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Roedel Parsons Achieves Supreme Court Victory in First-of-Its-Kind Public Bid Law Case

2 min read
Roedel Parsons Blache Fontana Piontek & Pisano, A L.C. recently achieved a significant victory in the Louisiana Supreme Court in a first-of-its-kind Public Bid Law case. The Ernest N. Morial New Orleans Exhibition Hall Authority, which owns the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, used a new project delivery method, called construction manager at risk or CMAR, to undertake the planning and construction of significant renovations to the Convention Center. The CMAR method allows public entities to select contractors based on qualifications rather than just lowest bid, unlike the standard low-bid method under the Louisiana Public Bid Law.
After the Convention Center selected the CMAR contractor, a losing proposer sued to stop the project, arguing that the Convention Center arbitrarily and capriciously selected the winning proposer. Roedel Parsons defended the Convention Center and obtained a judgment in the Convention Center’s favor in the trial court. The trial court found that the Convention Center was not arbitrary and capricious and denied the losing proposer’s request for a permanent injunction.
The losing proposer, however, appealed to the Louisiana Fourth Circuit Court of Appeal, which, in a divided 3–1–1 decision, reversed the trial court judgment. See Lemoine Co. v. Ernest N. Morial Exhibition Hall Auth., 22-0217 (La. App. 4 Cir. 4/12/23), 369 So. 3d 39, rev’d, 23-00763 (La. 10/17/23), 372 So. 3d 326. One judge dissented, concluding that the Convention Center acted “in good faith and with due deliberation” in selecting the CMAR contractor. See id. (Belsome, J., dissenting).
The Firm filed an application for a writ of certiorari on behalf of the Convention Center, asking the Supreme Court to reverse the Fourth Circuit and to reinstate the trial court judgment. On October 17, 2023, the Supreme Court granted the Convention Center’s writ application, reversed the Fourth Circuit, and reinstated the trial court judgment in a per curiam opinion—a significant victory for and vindication of the Convention Center. This case was the first reported decision to apply the CMAR statute.
The Convention Center was represented by Larry M. Roedel and Bradley C. Guin of the Baton Rouge office.

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