The New Orleans Magazine list of Best Lawyers in New Orleans came out Thursday, November 5, 2009 and our firm did extremely well.

By Andrew C. Wilson


Relying in part upon British opinions from near to the time of the Revolutionary War, this past June the U.S. Supreme Court made it clear in Atlantic Sounding Co. v. Townsend (1), that punitive damages are still very much available under the general maritime law of the United States. This decision follows in the wake of another Supreme Court decision just one year ago related to the EXXON VALDEZ oil spill (2), wherein the Court, relying in part on British common law cases from as far back as 1763, held that a Plaintiff can add a claim for punitive damages under the general maritime law to a lawsuit based upon the Clean Water Act (3). These two decisions, taken together, suggest that for the future, in the lower courts, punitive damages may become a regular part of any suit based in whole or in part upon the general maritime law for certain types of claims or claimants. This could be a major cause for concern for the marine industry.

By James A. Burton


The commercial leasing market in the New Orleans area, never particularly robust compared to some other cities in the southeast and the nation generally, is often described as being down, or even depressed, as a result of the twin traumas of Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and the economic and financial crisis which hit the country three years later. But down markets are like up markets in some ways: both have winners and losers, and sometimes it’s not so easy to tell who are the potential beneficiaries and victims in today’s changed market.

By Michael D. Harold


Imagine an elderly woman visiting her ill husband at the hospital only to find him lying in bed covered with fresh rat bites. This happened when Mable LeJeune visited her husband, Rayo, at Rayne Branch Hospital. She filed a lawsuit against the hospital alleging mental anguish from the hospital’s failure to provide a safe and clean environment for her husband. The hospital requested a dismissal arguing that Louisiana law did not compensate for mental anguish damages when injuries affected someone else. In other words, under the old law, a person physically injured in an accident could sue for mental anguish, but not the person witnessing the accident. After Mrs. LeJeune’s case, however, the law changed.

Simon, Peragine, Smith & Redfearn, LLP is an active member of Legus, a network of international law firms. As a member of this organization, Simon, Peragine is able to provide clients with access to quality legal representation throughout the United States, South and Central America, Europe, Asia and the Far East. We at Simon, Pergaine, Smith & Redfearn are honored to have been selected as network member.

M. Claire Durio was accepted into the New Orleans CREW, (Commercial Real Estate Women) in 2008. Ms. Durio is also a member of AECRE, (International Association of Attorneys and Executives in Corporate Real Estate).

Robert Redfearn, Jr. has been appointed as an adjunct professor at Tulane University Law School and will be teaching a class for the fall semester. Mr. Redfearn created the course he will be teaching called Pre-trial civil Litigation: Strategy and Practical Skills.

H. Bruce Shreves has again been listed by New Orleans Magazine as one of the best lawyers in New Orleans in the area of construction law and alternative dispute resolution. Mr. Shreves has also been designated as a super lawyer for several years.

The Louisiana State Bar Association awarded John F. Shreves the 2008 Pro Bono Publico Award for outstanding pro bono service to Louisiana indigents. In addition to meeting once a month with senior citizens at the Gretna Senior Citizen’s Center to discuss any of their legal matters, Mr. Shreves is also the firm’s liaison with the Pro Bono Project and regularly provides pro bono services to indigent individuals through the Pro Bono Project.

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