Young Lawyers Division - Young Lawyer Spotlight
Few would dispute that young lawyers lead busy lives. Between juggling the demands of their law practices, growing families and other professional commitments, there is usually precious little time left for recreation or personal endeavors. Notwithstanding these pressures, there are thousands of young lawyers throughout the state who have made a decision to devote substantial amounts of time to projects that benefit others -- whether such projects are focused on the less fortunate, community groups, professional organizations, or the general public.
The Louisiana State Bar Association's Young Lawyers Division has chosen to publicly recognize some of the young lawyers who are enriching their communities in special ways. In the coming months, a series of "Young Lawyer Spotlight" articles will be featured in LSBA publications and here, on the YLD website.
The young lawyers to be featured have not requested the recognition but have been nominated by one or more of their fellow young lawyers. Although there is no way to recognize all of the young lawyers who have made a commitment to volunteerism, we believe that recognizing even a few serves to commend such efforts on behalf of all so involved.
Each of the young lawyers featured spotlights that Louisiana young lawyers are making a difference for the benefit of their communities.
Marcus E. Edwards - Shreveport
Shreveport attorney Marcus E. Edwards, an associate at Mayer, Smith & Roberts, L.L.P., devotes a majority of his practice to civil defense litigation, focusing on workers’ compensation defense, premises liability, personal injury and successions.
He earned a BA degree in political science from Morehouse College, where he served as Student Government president. He earned his JD degree from Tulane University Law School with a Certificate in International and Comparative Law, and was inducted into the Order of Barristers. He served on a successful Presidential Search Committee while at Morehouse and on a successful student subcommittee of the Law School Dean’s Search Committee while at Tulane. He interned for the U.S. State Department Office of War Crimes Issues and for U.S. 5th Circuit Chief Judge Carl E. Stewart. After law school, he returned to Shreveport to begin a clerkship in the 1st Judicial District Court, gaining valuable experience working in the chambers of Judge Leon L. Emanuel III and Judge Ramona L. Emanuel.
Edwards currently serves on the Shreveport Bar Association’s (SBA) Executive Board, the SBA’s Professionalism Committee and the Louisiana State Bar Association’s (LSBA) Legislation Committee. He is a team leader for the Harry V. Booth/Judge Henry A. Politz American Inn of Court, focusing on legal technology. He also is a member of the Louisiana Association of Defense Counsel and the Shreveport-Bossier Black Lawyers’ Association.
Over the past five years, he has consistently given his time in service to the community, participating in the SBA Young Lawyers Section’s Adopt-a-School Program and for pro bono projects, including the LSBA Young Lawyers Division’s Wills for Heroes Program. He was a member of the 2012-13 Leadership LSBA Class. He participated in the Community Foundation of North Louisiana’s 2012 Community Leaders Program and served as a 2014 co-chair of the SBA Law Day Program.
Edwards also has been involved in the Hugh O’Brien Youth (HOBY) World Leadership Congress for more than a decade. HOBY is a student leadership organization that inspires and develops youth and volunteers to a life of leadership, service and innovation. He has been selected to serve as chair of the 50th HOBY World Leadership Congress in 2017, where more than 400 HOBY leaders from all 50 states and more than 10 countries will meet for a week of intensive training in Chicago, Ill.
This past April, Edwards married Jabrina Clayton Edwards, a 2012 graduate of the University of Mississippi School of Law. She is an attorney with Legal Services of North Louisiana and is admitted to practice in Mississippi and Louisiana.
Michael E. Platte - Baton Rouge
Baton Rouge attorney Michael E. Platte is an associate with Ogwyn Law Firm, L.L.C. His practice includes business and commercial litigation, corporate law, construction law and general civil litigation. He has handled a wide range of matters in the area of business and commercial litigation, including shareholder disputes, minority shareholder rights, derivative actions, dissolution and breach of fiduciary duty. He also has represented both owners and contractors in various types of construction litigation.
A lifelong resident of Baton Rouge, he received his undergraduate degree from Louisiana State University and his JD degree in 2008 from Southern University Law Center. Following graduation, he worked for the firm Myles, Cook & Day where his practice focused on construction law, corporate law and general civil litigation. He also served as general counsel for the Zachary Community School Board. In 2010, he joined the law offices of James S. Holliday, Jr., A.P.L.C., in Baton Rouge where he assisted Holliday with the 2010 Louisiana Practice Series for construction and corporate law. He later joined the Baton Rouge firm of Dunlap Fiore, L.L.C., where he continued to focus his practice in the areas of construction law, corporate law, business litigation, transactions and general civil litigation.
An active member of the Baton Rouge Bar Association, Platte is founder and co-chair of the Business/Corporate Law Section. He also currently serves on the Law Expo Committee and chaired the 2011 and 2012 Law Expo.
Also active in the Baton Rouge community, he is a member of the board of trustees for the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Baton Rouge, is vice-chair of the Alcohol and Beverage Control Board for East Baton Rouge Parish, and is a member of the Rotary Club of Baton Rouge. He previously served on the board of directors for Forum 35.
Platte and his wife, Anne Bennett Platte, are the parents of one child and are expecting their second child in January.
Jeffrey K. Coreil - Lafayette
Lafayette attorney Jeffrey K. Coreil, an associate at the NeunerPate law firm, devotes a majority of his practice to civil defense litigation, with a primary focus on admiralty, maritime, toxic torts and environmental litigation and workers’ compensation defense.
He received a BS degree in business administration from Louisiana State University and his JD degree and graduate diploma of civil law from LSU Paul M. Hebert Law Center, where he served as president of the student bar association and his class. Since 2011, he has participated in the LSBA’s Law School Professionalism Orientations at LSU Law Center, stressing the importance of professionalism and ethics to incoming law students.
A member of the 2013-14 Leadership LSBA Class, Coreil currently serves on the Lafayette Bar Association board of directors, the Lafayette Bar Foundation board of directors and the Lafayette Young Lawyers Association board of directors. He chairs the Lafayette Bar Foundation’s Lafayette Volunteer Lawyers (LVL) Program which administers pro bono legal services in the Acadiana area. He is a member of the Louisiana Association of Defense Counsel Young Lawyers Committee and the board of the Acadiana Chapter of the Coastal Conservation Association.
In the past six years, Coreil has contributed more than 450 hours of legal work to the impoverished and victimized citizens of Lafayette Parish. As chair of the LVL Program, he spearheaded the Counsel on Call Program, which offers 15-minute conferences with attorney volunteers for basic legal advice. Since the program’s inception in 2013, hundreds of Lafayette residents have received assistance from more than 50 lawyers. As a member of the LVL Protective Order Panel, Coreil also assists victims of domestic violence with their petitions for Title 46 protective orders. He also accepts pro bono civil cases and coordinates the efforts of attorney volunteers to assist homeless individuals through the Project H.E.L.P. Program (Homeless Experience Legal Protection).
In 2012, Coreil spearheaded the creation of the CLE Committee of the Lafayette Young Lawyers Association to provide quality, low-cost CLE opportunities in professionalism and ethics to the region’s young lawyers. In 2014, the LSBA’s Young Lawyers Division recognized his efforts by awarding its Service to the Bar Award to the CLE program.
In 2014, Coreil received the American Inn of Court Sandra Day O’Connor Award for Professional Service, which recognizes an American Inn of Court member in practice for 10 or fewer years for excellence in public interest or pro bono activities. The award was presented at the U.S. Supreme Court during the annual American Inns of Court Celebration of Excellence ceremony hosted by Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
He also has received the 2013 LSBA’s Crystal Gavel Award, the 2012 LSBA’s Pro Bono Publico Award, the 2012 LSBA Young Lawyers Division’s Pro Bono Award, the LSBA’s Pro Bono Century Award from 2011-14, and multiple awards from the Lafayette Bar Association.
A native of Ville Platte, Coreil is married to Hallie P. Coreil, a 2011 LSU Paul M. Hebert Law Center graduate and an associate at the law firm of Briney Foret Corry, L.L.P., in Lafayette. They are the parents of a son.
Adam P. Johnson - Lake Charles
Lake Charles attorney Adam P. Johnson, born and raised in Moss Bluff, La., graduated from Sam Houston High School in 2002. He received a BS degree in business management in 2006 from Louisiana State University. After undergraduate school, he pursued his law degree at Southern University Law Center. In the summer of 2007, he studied abroad at the Université Jean Moulin II in Lyon, France. Once back in the states, he received his JD degree in 2009. After law school graduation, he began a clerkship in the 14th Judicial District Court, gaining valuable experience working with Hon. Ronald F. Ware and Hon. Robert L. Wyatt.
Johnson is currently an associate at the Lake Charles firm of Johnson & Vercher, L.L.C., focusing his practice primarily on criminal law and personal injury law. He chose to enter the legal field based on a strong desire to serve others. He has a passion for the courtroom and a will to represent the interests of those who are in need of restitution, recovery or exoneration.
He was a member of the Louisiana State Bar Association’s (LSBA) 2013 Leadership LSBA Class and currently serves as co-chair for the 2014 leadership class. He will begin his term as the LSBA Young Lawyers Division Council’s 4th District representative in June.
Johnson is a former president of the Southwest Louisiana (SWLA) Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Section and serves on the SWLA Law Center’s board of directors. He also serves as chair of the annual Young Lawyers Section’s golf tournament, which benefits the Holiday Helping Hands program — a program created by the SWLA Young Lawyers Section which provided Christmas gifts to more than 200 children in Calcasieu and Cameron parishes last year.
He is a member of the SWLA Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the SWLA Bar Association and the American Bar Association. He recently was selected as one of the top criminal defense lawyers by Acadiana Magazine
In his community, he is a member of Trinity Baptist Church. He is involved in mission work and will return to Suriname to continue that work in December.
He is married to Ashley Leonards of Roberts Cove, La., and they are the parents of one child.
Erin Leigh Waddell Garrett - Shreveport
Erin Leigh Waddell Garrett, born and raised in Shreveport, graduated from Southwood High School and attended college at Louisiana Tech University. She worked her way through college by waiting tables and working as a tutor for disabled students. After teaching school for a short time, she decided to pursue her legal education at Southern University Law Center. She received her JD degree, magna cum laude, in 2006 and was admitted to practice in Louisiana the same year. During law school, she was a member of the American Inns of Court and the Louisiana Trial Lawyers Association, served as secretary of Phi Alpha Delta for two years and worked as a research assistant for Dr. B.K. Agnihotri.
She spent her first year, post-law school, as a law clerk for Louisiana Supreme Court Chief Justice Pascal F. Calogero, Jr. During her time at the Supreme Court, she reported on a variety of different cases and drafted briefs and opinions on those cases.
In 2007, Garrett moved back to Shreveport and began working as an associate attorney, first for the Law Office of Katherine Clark Dorroh and next for Simmons, Morris & Carroll (formerly Klotz, Simmons & Brainard). In December 2010, she opened her own law firm and maintained a successful, diverse law practice. Since 2011, she has served as the mental health attorney for University Health (formerly known as Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center).
Garrett has been an active member of the LSBA and the Shreveport Bar Association (SBA). She served as the SBA Young Lawyers Section secretary (2009), treasurer (2010), vice president (2011) and president (2012), as well as the SBA Women’s Section secretary (2008 and 2009). She was elected duchess of the Krewe of Justinian during the 2011 Mardi Gras season and has been a member of the Junior League of Shreveport-Bossier since 2007. In 2011, she was recognized as one of the “Top 40 Under 40” by the Shreveport/Bossier Chamber of Commerce.
In the recent primary election, Garrett was elected as the newest, and youngest, judge in the 1st Judicial District Court (Caddo Parish).
Garrett and her husband Greg are the parents of two children.
Tom S. Easterly - Baton Rouge
Baton Rouge attorney Tom S. Easterly is a partner in the Baton Rouge firm of Taylor, Porter, Brooks & Phillips, L.L.P., which recently celebrated its 100th year of service to the local community. He joined the firm in 2006 and was named a partner in 2011. He practices in Taylor Porter’s only office in Baton Rouge.
He graduated from Catholic High School in Baton Rouge, then attended the University of Georgia in Athens, majoring in finance. He received his bachelor of business administration degree, with honors, in 2002 from the Terry College of Business. He enrolled in Louisiana State University and began dual courses of study as part of a four-year JD/MBA program. He received a master’s degree in business administration in 2005. A few months later, he received his JD degree and bachelor of civil law degree from LSU Paul M. Hebert Law Center. During the JD/MBA program, he focused in business law and was a member of the Louisiana Law Review
. He was admitted to practice in Louisiana in October 2006.
In his practice, Easterly advises local and national clients involved in litigation matters as both plaintiff and defense counsel, and he represents clients in a wide range of business transactions and contract matters. His practice is well-rounded with a heavy emphasis on commercial disputes and transactions. His work typically involves construction, real estate, redhibition, insurance, toxic tort, workers’ compensation, breach of contract and bankruptcy cases, all of which frequently have overlapping subject matter concerns. He has significant experience with complex personal injury matters. As part of his transaction practice, he drafts and negotiates various types of contracts. He is admitted to practice before all Louisiana state and federal courts and the United States 5th Circuit Court of Appeals.
He was named a 2014 Rising Star by Louisiana Super Lawyers
. He is a frequent lecturer on legal issues. His seminars have focused on insurance coverage litigation, including bad faith and extra-contractual liability claims, and effective collection strategies.
Active in the Baton Rouge community, Easterly is a founding member of the Muscular Dystrophy Association’s Legal Leaders Program and is a former member of the Baton Rouge City Club’s Board of Governors. He is an avid sportsman and contributes his time to Delta Waterfowl and the Coastal Conservation Association. In the little spare time he has, he enjoys hunting and fishing in Louisiana and Mississippi and cooking on his “Big Green Egg.”
He and his wife, Lindsey, live in Baton Rouge and are the parents of 3-year-old twins.
Nicholas R. Rockforte - Plaquemine
Plaquemine attorney Nicholas R. (Nick) Rockforte is a partner with Pendley, Baudin & Coffin, L.L.P., with offices in Plaquemine and New Orleans. In 2004, he received a BS degree in construction management from Louisiana State University’s College of Engineering. While at LSU, he worked for state Sen. Robert Marionneaux and the Unglesby & Marionneaux law firm. He pursued his law degree at Southern University Law Center, graduating first in his class while receiving other recognition and honors. During law school, he clerked for several Baton Rouge litigation firms and the Louisiana attorney general. Following graduation, he clerked for Hon. James J. Best of the 18th Judicial District Court.
After his clerkship, Rockforte began working as an attorney in the Plaquemine office of Pendley, Baudin & Coffin in 2008. He maintains a plaintiffs’ litigation practice, primarily focused on mass tort and class action litigation related to defective pharmaceutical drugs and devices, products liability cases involving defective building and construction materials, consumer fraud and whistleblower actions. He also has represented farmers and producers who suffered losses resulting from contamination of the U.S. rice and wheat supply with unapproved, genetically modified seeds.
His most rewarding work to date involved Chinese drywall litigation in which he was instrumental in obtaining settlements for hundreds of homeowners in the Gulf Coast states who were forced to move out of their homes and completely remodel them. He also maintains a national mass tort pharmaceutical drug and medical device practice which has allowed him the opportunity to actively litigate cases in state and federal courts throughout the country, including the United States Supreme Court.
Rockforte and his wife, Hannah Pellegrin Rockforte, who works alongside him at his law office, are the parents of one child. In his spare time, he loves exploring everything that the sportsman’s paradise has to offer and is an avid hunter and fisherman. An LSU football fan, he is a true country boy, having been raised on a farm in Iberville and Pointe Coupee parishes. He works hard to find a comfortable balance of family, farm and law in his life.
Seth T. Mansfield - Lafayette
Lafayette attorney Seth T. Mansfield is an associate attorney at the firm of NeunerPate. He received a BS degree in criminal justice in 2006 from the University of Louisiana-Lafayette and a MS degree in criminal justice in 2009 from the University of Cincinnati. Prior to entering law school, he worked as a deputy in the Patrol Division of the Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office. He received his JD degree and graduate diploma in comparative law in 2012 from Louisiana State University Paul M. Hebert Law Center. He was admitted to practice in Louisiana in 2012.
He is a member of the Lafayette Bar Association, the John M. Duhe, Jr. Inn of Court and Lafayette Volunteer Lawyers. As a member of Lafayette Volunteer Lawyers, he has handled multiple divorce and child custody cases, assisted in providing the homeless with legal assistance through the Homeless Experience Legal Protection (HELP) Program, and advocated for victims of domestic violence through the Protective Order Panel.
He has received several awards for his work, including the 2013 Lafayette Volunteer Lawyers Outstanding Attorney Award, the 2013 LSBA Pro Bono Century Award and the 2014 LSBA Young Lawyers Division Pro Bono Award.
Nicholas P. Arnold - New Orleans
Nicholas P. (Nick) Arnold is an attorney with the firm of Christovich & Kearney, L.L.P., in New Orleans. He received a BS degree in business administration in 2005 from Louisiana State University. While at LSU, he served in various leadership roles, ranging from student government, fraternity and charitable organizations. After working on Capitol Hill and at a Baton Rouge litigation firm while at LSU, he continued his education at Loyola University College of Law in New Orleans, graduating as a member of the Order of Barristers. While at Loyola, he served as chair of the Moot Court Board and chief justice of the Honor Board. He also clerked for litigation firms and externed for Hon. Jay C. Zainey of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana.
After graduating from Loyola College of Law in 2008, Arnold began working as an attorney with Christovich & Kearney, where he has maintained a general defense litigation practice, including workers’ compensation, tort liability, property damage and small-business advisory work. Much of his work has involved catastrophe and insurance bad faith litigation, areas of Louisiana law that have changed constantly since Hurricane Katrina — which, coincidentally, made landfall the first week he attended law school. He also works with startup companies, particularly incubator-launched startups, helping them avoid pitfalls commonly encountered by growing businesses. He enjoys presenting continuing education and litigation conference programs to insurance companies on emerging insurance law topics.
Arnold is very involved in various legal groups and associations. He is a board member of the New Orleans Association of Defense Counsel and coordinates his firm’s service to the homeless community through the H.E.L.P. (Homeless Experience Legal Protection) Program.
He is married to Robin Penzato Arnold, also a New Orleans attorney, and they are the parents of three children. In his spare time, if he isn’t found chasing his children at a losing pace, he can be found hunting and fishing with family and friends. He and his family are members of St. Dominic Catholic Church in New Orleans.
Robert L. Campbell - Baton Rouge
Attorney Robert L. (Robb) Campbell is a partner with Williamson, Fontenot & Campbell, L.L.C., in Baton Rouge. Born in Kansas City, he moved to Baton Rouge at a young age. He attended St. Aloysius and Catholic High School in Baton Rouge. He received a bachelor’s degree in history in 1999 from Louisiana State University and his JD degree in 2002 from LSU Paul M. Hebert Law Center.
Following law school graduation, Campbell worked as a law clerk for 23rd Judicial District Court Judge Pegram Mire from August 2002 to July 2003. After his clerkship, he began his private practice and became a partner at Williamson, Fontenot & Campbell, L.L.C., in 2009.
He has a varied practice and handles personal injury, premises liability, employment and workers’ compensation cases. Through his employment law practice, he represents clients on a variety of employment issues including discrimination, harassment and retaliation; issues involving the EEOC and Louisiana’s Department of Labor; the ADA, FLSA, FMLA and Title VII; state employment laws regarding employment discrimination, wage payment, workers’ compensation and unemployment compensation; and issues involving employment contracts. He practices in workers’ compensation courts, state courts and federal courts throughout Louisiana.
Louisiana Super Lawyers has recognized Campbell as a “Rising Star,” one of the top up-and-coming attorneys in Louisiana from 2012-14. He is AV-rated by Martindale-Hubbell. He is a member of the Baton Rouge, Louisiana and Federal bar associations.
He is married to Kecia Campbell and they are the parents of three children.
Scott L. Sternberg - New Orleans
Attorney Scott L. Sternberg joined Baldwin Haspel Burke & Mayer, L.L.C., in New Orleans as an associate in fall 2010. His practice involves general civil litigation, energy matters, successions litigation, media law, and admiralty and maritime. He also represents clients before the Louisiana Board of Ethics and other governmental entities.
He received a bachelor’s degree in journalism in 2006 from Louisiana State University, where he was editor-in-chief of The Daily Reveille. After first working in Washington, D.C., he later continued his studies and received his JD degree and diploma in civil law, cum laude, in 2010 from LSU’s Paul M. Hebert Law Center, where he was a member of the Louisiana Law Review, selected for the Moot Court Board and elected president of the Student Bar Association. He is a former elected student-member of the LSU System Board of Supervisors and serves on the LSU Law Chancellor’s Young Alumni Leadership Council.
As a former journalist, Sternberg maintains a First Amendment practice and represents individuals and media outlets. He is a regular speaker on media law and teaches the subject at Loyola University’s School of Mass Communication as an adjunct professor. He also taught at LSU as an adjunct professor.
He is a member of the New Orleans Young Leadership Council’s board of directors, serving as general counsel. He is a member of the Meritas Leadership Institute Class of 2014. He was a member of the Louisiana State Bar Association’s Leadership LSBA 2012-13 Class. He serves on the LSBA’s Crystal Gavel Committee and the Publications Subcommittee of the Rules of Professional Conduct Committee.
Sternberg volunteers his time representing entrepreneurs affiliated with New Orleans’ Idea Village and assists students seeking public records from governmental entities. In 2013, he was selected as one of New Orleans Magazine’s “Top Lawyers of New Orleans” in communications law and on-air media legal analyst. In 2014, Louisiana Super Lawyers recognized him as a “Rising Star” in civil litigation-defense.
He likes to say he was born and raised up and down Highway 61: New Orleans, Baton Rouge and Natchez, Miss. He is married and has a newborn son. He is already indoctrinating his son with his love of LSU sports, the New Orleans Saints and the New Orleans Pelicans.
Lauren Stokes Laborde - Alexandria
Lauren Stokes Laborde is an associate in the Alexandria office of the Faircloth Law Group, L.L.C. She began her career as a law clerk to Hon. John C. Davidson and Hon. Harry F. Randow at the 9th Judicial District Court in Alexandria. At Faircloth, she practices in a wide range of litigation matters, including commercial litigation, governmental litigation, general tort litigation, medical malpractice defense, and collection. In addition, she advises clients in matters of Louisiana wills and successions. She is admitted to practice in all Louisiana state courts, the U.S. District Court for the Western, Middle and Eastern Districts of Louisiana, and U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals.
She received her BS degree in business administration, magna cum laude
, in 2005 from Northwestern State University in Natchitoches and her JD/bachelor of civil law degree in 2008 from Louisiana State University Paul M. Hebert Law Center. While in law school, she was on the Chancellor’s List, a member of the Tullis Moot Court Competition, a member of the Legal Association for Women (Philanthropy chair, 2006-08), and a participant in the Law Ambassador Recruitment Program, 2006-08.
Laborde is the 2013-14 secretary of the Alexandria Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Council and a member of the Crossroads American Inn of Court of Alexandria-Pineville.
In her community, she serves on the board of Hope House of Central Louisiana, is a member of the Krewe of Mariposa and is a parishioner of Our Lady of Prompt Succor Catholic Church.
Laborde is married to David Laborde, a CPA at Cleco, a power company in Pineville. They are the parents of two children. Her hobbies are watching her daughter’s soccer games, spending time on the back porch with family, fishing and reading.
Ross M. Raley - Lake Charles
Ross M. Raley. an attorney with the firm Stockwell, Sievert, Viccellio, Clements & Shaddock, L.L.P., in Lake Charles, was born in Lafayette and raised in Lake Charles. He received his BS degree in information system and decision sciences from Louisiana State University (LSU), where he was on the Chancellor’s Honor Roll for six consecutive semesters, was an Allstate Foundation Scholar and LSU Alumni Scholar for four years, and a Top 100 Scholar in fall 2001. He received his MBA degree in 2010 from LSU, where he received the MBA Outstanding Student Award. He received his JD degree and diploma in civil law in 2010 from LSU Paul M. Hebert Law Center, where he received CALI Awards for achieving the highest grade in Civil Law Property, Business Associations I, Commercial Paper and Media Law Seminar. He was a Faculty Merit Scholar, received the Vinson & Elkins Scholarship for 2009-10, and was on the Chancellor’s List in spring 2009. He graduated in the top 9 percent of his class and received the Order of the Coif.
His practice is primarily focused on litigation and labor and employment law. He serves industrial, business, financial and insurance clients, with a large part of his practice devoted to their defense.
A member of the Southwest Louisiana Bar Association (SWLBA), he serves on the SWLBA’s Young Lawyers Section Executive Council.
In his community, Raley serves on the board of directors of the American Red Cross Southwest Louisiana Chapter, on the Chamber SWLA’s Small Business Committee and on the Chamber’s committee to select participants for the SEED Center’s Business Incubator. He also volunteers with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Lake Charles.
His hobbies include sports, movies, reading, traveling, running and spending time with family and friends.
Karelia R. Stewart - Shreveport
Shreveport attorney Karelia R. Stewart, a prosecutor in the Caddo Parish District Attorney’s Office, handles felony drug cases, inclusive of judge and jury trials. She is the section chief of the Drug Division in the District Attorney’s Office. She received her undergraduate degree, cum laude, in 2001 from Dillard University and her JD degree in 2004 from Loyola University College of Law. She was admitted to practice in Louisiana in 2006.
She is currently the youngest elected member of the LSBA Board of Governors, representing the Eighth District. Previously, she served as an at-large member on the LSBA Board of Governors, as the District 8 representative on the LSBA’s Young Lawyers Division Council, and as a member of the LSBA’s House of Delegates, representing the 1st Judicial District (Caddo Parish). She also is a member of the LSBA’s Committee on the Profession, the Access to Justice Committee and the Criminal Justice Committee and has served on the Committee to Review Proposed Changes to the Louisiana Bar Exam.
Stewart is a past president of the Shreveport Bar Association’s (SBA) Young Lawyers Section, and a member of the SBA’s Women Section, the Black Lawyers Association of Shreveport-Bossier, the Harry V. Booth and Judge Henry A. Politz American Inn of Court and the Louisiana State Law Institute. She was recently selected by her peers as a “Top Lawyer” in Shreveport and featured in the April 2013 issue of SB Magazine.
During her term as SBA Young Lawyers Section president, she created YL S.W.A.P. (Young Lawyer Socials With A Purpose). These socials were conducted each month and young lawyers donated school supplies, raised money to sponsor a field trip for the Adopt-a-Class Project, provided toiletry items for area shelters, and donated food to the area food bank.
Stewart is a board member of Sci-Port: Louisiana’s Science Center. She volunteers for community service projects of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., the Junior League of Shreveport-Bossier and LANO’s Community Class and works with the Teen Club Group, an after-school program of Volunteers of America offering students career guidance. She donates countless volunteer hours doing pro bono work for her church and for elderly members in the community. She was selected by the Greater Shreveport Chamber of Commerce as a member of the 2008 class of “40 Under 40” outstanding young professionals.
She is married to Frederick Green.
Andrew J. Geiger - New Orleans
New Orleans attorney Andrew J. Geiger is with the firm Allan Berger & Associates, P.L.C. His practice focuses on the representation of plaintiffs in pharmaceutical litigation and product liability cases.
Prior to joining Allan Berger & Associates, he worked in public finance in New York City, monitoring the credit quality and diversity of healthcare portfolios for one of the leading insurers of U.S. municipal bonds. He also worked as a litigation paralegal for Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, L.L.P., in Manhattan.
Geiger received his undergraduate degree in 1999 from Georgetown University and his JD degree in 2002 from Tulane Law School. While attending Tulane Law School, he served as executive editor of the Sports Lawyers Journal and was certified by the World Arbitration & Mediation Report as an international commercial arbitrator.
He is actively involved in the community, including providing pro bono consultation and notary services for the homeless at Ozanam Inn and St. Joseph’s Church through Judge Jay C. Zainey’s H.E.L.P. program.
He is the founder and lead writer of CasualHoya.com, a website devoted to the coverage of Georgetown Hoyas basketball. His stories have been linked to by ESPN, Sports Illustrated and CBS Sports, among other leading national sports sites. He is a frequent guest on various sports radio shows and was a recent panelist at the Online News Association Conference. The Washington Post honored his website with the Favorite Local Sports Junky of the Year Award in 2012.
He and his wife, Jamie L. Berger, a partner at Barrasso Usdin Kupperman Freeman & Sarver, L.L.C., are the parents of one child.
J. Marshall Rice - Shreveport
Attorney J. Marshall Rice, a partner with the law firm of Rice & Kendig in Shreveport, received a BS degree in 2000 from Centenary College of Louisiana and his JD and bachelor of civil law degrees in 2003 from Louisiana State University Paul M. Hebert Law Center. Following his law school graduation, he returned to Shreveport to join his father, Carl Rice, and later joined by his brother, Joel Rice, in the practice of law where he practices exclusively in the area of personal injury. In this area of the law, he believes that his practice promotes safety in the community through the enforcement of the rule of law, and he has made this the foundation for his representation of injured persons.
He is actively involved in the Shreveport Bar Association (SBA) and the Louisiana Association for Justice. In 2010, he served as president of the SBA’s Young Lawyers Division. Additionally, he served on the Louisiana Association of Justice’s Board of Governors in 2011. Currently, he is serving as a member-at-large on the SBA’s Executive Council.
Rice is heavily involved in the SBA’s community service projects. One of his proudest volunteering endeavors was his service at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service project providing living wills and medical powers-of-attorney to those in the community who are less fortunate.
Outside of his law practice, Rice is an avid sportsman, where he hunts and fishes in his free time. He also volunteers as a den leader for his nephew’s Tiger Cub Scouts group. He and his wife, Emily, are the parents of a daughter.
Emily Gremillion Meche - Marksville
Attorney Emily Gremillion Meche, an attorney in the firm of Brian Caubaurreaux & Associates in Marksville, earned a BS degree, summa cum laude, in criminal justice in 2004 from the University of Louisiana-Lafayette (ULL). While at ULL, she was recognized as the Outstanding Graduate in Criminal Justice. She resumed her education at Southern University Law Center, graduating cum laude in 2007. While at Southern, she was a member and officer in the Phi Alpha Delta Legal Fraternity, and she clerked at the law firm of Forrester & Dick for Shelly Dick, who has been appointed by President Barack Obama to assume a federal judgeship in the Middle District of Louisiana.
After graduating from Southern, she began work as a judicial law clerk to Judge William J. Bennett and Judge Mark A. Jeansonne with the 12th Judicial District Court in Avoyelles Parish. After completing her clerkship, she joined Brian Caubarreaux & Associates, practicing in the areas of plaintiff personal injury, workers’ compensation and Social Security disability.
Meche is heavily involved in various legal groups and associations. She is currently president of the Avoyelles Parish Bar Association, having previously served as vice president and secretary/treasurer. She is a member of the Louisiana Association for Justice and the American Bar Association. She also has participated as a volunteer for the Avoyelles Parish Teen Court.
Outside of her legal career, she serves as the Family Readiness Volunteer/Director of the 259th Air Traffic Control Squadron in Alexandria. In 2010, she was the recipient of the Louisiana Family Readiness Volunteer of the Year Award for the Louisiana National Guard’s Office of Family Programs.
Meche enjoys spending time with her husband, Scott Meche, and their 3-year-old son. She and her family are members of the Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Moreauville.
Ethan A. Hunt - Monroe
Attorney Ethan A. Hunt, an associate with the law firm of Davenport, Files & Kelly, L.L.P., in Monroe, graduated in 2001 from Louisiana Tech University with a BS degree in biology. After working as a biologist with an environmental consulting firm, he decided to seek a career in law. He graduated in 2006 from Louisiana State University Paul M. Hebert Law Center, earning JD and bachelor of civil laws degrees.
He began his legal career as an associate with Hudson, Potts & Bernstein, L.L.P., one of the oldest law firms in northeast Louisiana. In 2009, he joined the firm of Davenport, Files & Kelly, L.L.P. His practice focuses on insurance defense and general civil litigation. In addition, he has developed an independent estate law practice, which now comprises approximately 40 percent of his practice.
Hunt is currently serving as president of the 4th Judicial District Young Lawyers Section and is a member of the board of directors for the 4th Judicial District Bar Association. He also is a member of the Louisiana Association of Defense Counsel.
Outside of his legal practice, Hunt has many hobbies and interests. Following in his father’s footsteps, he is a master woodworker and enjoys building all sorts of things. He is vice chair of the Administrative Board of the First United Methodist Church in Monroe and a member of the board of directors for Habitat for Humanity. He is a certified ASTM asbestos inspector and has received Wetlands Delineation certification.
Hunt is married and has two daughters. He enjoys coaching his daughters’ soccer team, teaching Sunday school, hunting and fishing, and playing golf in his spare time.
Matthew P. Keating - Lake Charles
Attorney Matthew P. Keating, a partner at Plauché, Smith & Nieset, L.L.C., in Lake Charles, obtained a BS degree in business management from Louisiana State University in 2003 and his JD degree from South Texas College of Law in 2006. He graduated law school in the top 15 percent of his class, where he was a member of the Phi Delta Phi honors fraternity and, upon graduating, received the Jay D. Hirsch Insurance Scholarship Award for excellence in the study of insurance law.
He is a member of the Louisiana, Texas and American bar associations, the Defense Research Institute and the Louisiana Association of Defense Counsel. He also is a member of the Southwest Louisiana Bar Association, where he has served as an officer and executive board member in the Young Lawyers Section. He has organized and moderated the Southwest Louisiana Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Seminar for the past three years.
Keating is a member of the 2012-13 Leadership LSBA Class. He also serves on the board of trustees for Bishop Noland Episcopal Day School in Lake Charles.
He has an extensive litigation practice handling a broad range of cases including insurance defense, insurance coverage disputes, trucking liability, defending and prosecuting the rights of local businesses, premises liability, workers’ compensation defense, employment law matters, and class action defense.
Jacob H. Hargett - Lafayette
Lafayette attorney Jacob H. Hargett, with the firm of Davidson, Meaux, Sonnier, McElligott, Fontenot, Gideon & Edwards, L.L.P., received his undergraduate degree from the University of Louisiana-Lafayette, where we was a member and four-year All-American on ULL's Sports Shooting Team. He received his JD degree from Loyola University College of Law. While at Loyola, he served as president of the Trial Advocacy Program and organized the school's first ever National Trial Advocacy Competition, garnering the support of more than 100 judges and 200 attorneys for assistance with the program.
Hargett is very active in the Lafayette legal community and is a board member of the Lafayette Young Lawyers Association (LYLA). In this role, he organizes various social functions and charity events benefiting the legal community and the less fortunate in the Lafayette area. Notably, he is the current chair of LYLA's "Shoot for Justice" Program, lending his experience as an expert marksman to the Lafayette Volunteer Lawyer program.
In addition to his heavy workload and charitable work, Hargett maintains a consistent docket of pro bono cases. His practice includes insurance defense, general casualty, family law, medical malpractice, and mergers and acquisitions.
He has received several awards as a clay shooter. In 1999, he was recognized as Rookie of the Year. In 2000, he received the gold medal at the Collegiate World Championship. In 2003, he tied world records for shooting 400 out of 400 clay targets and 800 out of 800 in the doubles event. That same year, he and his partner broke the world record at a national event by shooting 999 out of 1,000 targets. In 2010, he entered the world championship, winning third in the doubles competition.
Gregory W. Rome - Chalmette
Attorney Gregory W. Rome is a lawyer and founder of the firm of Williams & Rome, L.L.C., in Chalmette. After graduating summa cum laude and first in his class from Loyola University in New Orleans, he went on to graduate from Tulane Law School with a JD degree and Certificate in Civil Law. While at Tulane, he helped found the Civil Law Commentaries, the first legal journal dedicated to Louisiana law and its historical roots, and served as the founding senior online editor. He was the recipient of the Robert Rees Memorial Scholarship.
In 2007, prior to graduating from Tulane, he began a part-time clerkship with the Hon. Kirk A. Vaughn of the 34th Judicial District Court, a position which he continues today. After graduation, he returned home to Chalmette and founded his law firm, focusing his practice on civil litigation, small business law, personal injury, successions and family law.
In 2011, he authored the Louisiana Civil Law Dictionary in conjunction with Stephan Kinsella. His work in this field has been praised by attorneys and law professors, including legendary civil law professor A.N. Yiannopoulos. Additionally in 2011, he founded Straylight Publishing, L.L.C., a legal publishing house focusing on providing complete, up-to-date materials for Louisiana law students, attorneys and scholars, as well as preserving historical Louisiana legal works.
Rome is a member of the St. Bernard Bar Association, the American Civil Liberties Union and the Los Isleños Heritage Society.
In his community, he is an adult leader with the Boy Scouts of America Troop 84, where he spends several weekends a year training and mentoring scouts and serving on Eagle Scout review boards. He also volunteers his time with the Catholic Committee on Scouting.
P. Brian Derouen - Lafayette
principal member of the Derouen Firm, L.L.C., a litigation firm that focuses on corporate and insurance defense. He earned his BS degree, with a major in economics, from the University of Louisiana-Lafayette in 1998 and his JD degree from Louisiana State University Paul M. Hebert Law Center in 2001, where he was a member of its Law Review.
After graduation from law school, he quickly became involved with the Lafayette Young Lawyers Association (LYLA), serving on its Awards and Membership Committees. As LYLA's current membership chair, he has made it his personal goal to extend invitations and help when possible to the scholars at our state's four law schools in an effort to keep the future lawyers who are interested in practicing in Lafayette and its surrounding parishes informed of LYLA's various services, socials and civic functions.
Derouen's professional associations include the Louisiana State Bar Association, the Lafayette Bar Association and the Louis A. Martinet Legal Society, Inc. He also has been involved in several community organizations, including the Lafayette Volunteer Lawyers, the March of Dimes (serving as a board member) and Civitan (helping with the various Special Olympics events). He was recognized for his service to the community by being selected as a member of the Lafayette Chamber of Commerce's Leadership Lafayette Class XVIII.
He has the support of his many peers, including Susan Holliday, executive director of the Lafayette Bar Association. "Brian is an extremely active member of the Lafayette Bar Association and our Young Lawyers Section," Holliday said. "He has served on numerous committees and is always willing to step forward and volunteer for any projects sponsored by the association. Brian exemplifies professionalism and leadership, and the Lafayette Bar Association is fortunate to have him as an active member."
John C. Nickelson - Shreveport
Shreveport attorney John C. Nickelson graduated, magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, from Texas Christian University with a BA degree in history. He earned his law degree from the University of Virginia in 2004. He began his practice with Baker Botts in Dallas, Texas. He clerked for Hon. Jennifer Walker Elrod, United States Circuit judge for the United States 5th Circuit Court of Appeals. He returned home to Shreveport in 2009 to practice with the firm of Cook, Yancey, King & Galloway, A.P.L.C. He is a commercial litigator and represents clients in a wide range of matters, including legal malpractice defense, oil and gas litigation, and products and premises liability disputes.
In addition to maintaining an active practice, Nickelson is involved in both the state and local bar associations. He is a member-at-large of the Shreveport Bar Association's Executive Council, treasurer of the Shreveport Bar Foundation and a member of its board of directors, and a member of the Harry V. Booth and Judge Henry A. Politz American Inn of Court. He also was selected and served as a member of the 2010-11 Leadership LSBA Class.
When asked why he pursued a law degree and a career as a lawyer, Nickelson answered that he went to law school because he thought he would enjoy the profession and wanted to contribute to the lives of others. His involvement in the bar and his commitment to pro bono work make it apparent he is achieving his aspirations. Since graduating from law school, he has handled pro bono cases ranging from adoptions and protective orders for abused women and children to custody disputes and consumer rights cases.
As the treasurer and a member of the Shreveport Bar Foundation's board of directors, he is closely involved with the organization's coordination of pro bono activities in the Shreveport-Bossier area. He represents indigent criminal defendants as a member of the United States District Court for the Western District of Louisiana's Criminal Justice Act Panel. He also was an active participant in the 2010-11 Leadership LSBA Class CLE presentations encouraging the pro bono efforts of firms and individual attorneys throughout Louisiana. He credits his commitment to pro bono work to the mentoring and support he has received from others, including Herschel E. Richard, Jr., Cook Yancey's president and the immediate past president of the Louisiana Bar Foundation.
Nickelson and his wife, Emily, are the proud parents of three children.
Michael A. Harowski - New Orleans
New Orleans attorney Michael A. Harowski is affiliated with the firm of Fowler Rodriguez Valdes-Fauli. According to his nominator, Eve Sarco Reardon, he is “very active in community service” and juggles his professional and personal life (which includes new twin boys) extremely well.
A native of Ormond Beach, Fla., Harowski now lives in New Orleans and practices primarily admiralty and maritime law. He earned his BA degree in economics from Emory University in 2003 and his JD degree from Tulane Law School in 2006.
Harowski has devoted much of his “free” time to many community service activities and charities in the New Orleans area. Recently selected to take part in the 2011 class of Emerging Philanthropists of New Orleans (EPNO), he will be charged with engaging young leaders to take part in philanthropic endeavors. He will participate in a six-month program, during which he will focus on helping to provide funding for arts-based nonprofits in the New Orleans area dedicated to offering underserved populations with access to the arts.
He also is active as a leader in the Young Leadership Council’s Where Ya’ Rack? bike rack program in New Orleans. That organization’s objective is to provide secure bike parking in and around the New Orleans area. He is responsible for encouraging private and corporate sponsors to provide these unique fleur de lis bike racks around town, which hopefully encourages cycling throughout the city.
Finally, Harowski is on the board of the New Orleans Video Access Center, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to “cultivate a sustainable film community” by providing access to resources and education. He provides pro bono legal services and helps with long-term planning for the board.
His professional associations include the Louisiana State Bar Association, the Federal Bar Association, the Mariner’s Club of New Orleans, the Propeller Club of New Orleans, the Maritime Law Association and the Southeastern Admiralty Law Institute.
Amanda S. Stout - Baton Rouge
Amanda S. Stout, a native of Baton Rouge, practices in the Baton Rouge office of McGlinchey Stafford, P.L.L.C. She practices in the commercial litigation and labor/employment law sections. She earned her BS degree, with a major in psychology, in 2000 from Louisiana State University and her JD degree in 2003 from LSU Paul M. Hebert Law Center. After graduation from law school, she began her practice with Breazeale, Sachse & Wilson, L.L.P.
In her practice, she has represented employers in responding to allegations brought in front of the EEOC, the Louisiana Commission on Human Rights and the United States Department of Labor. She is admitted to practice in the U.S. Eastern, Middle and Western Districts of Louisiana and the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals.
Stout embodies the value of volunteerism in the community, as she is very active in the First United Methodist Church. She has been the Education Council chair and served on the Church Council and Executive Committee from 2008-10. She also was pivotal in the church's Capital Campaign Committee in 2008-09. She has volunteered with HOPE Ministries (in its Client Choice Food Pantry), Habitat for Humanity and the Salvation Army's Red Kettle donation drive.
Her professional associations include the Baton Rouge Bar Association (BRBA), where she is currently chair of the Young Lawyers Division. She was the 2009 Judge Joseph Keogh Award recipient and served on the BRBA's Belly Up with the Bar Committee from 2005-09. She is a member of the Federal Bar Association's Baton Rouge Chapter and served as 2007-08 secretary of the Dean Henry George McMahon American Inn of Court.
Stout has presented educational programs for various organizations, including "Updates on Recent Legislation Affecting Employers" for Wright & Percy Benefits Symposium (2009); "Managing Intermittent FMLA Leave" (2010); "Top Ten Employment Law Myths" for the Postal Customer Council of Greater Baton Rouge (2003); and "Weeding Out Fraudulent Claims and Avoiding Intermittent Leave Abuse: Effectively Using Recertification, Second and Third Opinions, and Fitness-for-Duty Examinations" for the Council on Education in Management (2007). She was published in HR Magazine in 2007, authoring "Family Responsibility Discrimination: Forcing Employers to Reconsider the Traditional Notion of the 'Ideal' Employee."
In her personal life, she has been married to Tadd Stout for seven years and they are the parents of a son.
Lindsay L. Meador - Lafayette
Lindsay L. Meador, of Galloway, Johnson, Tompkins, Burr & Smith, A.P.L.C., in Lafayette, earned her BA degree, with a major in political science, from Loyola University New Orleans in December 2003 and her JD degree from Loyola University College of Law in 2007. While in law school (2006-07), she participated as a Rule 20 attorney, where she tried jury trials, participated in motion hearings and drafted writs for the 4th Circuit Court of Appeal and the Louisiana Supreme Court. After graduation from law school, she began her practice with Davidson, Meaux, Sonnier & McElligott, L.L.P., where she handled all aspects of civil litigation.
A native of Abbeville, La., Meador's primary area of practice now includes general litigation, including insurance defense, insurance coverage, premises liability and family law. In her professional life, she is a member of the Federal Public Defender Panel for the Western District of Louisiana, the Louisiana Association of Defense Counsel and the Federal Bar Association. She is actively involved in the Lafayette Bar Association and is the 2011-12 vice president of the Lafayette Young Lawyers Association. She also serves on the Lafayette Volunteer Lawyers' Committee for the Lafayette Bar Foundation.
She is admitted to practice in all Louisiana state courts, in the U.S. Eastern, Middle and Western Districts of Louisiana, and in the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals. Meador received the Lafayette Volunteer Lawyers' Outstanding Attorney Award for pro bono services in 2008, 2009 and 2010. In 2010, she received the Lafayette Bar Foundation's Top Protective Order Award for the Lafayette area. She received the 2010 LSBA YLD Pro Bono Award for her extensive pro bono work in the Lafayette community. Recently, she was chosen as a recipient of the 2011 LSBA Pro Bono Publico Award and the 2011 LSBA Pro Bono Century Award.
Kathlyn G. Perez - New Orleans
Kathlyn G. Perez of New Orleans is a lawyer at Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, P.C., in New Orleans. She graduated, cum laude, from Washington and Lee University in 2002 and received her JD degree from Tulane Law School in 2006 (member of the Order of the Coif and articles editor for the Tulane Law Review). While in law school, she was the research assistant to A.N. Yiannopoulos, Eason Weinmann Professor of Comparative Law, whom she assisted in the 2006-07 revision of the Louisiana Civil Code property law articles. Upon graduation, she received the John Minor Wisdom Award, an annual award given for "excellence in academic work and in writing ability" and "contributing selflessly to the law school community."
After a clerkship at the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, she joined Baker Donelson. She focuses her practice on employment law, commercial litigation and Louisiana property law.
Perez is a role model for all ages of attorneys. She spends a significant amount of time directly improving the lives of those less fortunate.
She is very active in pro bono matters, including volunteering for the H.E.L.P. program aimed at assisting the homeless population in New Orleans and administered by the Hon. Jay C. Zainey, with the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana. Perez and her colleague at Baker Donelson, Erin E. Pelleteri, have worked together on various Pro Bono Project and private referral pro bono matters to help their clients resolve their legal issues using creative, non-litigation solutions, such as informal mediations. These creative approaches became the subject of a recent professionalism CLE presented by Perez and Pelleteri on behalf of the Pro Bono Project.
Perez is the recipient of the 2009 Louisiana Appleseed Good Apple Award and the 2009 Louisiana State Bar Association's Pro Bono Publico Award. Louisiana Appleseed uses its pro bono network to identify, research and analyze social injustices and advocate for effective solutions to deep-seated structural problems.
In community service, Perez is particularly dedicated to the Salvation Army. She has served on the Salvation Army's board for the past four years and is the board's incoming chair. She is working with the Salvation Army to develop a grant program to assist 125 teachers, police officers and first responders in five Greater New Orleans neighborhoods in purchasing green/sustainable homes. She also serves as house counsel for the Junior League of New Orleans.
Jackie M. McCreary - New Orleans
Jackie M. McCreary of New Orleans is originally from Paulina in St. James Parish. After graduating cum laude from Louisiana State University in 2000, she obtained her JD degree and her bachelor of civil law degree from LSU Paul M. Hebert Law Center in 2003. While at LSU Law Center, she served as articles editor for the Louisiana Law Review. From August 2003 to July 2004, she served as a law clerk to Hon. Frank J. Polozola, United States District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana. In 2004, she joined the New Orleans office of Stone Pigman Walther Wittmann, L.L.C., and was elected partner in 2011.
McCreary is an active member of the LSBA and was a member of the 2005-06 Leadership LSBA Class. She has volunteered to participate in the annual LSBA Law School Professionalism Orientation Program for first-year law students. She also has judged the LSBA High School Essay Contest and High School Mock Trial Competition and served on the LSBA Young Lawyers Division's Awards Committee. Currently, she is a member of the LSBA's Access to Justice Committee and the Louisiana Bar Foundation's Development Committee. She also volunteers for the New Orleans Pro Bono Project, the Lawyers Helping Homeless Project and Louisiana Appleseed.
McCreary's practice focuses on complex litigation and the defense of energy companies in legacy oilfield litigation and other claims related to oil and gas exploration and production.
She somehow manages all of her professional and civic commitments while raising twin girls with her husband, Johnathan Copponex. Her positive outlook and encouragement increase the participation in events that she chairs, and she is always the first person to lend a hand to projects she does not chair.
One of her colleagues describes her as "an attorney who is respected by all who encounter her in the practice of law; a person who treats all people, regardless of their station in life, their occupation, their mental capabilities, or their personal resources, with respect and dignity; a person who takes the responsibility of using her skills to better the communities in which she works and lives; and a person who encourages others to use their skills and resources for the betterment of those communities."
Nancy A. Brechtel - New Orleans
Nancy A. Brechtel, a New Orleans native, received her JD degree from Loyola University Law School in 2002 (Law Review, Moot Court and graduating as a William Crowe scholar) and her BS degree, with honors, from the University of Southern Mississippi in 1998.
In 2003-05, Brechtel served as an attorney volunteer for the Child in Need of Care Program in New Orleans. After relocating to Mandeville in 2005, she quickly became involved with the Greater Covington Bar Association's Young Lawyers Division (formerly the St. Tammany Young Lawyers Association). As a board member and officer, she developed the organization's bylaws, designed its website and established a bimonthly Docket Call, a networking event for members. She currently serves as chair of the Young Lawyers Division.
The Greater Covington Bar's Young Lawyers Division is committed to using its resources to serve the youth of St. Tammany Parish. In May 2010, the organization hosted its first Court Chase, a 5K and one-mile fun run on the Mandeville lakefront, benefitting the Youth Service Bureau (YSB). The YSB provides advocacy, counseling and support service to at-risk youth and their families, including the Court Appointed Special Advocates program (CASA). In its first year, the Court Chase, chaired by Vice Chair Elizabeth S. Sconzert, raised $5,000 for the YSB. Court Chase 2011 is slated for May 7.
With the help of funds Brechtel obtained from the LSBA Young Lawyers Division, the group introduced another new program in 2010 benefitting local high school students: A Day with the Court. The program introduces students to the judicial system while at the same time educating them about the various career opportunities available in the legal arena. On Oct. 20, 2010, members hosted local students at the 22nd Judicial District Courthouse in Covington. The students met local judges and courthouse employees, toured the courthouse, and observed drug court proceedings and hearings of civil matters. The day ended with the students' participation in a panel discussion on the criminal judicial process with Michael Montalbano of the St. Tammany Parish District Attorney's Office, Peter Ierardi of the St. Tammany Parish Public Defender's Office and criminal defense attorney Ernest Bauer.
As an associate at the firm of Cotten Schmidt & Abbott, L.L.P., Brechtel's areas of practice range from commercial litigation and insurance law to the defense of toxic tort, employment discrimination and medical malpractice claims.
Catherine Saba Giering - Baton Rouge
Catherine (Cathy) Saba Giering was born in Portland, Ore., but she calls Winnsboro, La., home. After graduating from Louisiana State University in 1996 with a major in English and a double minor in Russian studies and business administration, she attended LSU Paul M. Hebert Law Center. She received her JD degree in 1999 and began practicing with Laborde & Neuner. In 2004, she joined the Baton Rouge firm of Crawford & Lewis and was named partner in 2008.
She is the 2010 chair of the Baton Rouge Bar Association's (BRBA) Young Lawyers Division Council. The BRBA is extremely active, and Giering and the council have strived to increase young lawyer participation in several BRBA activities, including the Bench/Bar Conference, luncheon meetings, Cocktails with the Court, Opening of Court in the fall and Belly Up to the Bar.
Giering serves on the Junior League of Baton Rouge and is the current Policy Governance chair. She is also a supporter of the downtown YMCA and is a past chair of the Charles Lamar YMCA board of directors. Her LSBA YLD activities include serving on a law school professionalism orientation panel in 2005, serving as a high school essay contest competition judge in 2006, and serving as a member of the YLD Awards Committee in 2007.
Her husband, Edmund Giering, also practices law in Baton Rouge. They are the parents of a son and a daughter.
Giering said that the greatest influence her mentors have had on her is teaching her the value of a strong work ethic and a job well done. She also cites her father's positive attitude as inspiration. She has inherited her father's positive attitude. That positive attitude and strong work ethic are evident in everything she does, and the BRBA and the LSBA are grateful to her for all of her hard work on behalf of young lawyers.
Brandon W. Letulier - Lafayette
Brandon W. Letulier, born and raised in Lafayette, joined Laborde & Neuner as an associate in 2003, after receiving his JD and bachelor of civil law degrees from Louisiana State University and its Paul M. Hebert Law Center (graduating Order of the Coif and serving on the Law Review). Prior to law school, he graduated, magna cum laude, from the University of Louisiana-Lafayette. He became a partner at Laborde & Neuner in January 2010 and focuses on maritime and corporate law.
His professional associations include the Lafayette Bar Association, the Lafayette Young Lawyers Association (LYLA), the Louisiana Bar Foundation's Community Partnership Panel and the Duhe American Inn of Court.
Through his work with the Lafayette Bar Association and the LYLA, Letulier has taken an active interest in helping educate the youth of Lafayette about the legal profession. He began this mission as a volunteer coach at Northside High School to help teach and prepare the students for the regional high school mock trial competition sponsored by the Louisiana State Bar Association's Young Lawyers Division. His work as a coach eventually led to his becoming chair of the regional high school mock trial event. As a result of his hard work and success with the regional mock trial program, he was selected to spearhead a project to build an actual courtroom at Northside High School.
Several years ago, the LYLA adopted a policy to reach out and support Northside High School as its Law Signature School, creating a comprehensive program that concentrates on all aspects of the law and legal processes for high school students. Beginning in 2008, Letulier volunteered to chair LYLA's committee for the Law Signature School. During his tenure as chair, he worked with the Louisiana Bar Foundation to create and construct the courtroom at Northside High School. The courtroom is fully functioning and has ample space for judge, jury and advocates for both sides. The courtroom is used for mock trial competitions, speaker functions and other courtroom role-playing activities.
Letulier was responsible for every aspect of the construction, including designing the courtroom layout, converting the existing speech and debate classroom into a fully functional courtroom with a high-tech sound system, formulating and maintaining a budget, and procuring all materials and labor. The construction of the courtroom took nine months to complete and the ribbon-cutting ceremony was in May 2009. The completion of the project was due in large part to the dedication and countless hours of work by Letulier.
Kellie J. Curry - Shreveport
A resident of Shreveport and a native of Monroe, Curry is currently an associate at The Law Office of Katherine Clark Dorroh, L.L.C. Although her practice focuses mostly on family law, she handles cases in the areas of estate planning, successions and personal injury as well. In 2008, she was recognized as one of the "Best Attorneys" by Shreveport-Bossier Magazine.
In 2002, Curry received a BA degree from Louisiana State University. In 2005, she received her JD degree and bachelor of civil law degree from LSU Paul M. Hebert Law Center. Following graduation from law school, she served as a law clerk to the judges in Bossier and Webster parishes. During her clerkship, she volunteered as a Court-Appointed Special Advocate for Caddo Parish, and she participated in the Volunteers for Youth Justice Jump Start Program as a motivational speaker to troubled youth. She also began her role as an instructor at Bossier Parish Community College during that time period, teaching legal ethics and business law, a role which she has continued to date in addition to maintaining her legal practice.
Curry has become actively involved in the Shreveport-Bossier community since moving to the area in 2005. She devotes time and energy to Community Renewal International, an international organization started in the Shreveport-Bossier area that restores neighborhoods through its philosophy of caring. In addition to her personal involvement with the organization, she has encouraged and organized the participation of many other volunteers in her area. She is involved with the Shreveport-Bossier Rescue Mission and is a leader in her local church. In 2009, she served as a Louisiana Association of Non-Profit Organizations community leader.
As a member of the Shreveport, Bossier and Louisiana State bar associations, Curry is active with the Women's Section and the Young Lawyers Division. In addition, she serves on the board of directors and as a volunteer with the Northwest Louisiana Pro Bono Project, accepting pro bono cases on a monthly basis and rarely turning down an opportunity to share her services with those in need.
Curry is committed to serving her clients with compassion, commitment and integrity, and she is passionate about bringing positive changes to her community, both personally and professionally.
Karli Glascock - Baton Rouge
The Louisiana State Bar Association's (LSBA) Young Lawyers Division is spotlighting young lawyer Karli Glascock Wilson from Baton Rouge. Wilson is a partner in the Baton Rouge office of Kean, Miller, Hawthorne, D'Armond, McCowan & Jarman, L.L.P. She received her BA degree from Louisiana State University in 1995 and her JD degree from LSU Paul M. Hebert Law Center in 1999. Her areas of practice range from toxic tort to commercial and warranty redhibition cases. She also co-authored "Expert Depositions in the Era of Daubert and Its Progeny" with Leonard L. Kilgore, ABA Environmental Litigation Section, 2001.
She is extremely involved in the Baton Rouge Bar Association (BRBA). She served as the 2008 chair of the BRBA Young Lawyers Division Council. During her term as chair, the BRBA YLD implemented a new project and created the "New (and not so new) Lawyers Survival Guide," which won the 2009 LSBA YLD Service to the Bar Award. Although her time as chair is over, she remains an active participant in many of the BRBA YLD projects, such as Belly Up with the Bar, Holiday Star and Cocktails with the Court.
Wilson is currently serving her second term as a director at-large of the BRBA board. She is also currently a member of the Baton Rouge Bar Foundation Pro Bono Panel, which assists indigent clients with legal representation. She is a past member and chair of the LSBA State High School Mock Trial Competition Committee, as well as serving as a volunteer coach. The LSBA mock trial competition gives high school students exposure to the legal system and encourages entry into the legal profession.
She is a past member of the BRBA Volunteer Panel, which promotes collaborative public service by members of the legal community and enhances the public image of the profession.
Wilson is a past member of the BRBA Youth Education Committee. The Youth Education Committee serves as a classroom resource, lecturing on law and government and conducting tours of court facilities. She is also a presenter with Lawyers in the Classroom, a program that introduces grade school children to the legal system.
Aside from her hectic practice schedule and active involvement in the bar association, she gives her time to non-legal organizations. She currently serves on the board of directors for the Capital Area YMCA-Lamar Branch. She is an active member of the St. Aloysius Church, where she volunteers in activities such as the book fair, math night, parish fair, and new member welcome committee.
When she is not practicing law or giving her time to her bar and her community, Wilson spends her free time with her family, especially her 7-year-old son.
Dana M. Douglas - New Orleans
The Louisiana State Bar Association's (LSBA) Young Lawyers Division Council is spotlighting young lawyer Dana M. Douglas from New Orleans. Douglas is a shareholder in the law firm of Liskow & Lewis, P.L.C. She received a BA degree from Miami University in 1997 and her law degree from Loyola University College of Law in 2000. While at Loyola, she was editor-in-chief of Loyola's Public Interest Law Journal. Upon graduation, she served as a judicial clerk to Hon. Ivan L.R. Lemelle, United States District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana, 2000-01. Her areas of practice are business litigation, energy litigation and intellectual property.
Aside from her practice, Douglas has been very busy within the Bar. She currently serves on the LSBA's Board of Governors and previously served as chair of the LSBA's Minority Involvement Section. She has been a member of the LSBA's Diversity Committee, Access to Justice Committee and Intellectual Property Law Section. A member of the 2006-07 Leadership LSBA Class, Douglas subsequently co-chaired the 2008-09 Leadership Class. Under her leadership, the 2008-09 class implemented, for the first time, a collaborative project where young leaders of the Bar from across the state worked on two projects: a statewide art project for high school students and a reception for first-time attendees at the LSBA's Annual Meeting.
Douglas currently serves on the board of directors of the New Orleans Bar Association (NOBA) and is a past chair of the NOBA Young Lawyers Division. She also has been involved with the NOBA Minorities in the Profession Committee and Intellectual Property Committee.
She received the American Bar Association's Minorities in the Profession Scholarship and previously served on the ABA Public Service Committee. She is the inaugural president of the Women's Energy Network for southeast Louisiana. The Women's Energy Network is a group of more than 800 women working in a variety of energy-related professions, from banking to traditional oil and gas disciplines.
Douglas serves as a commissioner on the New Orleans Civil Service Commission, a quasi-judicial and policy-making body that exercises oversight of activities of the city's Civil Service Department, decides employee appeals of disciplinary action, and adopts rules and establishes policies that regulate the conduct of labor and management in the merit system.
She was a member of the Louisiana State Law Institute, a volunteer judge for the Orleans Parish Juvenile Court Teen Court Program and a board member for the New Orleans Children's Bureau. She was selected as one of the top 50 "Leaders in Law" in New Orleans.
Nicholas J. Zeringue
Nicholas J. Zeringue, a native and resident of Thibodaux, La., is the owner/managing partner of the law firm of Nicholas J. Zeringue Attorney at Law, L.L.C. His practice focuses on personal injury/maritime defense, commercial litigation, mortgage-backed securities (MBS) litigation, maritime contracts, real estate transactions and workers' compensation.
Zeringue earned a BS degree in international trade and finance from Louisiana State University in 1993. He earned his master's degree in business administration from the Tulane A.B. Freeman School of Business and JD degree from Tulane Law School, both in May 1997. He was admitted to practice in Louisiana in 1998.
He is currently a member of the Louisiana State Bar Association's House of Delegates, Legislation Committee, Nominating Committee and Community Action Committee (past chair). He is a member of the Lafourche Parish Bar Association (past president) and Terrebonne Parish Bar Association. He is a Louisiana Bar Foundation Fellow. He is trained as an attorney-mediator and is listed in A.M. Best's Review of Insurance Attorneys.
Upon completion of his post-graduate degrees, Zeringue worked as a financial analyst with Mavesa, S.A. in Caracas, Venezuela. When he returned to the United States, he practiced as an associate trial attorney in Lafayette at the law firm of Davidson, Meaux, Sonnier & McElligott, L.L.P., then as in-house counsel and senior management representative for the Board of Commissioners of the Port of New Orleans. Prior to opening his own law firm in June 2006, he worked with the Law Offices of Christopher H. Riviere, A.P.L.C., in Thibodaux.
In addition to his many professional associations, Zeringue is heavily involved in "Hooks for Hearts," a philanthropic organization dedicated to raising money for the American Heart Association to aid in medical research pertaining to cardiovascular disease. He currently serves on the board of directors for that organization.
Kevin P. Fontenot
Kevin P. Fontenot, a native of Basile, La., is an associate at the law firm of Scofield, Gerard, Singletary & Pohorelsky in Lake Charles. His practice focuses on general defense and commercial litigation, including personal injury defense, products liability, toxic tort and employment law. He earned a BA degree in political science from Northwestern State University in 2003, graduating magna cum laude. He earned his JD degree and bachelor of civil law degree from Louisiana State University Paul M. Hebert Law Center in 2006. He was admitted to practice in Louisiana in 2006. While in law school, Fontenot was awarded CALI awards in contracts and legal research and writing.
He is a member of the Southwest Louisiana Bar Association and serves on its Young Lawyers Division board. He also is a member of the Southwest Louisiana Association of Defense Counsel.
Fontenot is active in his community. He serves as an executive board member of the Lake Charles Kiwanis Club, a member of the Lake Charles Toastmasters, a parishioner of Our Lady Queen of Heaven and a volunteer Teen Court judge. As a Teen Court judge, he provides guidance for a jury composed of teens who decide the community service sentencing for other teens charged with minor crimes. He also is a visiting lecturer at McNeese State University where he teaches business law.
He and his wife, Lynsay Fontenot, also a practicing attorney, are expecting their first child in October.