Appellate and Writ

Bienvenu, Foco & Viator, LLC attorneys have a proven track-record of success and years of experience in appellate and writ practice in state and federal courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court, Louisiana Supreme Court, U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, and Louisiana State Courts of Appeal.  

Our firm works closely with trial counsel to proactively identify and preserve potential issues for appeal.  This collaborative approach ensures that a foundation is laid for a successful appeal should the need arise.  We meticulously review trial pleadings, motions, and discovery materials to identify potential legal errors or omissions that could form the basis of an appeal.  Additionally, we actively participate in pre-trial strategic planning sessions to assist trial counsel in crafting a trial strategy that is mindful of potential appellate considerations.

During the appellate process, our attorneys analyze the trial court's decision and identify the strongest legal grounds for appeal. We leave no stone unturned, ensuring that every relevant legal argument is carefully considered and incorporated into our strategy.  Our experienced appellate advocates possess the ability to articulate complex legal issues with clarity, precision, and persuasiveness.

Our firm also has a record of success in securing favorable outcomes for our clients through the strategic use of supervisory writs.  We recognize the critical role of supervisory writs to review interlocutory judgments prior to trial, and our attorneys are prepared to identify the most compelling legal arguments and craft them persuasively within the confines of compressed timelines. We prioritize efficiency and effectiveness, ensuring that the client’s interests receive the utmost attention and care, even when time is of the essence.

Our team of appellate advocates also have experience crafting compelling amicus briefs that provide valuable insights and perspectives to appellate courts. We understand the delicate balance of supporting a party's position while maintaining credibility. Our experience in amicus brief drafting ensures that the interests of industry stakeholders are represented effectively in the appellate arena.

Representative Experience

  • Obtained ruling in favor of our client from the Louisiana First Circuit Court of Appeal, affirming the dismissal of a claim for intentional interference with a contract. A copy of the full opinion can be viewed here.

  • Successfully defended the dismissal of a claim against our client under the recently enacted “Action to Review” statute, La. R.S. 9:3851, before the Louisiana First Circuit Court of Appeal and Louisiana Supreme Court, resulting in the first reported decision under these newly enacted statutes.  The First Circuit’s opinion can be viewed here, and the Louisiana Supreme Court’s writ denial can be viewed here.

  • Prepared brief of amici curiae on behalf of the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry, Louisiana Mid-Continent Oil and Gas Association, the Louisiana Chemical Association, and the Louisiana Legal Reform Coalition that advocated how unfair and excessive jury awards in tort litigation negatively impact Louisiana’s judicial system and adversely affect capital investment and the business climate in Louisiana in maintaining and growing the state’s economy.  The Louisiana Supreme Court’s ruling was favorable to our clients’ interests.  A copy of the full opinion can be viewed here

  • Obtained reversal in Louisiana Fourth Circuit Court of Appeal of district court’s denial of declinatory exception of improper venue, resulting in the transfer of the suit out of Orleans Parish during the pendency of a jury trial in a living mesothelioma case.  A copy of the opinion can be viewed here

  • Defended a chemical plant owner in a contractual dispute with a former nested contractor arising from the termination of its master service agreement at all Louisiana sites. The company brought a lawsuit in federal court alleging bad faith breach of contract, detrimental reliance, and intentional interference with business relations, claiming our client improperly terminated the master service agreement. We successfully obtained dismissals of several of plaintiff’s claims.  The Court also granted several motions limiting the evidence plaintiff was permitted to present to the jury, and excluded plaintiff’s diminution in business value claim valued at $2,200,000.  At trial, the Court granted several motionsfor judgment as a matter of law at the close of plaintiff’s case. The jury returned a verdict of $138,758. On appeal, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit reversed the jury’s verdict and rendered judgment in our client’s favor.  The decision is reported at Gulf Eng'g Co., L.L.C. v. Dow Chem. Co., 961 F.3d 763 (5th Cir.2020).

  • Our attorneys successfully defended a client in a lawsuit asserting ownership and possession of an 11.6-acre tract of land upon which our client constructed brine ponds. Plaintiffs requested that the Court order our client’s eviction from the property and sought damages in excess of $11,000,000 to remediate any contamination or pollution impacting or threatening their land as a result of the storage of brine water on the property.  At trial, our legal team obtained a dismissal of all claims, which was affirmed by the First Circuit Court of Appeal of Louisiana, on the grounds that Plaintiffs failed to meet their burden of proving ownership of the disputed tract through acquisitive prescription.  The decision is reported at 2012 CA 0963 (La. App. 1st Cir., April, 10, 2013), 2013 WL 1459137, writ denied, 118 So.3d 1095 (La. 2013). 

  • Defended a suit by landowners alleging that our client’s historical oil and gas production operations contaminated their property.  Our attorneys obtained a dismissal of all claims based on the subsequent purchaser doctrine via summary judgment by establishing that the mineral lease held by our client expired before the current landowners purchased the property and that there was no assignment of the former landowner’s personal rights. The United States Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit, affirmed the lower court’s dismissal, rejecting the plaintiff’s argument that the lower court improperly failed to consider parol evidence on the issue of whether the former landowner’s personal rights were assigned.  This case was noteworthy as it was the first time that the U.S. Fifth Circuit applied Louisiana’s subsequent purchaser doctrine to dismiss an oil and gas legacy suit.  The decision can be reviewed at Broussard v. The Dow Chemical Company, 182 Oil & Gas Rep. 157 (5th Cir. 2013).