Robert has maintained a litigation practice, concentrating in the defense of personal injury, products liability, premises liability and employment-related claims as well as the prosecution and defense of numerous commercial and contract actions. Robert has had considerable experience with claims arising in the chemical and petrochemical industries. He has litigated serious industrial personal injury claims (e.g., spinal cord injuries resulting in paralysis, inhalation injuries requiring lung transplants, and severe burn injuries), industrial construction claims and environmental claims, many of which involved complex chemical and petrochemical processes. This experience has given Robert valuable insight into the construction and operation of petrochemical plants. He also has litigated a variety of commercial claims arising in the industrial and petrochemical setting.
Robert also has represented physicians, accountants and other professionals in a variety of claims relating to their specific practices.
Robert also has successfully defended numerous labor law matters, including claims of wrongful termination, sexual harassment and discrimination, racial discrimination, age discrimination and violations of the Equal Pay Act and Family and Medical Leave Act. In fact, a summary judgment victory secured by Robert became the first Family and Medical Leave Act case heard by a federal appellate court. See Manuel v. Westlake Polymers Corp., No. 94-0691, 1994 WL 809934 (W.D. La.) 66 F. 3d 758 (5th Cir. 1995).
In addition to his litigation practice, Robert also is a certified mediator, having received his training from the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution at Pepperdine University School of Law.
Areas of Practice
Business, Commercial & Fiduciary Litigation
Products Liability and Toxic Tort Litigation
Successfully defended styrene manufacturer in $20 million breach of contract claim, obtaining not only a defense (zero) jury verdict on the contract claim but securing a jury verdict in excess of $16 million on client’s breach of fiduciary duty counterclaim
Successful defense (as local counsel with Grant Harvey of Gibbs & Bruns) of bond insurer in half billion dollar lawsuit by hospital for alleged breach of contract, bad faith, and unauthorized use of trade secrets
Successful defense of insured petrochemical manufacturer from breach of cooperation claims asserted by its insurers, resulting not only in dismissal of the non-cooperation claims but also multi-million dollar participation in the insurers' subrogation recovery
Successfully defended petrochemical manufacturers from a variety of work site accident and injury claims involving explosions, fires and chemical releases
Successful representation of petrochemical manufacturers asserting multi-million dollar claims for significant damages caused to their processing units resulting from both negligent acts and design/construction deficiencies
Successful representation of physicians in action for breach of option contract, fraud and damages against hospital resulting in pre-trial settlement in excess of one half million dollars.
Representation of national manufacturer of recreational vehicles and manufactured homes in a variety of product liability, rescission and warranty claims
Successfully defended challenges urged by various factions to EPA/DEQ permits issued to petrochemical manufacturers
Successfully defended through trial and/or settlement numerous claims of wrongful termination, sexual harassment and discrimination, racial discrimination and age discrimination
Successful representation at trial and through settlement negotiations of an industrial equipment manufacturer
Representation of major Texas based grocery chain in premises liability claims
Secured summary judgment defense verdict on claims of breach of contract and franchise violation on behalf of country’s largest manufacturer of manufactured homes
Secured summary judgment defense verdict (as local counsel, with Bowman & Brooke) in toxic tort infant death cases
Secured summary judgment defense verdict on behalf of national importer in product liability claims
Secured summary judgment victory for major energy company against lessor's claims for unpaid royalties.
Secured summary judgment victory for major refining company(maintaining statutory employer defense) against claims asserted by contractor's injured employee
Representation of utility company against claims of alleged occupational induced hearing loss urged by employees and contract workers
As appeal counsel, successfully obtained reversal of an adverse Equal Pay Act judgment rendered against local university
Louisiana State University, B.S. (Economics), 1985
Louisiana State University School of Law, Juris Doctor, 1988
Order of the Coif
Louisiana Law Review, Senior Editor (1987-1988) and Member (1986-1987)
Liskow & Lewis Award
Dean Hebert Scholarship
LSU Law Center Hall of Fame
Student Bar Association’s Ethics Committee
All Louisiana state and federal courts
Professional Associations and Memberships
Southwest Louisiana and Louisiana State Bar Associations
Louisiana Association of Defense Counsel
Professional and Community Service
Member (by appointment) of Louisiana Supreme Court Committee on Bar Admissions, serving as examiner on the subject of Louisiana Civil Procedure
Former Member of Board of Directors for Temple Sinai
Note, LaFleur v. John Deere Co.: No Recovery of Delictual Damages for the Sale of a Useless Product, 48 La. L. Rev. 1983 (1987)
Comment, The Distinction Between Negotiorum Gestio and Mandate, 49 La. L. Rev. 111 (1988)
Stream Family Ltd. Partnership v. Marathon Oil Co., 27 So.3d 354, 2009-561 (La.App. 3d Cir. 12/23/09), writ denied, ___ So. 3d ___.
Lexington Ins. Co. v. M.W. Kellogg Constructors, Inc., 921 So.2d 1106 (La.App. 3 Cir. 2006)
Babin v. Ecolab Inc., 2005 WL 1629947 (W.D. La. 2005)
Ramelow v. Board of Trustees, University of Louisiana System, 870 So.2d 415 (La.App. 3 Cir. 2004) (appellate counsel)
Taita Chemical Co., Ltd. v. Westlake Styrene, LP, 351 F.3d 663 (5 Cir. 2003)
Westlake Petrochemical Co. v. TMG Industrial Services, Inc., 861 So.2d 213 (La.App. 3 Cir. 2003)
Roberts v. Richard, 743 So.2d 731 (La.App. 3 Cir. 1999)
Turner v. Fleetwood Homes of Alabama, Inc., 711 So.2d 742 (La.App. 3 Cir. 1998)
Manuel v. Westlake Polymers Corp., 66 F.3d 758 (5 Cir. 1995)
Cormier v. Wise, 638 So.2d 688 (La.App. 3 Cir. 1994)
Goins v Galion Mfg. Co., a Div. Of Dresser Industries, Inc., 626 So.2d 1200 (La.App. 3 Cir. 1993)
Born: Lake Charles, Louisiana, October 29, 1963