Lucas H. Morehouse has joined Merlin Law Group’s New Orleans office. Morehouse is a native of Louisiana and originally from New Orleans. He received his undergraduate degree from Louisiana State University, where he double-majored in History and Political Science. Then, he stayed in Baton Rouge and received his Law Degree from the Paul M. Hebert Law Center at Louisiana State University. Lucas is a proud Louisiana Tigers fan.

Morehouse has firsthand experience witnessing the devastation of a major catastrophe following Hurricane Katrina in 2005. He says that experience has helped him identify with storm-ravaged communities and empathize with individuals who have lost everything. He recognizes that there is an underlying stress dealing with insurance companies as businesses, families, and their communities try to rebuild and deal with the insurance technicalities at the same time. Merlin Law Group is fortunate to have a lawyer dedicated to the recovery of Louisiana and who has an extensive background helping businesses and others with all types of litigation. The silver lining of Katrina for Lucas was that his future wife’s family was also wiped out. They moved to Baton Rouge, where they met while he was in school at LSU.

Lucas told me that he went to Louisiana’s finest high school, Benjamin Franklin High School in New Orleans. I lived in Waveland, Mississippi as a kid for several years. I have some very dear friends who grew up in New Orleans. Unfortunately, none of them went to his school, and I had not heard of it. So, I researched his high school alma mater, and sure enough, it is listed in Wikipedia, which states in part:

Benjamin Franklin High School opened as a school for gifted children in 1957 under the direction of School Superintendent James F. Redmond and Principal Naomi Gardberg. At the time, schools under the Orleans Parish School Board were segregated. In 1960, Judge J. Skelly Wright of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana ordered the desegregation of New Orleans schools…In response to the order, 2,000 youths surged through New Orleans streets in demonstrations against school integration on November 16, 1960. Only eight Franklin students were absent from class. A Time magazine article later stated that Redmond’s ‘proudest memory of the first day of integration three weeks ago, when truancy was rife, is that ‘my Franklin kids stuck with it.’

From its inception, Franklin was designed to be a public school for gifted students, and admissions requirements included having a 120 IQ. Following an appeal of Bush v. Orleans Parish School Board, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit stated in 1962 that Franklin was ‘one of the finest schools in the country for superior students’ and suggested that African American students who met the school’s exacting admissions requirements be admitted. Under pressure from federal courts, Franklin became the first public high school in New Orleans to desegregate in 1963.

After Katrina, Ben Franklin received support from across the nation and around the world. On December 8, 2005, the United States Ambassador to Germany, William R. Timken, Jr., accepted a ‘Band of Friendship’ from the students of Clay Oberschule, Ben Franklin’s official GAPP partner school in Berlin, Germany. Monetary contributions included $10,000 from the government of France and a $70,000 grant from the Laura Bush Foundation for America’s Libraries. The school re-opened as a charter school on January 17, 2006, the 300th birthday of its namesake Benjamin Franklin. The re-opening ceremony was held in the previously flooded-out gym. The gym had been the most severely damaged structure on campus; all of the floor tiles had to be removed and replaced, and the wind-damaged ceiling had to be repaired. In 2007, the school celebrated its 50th anniversary….

Lucas’ wife, Amanda, is an English teacher at Benjamin Franklin High School. He was obviously raised well because both of his parents went to the best college in the south—the University of Florida.

I feel blessed to have another super-smart attorney practicing with us. Policyholder clients need all the help we can get against those clever insurance company attorneys.