Adams and Reese has announced that former Insurance Commissioner of Louisiana, J. Robert Wooley, will join the firm as of counsel, effective today, Monday, February 20, 2006.
Adams and Reese, which has offices in Baton Rouge and New Orleans, LA; Birmingham and Mobile, AL; Jackson, MS; Houston, TX; Nashville, TN; and Washington, D.C., is a multidisciplinary law firm with over 300 attorneys. It is the largest firm in the region that encompasses the states of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee.
According to Adams and Reese Managing Partner, Charles “Chuck” P. Adams, Jr., “During his time of public service, Robert demonstrated steadfast leadership, helping both consumers and insurers, and most recently met the challenge under the extraordinary circumstances of unprecedented devastation resulting from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.”
Adams continued, “Robert has helped restore public confidence and trust during his time in public service. His record of accomplishments, knowledge of the insurance industry and state government will further enhance our firm’s insurance business and governmental relations practice. We are pleased to welcome him to Adams and Reese.”
E. L. “Bubba” Henry, of counsel with Adams and Reese and former speaker of the Louisiana House of Representatives, stated, “I have followed Robert’s career and respect his work ethic and integrity. Working from our Baton Rouge office, he will add depth to our team and provide Adams and Reese with an even stronger capacity to help our clients achieve their goals.”
Henry added, “Robert understands all levels of the insurance industry. He has both a legislative and regulatory perspective coupled with an extensive working knowledge of the entire governmental process which makes him a definite asset to our firm and I look forward to working with him.”
Adams and Reese Governmental Relations Practice Group Leader, B. Jeffrey Brooks, stated, “Robert’s reputation as a noteworthy leader with great legislative abilities precedes him.” Brooks continued, “His knowledge of the insurance industry from the daily workings to having served as the Commissioner will be an invaluable asset to our firm, however Robert is well known, well respected and well received by legislators of all sorts and party affiliations. He will be able to assist governmental relations clients from other industries (outside of the insurance industry) achieve their goals as well.”
A long time resident of Baton Rouge, Wooley graduated magna cum laude in 1974 from Northeast Louisiana University with a degree in Business Administration and received his law degree in 1977 from Louisiana State University, Paul M. Hebert Law Center in Baton Rouge.
After graduation, Wooley entered private law practice in Ferriday, Louisiana and later served as Executive Counsel and First Assistant in the Secretary of State’s office. He was a solo law practitioner and a political and governmental relations consultant before returning to state government in 1999 as Chief Deputy of the Department of Insurance. He assumed the role of Commissioner of Insurance for the State of Louisiana in 2002 and was elected to that office in 2003.
Of his decision to step down from public office earlier this month, Wooley said, “My decision was made after careful consideration for my family, the employees of the Department of Insurance and the voters who placed their confidence in me more than two years ago. When I joined the Department (of Insurance) in 1999, for what I saw as a brief time, I never imagined I would become Commissioner. I have always said that I am not a politician. That made my decision to run for Commissioner then just as difficult as the decision to leave the office. However, looking to the future, I decided to leave public office to pursue new opportunities.”
Wooley successfully improved the tarnished image of the Department of Insurance, regaining public trust, and under his direction, it was the first state agency to reopen following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, successfully meeting the difficult challenges that both storms presented.
But why did he decide to join Adams and Reese? Wooley explains, “I have always taken note of who was making things happen around the state and Adams and Reese was always there. When I looked around and saw who the political players were in the state, Adams and Reese stood out.”
He continued, “I have many valued relationships with members of the firm throughout the region and a particular respect for E.L. “Bubba” Henry. I look forward to working with him and the entire firm. I am pleased and proud to be joining this well respected firm.”
Political leaders are no strangers to Adams and Reese. Wooley joins several Adams and Reese attorneys who previously held or currently hold public office: James “Jimmy” A. Hayes, former U.S. Congressman, is in the Washington, D.C. office; E. L. “Bubba” Henry, former Speaker of the LA House of Representatives, is in the Baton Rouge office; Ronald J. Sholes, former District Court Judge in Civil District Court for the Parish of Orleans, is in the New Orleans office; Paul G. Pastorek, former President of the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education and former General Counsel to NASA, is in the New Orleans office; William R. Bruce, former Tennessee State Representative and State Senator, is in the Nashville office; and Bradley R. Byrne, former member of the Alabama State Board of Education and currently Alabama State Senator, is in the Mobile office.
Other notable firm alumni include Sam A. LeBlanc III, former Louisiana State Representative; and Timothy P. Coulon, former Jefferson Parish President, Chairman of the Louisiana Superdome Commission and member of the Board of Directors of the Louisiana Recovery Authority.
For more information on Adams and Reese, visit the firm’s Web site, www.adamsandreese.com
Adams and Reese LLP is a multidisciplinary law firm. With more than 300 lawyers, the firm has offices in Baton Rouge, LA; Birmingham, AL; Houston, TX; Jackson, MS; Mobile, AL; Nashville, TN; New Orleans, LA and Washington, D.C. American Lawyer Magazine recently named Adams and Reese to its distinguished list of the nation’s top 200 firms - “The Am Law 200.” The National Law Journal also lists the firm on the “NLJ 250” of the nation’s largest law firms.
Editor’s Note: Interviews with Robert Wooley can be arranged through Ann Wallace (504) 585-0172 or Wanda Miller at (504) 585-0388.