"
sources report. She handles discrimination cases and is also active in day-to-day advice regarding employment decisions.
of Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, PC is considered a "good, solid litigation lawyer"
who handles a broad spectrum of labor and employment work.
He has impressive experience of advising large companies on complex antitrust and restrictive covenant litigation.
At the same firm, Christopher Moore "really impresses"
sources and "has done exceptionally well."
He is a seasoned litigator who has recently been involved in a high-profile multistate class action case.
of McGlinchey Stafford PLLC focuses primarily on employment litigation, and has recently handled a range of discrimination cases before state and federal courts and the EEOC. His client base includes big names such as Walmart, Central Progressive Bank and Hoak Media.
His colleague Katherine Conklin
handles employee benefits work relating to welfare and retirement benefits, and also advises employers on compliance with a variety of employment laws.
of Sher Garner Cahill Richter Klein & Hilbert LLC has notable experience in the employment field, and is especially well known for her work defending school districts in relation to employment and professional liability issues.
Sources are impressed by employment litigator Robert David
of Juneau David. He acts for plaintiffs on employment cases before state and district courts.
of Carver, Darden, Koretzky, Tessier, Finn, Blossman & Areaux LLC is highly experienced in labor law issues, and frequently represents employers in collective bargaining negotiations. "He is an excellent lawyer who is one of the lions of the business,"
of Deutsch, Kerrigan & Stiles LLP is "a good lawyer who has been doing this a long time,"
say sources. He has been particularly active in acting for companies on the drafting and enforcement of noncompetition agreements, among other issues.