When the Adams and Reese Environmental and Toxic Tort Team takes on your case, we are there in the moments following a catastrophic incident and we will see you through to its resolution. The information we obtain in those first critical hours gives you the best chance of understanding the cause and responsible parties as well as your rights under the law. Over the past 15 years, we have developed a repository of cases and evidence that helps us to move quickly on similar incidents and matters. The result is cost-effective and logical representation in an often high-stakes environment.
The firm’s related work in environmental, forestry, real estate, insurance and energy law supports our ability to quickly discern the contractual, regulatory or liability factors that could prove critical in litigation. We assist in drafting and reviewing agreements and advising on compliance to help you avoid costly litigation in the future — or manage claims effectively with proper protections. Keeping clients and in-house counsel involved throughout the process, we bring all of our firm knowledge and experience to bear in the environmental arena.

Our Attorneys

Adams and Reese attorneys have represented clients in all manner of environmental permitting, transport and disposal matters as well as toxic tort litigation. This has ranged from unique experience with boiler systems and petrochemicals to the handling of more than 10,000 asbestos cases. We also have acted as national counsel for leading petrochemical, pharmaceutical and agricultural chemical companies for many years.

Our attorneys have engineering, science, military and medical backgrounds. We collaborate across offices and practices to collect the proper documentation, testimony and evidence. Involvement in leading litigation defense organizations such as DRI helps us to keep pace with the latest strategies and theories from the plaintiff’s side.

The firm represents clients in all environmental issues.  This includes representation in regulatory compliance, including OSHA, permitting and administrative hearings and enforcement proceedings before local, state and federal environmental and agencies. It advises clients on compliance issues on potential environment liabilities. Our attorneys also have substantial experience in litigation of environmental and toxic tort issues.   
Representative Matters:

  • Hazardous and Solid Waste Materials Permitting and Enforcement Regulation and all related RCRA issues
  • Liability for contaminated soils and groundwater including PRP representation
  • Underground Storage Tanks (USTs) requirements and liabilities
  • Air and Water Pollution
  • Brownfields Redevelopment
  • Duty to Report Releases and Discovery of Contamination
  • State Petroleum and Dry Cleaning Programs
  • Brownfields Incentives in the Redevelopment of Property
  • Compliance with Asbestos Regulations
  • Compliance with Lead Regulations
  • Risk Allocation by Contract or Insurance
  • NPDES Permits and Industrial Pretreatment Requirements and Compliance
  • All Appropriate Inquiry and Due Diligence Investigations in Acquisition or  Sale of  Property
  • Negotiation of Consent Orders;
  • Surface Water Discharges From Construction Sites
  • Construction Contracting Issues Involving Hazardous Substances
  • Water Use and Management
  • Coastal Construction
  • Toxic Torts
  • Wetlands Jurisdiction Protection and Mitigation
  • Lender liability

Core Practice and Clients

Providing representation and ongoing counsel to industries such as forestry and transportation, maritime and offshore, oil and gas and energy, construction, agriculture and real estate, Adams and Reese offers vast experience with relevant state, U.S. and international environmental statutes.

Our primary services include: 

Latent Defense: representing defendants in cases where plaintiffs may have been exposed to potentially harmful chemicals or substances years before they actually show disease or injury. This includes expert testimony as to actual medical causation.

Mature and Emerging Toxic Torts: providing deep experience in the proper defense against claims of bodily injury or harm from substances that are known and well studied and those whose effects on the human body are either not conclusive or not broadly recognized. Claims for bodily injury, mental/emotional injury and medical monitoring resulting from alleged exposure to asbestos and other toxins continue to be filed in unprecedented numbers. Both "mature" (e.g., asbestos) and "emerging" (e.g., latex gloves) toxic torts fall within the experience of the Adams and Reese Asbestos and Toxic Tort Team. Significantly, our firm has been involved in the development of defenses to latent disease injuries, such as those caused by silica or asbestos. These defenses require experience in law that is inapplicable in other cases. This is because the courts may look to and apply the law in effect at the time of the harmful exposure, which may have been 20 to 50 years earlier. Our attorneys provide the experience, manpower and technology necessary to defend toxic tort claims ranging from individual plaintiffs to multi-party mass tort litigation. Our attorneys have served as local, regional and national counsel to a large variety of manufacturers, distributors and users of products targeted in toxic tort litigation. We have experience in defending clients involved in asbestos, grain dust, silica, welding rods, benzene, implants, latex gloves, pesticides and other chemicals. This experience extends to the proper handling and strategies to be employed to defend and develop legal and factual issues, as well as medical causation. We have assembled a repository of medical, scientific and technical information and we have access to a network of highly respected consultants and experts. Our team approach allows the firm's clients to benefit from a wealth of information and resources.

Mass Tort Litigation: representing clients in complex and multi-party litigation in which the case may involve hundreds of plaintiffs in multiple jurisdictions. We are experienced in summary judgment motions to aid in the efficient resolution of these cases as well as national trial counsel.

Due Diligence/Transactions: assisting with obtaining and interpreting Phase I, II and III environmental site assessments, tax, title and rights analysis; negotiating and drafting agreements for development, acquisition, sale and financing as well as representing real property agreements.

Statutory Counsel: including the interpretation of various statutes on air quality, water quality, solid and hazardous waste management, remedial and corrective actions, toxins, land use planning and zoning, flood insurance exemptions, wetlands policy, mineral law, coastal zone management, underground injection, oilfield waste and hazardous materials transportation.

Whether you need legal counsel to interpret an existing law or emerging piece of environmental legislation, or you are facing a costly and complex mass tort claim, Adams and Reese has the resources and experience to navigate the regulatory and judicial terrain.

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Diversity is not new at Adams and Reese and is not the work of one individual or committee, but rather the work of our entire firm.  Through dedication, creativity, hard work and leadership of many culturally diverse individuals coming together, our diversity momentum grows stronger every year. Our appreciation of the unique differences among us and how we benefit from the diverse backgrounds, experiences and talents of our attorneys, advisors and staff enhances our service to our clients while it enriches the lives of both our employees and the communities in which we work and live. 

The Adams and Reese Diversity Committee is comprised of Deborah Rouen, Partner and Diversity Committee Chairwoman,  the Recruiting Partner, the Partner for Associates, an Executive Committee Appointee, three Practice Group Leaders, the Chief Marketing Officer and additional representatives throughout the firm's footprint.

Our minority attorney committee also meets regularly with the firm’s Diversity Chairwoman to further develop and promote diversity through events targeted to other minority attorneys, clients and community members. This committee has successfully held numerous minority receptions and events in conjunction with the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, the Bayou Classic and the Essence Music Festival, as well as sponsorships including the Urban League, Diversity Summits, Black Business Networks, Minority Bar Association events, National Minority AIDS Council efforts, as well as endowed professorships and scholarships at historically black universities.

Adams and Reese women and minorities lead by example and share in the leadership of our firm. We are also proud of our women and minority attorneys serving in leadership positions in professional, civic and philanthropic organizations.

Recent Diversity Honors

Adams and Reese is proud of our diversity recognitions made possible through the hard work, dedication and commitment within the firm:
  • Diversity Recognition - Top 200 Law Firms for Women Equity Partners
    American Lawyer Media 2012
  • Diversity Award - Unity Award in Large Company Category
    Biz941 Magazine 2012
  • Diversity Award - Corporate Counsel Women of Color Diversity Award of Excellence
    Corporate Counsel Women of Color® 2011
  • Diversity Award - Commitment to Diversity Award
    Human Resources Management Association 2011
  • Diversity Award - Commendation of Diversity Principles
    Louisiana State Bar Association 2010
  • Diversity Recognition - Diversity Scorecard - Among top 200 law firms in diversity
    Minority Law Journal 2010, 2009, 2008
  • Diversity Award - Encouraging Diversity Award, Finalist Minority Business Awards
    Birmingham Business Journal 2009, 2007
  • Diversity Recognition - Women in Law Firms - Nationally ranked among nation's best law firms for women
    American Lawyer Magazine 2009
  • Diversity Award - Encouraging Diversity Award, First Place Minority Business Awards
    Birmingham Business Journal 2008
  • Diversity Recognition - Top 100 Law Firms for Diversity
    MultiCultural Law Magazine 2008
  • Diversity Recognition - Top 100 Law Firms for Women
    Women 3.0 Magazine 2008
  • Diversity Award - Lighthouse Award - Fostering diversity in the legal profession
    International Paper Legal Department 2006

Events and Sponsorships

Adams and Reese is proud to host, sponsor, partner and participate in numerous diversity initiatives:
  • ABA Minority Counsel Program
  • ABA Section of Litigation Products Liability Committee's "Women in Products Liability"
  • Bayou Classic
  • Corporate Counsel Women of Color® Annual Career Strategies Conference
  • Endowed Professorships and Scholarships at Historically Black Universities
  • Essence Music Festival
  • GE Midwestern Diversity Conference
  • Louisiana State Bar Association Minority Involvement Annual Job Fair – Loyola University
  • Loyola University College of Law Diversity Programs
  • Martinet Scholarship Gala
  • Mobile United Ethics and Diversity Seminar
  • National Association of Women Judges Annual Conference
  • National Bar Association National Convention
  • National Black Law Student Association Convention
  • National Directory of Minority Attorney
  • National Minority AIDS Council
  • National Urban League Conference
  • National Women’s Law Center Annual Awards
  • National Women’s Leadership Council
  • New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival
  • Power Ties
  • Southeastern Minority Job Fair
  • SunBelt Minority Job Fair
  • Vault/MCCA
  • Women of the Year, New Orleans CityBusiness


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