By Christopher M. Guidroz

As a result of the publicity surrounding the U.N. Climate Change Conference held in Copenhagen this last December, and the ongoing Washington debate regarding energy independence, most of us have some familiarity with the various federal programs providing tax credits, grants and favorable financing to individuals and corporations who increase energy efficiency by utilizing renewable energy sources, such as hydrokinetics, wind, solar or geothermal. With this current focus on federal programs, however, it is easy to overlook the significant steps Louisiana has taken to encourage energy efficiency and the development of renewable energy sources. The summary outline below highlights that Louisiana is one of the most progressive states when it comes to tax credits and programs for renewable energy.

Susan F. Clade was recently elected to the Board of Directors for Sweet Home New Orleans, a non-profit organization whose mission is to support the individuals and organizations that will perpetuate New Orleans' unique musical and cultural traditions, including New Orleans musicians, Mardi Gras Indians and Social Aid & Pleasure Clubs, all of whom are essential to the city's cultural heritage and economy.

Click here to view Ms. Clade's full bio

H. Bruce Shreves was a speaker at the recent American College of Construction Lawyers meeting in San Diego on the issue of Arbitration and the Surety.

Click here to view Mr. Shreves full bio

Four Simon, Peragine, Smith & Redfearn, LLP attorneys earned the designation of Super Lawyers in Louisiana for the year 2009. Bruce Shreves, John Shreves, Denise Puente and Jay Kern were awarded this designation. Bruce was named as one of the top 10 male attorneys and Denise was in the top 25 of women attorneys in the State. Congratulations to all.

The New Orleans Magazine list of Best Lawyers in New Orleans came out Thursday, November 5, 2009 and our firm did extremely well.

By Andrew C. Wilson

Relying in part upon British opinions from near to the time of the Revolutionary War, this past June the U.S. Supreme Court made it clear in Atlantic Sounding Co. v. Townsend (1), that punitive damages are still very much available under the general maritime law of the United States. This decision follows in the wake of another Supreme Court decision just one year ago related to the EXXON VALDEZ oil spill (2), wherein the Court, relying in part on British common law cases from as far back as 1763, held that a Plaintiff can add a claim for punitive damages under the general maritime law to a lawsuit based upon the Clean Water Act (3). These two decisions, taken together, suggest that for the future, in the lower courts, punitive damages may become a regular part of any suit based in whole or in part upon the general maritime law for certain types of claims or claimants. This could be a major cause for concern for the marine industry.

By James A. Burton

The commercial leasing market in the New Orleans area, never particularly robust compared to some other cities in the southeast and the nation generally, is often described as being down, or even depressed, as a result of the twin traumas of Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and the economic and financial crisis which hit the country three years later. But down markets are like up markets in some ways: both have winners and losers, and sometimes it’s not so easy to tell who are the potential beneficiaries and victims in today’s changed market.

By Michael D. Harold

Imagine an elderly woman visiting her ill husband at the hospital only to find him lying in bed covered with fresh rat bites. This happened when Mable LeJeune visited her husband, Rayo, at Rayne Branch Hospital. She filed a lawsuit against the hospital alleging mental anguish from the hospital’s failure to provide a safe and clean environment for her husband. The hospital requested a dismissal arguing that Louisiana law did not compensate for mental anguish damages when injuries affected someone else. In other words, under the old law, a person physically injured in an accident could sue for mental anguish, but not the person witnessing the accident. After Mrs. LeJeune’s case, however, the law changed.

Simon, Peragine, Smith & Redfearn, LLP is an active member of Legus, a network of international law firms. As a member of this organization, Simon, Peragine is able to provide clients with access to quality legal representation throughout the United States, South and Central America, Europe, Asia and the Far East. We at Simon, Pergaine, Smith & Redfearn are honored to have been selected as network member.

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