Tom Easterly, who was named a Partner at Taylor Porter in 2011, regularly advises local and national clients, as well as Fortune 500 companies, with simple and complex business litigation matters, as well as various commercial transactions.
Tom concentrates a substantial portion of his practice on the preparation and trial of complex commercial disputes. His work involves construction, real estate, redhibition, insurance, arbitration, toxic tort, workers’ compensation, breach of contract, bankruptcy and regulatory issues, and the matters in which he is engaged frequently have overlapping subject matter concerns. He also has significant experience handling complex personal injury matters as both defense and plaintiff counsel.
Tom is also experienced in various business transactions, including limited liability company transactions, master service agreements, non-competition agreements, secrecy and confidentiality agreements, donations, sales/assignments, forbearance agreements, participant agreements, shareholder agreements, exchanges and operating agreements.
In the insurance world, Tom has represented numerous insurance companies and provided counsel concerning a broad array of coverage and defense issues. Tom is a frequent lecturer on insurance and other contract matters. His seminars have included topics such as insurance coverage litigation, effective collection strategies, business contract principles, and bad faith insurance and extra-contractual liability claims.
Tom is admitted to practice before every Louisiana court, state and federal, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. Tom was also previously admitted pro hac vice in Texas. Most recently, after arguing two consolidated cases to the Louisiana Supreme Court, Tom was admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court.
In 2017, Tom was selected among the "Forty Under 40" by Baton Rouge Business Report for both his professional accomplishments and contributions to the community. Tom has been recognized by Louisiana Super Lawyers as a "Rising Star" in Business Litigation for six consecutive years (2014-2019), and also by Best Lawyers in America (2020) in Commercial Litigation.
Tom is active within the Baton Rouge community and is either a present or past member of the Baton Rouge Bar Association, the Louisiana State Bar Association, the Federal Bar Association, the Defense Research Institute (DRI), Ducks Unlimited (DU), Coastal Conservation Association (CCA), Delta Waterfowl, Land Trust Alliance, Keep Louisiana Beautiful, and the Mississippi Forestry Association. Tom is also a founding member of the Muscular Dystrophy Association Legal Leaders program and a former Ball Chairman of Le Cercle De Bacchus. Tom currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Boy Scouts of America, Istrouma Area Council, and he formerly served on the Board of Directors of the Baton Rouge City Club and the University Acres Civic Association. Tom also serves as the President of the Board of Baton Rouge Green.
Tom and his wife Lindsey live in Baton Rouge with their three children.
Tom graduated cum laude from the University of Georgia’s Terry College of Business. Tom earned his Juris Doctorate from the LSU Law Center in 2006, and he also holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration, which he obtained from Louisiana State University in 2005.
Tom has significant first-chair trial experience:
- Trial counsel for The Dow Chemical Company in a two-week toxic tort trial arising from underground salt cavern storage wells, and in particular, defense of personal injury and emotional distress claims associated with the aftermath of leaking salt cavern storage wells. The case concluded with The Dow Chemical Company paying $0 for the plaintiffs’ personal injury claims.
- Lead counsel for an Atlanta-based general contractor in connection with enforcing subcontract claims and defending liens arising out of a 330-unit, 20-building apartment complex located in Baton Rouge.
- Representation of general contractors and subcontractors before the Louisiana Contractors’ Licensing Board and the Contractors’ Licensing Law, La. R.S. 37:2150, et seq.
- Lead counsel for various insurance companies in connection with automobile-related personal injury claims.
- Lead trial counsel for a local car dealer in defense of a premises liability claim resulting in dismissal ($0).
- Lead trial counsel for several West Baton Rouge Parish residents in a real estate lawsuit adverse to Union Pacific Railroad.
- Trial counsel for Louisiana State University in defense of breach of contract claims.
- Local and National counsel for BOMAG Americas, Inc., a worldwide manufacturer and distributor of heavy compaction equipment, in connection with commercial and personal injury litigation matters arising in Louisiana, Rhode Island, and New York.
- Lead trial counsel for BWI Companies, Inc., a lawn and garden wholesaler, in connection with commercial breach of contract claims.
- Trial counsel for Argosy Gaming Company, including a two-week jury trial in the Nineteenth Judicial District Court, involving complex commercial claims valuing more than $500 million. The claims were substantially limited before trial through successful motion practice, and the plaintiff was ultimately “zeroed” on appeal ($0).
- Defense counsel for Livingston Economic Development Council, Inc., in connection with wrongful death litigation arising out of a fatal railroad collision at an Industrial Park in Walker, LA, involving a railroad-highway grade crossing accident and defenses under 23 U.S.C. 409.
- Lead counsel for Helis Oil and Gas Company, L.LC., in connection with litigation arising out of property damage at an offshore platform in Eugene Island Block 300 involving a subsea “mudline tree” construction project.
- Bankruptcy counsel for Citizens Bank and Trust Company in connection with claims asserted against a large apartment complex in Baton Rouge and competing claims between construction-related creditors.
- Lead trial counsel in numerous commercial litigation contract matters (separate cases) for a group self-insurance fund organized pursuant to La. R.S. 23:1195 et seq.
- Lead trial counsel for a Fortune 500 company in connection with an administrative appeal to the District Court for Jefferson Parish adverse to the Jefferson Parish Attorneys’ Office and the Jefferson Parish Counsel, which successfully resulted in issuance of various licenses to sell Class B permits for the sale of high content and low content alcohol.
- Trial counsel for InforMD, LLC and its principals in a complex commercial dispute before the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana involving commercial claims in excess of $10mm.
Representative transactions & contract work:
- Creation of and revisions to comprehensive master service agreements, access agreements, indemnity agreements and other contracts for a leading petrochemical manufacturer of ethylene and propylene specialty and intermediate chemicals.
- Revisions to membership agreements (contracts) for a group self-insurance fund organized pursuant to La. R.S. 23:1195 et seq. to pool the liabilities of eligible members for workers' compensation benefits.
- Representation of several private sellers in the successful negotiation and conveyance of a $2.6 million dollar quitclaim deed for a 114 acre parcel in Iberville Parish, La.
- Representation of a local non-profit corporation, in connection with its successful acquisition of certain property through a federal grant under the HOME Investment Partnership Act.
- Representation of local business principals in connection with shareholder agreements and operating agreements.
- Representation of clients in connection with various kinds of assignment agreements, distribution agreements, forbearance agreements, indemnity agreements, and promissory notes.
- Representation of sellers (and original franchisors) in an asset sale transaction involving the VooDoo BBQ franchise.
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