There is nothing like combining business with pleasure. I suppose if your business is fun, you are always having a party at work. Today, I am meeting with my bad faith insurance attorney colleagues. Tonight, I will celebrate the Port of New Orleans litigation with my client, co-counsel and legal staff.

The American Association for Justice is having its Winter Conference in New Orleans. A number of specialized litigation groups will also have their meetings. The Bad Faith Litigation Group is comprised of consumer attorneys that have cases where the insurance company has engaged in wrongful conduct.

Over a decade ago, I served as the Chair of that Litigation Group. David Pettinato is also a past Chair and Kelly Kubiak is a current officer. We find that by sharing information among consumer attorneys across the country, we can gain knowledge and better represent our clients against insurance companies. Twice a year, we formally get together as friends trying to help each other in our battles against wrongful insurance company practices.

The Bad Faith Litigation Group shares information regarding many insurance companies. I strongly encourage attorneys representing policyholders to join. Nobody representing insurers is allowed to be a member. Contact Kelly Kubiak if you have questions.

The Port of New Orleans lawsuit was very unique. When you pour your heart and soul into a difficult endeavor with others, there is often a special bond that forms. We expected the lawsuit to drag on through this summer. When it settled early last September, most of us missed the day to day litigation grind that takes place in such a massive lawsuit. We built a fairly large contract legal staff that was suddenly without a lawsuit to work upon. What do you do when the war is over?

Tonight, we are hosting a Port Legal Team Dinner to celebrate our work and accomplishments. New Orleans attorney, Bill Hall, was a perfect co-counsel. Like so many attorneys in New Orleans, he is a diehard LSU Tiger (pronounced “Tiga”) fan. I guess Florida Gators and LSU Tigers can come together for mutual gain when they put their minds to it. I will always be indebted to Bill and the General Counsel of the Port, Brien Gussoni, for believing in our talents and selecting our firm as the litigation insurance counsel.

There is one aspect to New Orleans that everybody has to admire—the New Orleans people know how to have fun. It is a culture different from that anywhere else in the United States. The music, food, and people are exotic, and we are better for it. While New Orleans still has not recovered from Hurricane Katrina, Mardi Gras fun is still going on in the Vieux Carré.