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James A. BrownShareholder, New Orleans
(504) 556-4116fax (504) 556-4108

Mr. Brown heads the firm’s Commercial Litigation Section as well as its Professional Liability Practice Group. He is a former member of the firm’s Board of Directors and serves as the firm’s Loss Prevention Partner. His practice focuses on complex litigation, including banking and contract disputes, professional liability litigation, legal malpractice defense, antitrust litigation, trusts and estates litigation, First Amendment litigation, and Education law.

For over two decades, Mr. Brown has successfully represented federal banking agencies and banks in complex commercial and professional liability cases. He also has defended national legal malpractice carriers and law and accounting firms. Trust and estates litigation and other types of commercial litigation are also part of his practice background. Mr. Brown has tried major cases in these areas in state and federal courts.

Mr. Brown is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers. He is listed by Chambers USA – America's Leading Lawyers for Business as among America's top commercial litigators. Mr. Brown also is named in Best Lawyers in America in the fields of Bet-the-Company Litigation, Commercial Litigation, Legal Malpractice Law, Litigation - Antitrust, Litigation - Trusts and Estates, and Professional Malpractice Law. He is listed among Top Lawyers by New Orleans Magazine. New Orleans CityBusiness named him one of New Orleans’ “Leaders in Law." Mr. Brown is listed in Benchmark Litigation as a "Local Litigation Star" in the state of Louisiana. He also is listed in Louisiana Super Lawyers.

Following law school, Mr. Brown served as law clerk to the Honorable Alvin B. Rubin, Circuit Judge, United States Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, 1984-85. Since 1992, he has served as an Adjunct Professor in Torts and Trial Advocacy at the Louisiana State University Paul M. Hebert Law Center.

Mr. Brown serves as the Chair of the American Bar Association Standing Committee on Lawyers’ Professional Liability by appointment of the President of the ABA. The 10-member presidential standing Committee plans, sponsors and produces the biannual ABA National Legal Malpractice Conference, which draws together hundreds of leading attorneys and insurance industry professionals from around the nation to address current issues relating to prosecution and defense of legal malpractice cases, loss prevention, and professional liability insurance. The Committee also publishes newsletters and alerts on late breaking cases and developments to the members of its Lawyers’ Professional Liability Consortium.

He is the past Co-Chair of the Professional Liability Litigation Committee of the ABA Section of Litigation and the past Chair of the Continuing Legal Education Program Committee of the Louisiana State Bar Association.

He frequently speaks, teaches and publishes in the areas of professional liability, ethics and trial advocacy.

Mr. Brown serves on the New Orleans Ethics Review Board by appointment of the Mayor. The Board administers and enforces the New Orleans Code of Governmental Ethics and appoints and oversees the New Orleans Inspector General.

Recent representative matters include:
  • Lead counsel defending international law firm in a major securities case in Louisiana (2013-14).
  • Lead counsel for FDIC in a $170 million director and officer liability case in San Juan, Puerto Rico (2012-14).
  • Lead counsel for FDIC in a $30 million director and officer liability case in Atlanta, GA (2012-14).
  • Secured dismissal of RICO, unfair trade practice, and related claims against international law firm (2012).
  • Secured summary judgment dismissing legal malpractice claims against large New Orleans law firm and national legal malpractice carrier (2012).
  • Secured a federal court judgment recognizing the non-governmental status of a Louisiana charter school operator and its right to redress under 42 U.S.C. Section 1983 for deprivation of its vested contractual rights in violation of Article 1, Section 10 of the U.S. Constitution. The judgment is the first of its kind and has landmark significance to the charter school movement sweeping the nation. Advocates for Arts-Based Education Corporation v. Orleans Parish School Board, 2010 U.S. Dist. Lexis 6019 (EDLA Jan. 26, 2010).
  • Defended international law firm and one of its senior partners in a two week jury trial in Mississippi (2010).
  • Defended former CEO of Louisiana's second largest HMO in three week federal white collar jury trial (2008).
  • Secured dismissal of antitrust price fixing claims filed by the Louisiana Attorney General against one of the world's largest international consulting firms. State of Louisiana, ex. rel., James D. Caldwell v. Allstate Insurance Co., et. al., No. 07-9409 (East. Dist. La. Dec. 17, 2008).
  • With other attorneys, secured a reversal and remand of an award of $72 million in sanctions against a federal banking agency. Mr. Brown and other firm attorneys were hired to handle the matter on appeal from the sanctions award. FDIC v. Maxxam, Inc., et. al., 523 F.3d 566 (5th Cir. 2008).
  • Secured dismissal of antitrust claims filed by the Louisiana attorney general against one of the nation's leading pharmaceutical manufacturers (2008).
  • Developed a successful legal theory for removal of state attorney general suits against industry as disguised "class" and "mass" actions subject to the Class Action Fairness Act. See State of Louisiana, ex. rel., James D. Caldwell v. Allstate Insurance Co., et. al., 2008 U.S. App. Lexis 15275 (5th Cir. July 18, 2008).
  • With other attorneys, secured a federal court ruling striking down Louisiana's "violent video game" statute as violative of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and enjoining enforcement of the statute. See Entertainment Software Association v. Foti, et. al., 451 F.Supp. 2d 823 (M.D. La. 2006).
  • Successfully defended the former president of one of Louisiana's largest health maintenance organizations against multiple civil actions brought by the company's Receiver (2006).
  • With other attorneys, secured dismissal of a major class action brought against a federal banking agency and credit card bank challenging the insured status of the bank. (2005).
  • Secured dismissal of malpractice claims against a major law firm arising from a corporate merger transaction. (2004)
  • With other firm attorneys, achieved dismissal of federal RICO claims filed against the former management of one of Louisiana's largest health maintenance organizations. (2003)
  • Part of the legal team that secured an important victory for a federal banking agency in the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. The class action attacked the insured status of a federally insured banking institution. Heaton v. Monogram Credit Card Bank, 297 F.3d 416 (5th Cir. 2002).
  • Working with Liskow & Lewis attorneys, obtained a reversal by the Louisiana Supreme Court of a large malpractice judgment entered against a law firm and national malpractice carrier. The firm was retained to handle the appeal after the adverse judgment was rendered by the district court. The decision is important to many other pending and future cases. Hendrick v. ABC Ins. Co., 00-CC-2403 (La. 5/15/01), 787 So.2d 283.
  • In a professional liability case for a federal banking agency, secured an important victory in the United States Fifth Circuit involving the failure of Louisiana’s largest thrift institution. FDIC v. Barton , 233 F.3d 859 (5th Cir. 2000).

Other notable cases:
  • After trial, won a large damages judgment for a local energy company in a case involving the misdrilling of a directional well.

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Practice Areas:

Bar Admissions:
  • Louisiana, 1984

    Louisiana State University, J.D., 1984
  • Order of the Coif
  • Louisiana Law Review, Editor-in-Chief, 1983 - 1984
    Louisiana State University, B.A., summa cum laude, valedictorian, 1981
  • Phi Kappa Phi
  • Mortar Board
  • Omicron Delta Kappa

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