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Jay H. Kern entered private practice in 1979 after serving as a Staff Attorney and subsequently an Assistant Attorney General with the Louisiana Department of Justice. He practices primarily in the area of construction litigation, including delay and interference claims, surety claims, general contract litigation and professional liability litigation.

Jay is a graduate of the National Institute for Trial Advocacy. He serves on the Construction Panel of Arbitrators of the American Arbitration Association. While working for the Louisiana Department of Justice, he served primarily in the Construction Litigation Section of the Civil Division, representing the State and other governmental entities as owners of public works construction projects.

Among numerous other speaking engagements, he has lectured for the National Bond Claims Association on the topic of force majeure, for the Engineering News-Record Seminal on the topics of “Proving Claims for Inefficiency” and “Presentation of Proof of Damages,” and for the Cambridge Institute on construction contracts and claims.

Mr. Kern served as President of the Sugar Bowl from 1993 to 1994, as Chairman of its Executive Committee from 1995 to 1996 and as a member of its Executive Committee from 1996 to 2004. He is a past chairman of the New Orleans Downtown Development District and the New Orleans Area Council of the Chamber of Commerce and remains active in other civic endeavors.

Bar Admissions

  • Louisiana
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana
  • U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit


  • J.D., Tulane Law School, 1976
  • B.A., Washington and Lee University, 1973


  • American Bar Association
  • Louisiana State Bar Association
  • The Tort Trial and Insurance Practice
  • Forum Committee on the Construction Industry
  • National Institute for Trial Advocacy
  • American Arbitration Association, Construction Panel of Arbitrators


  • Co-author, The Impact of a Major Natural Disaster on the Contract Bond Surety, Surety Claims Institute, June 2007

Speaking Engagements

  • “Force Manure, Wiping Up After a National Disaster”, 2006 National Bond Claims Association Seminar, October 2006
  • “Recent Developments in Construction Law”, LSU School of Law Continuing Legal Education, 2006
  • “Notary Bonds”, Chapter 19 of The Law of Miscellaneous and Commercial Surety Bonds, American Bar Association, January 2001
  • “Mechanics’ Lien Law and Strategies in Louisiana”, National Business Institute, August 1998
  • “Through the Maze: A Surety’s Primer of Environmental Regulation,” Defense Research Institute, May 1998
  • “Construction Claims Management Under Louisiana Law”, Cambridge Institute, June 1992
  • “Presentation of Proof of Damages”, Engineering News-Record Seminar, April 1989 and May 1990
  • “Proving Claims for Inefficiency”, Engineering News-Record Seminar, April 1989

Professional Recognition

  • Best Lawyers in America – Construction Law, Litigation – Construction
  • Louisiana Super Lawyers
  • New Orleans Magazine “Top Lawyers List,” Construction Law, 2021

Community Involvement

  • President, Sugar Bowl, 1993—1994
  • Chairman, New Orleans Downtown Development District, 1991
  • Chairman, New Orleans Area Council of the Chamber of Commerce, unknown


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