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Caroline H. Catchings

Special Counsel
Government Relations

Caroline H. Catchings joined the Adams and Reese Baton Rouge office as Special Counsel in the Special Business Services Practice Group in 2016. Practicing law for more than 25 years, Caroline is a trial attorney and counselor with years of experience in the courtroom. She focuses her practice on corporate regulatory law and has litigated and resolved oil and gas, environmental, and other administrative matters in state and federal courts.

Caroline has handled matters ranging from enforcement notices of violation, compliance orders, and penalty actions to agency permit proceedings in the administrative hearing process through the state supreme court. She has represented administrative priority claimants in bankruptcy court case appearances, hearings, and adversary proceedings in Louisiana federal districts and in districts throughout the United States. She has also served as counsel of record in federal motion practice, pre-trial discovery, and as first chair at trial as well as in appellate matters in federal district and circuit courts.

Caroline’s insight will assist clients engaged in governmental processes. Her practice includes counseling and representation of clients in administrative proceedings at every stage of compliance, permit, and enforcement processes before state and federal agencies, including the Environmental Protection Agency, Region 6, and matters referred to the U.S. Department of Justice. She also assists clients in compliance counseling and planning, reporting, emergency response, communications with county, state, and federal agencies, consent order negotiation and closure, litigation if necessary, and agreed resolutions with state and federal agencies.

With credentials attributed to veterans in governmental relations, Caroline has a wide range of experience in transactional, trial, and appellate practice. Among her representative experience, she:

  • Most recently served as Supervising Attorney for the Port of New Orleans, providing legal counsel, guidance, and defense strategies in litigation and court hearings. She advised upper management in the operation and business management of port-owned properties and in the development and maintenance of the Board of Commissioners’ policies and procedures.
  • As a practicing oil and gas attorney, Caroline maintained a comprehensive transactional practice in oil and gas matters, including drafting and negotiation of mineral/surface leases, joint operating agreements, farm-in/farm-out agreements, as well as unitization agreements and ratifications thereof. She prepared right-of-way agreements, surface use agreements, easements, and damage settlements in pipeline development projects. Her work included title analysis, communication with stakeholders, and negotiation with property owners and lessors on surface issues and pipeline right-of-way contracts.
  • Served as Senior Landman and Attorney for a Texas-based oil and gas company where she evaluated oil/gas and energy-related transactions and verified interests in assets to be acquired or divested in mergers and acquisitions, divestitures, and conveyances. As a team member in acquisitions and divestment for the independent S&P 500 company, she participated in the evaluations of dozens of multi-million dollar acquisition targets, preparing closing documents and post-closing materials, and evaluating purchase agreements, assignments, and bills of sale. Caroline advised on the interpretation and resolution of main negotiation points in these energy acquisitions and divestitures including consideration, purchase price adjustment, and title and environmental defects. She also served on multi-disciplinary teams with engineering, regulatory, and geo-science professionals to maximize production, operation, and maintenance of corporate assets through drilling, injection, and workover schedules for a number of the company’s largest field holdings. Caroline also worked with parties to resolve issues under oil and gas board jurisdiction at assigned fields.
  • Caroline has served as counsel of record in products liability and pharmaceutical litigation, and was instrumental in fact investigation, preparation and filing of petitions, and managing discovery efforts in state and federal courts. She briefed, filed, and argued motions in state and federal courts for these matters. She has also represented national banking, retail, and mortgage lender clients in state and federal courts, securing default judgments, reaffirmation agreements, agreed orders, or foreclosures.
  • Served as Senior Attorney for the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality, managing a trial docket of administrative agency proceedings related to all environmental media, appointed by the State Attorney General as agency bankruptcy counsel, successfully securing administrative expense priority status for client claims across the state and nation.
  • Represented one of four parties filing adversary proceedings seeking appropriate treatment of client claims in and led in the resolution of federal bankruptcy court litigation filed in Southern District of Arizona, which resulted in 32-party agreed resolution to address obligations in bankruptcy and enable a true fresh start for the debtor through the establishment of a claims fund for outstanding debtor obligations.

Caroline received her J.D. from Louisiana State University’s Paul M. Hebert Law Center where she was active in the LSU Moot Court Board and in Phi Alpha Delta legal fraternity. She received her B.A. in Political Science and Government from LSU. While an undergraduate and law student, Caroline began her career with the Louisiana House of Representatives Legislative Services’ Commercial Regulation Division. In this role, she assisted legislators and staff of the House Commerce and House Natural Resources Committees in drafting a broad range of legislation pertaining to the insurance, oil and gas, and environmental industries. She was also a member of Kappa Delta Sorority.

In her work as an attorney, Caroline has conducted and defended hundreds of examinations under oath of agency staff, opposing parties, and expert scientific witnesses. As counsel of record in hundreds of administrative enforcement and permit actions, she has represented clients before state appeals courts on matters of first impression and issues impacting statewide regulatory programs. In her public sector experience, Caroline received Letters of Commendation from top officials at the Louisiana Department of Economic Development and the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality recognizing her work with members of the regulated community.