Partner Kari “Kiki” A. Bergeron practices primarily in the areas of construction law, commercial litigation, insurance coverage, insurance litigation, general tort litigation, and appellate work.
In her construction practice, Kiki represents suppliers, subcontractors, design professionals, general contractors and owners in a wide array of litigation matters including breach of contract claims, delay claims, redhibition, construction defect claims, and claims for additional compensation. She also regularly advises clients on compliance with Louisiana’s contractor licensing laws and Louisiana’s construction lien laws. Kiki has significant experience filing and enforcing liens under the Private Works Act and enforcing claims under the Public Works Act. Kiki also has extensive experience reviewing, revising and drafting construction contracts.
In her commercial practice, Kiki has handled claims involving a variety of issues including products liability, personal injury, the New Home Warranty Act, premises liability, public utility law, insurance defense, insurance coverage, lease disputes, warranty claims, unjust enrichment claims, and the Public Records Act. Kiki has litigated claims in state and federal court, including the United States Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. She also has represented clients before the Louisiana State Licensing Board for Contractors, Louisiana Office of Workers’ Compensation, Louisiana Auctioneers Licensing Board, and Louisiana Public Service Commission.
Kiki is admitted to practice before all state and federal courts in Louisiana.
Kiki received her J.D., magna cum laude, from Southern University Law Center, where she was a member of the Southern University Law Review and received numerous CALI Awards. She was the 2006 winner of the ABA’s Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice’s first annual Gellhorn-Sargentich Law Student Essay Competition.
Kiki volunteers for various pro bono projects with the Baton Rouge Bar Association. She formerly served as a board member for The Foundation for Historical Louisiana, and she is a founding board member of the Baton Rouge Youth Hockey Association. More recently, Kiki has dedicated her volunteer work by helping other breast cancer survivors in the Baton Rouge area. In 2020, Kiki founded her own nonprofit, Totes de Joie, which provides joyful care packages to cancer patients currently undergoing treatment.
Prior to attending law school, Kiki was a junior high and high school English teacher in both Texas and Louisiana. Today, Kiki and her husband, Chris, live in Baton Rouge and are the proud parents of three children.
- Lead trial counsel for owner in mandamus lawsuit against unlicensed contractor wherein owner sought removal of contractor’s invalid Private Works Act liens. After trial, the court granted a judgment in favor of the owner, awarding it all of its requested damages, including attorney’s fees and court costs.
- Lead appellate counsel for owner after contractor appealed adverse judgment in mandamus lawsuit. After oral argument at the First Circuit Court of Appeal, the court affirmed the trial court’s judgment in favor of the owner. Ilgen Construction, LLC vs. Raw Materials, LLC, et al. (La.App. 1 Cir. 4/16/21), 2021 WL 1438726.
- Lead trial counsel for a public entity in a mandamus lawsuit filed by a contractor seeking payment under the Public Works Act, successfully obtaining a judgment, after a trial, in favor of the public entity.
- Lead appellate counsel for a public entity after contractor appealed adverse judgment in mandamus lawsuit. After two oral arguments at the First Circuit Court of Appeal, the court determined it would not follow another appellate court’s interpretation of the Public Works Act, thereby creating a split in the circuits on the legal issue. Law Industries, LLC vs. Board of Sup’rs of La State Univ., 2018-1756 (La.App. 1 Cir. 3/02/20), 300 So.3d 21.
- Counsel for a public entity in an administrative appeal, successfully defending claims brought by a contractor claiming wrongful termination.
- Co-counsel before the Louisiana Public Service Commission representing a private equity group in obtaining Commission approval for a $3.4 billion acquisition of a Louisiana electric utility company.
- Co-counsel before the Louisiana Public Service Commission representing an independent electric transmission company in a transaction seeking to purchase the transmission assets of a publicly traded utility company in Louisiana.
- Counsel for multiple homebuilders, including a national homebuilder, in the complex Chinese drywall multidistrict federal litigation and numerous other lawsuits, successfully recovering a settlement from the Chinese manufacturer of the defective drywall after the national homebuilder remodeled and repaired the effected homes.
- Lead counsel for a large oilfield services company in several litigation and non-litigation matters, including settling a Louisiana Oil Well Lien Act case, settling a commercial lease dispute, and settling a property damage claim for alleged damages due to fracking.
- Co-counsel for public entity in defense of a multi-million dollar consolidated lawsuit brought by contractors and subcontractors for alleged delays, inefficiencies, and extra work relating to the construction of a hospital in New Orleans.
- Co-counsel for a local privately-owned sewer utility company, providing advice on local ordinances, contract review, and strategy as it relates to growth of the company, etc.
- Co-counsel for roofing manufacturer in defense of claims alleging defects in roofing materials.
- Counsel for homeowner insurance company in defense of numerous personal injury lawsuits, resulting in dismissals and/or settlements to end litigation.
- Counsel for subcontractor relating to consolidated litigation involving complex claims alleging construction defects in an apartment complex in Baton Rouge, resulting in a settlement with owner, surety, insurers, and other subcontractors to avoid further litigation.
- Counsel for public hospitals in judicial commitment hearings for certain qualified patients.
- General counsel for several clients including a local landscape material supplier, a roofing company, and others.
Articles and Publications
- "No Contractor’s License? Contract is an Absolute Nullity: Recent Decisions," ABC Pelican Merit Shop Message, Spring 2021
- "COVID-19’s Impact on Construction: Best Practices for Contractors/Subcontractors to Preserve Rights," The Taylor RePorter Legal Blog, 2020
- "Construction Contracts: Important Provisions," Taylor Porter In-House Counsel CLE Seminar, 2019
- "Appeals Court Rules GC Has "Reasonable Cause" to Withhold Payment," The Taylor RePorter Legal Blog, 2016
- “The Law & Jurisprudence on Insurance Penalty Actions,” Louisiana State Bar Association Uncorked! CLE, 2014
- “Singing the Blues: Muddy Waters and the Scope of Federal Authority over Isolated, Inland Wetlands under the Clean Water Act,” The Administrative & Regulatory Law News, Vol. 32, No. 1, 2006 (ABA’s Administrative Law & Regulatory Practice)