Firm News

We are proud of the accomplishments of our attorneys and staff. To learn more about these news events, please contact us online or call our Baton Rouge office at 225-929-7033, in New Orleans at 504-566-1801 or in Lafayette at 337-989-0071.

  • The Louisiana Supreme Court recently issued its decision in the Burgess v. Sewerage and Water Board of New Orleans case in which it resolved a 2-2 split in the appellate courts regarding whether the employee or employer has the choice of pharmacy in Louisiana workers’ compensation cases. For many years, Roedel Parsons through Wayne Fontana, Shannon Frese and our New Orleans-based workers’ compensation team, have filed a series of amicus (friend of the court) briefs on behalf of employers/payors and a multitude of business groups and associations, including the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry (LABI) and the Louisiana Association of Self-Insured Employers (LASIE). LABI acts as the state chamber of commerce and the largest business association in the state and LASIE is a watchdog of workers’ compensation issues for Louisiana’s very large self-insured business community. This landmark decision addressed loopholes in the law and the questionable practice of repackaging medication and resetting prices oftentimes ten to twelve times higher than what the same medication could be obtained for at local pharmacies or through national drugstore chains.

    The recognition that employers can negotiate prices and furnish the same drugs at reasonable costs has a financial impact for employers throughout the state to the tune of tens of millions of dollars. Having argued on behalf of the business community for several years, Wayne and Shannon were directly engaged by the Sewerage and Water Board in the Burgess litigation and represented the Board in one appellate trip to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals and two separate trips up to the Louisiana Supreme Court. Wayne orally argued the case before the Louisiana Supreme Court on May 3, 2017, and the Court rendered its employer favorable decision on July 29, 2017, culminating this multi-year battle against grossly inflated drug costs. Accepting the statute interpretations and legal arguments presented by Wayne and Shannon, the Burgess opinion contains multiple examples of Supreme Court holdings which should prove helpful to employers and the business community in future fights to curb runaway and unnecessary costs in the workers’ compensation arena.

  • We are pleased to announce and welcome Suchitra J.Satpathi to our firm’s New Orleans office as of December 2016. She will help lead our governmental relations team in setting legislative and lobbying agendas for both our private and public entity client base. Suchitra most recently served in Mayor Landrieu’s Administration as a Senior Policy Advisor for State and International Affairs following a successful tenure as the Mayor’s Executive Counsel. Prior to joining the Landrieu Administration, Suchitra provided legal advice andserved as the Executive Director of the Louisiana Legislative Black Caucus. Her impressive resume includes her Bachelor’s Degree in English from Xavier University, her Masters inAfrican American Studies and her Juris Doctor from Temple University. Her depth of experience includes her private law practice, her public service to the City of New Orleans, and her tenure as an associate Professor of English. Suchitra will strengthen the firm’s presence in the governmental relations field, both locally and state wide on important issues such as education, finance, governmental ethics, healthcare and tax policy. Welcome Aboard!

  • We are pleased to announce that Tim Hardy has been elected as a Director to the Association of Community College Trustees Board at its Leadership Conference held recently in New Orleans. Tim is a member of our Management Committee and leads our Environmental Law Practice. He is currently serving as Chairman of the Louisiana Community and Technical College System Board of Supervisors. We are grateful for Tim's leadership and service within the firm, on a state level and now on a national level.

  • The Firm is pleased to announce that the following shareholders have recently received peer recognition both locally and nationally. This recognition is an affirmation of firm wide talent as no one attorney is better than the team assembled to help them succeed. Many attorneys on the team have equal or better credentials than those who have been recently recognized.

    Tom Balhoff: "Best Lawyers in America" for Insurance, Labor and Employment, Mass Tort and Class Action Litigation (2015-);
    Wayne Fontana: "Leadership in Law" by New Orleans City Business. Wayne serves as our Managing Shareholder in New Orleans;
    Deborah Harkins: "Best Lawyers in America" for Governmental Relations and Gaming Law; and by New Orleans Magazine "Top Lawyer" for Governmental Relations
    Luke Piontek: "Best Lawyers in America" for Energy Law;
    Charles (Chuck) Pisano: "Best Lawyers in America" for Class Action and Mass Tort Litigation;
    Larry Roedel: "Best Lawyers in America" for Litigation--Bet the Company, Commercial and Construction Litigation. Larry serves as our Managing Shareholder in Baton Rouge.

    The "Best Lawyers in America" is a publication by US News & World Report which surveys the legal profession for each jurisdiction in which the firm practices. New Orleans City Business and New Orleans Magazine each conduct surveys in their respective areas of circulation.

  • Thanks to all volunteers who have helped our City and Region begin its recovery from the massive flooding. Our homes and vehicles can be replaced. Our people and relationships cannot. We are open for business, ready to assist families, friends and clients with legal, practical and day to day needs. This event has been "our Katrina without the wind". We will respond as we did in 2005—as quickly and efficiently as possible. Let us know how we can help you.

  • We are pleased to announce that our newest associate, Johanna Kyles, has been selected to participate as a Junior Member in the Louisiana State Law Institute. The Louisiana State Law Institute is designed as an adjunct to the Legislature, serving in an advisory capacity. It is required to consider needed improvements in the law and to recommend needed reforms to eliminate defects and inequities and such changes in the law as it deems necessary to modify or remove antiquated and inequitable rules of law.
  • On November 9, 2015 Luke Piontek and Shelley Ann McGlathery of our Baton Rouge office will present a CLE Seminar entitled "Attorneys Guide to Local Government Law" dealing with expropriation and eminent domain issues. The seminar focus is for governmental attorneys and public officials. For Mr. Piontek, this will be his third CLE Seminar in which he has thoroughly addressed these issues for our profession. We thank Luke and Shelley Ann for taking a lead role in this important and unique practice area.

  • Some 30 plus attorneys, staff and family members from our BR office joined together on Saturday morning, September 26th for the St Jude Children's Hospital "Walk" held at Highland Road Park in Baton Rouge. This event is quite meaningful for our firm as St. Jude has ministered medically and spiritually to little Audrey, the 3 year old daughter of Cori Blache, in Memphis since May 2013. We thank Lindsey Golden of our Governmental Relations section and Sadie Smith in our Administrative section for their organizational skills in pulling our "A Team" together. Our support of St. Jude and our prayers for Audrey's healing will continue.

  • Wayne Fontana and Shannon Frese of our New Orleans office recently obtained another zero judgment in their defense of employers in Workers Compensation trials. In this latest case the trial judge found fraud by the employee resulting in forfeiture of all benefits and a restitution order to pay back previous benefits received. Moreover, Wayne and Shannon persuaded the court to impose a $1,000 civil penalty payable to the Kids Chance scholarship fund and a similar $1,000 judgment for court costs and interpreter fees. Finally, the trial judge referred the case to the Fraud Section of the Office of Workers' Compensation and to the Orleans Parish District Attorney's Office for potential prosecution.

  • The firm welcomes Wayne Fontana to the Management Committee (MC) effective August 1 st. Wayne currently serves as the managing shareholder of our New Orleans office. He brings more than 35 years of legal experience, including his management of the very successful predecessor firm of Fontana & Seelman, to our MC at Roedel Parsons. We will benefit from his knowledge and wisdom.

  • We are pleased to announce the addition two outstanding attorneys to our firm. Joining our legal team are Deborah Harkins (Of Counsel to the Firm in our New Orleans office) and Johanna Kyles (our newest associate in the Baton Rouge office).

    Deborah Harkins comes to us from the McGlinchey firm in New Orleans. She adds depth and experience to our Governmental Relations section. Her practice also includes administrative law, regulatory matters and litigation. Her career reflects deep and successful roots in New Orleans, Baton Rouge and Lafayette. As an AV rated attorney, Deborah has been included in the Best Lawyers in America listing for 10 consecutive years in both governmental relations and gaming law. She has also been recognized in New Orleans as a member of the "Leader in the Law" and "Women of the Year" events. Her experience in both the legal and governmental arenas helps solidify our presence in these practice areas. We welcome Deborah to our firm.

    Johanna Kyles began with the firm several years ago as a legal assistant in the General Litigation section. While working full time in that role, she completed Southern University Law School in only 4 years, finishing with highest honors and ranking third in her graduating class. We welcome her back as an attorney who will begin her career in our Baton Rouge office with an initial focus on litigation and corporate law matters. Fluent in Spanish and with a passion for immigration related issues, Johanna will assist the firm in expanding our practice areas given her unique skill set.

Firm News Archive