Litigation to require responsible parties to pay for coastal restoration continues despite an adverse ruling in the New Orleans levee board case. In this mix, oil and gas industry contributions will be essential for meeting restoration goals. This panel discusses recent developments in lawsuits brought by private landowners, coastal parishes and the State of Louisiana itself.
- Blair Schilling Speaker, Attorney, Fishman Haygood, LLP
Ms. Speaker’s practice spans a variety of subject matters, including coastal land loss and industrial and environmental accidents, class actions, public bid law disputes, securities fraud litigation, and contract disputes. She currently represents landowners across Louisiana against some of the industry’s largest oil and gas operators for extensive land loss and groundwater contamination caused by those operators.
- Loulan Pitre, Partner in Charge, Kelly Hart Pitre Loulan Pitre is Partner in Charge of Kelly Hart Pitre and focuses his work on energy, natural resources and the environment. His law practice concentrates on the most challenging aspects of doing business in and protecting the vulnerable environment of Louisiana’s working coast. He has represented oil and gas and other industrial companies, real estate developers, financial institutions, ports, levee districts and other public entities, and participants in the construction and service industries such as contractors, engineers, and material suppliers. While serving as a member of the Louisiana House of Representatives from 2000 to 2008, he was intimately involved in the development of the state’s coastal restoration and protection program and large transportation infrastructure projects such as the elevated highway to Port Fourchon. He has carried that knowledge and experience into his law practice. Loulan is well known for his practice in legacy litigation in which landowners and public entities sue oil and gas companies alleging environmental damage from oil and gas exploration and production operations. Loulan has wide experience with the major federal environmental statutes, and in particular the Coastal Zone Management Act, the Clean Water Act, the Rivers and Harbors Act, the Oil Pollution Act, the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act, the Clean Air Act, the National Environmental Policy Act, and their Louisiana counterparts. Loulan is very familiar with the Louisiana law concerning public and private finance, procurement, and contracting. His experience includes traditional finance and procurement methods for both public and private projects, such as bidding and requests for proposals, as well as more innovative methods such as public private partnerships, securitization, and toll bonds. He is ranked in Chambers, BestLawyers, and SuperLawyers, and is a frequent speaker and writer. He is an experienced negotiator and is trained in both arbitration and mediation. He teaches International Oil & Gas Law as an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Law at Tulane Law School. Loulan is a native of Cut Off, Louisiana, and a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School.
- Victor Marcello, Partner, Talbot, Carmouche and Marcello Victor Marcello has been practicing law for 33 years; primarily trial practice concentrating in environmental law. His law firm represents landowners who claim property damages and remediation from oil companies for contamination of “legacy” oilfields in Louisiana. Prior to 2000, I practiced admiralty and personal injury law. He received his J.D. from Louisiana State University, Paul M. Herbert Law Center, in 1976. (Biography received from https://www.linkedin.com/in/victor-marcello-59b34310/.)
- Bessie Daschbach, Managing Member, Jones Swanson Huddell & Garrison (Moderator)
Bessie Antin Daschbach is a managing member of Jones Swanson. She has extensive experience in all three of the firm’s main practice areas—environmental, commercial and international law.Since Bessie joined Jones Swanson in 2011, she has led the firm’s environmental litigation team. From 2013 to 2017, she spearheaded the landmark Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority–East case against nearly 100 oil and gas companies for damage they did to Louisiana’s coastal wetlands. Together with her team, Bessie has also represented landowners throughout Louisiana against some of the oil and gas industry’s largest operators in land and groundwater contamination cases.Bessie has also helped on some of the firm’s commercial cases, and, since 2016, has been instrumental in developing its international arbitration practice.Before joining Jones Swanson, Bessie handled commercial litigation at Sher Garner Cahill Richter Klein & Hilbert in New Orleans as well as at Siller Wilk LLP in New York City. She has also worked with the International Labor Organization in Bangkok, the United Nations Legal Affairs Codification Division, and the Open Society Justice Initiative in New York City. She is currently Vice-Chair of the Louisiana State Bar Association’s Environmental Law Section.