Trial Victory Upheld on Appeal in Construction Defect Claim

The owner of a large apartment development near LSU’s campus sued the general contractor and a number of sub-contractors claiming construction defects caused water intrusion throughout the complex.  Frilot LLC represented Great American Insurance Company, the excess insurer for the company that designed and installed the HVAC system.  Prior to trial the owner arbitrated the dispute with the contractors. 

The arbitrators found that there was failure to flash and caulk the HVAC vents, but that the defects could be repaired for a nominal sum.  The owner had claimed it was necessary to skin the entire exterior and re-stucco the complex, but this argument was rejected by the arbitrators.  The claim against our client at trial was for its policy limits of $25 million, and the owner again attempted to argue that it was necessary to replace the entire exterior of the building. 

The key issue at trial became whether the previous findings of the arbitration panel could be submitted to the jury.  We were successful in arguing this evidence could be presented.  Following a two-week trial the jury rendered a verdict in favor of owner for $59,000 against our insured.  The judge then then found our client owed $0 because it was entitled to a credit for the $1 million underlying insurance policy.  The owner appealed and the case was briefed and argued to the First Circuit Court of Appeals.  The trial court’s Judgment in favor our client for $0 has now been affirmed.  M&R Drywall v. MAPP Construction, LLC, et al., ___ So.2d ___, 2019 WL 1924524 (April 29, 2019).

Great American Insurance Company was represented by Frilot, LLC attorneys Norman C. Sullivan, Jr. and W. Jacob Gardner, Jr


Valerie Fontenot Joins the Firm's Medical Malpractice & Healthcare Team

Frilot LLC is pleased to announce that Valerie Fontenot has joined the firm’s Medical Malpractice and Healthcare Team. Her practice is based in litigation of civil matters, particularly the trial and appeal of health care matters, including medical malpractice defense and regulatory and compliance. Earning both her Master of Public Health (M.P.H.) and J.D., Valerie has developed a special expertise in health policy, health law, public health, and health care. 

Timothy P. Robinson Joins the Firm


Frilot LLC welcomes associate Timothy P. Robinson to the firm. He works with the firm’s Transportation, Commercial Litigation and Insurance Defense areas of practice. Mr. Robinson received a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in 2013 from Louisiana State University. He received a Juris Doctorate from Louisiana State University’s Paul M. Hebert Law Center in 2017, graduating cum laude. While in law school, he was named a Dean’s Scholar and served on the Editorial Board of the Louisiana Law Review as a Senior Editor.

Mr. Robinson was admitted to the Louisiana State Bar in October 2017.

Frilot’s Medical Malpractice & Healthcare Group Obtains Defense Verdict in Dental Malpractice Case


Frilot partners Peter E. Sperling and Carl E. “Chip” Hellmers III obtained a defense verdict in a dental malpractice case tried in the 24th Judicial District Court for the Parish of Jefferson. Plaintiff alleged that the defendant periodontist negligently performed an extraction of a second molar that resulted in permanent damage to the inferior alveolar nerve. Plaintiff also alleged that the defendant failed to obtain her informed consent prior to performing the extraction. Following a three day trial, the jury returned a verdict in favor of the defendant periodontist. Badinger v. Nasr, 24th JDC, Div. B, No. 759-241.

Krouse to present at AHLA’s Healthcare Arbitration Training

A.J. Krouse

A.J. Krouse


Frilot LLC partner, A.J. Krouse, will be a leading speaker at the American Health Lawyers Association’s (AHLA) Healthcare Arbitration Training, taking place March March 20 - 21, 2019 in Baltimore, Maryland.

 This program is especially significant as health care attorneys are turning to arbitration more than ever.  It will deliver substantive knowledge and skills needed to arbitrate health law cases effectively. Participants will qualify to serve as arbitrators for the AHLA Dispute Resolution Service.

 Partner A.J. Krouse will discuss key topics including:

-       Arbitrator Selection and Legal Ethics and Disclosures

-       E-Discovery Management in Arbitration

To learn more about this engaging and interactive program, click here.

13 Frilot Attorneys Recognized in Louisiana Super Lawyers

Frilot LLC is pleased to announce the following fifteen Frilot attorneys were recently recognized by Super Lawyers in the following categories:

·      Andrew S. de Klerk, Insurance Coverage

·      Danica B. Denny, Transportation & Maritime

·      Leslie W. Ehret, Employment & Labor

·      John J. Hainkel, III, Energy & Natural Resources

·      A.J. Krouse, Class Action & Mass Torts

·      J. Dwight LeBlanc, III, Transportation & Maritime

·      Patrick J. McShane, Transportation & Maritime

·      Peter E. Sperling, Medical Malpractice

·      Campbell E. Wallace, Personal Injury


The attorneys selected as 2019 Louisiana Rising Stars:

·    Benjamin M. Castoriano, Employment Litigation

·     Kelsey A. Eagan, Class Action & Mass Torts

·      Everett R. Fineran, Business & Corporate

·      W. Jacob Gardner, Jr., Transportation & Maritime

Super Lawyers is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement.  The annual selections are made using a rigorous research evaluation of candidates, and peer reviews by practice area.  Super Lawyers also recognizes Rising Stars, who have either been in practice less than 10 years or are 40 years of age or younger.

No more than 5 percent of the lawyers in a state are named to Super Lawyers, and no more than 2.5 percent are named to Rising Stars. 

Frilot LLC Welcomes Norman C. Sullivan, Jr. and W. Jacob Gardner, Jr. to the Firm

Norman C. Sullivan, Jr.

Norman C. Sullivan, Jr.

W. Jacob Gardner, Jr.

W. Jacob Gardner, Jr.

Frilot LLC takes pleasure in welcoming esteemed attorneys Norman C. Sullivan, Jr. and W. Jacob Gardner, Jr. to the firm. 

Norman C. Sullivan, Jr. has a comprehensive litigation practice.  With over 40 years of experience, Mr. Sullivan's primary area of expertise has been maritime litigation, with particular emphasis on products liability, contract and insurance law, as well as construction disputes. Mr. Sullivan received the Distinguished Maritime Lawyer Award from the New Orleans Bar Association in 2012.  He is also a former Chairman of the Southeastern Admiralty Law Institute.

W. Jacob Gardner, Jr. has extensive experience in handling admiralty matters including contract disputes, personal injury and death claims arising under the Jones Act and LHWCA, property damage claims, insurance and indemnity issues, collisions and allisions, arrests and attachments, limitation of liability and cargo claims. He also represents insurers and excess insurers in complex casualty litigation involving catastrophic personal injuries, wrongful death, and property damage.

W. Jacob Gardner, Jr.
PHONE: (504) 599-8324
FAX: (504) 599-8260

Norman C. Sullivan, Jr.
PHONE: (504) 599-8327
FAX: (504) 599-8270

Frilot LLC Ranked in 2019 "Best Law Firms" by U.S. News

W. Jacob Gardner, Jr.

Frilot LLC has been ranked as a 2019 "Best Law Firm" by U.S. News - Best Lawyers. The rankings are presented in three tiers. The firm received rankings in the following practice areas: 

TIER 1: 

TIER 2:   

TIER 3:  

In order to achieve a top tier ranking, a firm must score within the highest percentage range among other law firms in their metropolitan area. To be eligible for a ranking, a firm must have a lawyer listed in The Best Lawyers in America, which recognizes the top 4 percent of practicing attorneys in the US.



The firm’s Admiralty and Maritime group prevailed on a challenge to the Fifth Circuit’s appellate jurisdiction over an interlocutory appeal. In SCF Waxler Marine, L.L.C. v. ARIS T M/V, No. 17-30805 (5th Cir. August 29, 2018), The Fifth Circuit dismissed the appeal based on lack of appellate jurisdiction involving the issue of whether the excess insurers of one of the involved vessels may limit their liability to that of the insured vessel. The court joined the Eleventh Circuit in holding that neither decision was reviewable on appeal under section 1292(a)(3).

Frilot attorneys Patrick J. McShane, Lara N. DiCristina and T. Patrick O’ Leary represented the excess insurers in this case.


Jessica Roberts To Be a Featured Speaker at NBI’s “Real Estate Boot Camp”

Jessica Roberts will be a featured speaker at the National Business Institute (NBI) Continuing Legal Education (CLE) seminar  “Real Estate Boot Camp”, being held in New Orleans on December 3-4, 2018.  The 2-day event will cover take “An Expansive Look at Real Estate Practice: From Acquisitions to Leasing to Development”

Jessica will lead two courses, including

  •     Leasing: Landlord-Tenant Law and Evictions and

  • Real Estate Development and Construction Law

To learn more about the seminar: CLICK HERE

JESSICA A. ROBERTS is a litigation attorney with Frilot L.L.C. Ms. Roberts focuses primarily on complex litigation in federal and state courts, including construction, general casualty, land use and zoning, and general commercial insurance litigation. Ms. Roberts also handles a wide range of transactional work ranging from all aspects of formation work for startup companies and other strategic partnerships to residential and commercial development and construction contracts and transactions.  

A regular presenter on historic preservation topics and land use and zoning, Ms. Roberts is the assistant editor of the American Bar Association’s Construction Law Forum Flash and serves on the Board of Directors for the New Orleans Chapter of National Association of Women in Construction. She earned her B.S. and M.S. degrees from Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana. She earned her J.D. degree from Tulane Law School in New Orleans.



Frilot partner Peter Sperling has been recognized  as a 2019 "Lawyer of the Year" by The Best Lawyers in America© for his work in Medical Malpractice Law - Defendants in New Orleans. Based on extremely high peer feedback, Sperling was the only lawyer in this practice area and designated metropolitan area honored with "Lawyer of the Year" award.

This recognition is one of several recently bestowed upon Mr. Sperling.  He was also recently listed in the 2019 Best Lawyers in America® guide for both Health Care Law and Medical Malpractice Law . Additionally, Mr. Sperling was recognized as one of the Top 50 Lawyers in Louisiana and is a Fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers.

More About Peter Sperling

A founding member of Frilot LLC and lead of the Medical Malpractice & Healthcare group at the firm, offers over 25 years of experience representing physicians of all specialties. A graduate of Tulane Law School, Sperling has provided high-caliber healthcare representation to providers across New Orleans and the state of Louisiana. Visit his complete bio here.


On November 9th, Frilot attorney Peter Sperling took part in the New Orleans Bar Association's 11th Hour Professionalism & Ethics CLE. He lead "Professionalism in Trial Practice - Views from the Bench and Bar", along with Judge Nakisha Ervin-Knott, Orleans Parish Civil District Court and attorney Irving Warshauer.

They discussed the importance of trying to be professional in dealing with various issues that arise during discovery and at trial.


(October 2, 2017)  Frilot LLC is pleased to welcome Rodney A. "Rocky" Seydel, Jr. to the firm as senior counsel.  He will practice in the firm's Medical Malpractice & Healthcare and Commercial Litigation sections.

A seasoned litigator, Mr. Seydel has focused on general casualty litigation, including medical malpractice, premises liability, automobile liability and products liability.  He has also taken part in  over 1,500 mediations primarily involving commercial disputes, maritime and oilfield litigation, personal injury matters, and insurance disputes. He participated in over 100 mediations of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita insurance claims.

Mr. Seydel is admitted to practice in Louisiana and before the United States Supreme Court, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, the United States District Courts for the Eastern, Middle and Western Districts of Louisiana. Mr. Seydel resides in New Orleans and is involved in a variety of civic activities.


Frilot is proud to announce that 11 attorneys were recently recognized by Super Lawyers, nine as 2017 Louisiana Super Lawyers and three as 2017 Rising Stars. Congratulations to our attorneys for their hard work and achievements!

The following Frilot LLC attorneys were recognized as 2017 Louisiana Super Lawyers, listed with the category for which they were chosen:

  • Benjamin M. Castoriano - Business Litigation, Business/Corporate, Employment Litigation, Intellectual Property, Rising Stars 2014 - 2017

  • Everett R. Fineran- Business/Corporate, Business Litigation, Rising Stars 2016 - 2017

  • A.J. Krouse - Class Action/Mass Torts, Employment & Labor, Alternative Dispute Resolution, Environmental Litigation, Selected to Super Lawyers 2007 - 2008, 2010, 2013 - 2017

  • J. Dwight LeBlanc, III - Transportation/Maritime, Personal Injury - General, Personal Injury - Products Selected to Super Lawyers 2007 - 2017

  • Heather A. McArthur - Employment & Labor, Business Litigation Rising Stars 2014 - 2017

  • Patrick J. McShane - Transportation/Maritime, Insurance Coverage, Class Action/Mass TortsSelected to Super Lawyers 2008 - 2017

  • Peter E. Sperling - Personal Injury - Medical Malpractice, Health Care Selected to Super Lawyers 2007 - 2017

  • Campbell E. Wallace - Personal Injury - General, Insurance Coverage, Personal Injury - Products Selected to Super Lawyers 2013 - 2017

Super Lawyers is a rating service of outstanding lawyers who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The annual selections are made using a multiphase process that includes a statewide survey of lawyers, an independent research evaluation of candidates and peer reviews by practice area.  Each year, no more than 5 percent of the lawyers in the state are selected by the research team at Super Lawyers to receive the honor of being named Super Lawyers.  Rising Stars must be 40 years old or younger, or have been in practice for 10 years or less. No more than 2.5 percent of the lawyers in the state are named Rising Stars.


A.J. Krouse was recently elected to the College of Commercial Arbitrators' Board of Directors. Mr. Krouse was accepted into the College as a Fellow in 2009 and has been an active member since then.

The College is a not-for-profit corporation that meets as an organization at least once each year. Fellowship in the College is by invitation of the Board. Membership criteria include substantial experience as a commercial arbitrator, high ethical standards, and high regard in the field among academics, other neutrals and counsel.

The mission of the College includes: promoting professionalism and high ethical practice in commercial arbitration; adopting and maintaining standards of conduct; developing “best practices” materials; and providing peer training and professional development, opportunities for interaction among peers, and diversity within commercial arbitration.


Frilot LLC is pleased to announce that partner A.J. Krouse is a recipient of the New Orleans CityBusiness 2017 Leadership in Law award. The annual Leadership in Law award honors the Top 50 lawyers in the Greater New Orleans area based on their legal, professional and community contributions. Krouse will be recognized alongside his fellow honorees at a cocktail reception taking place May 22nd at the New Orleans Museum of Art. He will also be featured in a special insert profiling all 2017 “Leadership in Law” honorees in the May 26th issue of New Orleans CityBusiness. 


Frilot, LLC, partners Peter E. Sperling and John B. Cazale obtained a defense verdict in favor of an orthopedic surgeon after a six day jury trial in the Civil District Court for the Parish of Orleans. 

The defendant orthopedist performed primary knee replacement surgery on the plaintiff who ended up having to have multiple revisions surgeries. The allegations were that the surgeries were performed in a substandard manner which resulted in the need for the revisions. The defense was that the surgeon met the standard of care and that the multiple surgeries were not due to any substandard care on the part of the orthopedic surgeon. After deliberating for approximately three hours, the jury returned a verdict in favor of the defendant.” 


(May 7, 2016) Frilot LLC is proud to announce new attorneys Lauren Guichard and Brittany Sloan. 

Lauren Guichard practices in the firm's Admiralty & Maritme and Insurance Coverage practice areas. She graduated cum laude from Loyola University New Orleans College of Law in 2014, where she won the Loyola Moot Court Outstanding Senior Award and wrote for the Loyola Law Review. She earned an M.B.A from the Millsaps College Else School of Management in Jackson, Mississippi. 

Brittany Sloan practices in the firm's Medical Malpractice & Healthcare Practice Area. Originally from South Florida, Ms. Sloan graduated from Tulane Law School, magna cum laude, in 2012. She previously clerked for the Honorable Regina H. Woods at Orleans Parish Civil District Court and was a Central Staff law clerk at the Louisiana Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. She was also a summer extern for the Honorable Ivan L. R. Lemelle at the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana. 


(April 2, 2016) Frilot LLC is pleased to announce that Everett R. Fineran and Kathleen 'Katie' Pontier Rice were recently elected members of the firm. 

Mr. Fineran practices with the firm's Commercial Litigation and Mass Tort and Class Action Sections, focusing primarily on complex litigation such as that involving the BP oil spill. He also handles a variety of claims ranging from personal injury defense for trucking companies to general commercial insurance litigation and dispute resolution between large corporations. Additionally, Mr. Fineran is an Adjunct Law Professor at the Loyola University College of Law, where he teaches Louisiana Civil Procedure. He is a co-author of Equity Research (Esq. Books 2011), a graduate-level finance textbook. 

Ms. Rice focuses on the Admiralty and Maritime Practice Area, working on all manner of cases involving admiralty issues, including Jones Act and personal injury defense, charter disputes, collisions, allisions and marine insurance. Ms. Rice also works in the diverse field of commercial litigation and on a range of cases involving product liability litigation.