Scott joined the firm in 1984. His practice focuses upon the prosecution and defense of complex business litigation cases, including those involving bankruptcy, oil and gas, insurance coverage, and the representation of management in employment and civil rights disputes. Scott has tried numerous cases in federal, bankruptcy, and state courts located throughout Louisiana. He also has handled cases in various federal and bankruptcy courts in Texas, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, and New York. In larger cases, Scott works alongside his firm’s talented attorneys, paralegals, and staff.
Areas of Practice
Business and Insurance Litigation
Oil and Gas Litigation
In 2011, Scott was listed in Super Lawyers under the category of Business Litigation.
In 2011, the Third Circuit Court of Appeal affirmed a summary judgment of plaintiff’s claims against Scott’s client, Kite Bros., LLC, for control of a multi-million dollar company, defamation, and retaliatory discharge. Kite v. Kite Bros., LLC, 2011 WL 458763. The plaintiff’s appeal to the Supreme Court and Kite Bros., LLC’s significant reconventional demand is pending.
In 2011, two of Scott’s oil company clients each secured dismissals in two separate legacy lawsuits brought in Cameron Parish. Scott was also able to recover his clients’ respective attorney fees and expenses from several insurers.
In 2011, Scott’s client, the Calcasieu Parish School Board, favorably obtained a ruling in a test case regarding the ranking and validity of a sales tax lien under state and federal bankruptcy law versus a UCC security interest. In Re Print Services, Inc., 2011 WL 597032 (Bkrtcy. W.D. La.).
In 2011, Scott’s oil company client recovered over $550,000.00, plus attorney fees and contractual interest, in a contract and securities dispute over the sale and unauthorized re-sale of working interests.
In 2010 and 2011, Scott’s client, the Calcasieu Parish School Board, obtained judgments, settlements, and bankruptcy pay-outs in the approximate amount of $3,000,000.00.
In 2010, Scott’s client, the Calcasieu Parish School Board, recovered $727,000.00 in the Lyondell Chemical Company bankruptcy case brought in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of New York.
In 2010, Scott was listed in Super Lawyers under the category of Business Litigation.
In 2010, Scott and his law partner, Phillip DeVilbiss, represented a law firm in an involuntary liquidation proceeding. After a disgruntled non-equity attorney was discharged for cause, that attorney was able to obtain an ex parte order from a 14th JDC Judge in chambers placing Scott’s highly profitable client into involuntary liquidation with an ex-felon, union boss appointed as liquidator. When the trial court refused to rescind its ex parte order, Scott and Mr. DeVilbiss were able to obtain full supervisory relief from the Third Circuit. The damage case brought by Scott’s client against the disgruntled attorney is still pending.
In 2010, Scott’s client, a chemical company, obtained a summary judgment in a premises liability action brought by plaintiff-passenger who was impaled after being thrown from a four-wheeler onto a broken wooden piling at the bottom of a deep canal allegedly under the control of Scott’s client and others. The Third Circuit published an opinion that addressed a co-defendant’s favorable summary judgment in Hayes v. Burlington Resources Oil & Gas Company, 34 So.3d 1009 (La.App. 3 Cir. 2010) regarding the same issue.
In 2010, the United States District Court in the Middle District of Louisiana granted a summary judgment to the client of Scott and Scott’s partner, Phillip DeVilbiss, for dumping allegedly hazardous material onto plaintiff’s property without his permission. Landry v. Laney Directional Drilling Co., 2010 WL 2926466 (M.D. La. 2010). The plaintiff’s appeal is pending in the United States Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.
In 2010, Scott’s client, the Calcasieu Parish School Board, recovered $203,000.00 in the Chemtura Corporation bankruptcy case in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of New York.
In 2010, Scott spoke at a Louisiana Oil and Gas Association meeting on a panel which included U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu. Scott discussed issues concerning litigation against the state.
In 2010, Scott completed his two year tenure as a member of the Board of Directors of the Louisiana Association of Defense Counsel, a statewide organization.
In 2009, Scott’s client, Southwest Louisiana Convention and Visitors Bureau, in a first party, bad faith insurance claim, settled on the morning of the first day of trial in federal court for all of his client’s covered claims, plus additional amounts for penalties, damages, attorney fees, and the costs to empanel the jury. The insurer, EMC, paid a total of $1,240,000, or 59 times EMC’s Commercial Closing Report and Draft Request of $21,000. Scott was greatly aided by his law partner, Phillip W. DeVilbiss, who was enlisted to counter the constant barrage of motions and aggressive discovery tactics by EMC. Southwest Louisiana Convention & Visitors Bureau v. Employers Mutual Casualty Company, 2009 WL54295 (W.D. La.)
In 2009, Scott and his law partner, Patrick D. Gallaugher, Jr., recovered in a clean-up lawsuit for their oil company client $450,000 from its insurance company for breach of the insurer's duties to defend and indemnify.
In a 2009 maritime lien ranking contest in a bankruptcy court sitting in Houston, Scott obtained $1,029,822.39 for his client who supplied necessaries to a charterer of the debtor's vessel.
In 2009, Scott and his law partner, Patrick D. Gallaugher, Jr., recovered in a clean-up lawsuit for their oil company client $1,285,000 from its insurance company for breach of the insurer's duties to defend and indemnify.
Since 2008, Scott obtained 58 judgments totaling approximately $960,000 against various businesses on behalf of his client, the Calcasieu Parish School Board, Sales and Use Tax Department.
In 2009, Scott obtained for his clients in an arbitration proceeding a judgment nullifying an alleged final settlement valued by his clients' opponent at $28,000,000.
In 2009, Scott was appointed as a member of the Board of Directors of the Louisiana Association of Defense Counsel, a statewide organization. Website: http://ladc.org/
In 2009, Scott accepted an invitation to join Super Lawyers under the category of Business Litigation.
In April, 2008, Scott obtained a summary judgment in favor of his client, Pioneer Exploration, Ltd., against two landowners declaring that a surface lease was valid and enforceable. To cloud title, the landowners and their lawyers alleged mutual mistake, error, and fraud in confecting the surface lease, thereby preventing Pioneer from building a processing facility until the matter was resolved. See, Pioneer Exploration, Ltd. v. Rutherford, 2008 WL 1711411 (W.D. La.). On June 30, 2009, after oral arguments, the Fifth Circuit affirmed the trial court's judgment in an unpublished opinion.
In 2008, after oral arguments, the Third Circuit affirmed the lower court's grant of summary judgment in favor of Scott's client in Groff v. Southwest Beverage Co., Inc., et al, 997 So.2d 782, 2008-625 (La.App. 3 Cir. 11/5/08).
In 2008, Scott and his law partner, Patrick D. Gallaugher, Jr., recovered by settlement $1,000,000 for their client against its former business associate under an indemnity contract.
In 2007, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeal affirmed the lower court's grant of summary judgment in Minix v. JELD-WEN, inc., 237 Fed.Appx. 578 (11th Cir. 1007). The plaintiffs filed a writ of certiorari to the United States Supreme Court, which was denied in Minix v. JELD-WEN, inc., 552 U.S. 1182 (2008).
Also in 2007, Scott's client, an insured in a first party, bad faith insurance claim, recovered in a mediated settlement almost 23 times the insurer's "final" calculation of property damages caused by Hurricane Rita to a large apartment complex. The insurer agreed to settle only if its name and the amount of payment were kept confidential.
Also in 2007, Scott's client, Southwest Beverage Sales, Inc., a large distributor for Anheuser-Busch Companies, Inc., was dismissed with prejudice by summary judgment from a wrongful discharge case brought by a former employee. The employee's suit was based upon allegations of assault by a company supervisor, intentional infliction of emotional harm, and various civil rights violations. The employee's testifying psychiatrist "diagnosed" him to be totally disabled. The former employee has filed an appeal.
Also in 2007, Scott and his co-counsel, Bill Martucci of Shook, Hardy & Bacon of Kansas City, Missouri, won a judgment as a matter of law in a racial discrimination jury trial which began April 30, 2007 in federal court. See, McNeal v. Kansas City Southern Railway Company, 2007 WL 3010201 (W.D. La.). Over Kansas City Southern's objections, the Court allowed plaintiff, a non-union, at-will probationary employee, to compare his conduct and discipline with that of another employee who committed different violations, some of which occurred while the alleged comparator was protected by a collective bargaining agreement and extensive grievance procedures. The jury awarded back pay, but no emotional harm or punitive damages. In its post-trial JMOL ruling, the Court found insufficient evidence to support plaintiff's allegations that the alleged comparator received different treatment under nearly identical circumstances. The Court also assessed plaintiff with all costs. The plaintiff did not appeal the Court's JMOL ruling.
Also in 2007, Scott's client favorably settled a contract dispute for $450,000.00. The dispute arose over which party was entitled to insurance proceeds covering damages to a small apartment complex.
In 2006, Scott helped his client settle a commercial dispute between Scott's shopping center client and the defendant tenant, a publicly traded company. After threatening Scott's client with sanctions upon filing suit, Scott's client accepted defendant's offer to settle the day before trial for all unpaid rent and expenses, which included costs associated with a new roof, plus significant holdover penalties of three times the sums due from date of breach. The defendant also agreed to pay the majority of Scott's attorney fees and litigation expenses.
Also, in 2006, Scott, along with local counsel Mike Thompson of Lehr, Middlebrooks & Vreeland, P.C. of Birmingham, Alabama, successfully obtained a summary judgment on behalf of their client, JELD-WEN, inc., in a Title VII sexual harassment and retaliation case brought by three female plaintiffs in the United States District Court, Middle District of Alabama, Eastern Division. The plaintiffs alleged that their direct supervisor secretly harassed them and two other female workers over periods ranging from three months to several years. JELD-WEN, inc. prevailed by affirmatively proving the two-prong Faragher/Ellerth defense. See, Minix v. JELD-WEN, inc. , 2006 WL 2971654 (M.D. Ala. 2006). The plaintiffs have lodged an appeal to the 11th Circuit.
In 2005, after oral argument, the Fifth Circuit affirmed the federal district court's judgment in Fontenot v. Buus, 370 F. Supp.2d 512 (W.D. La. 2004). See, 131 Fed. Appx. 985, 2005 WL 1231717 (5th Cir. 2005).
Also in 2005, the Fifth Circuit affirmed the Robins v. Jarreau judgment rendered by Judge Brady of the Middle District Court of Louisiana. See, In Re: Clarence T. Nalls, Jr., 2005 WL 79125 (5th Cir. (La.) 2005).
In 2004, Scott successfully defended JELD-WEN, Inc. in a Title VII sexual harassment and retaliation case. Fontenot v. Buus, 370 F.Supp.2d 512 (W.D. La. 2004). The alleged harassment occurred after the female plaintiff ended her consensual affair with the defendant's Office Manager. The alleged harassment consisted of stalking and secretive conduct that occurred away from the workplace. A key issue was whether the alleged harasser was considered plaintiff's "Title VII Supervisor" under recent Supreme Court decisions.
In 2004, Scott and Phillip DeVilbiss successfully defended an insured in a federal civil rights case. This case is notable because the federal district court judge, after dismissing plaintiffs' case as frivolous, ordered the plaintiffs to pay a portion of the fees and expensed incurred by the firm's clients. On appeal, the Fifth Circuit substantially increased the amount of the fee award. See, Robins v. Jarreau, 90 F. Appx. 749, 2004 WL 330861. In a separate ruling, the federal district judge suspended plaintiffs' counsel from practicing in federal court for 18 months.
In 2003, Scott successfully settled an oilfield contamination case on behalf of his client, a charitable trust that uses mineral revenues to fund scholastic scholarships and build schools. After four days of hearings, the trial court divested the Office of Conservation of jurisdiction previously mandated in H.C. Drew Estate v. Reunion Energy , 689 So.2d 457 (La. App. 3 rd Cir. 1996). The trial court's ruling was based upon the defendants' repeated failure to comply with Office of Conservation clean-up orders. The defendants paid Scott's client $3,950,000, purchased the contaminated property, assumed all clean-up obligations, and allowed the charitable trust to continue receiving the mineral royalties. Upon receiving the settlement proceeds, Scott's client donated $750,000 to McNeese State University.
In 2002, Scott obtained the affirmation on appeal of a judgment for damages for breach of a contract to sell stock, as well as an unprecedented declaratory judgment prohibiting the American Arbitration Association from participating in an arbitration as a violation of public policy.
In 2002, Scott successfully defended an internet service provider and its key member-owners in a "freeze-out" action brought by a minority member. After successfully obtaining a court order requiring arbitration of the matter, Maas Technologies, Inc. v. Henning , 744 So.2d 238 (La. App. 3rd Cir. 1999), the arbitrator, after a three day trial, rejected claims of fraud, misrepresentation, and breach of contract, and awarded plaintiff nothing.
Also in 2002, Scott was appointed by the Louisiana Supreme Court to a three-person panel that presides over trials by the Office of Disciplinary Counsel against lawyers accused of violating ethical rules. The panel, composed of two lawyers and a layman, renders decisions after a full trial and issues penalties ranging from complete acquittal to permanent disbarment.
In 2001, Scott and Pat Gallaugher successfully represented the agent for Louisiana's Tobacco Attorneys in an attempted class action suit to nullify their $575 million fee award under the $206 billion 1998 Master Settlement Agreement between 46 states and the major tobacco companies.
In 2001, Scott recovered over $960,000 in fees, interest, and costs for his client in a bankruptcy case after the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, in an unreported decision, affirmed the case of In Re A. Angelle, Inc. , 230 B.R. 287 (Bankr. W.D. La. 1998).
In 2001, Scott obtained complete defense verdicts in a $2.5 million fraud and breach of sales contract adversarial proceeding in bankruptcy court and a $1.6 million property damage case in state court.
Kite v. Kite Bros., LLC, 2011 WL 4587663 (La.App. 3 Cir. 2011)
Landry v. Laney Directional Drilling Co., 2010 WL 2926466 (M.D. La. 2010)
Hayes v. Burlington Resources Oil & Gas Company, 34 So.3d 1009 (La.App. 3 Cir. 2010)
In Re Print Services, Inc., 2011 WL 597032 (Bkrtcy. W.D. La.)
Landry v. Laney Directional Drilling Co., 2009 WL 3833831 (M.D. La.)
Economy Stone Midstream Fuel, LLC v. A.M. Thompson, 2009 WL103536 (N.D.Miss.)
Southwest Louisiana Convention & Visitors Bureau v. Employers Mutual Casualty Company, 2009 WL54295 (W.D. La.)
Southwest Louisiana Convention & Visitors Bureau v. Employers Mutual Casualty Company, 2008 WL4368565 (W.D. La.)
Minix v. JELD-WEN, Inc., 237 Fed.Appx. 578, C.A. 11 (Ala.) 6/27/07, writ denied, 128 S.Ct. 1231, (2008)
Pioneer Exploration Ltd. v. Rutherford, 2008 WL 1711411 (W.D. La.)
Groff v. Southwest Beverage Co. Inc., et al, 997 So.2d 782, 2008-625 (La App. 3 Cir 11/5/08)
McNeal v. Kansas City Ry., 2007 WL 1237934, W.D. La. 4/27/07
Minix v. JELD-WEN, inc., 2006 WL 2971654 (M.D. Ala. 2006)
Fontenot v. Buus, 370 F.Supp.2d 512 (W.D. La. 2004), aff. 2005 WL 1231717 (5th Cir. 2005)
Robins v. Jarreau, 130 Fed.Appx. 673, 2005 WL 1050754, C.A. 5 (La.) 5/5/05
In Re: Clarence T. Nalls, Jr., 2005 WL 79125 (5th Cir. (La.) 2005)
Robins v. Jarreau, 90 Fed. Appx. 749, 2004 WL 330861 (5th Cir. 2004)
In Re Succession of Lounsberry, 824 So.2d 409, 2002 WL 922390, 2001-1664 (La.App. 3 Cir. 5/8/02), La.App. 3 Cir, 5/8/02 (Appeal Counsel)
Berry v. Condea Vista, 211 F.3d 126 (5th Cir. 2000)
Young v. Hibernia Bank, 211 F.3d 124 (5th Cir. 2000) (unpublished)
Racal Survey, USA, Inc. v. M/V Count Fleet, 231 F.3d 183, 2001 A.M.C. 456 (5th Cir. 2000)
Malveaux v. Condea Vista Company, 85 F.Supp. 2d. 655 (W.D. La. 1999)
Maas Technologies, Inc. v. Henning, 744 So.2d 238 (La. App. 3rd Cir. 1999)
In Re A. Angelle, Inc., 230 B.R. 287 (Bankr. W.D. La. 1998)
In Re A. Angelle, Inc., 230 B.R. 306 (Bankr. W.D. La. 1998)
Ieyoub v. W. R. Grace & Co. -Conn., 708 So. 2d 1227 (La. App. 3d Cir. 1998)
Powers v. Vista Chemical Co., 109 F.3d 1089 (5th Cir. 1997)
H.C. Drew Estate v. Reunion Energy Company, et al, (La. App. 3 Cir. 2/23/96), 689 So.2d 457
Cameron Offshore Boats, Inc. v. Alpine Ocean Seismic Surveys, 862 F. Supp. 1578 (W.D. La. 1994)
Foreman v. West Calcasieu-Cameron Hosp., 625 So.2d 1104 (La.App. 3 Cir. 1993) (Appeal Counsel)
Donaldson v. Universal Engineering of Maplewood, Inc., 606 So.2d 980 (La. App. 3d Cir. 1992)
Royal Exchange Assurance Company v. M/V Gulf Fleet No. 54, 1998 WL 87881 (E.D. La. 1988)
Royal Exchange Assurance Co. v. M/V Gulf Fleet, No. 86-1367, 1990 WL 158959 (E.D. La. 1990)
Royal Exchange Assurance Company v. M/V Gulf Fleet No. 54, 1991 WL 99406 (E.D. La. April 16, 1991) (No. Civ. A. 86-1367)
Anders Productions, Inc. v. Stream Farms, Inc., 502 So. 2d 175 (La. App. 3d Cir. 1987)
Phillips v. Donaldson, 494 So.2d 1379 (La.App. 3 Cir. 10/1/86)
Cantieri Navali Riuniti v. M/V Skyptron, 802 F.2d 160 (5th Cir. 1986)
Cantieri Navali Riuniti v. M/V Skyptron, 621 F. Supp.171 (D.C. La. 1985)
Louisiana State University, 1981, B.S. in Business Administration
Louisiana State University Law School, 1984
Memberships and Admissions
• Louisiana Oil & Gas Association (LOGA)
• Louisiana Attorney Disciplinary Hearing Committee (2002-2008)
• Bar Association of the United States Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals
• American Bankruptcy Institute
• Louisiana Bar Foundation
• Louisiana State Bar Association
• Southwest Louisiana Bankruptcy Bar Association
• Southwest Louisiana Association of Defense Counsel
• Member, Board of Directors of Louisiana Association of Defense Counsel
• Lake Charles Chamber of Commerce
• South Lake Charles Kiwanis Club
• Recreation League Basketball Coach
• Speaker, Ethics Issues, 2005 Southwest Louisiana Bar Association Bench Bar Conference in Houston, Texas
• Speaker, Bankruptcy Issues, 2005 Louisiana Association of Tax Administrators Conference
• Speaker, Trial Strategies, 2009 Louisiana Association of Tax Administrators Conference
• Speaker, Louisiana Oil and Gas Association Conference
Born: New Orleans, Louisiana, December 8, 1958
Personal: Scott and his wife, Eileen, are parents of two sons, Vaughn and Brad.
Scott J. Scofield online at SuperLawyers.com