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					                                                             The Legal Docket
                                                                                                         Client Newsletter

A Publication Of Neblett, Beard & Arsenault                                                                                            Summer 2010




                                           NB&A Leads the Way
                                           in Oil Spill Litigation
                                           Neblett, Beard & Arsenault is helping to lead the
                                           charge for victims of the disastrous oil spill in the
                                           Gulf of Mexico. Our attorneys represent Gulf Coast
                                           fishermen, shrimpers, oystermen, property and vessel
                                           owners and others whose lives and livelihoods have

Legal Brief                                been forever changed by this avoidable tragedy.

                                           Richard J. Arsenault, has filed multiple class
                     For the past
                                           actions lawsuits in several Gulf Coast States against
                     several months,
                                           BP, Transocean and other parties involved in the
                     Firm founder
                                           explosion, sinking and ensuing oil spill caused by the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig.
                     Richard J.
                     Arsenault has
                                           “Just as the Gulf Coast was rebounding from the devastating effects of Katrina, we now face the
                     been appointed
                                           most serious environmental disasters of our time,” said Richard Arsenault.
                     to leadership
positions in some of the major cases
                                           The firm has employed some of the nation’s top trial experts to testify on drilling operations, marine and civil
in the United States, including those
                                           engineering, coastal and marine biology, oceanography, air and water quality, ornithology, fisheries supply,
against BP and Toyota.
                                           shellfish pathology and other areas of study. These experts will help determine and explain what happened
Recently, Arsenault was appointed          aboard the Deepwater Horizon that fateful night and what the resulting effects of the oil spill will be.
as Co-chair of the newly formed Gulf
Coast Oil Spill Litigation group by        “While we’re still in the embryonic stages of quantifying the troubling environmental impact, we’re
the American Association for Justice       watching, in real time, and somewhat helplessly, a slow motion disaster,” concluded Arsenault.
(AAJ). Arsenault will lead educational
programs and provide litigation support    One of my proudest moments...
to attorneys who represent victims of
                                           Attorney Mike Koch was hired by the Petrus family after their
the Deepwater Horizon disaster.
                                           autistic son, Kyle, was abused by a caretaker. The “caretaker”
In May, Richard chaired the Gulf Coast     threw bleach into Kyle’s face and eyes, causing serious injury. A
Oil Spill Symposium for the Louisiana      generally happy kid, Kyle became depressed and withdrawn, even
State Bar Association, and has been        after his bloody, red scars began to fade.
invited to host additional oil spill
litigation conferences.                    The caretaker pled “no contest” to Cruelty to the Infirm La
                                           R.S.14:93.3 and, shockingly, received no jail time. That’s when
Arsenault was appointed by U.S.            Mike Koch and Kyle’s mother, Angela, began a quest to change
District Judge Selna to serve on the       this unjust law. They contacted state representatives and worked
Plaintiff’s Lead Counsel Committee for     tirelessly raise awareness of the problem.
Economic Loss in the national litigation
against Toyota. In addition, Richard       In June, the Louisiana house and senate unanimously passed “Kyle’s Bill” which requires a one
chaired two national Toyota Recall         year mandatory minimum sentence for cases that involve intentional, abusive acts to the infirm.
Litigation symposiums in California.
                                           “This has to rank up there as one of my proudest accomplishments in 20 plus years practicing
                                           law,” said Mike. “I will look back and tell my kids and grandkids that I played a small part in
                                           passing a law that protects people who have little or no voices.”




                  Call Anytime 24/7 at 1.800.256.1050
Welcome Aboard!
Neblett, Beard & Arsenault is pleased to
announce that Laura Singletary has joined
                                                                           Firm News
the firm as an Associate Attorney.                                            U.S. District Judge Frederick J. Martone has appointed Richard
                                                                              J. Arsenault to serve on the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee for the
Laura, a Bunkie native, graduated                                             national Zicam multi-district litigation. With this appointment,
from LSU and Tulane Law School.                                               Arsenault will now serve an important role in the proceedings against
She was admitted to the Louisiana                                             the makers of the over-the-counter cold remedy, Zicam. Richard J.
Bar in October of 2009 and served                                             Arsenault and C. Michael Bollinger have been appointed to the
as a Law Clerk for the Hon. Tucker                                            mediation team for plaintiffs nationwide. Neblett, Beard & Arsenault
L. Melancon in U.S. District Court for                                        represents victims who were seriously injured by using Zicam products.
the Western District of Louisiana in
Lafayette prior to joining the Firm.                                          Neblett, Beard & Arsenault sponsored the Global Fighting
                                                                              Alliance’s Knuckle Up mixed martial arts event at the Rapides Parish
Laura is a member of the Federal Bar                                          Coliseum. Clients, attorneys and friends of NB&A watched the
Association and American Inns of                                              competition from the special “Neblett, Beard & Arsenault Section.”
Court. She is excited about joining Neblett, Beard & Arsenault and            Global Fighting Alliance, a rising star on the mixed martial arts scene,
strives to provide the best possible legal services to our wide array of      is run by Allen Gray who is the son of NB&A Firm Administrator,
clients across Louisiana and the United States.                               Irene Duplechin. Like MMA? If you are interesting in attending an
                                                                              upcoming GFA event, call Irene at 318-487-9874.
Congratulations, Laura, and welcome aboard!
                                                                              Richard J. Arsenault and John “JR” Randall Whaley penned an article

You’re Invited!                                                               that was recently published in Louisiana Advocates, a publication by
                                                                              the Louisiana State Bar Association. Their article, Foodborne Illness
                                                                              Litigation: Critical Questions, drew from their experience in handling
Mark your calendars, because on October 9, 2010 from 2-6pm,                   lawsuits stemming from some of the nation’s largest food poisoning
the Firm will host a NB&A Client Party at Harold Miles Park in                outbreaks.
Alexandria. The event, which will welcome past and present clients,
will feature family-oriented fun, food and entertainment provided by          Wes Gralapp served as “Judge” for the Louisiana Probation and
the renowned “Cajun Comedian,” Jonathan Perry.                                Parole Annual Conference Cook Off. Wes, along with Jimmy
                                                                              Leblanc, the Secretary of the Louisiana Department of Corrections,
Jonathan was born and raised in Kaplan, Louisiana right in the                tasted entries and used their discriminating palates to pick the winner.
heart of “Cajun Country.” He is one of the most sought after Cajun            Neblett, Beard & Arsenault sponsored the Cook Off Competition, and
Comedians in the world and is a past King of the International Cajun          were proud to assist the brave men and women of Louisiana’s Probation
Joke Telling Contest™.                                                        and Parole Association in their mission to keep our communities safe!

We are honored that you choose Neblett, Beard & Arsenault for your            Mike Koch recently served as a presiding Judge in the State High
legal needs & proud to have you as a member of the NB&A family. We            School Mock Trial competition held at the 9th Judicial Court in
want to thank you for the trust you have placed in us, and we hope that       Alexandria. Mike had previously served for 10 years as coach of the
you will be able to join the NB&A attorneys and staff on October 9th!         Alexandria mock trial team, where several of his teams won State and
                                                                              another placed 3rd in the nation. This was the first year he judged the
Want to attend? To RSVP, call Sherry today at 1-888-561-2550                  State competition.
to let us know we can expect you.



                    Top 100 Trial Lawyers
                      Richard J. Arsenault and David O. Walker have been selected for inclusion in the 2009-2010
                               Top 100 Trial Lawyers of Louisiana by the American Trial Lawyers Association (ATLA).

                                             The ATLA is a national organization of America’s top trial attorneys. Membership is by invitation
                                             and extended only to those individuals who exemplify superior qualifications, trial results, and
                                             leadership. Richard is recognized for his contributions in mass tort/complex litigation and serious
                                             personal injury. Arsenault’s experience as a trial lawyer, author, speaker and teacher has provided
                                              a unique foundation for navigating complex litigation. He is listed in many other peer reviewed
                                              publications including the “Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers”, “Best of United States” and
                                              “Best Lawyers in America”.

David is recognized for his contributions in personal injury litigation. He has decades of experience and has been counsel in over one thousand
litigated cases and has been retained in over two thousand injury cases.
Maritime Law 101
After the April 20th explosion of the Deepwater Horizon,
all eyes have been on the Gulf of Mexico.
11 men are dead and millions of gallons of oil are flowing into the Gulf. As fellow residents of
Louisiana who have enjoyed the multitude of natural treasures our “Sportsman’s Paradise” has to offer,
the NB&A family watches the unfolding crisis with great concern for all of the victims of this terrible
disaster. As industry and government search for solutions, many people are finding out that a unique
set of laws govern the offshore industry. To help guide you through it all, here is Maritime Law 101 –



   Oil Pollution Act -                                                                 • Allows for the owner of the vessel to limit its liability in marine
   Administrative claims for property damage, economic losses from                       casualty cases involving multiple victims to the value of the vessel
   boat damages, oil pollution removal costs can be made to the                          and its freight, so long as the owner is without “privity or knowledge”
   Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund if the party at fault refuses to pay the               of any negligence or unseaworthiness which caused the incident.
   claim; time limits apply.
                                                                                       Maintenance and Cure-
   Jones Act -                                                                         • Is an obligation owed by the maritime employer to a Jones Act
   • A law enacted by Congress that provides protection to persons                       Seaman when he is injured while in the course and scope of
     who are members of the crew of a ship or a vessel.                                  employment.
   • Applies to inland river workers and offshore workers who work                     • “Maintenance” is the obligation of the employer to make up for
     on a jack-up rig, semi-submersible rig, barge, drill ship, tugboat,                 the room and board the worker would have had if he were not
     tow boat, crew boat, dredge, cargo ship, fishing vessels or other                   injured.
     moveable vessels.                                                                 • “Cure” is the obligation of the employer to pay for the medical
   • Governs the liability of vessel operators and marine employers                      bills that the injured worker incurs as a result of the injury he
     for the work related injuries or death of the employee.                             received while in the course and scope of employment.
   • Gives seamen special remedies because they face the perils of                     • The obligation of maintenance and cure runs until the injured
     the sea. In order for a worker to recover under this Act, a worker                  worker reaches Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI). MMI is
     must prove some negligence or fault on the part of the vessel’s                     reached when doctors cannot do anything else to improve the
     owners, operators or fellow employees, or if they are injured                       workers’ medical condition. Medical treatment for the relief of
     because of a defect in the vessel and/or its gear and tackle,                       pain only is not considered something to improve the workers’
     rendering the vessel unseaworthy.                                                   medical condition. Therefore, if you are receiving medications
                                                                                         only for the relief of pain, you can still be considered to have
   Unseaworthiness Claims –                                                              reached MMI.
   • Applies to injuries that are caused by a vessel or any of its parts
     or machinery that are not reasonably fit for their intended use.                  In addition to the injuries and deaths of the Deepwater Horizon
   • A vessel can also be unseaworthy if the crew is not reasonably                    crew members, the resulting oil spill has created many more types
     competent or skilled to perform the assigned work.                                of victims throughout the Gulf Coast.
   • Under the Jones Act, a vessel owner has a duty to provide and
     maintain a seaworthy vessel.                                                      Victims of the oil spill may include:
                                                                                       • Members of the fishing, oyster and shrimping industry
   Death on the High Seas (DOHSA) - DOHSA is a Federal law that                        • Members of the seafood processing/packaging or wholesaling
   allows a surviving spouse of seamen to recover damages for their                      industries
   spouse’s future earnings. This 90-year-old law limits the amount                    • Dock and marina owners/operators
   of money survivors can recover in the wrongful deaths of family                     • Commercial and private boat owners and recreational activity
   members killed more than three miles offshore.                                        companies
                                                                                       • Waterfront property owners and restaurants
   Limitation of Liability Act -                                                       • City, Parish, County or State governments
   • Was created in the 1800s to encourage the development of                          • BP and Transocean stock holders and investors
     American merchant shipping.                                                       • Others whose livelihood has been directly impacted by the spill




NB&A Practice Areas                                                                                                           Cut this page out & save it!


Offshore Injuries • Vehicle Accidents • 18 Wheeler Accidents
Motorcycle Accidents • Dangerous Products • Nursing Home Negligence
Workplace Accidents • Environmental Exposure • Class Action Litigation
                                                                  Call Anytime 24/7



  Richard J. Arsenault   C. Michael Bollinger   David O. Walker     Paul J. Tellarico    William S. Neblett     Michael S. Koch




   Wesley J. Gralapp      Gary J. Arsenault     Edward E. “Ted”   John Randall Whaley   Jennifer M. Hoekstra   Laura L. Singletary
                                                  Roberts, III



         Alexandria - 318.561.2500 • Lake Charles - 337.855.4400 • Baton Rouge - 225.343.3475
Shreveport - 318.635.5800 • Lafayette - 337.289.9800 • Monroe - 318.323.4455 • Toll Free - 1.800.256.1050



                                                                     Call Anytime 24/7 at 1.800.256.1050
                                                                     www.nbalawfirm.com




                                                                                                 Alexandria, Louisiana 71309
                                                                                         2220 Bonaventure Court • P.O. Box 1190

				
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