Ray Ward joined Adams and Reese in 2002 after learning about the firm’s dedicated team of attorneys in the Appellate Advocacy Group. Since then, he has focused his practice on appellate law.
Ray serves on the steering committee for the Defense Research Institute’s Appellate Advocacy Committee, for which he served several years as Chair of Publications. Combining his love of writing with his practice of law, Ray has written several articles for DRI publications on appellate practice and legal writing. He is one of four co-editors of “A Defense Lawyer’s Guide to Appellate Practice,” published by DRI in 2004, for which he also wrote two chapters.
His other significant accomplishments include the following:
- Winning reversal of a judgment against a pesticide manufacturer and a holding that the manufacturer’s duty to avoid accidental damage to farm-raised crawfish did not extend to plaintiffs, who bought crawfish from crawfish farmers for resale. Phillips v. G & H Seed Co., 10 So. 3d 339 (La. App. 3 Cir.), writ denied, 21 So. 3d 284 (La. 2009).
- Winning reversal of an $88.75 million judgment against an electrical-products manufacturer, in a case arising from a massive explosion at an industrial plant. In re Gramercy Plant Explosion at Kaiser, 927 So. 2d 492 (La. App. 5 Cir.), writ denied, 929 So. 2d 1271 (La. 2006). Ray was the principal author of the winning brief.
- Obtaining an important ruling from the Louisiana Supreme Court that a class-certification order, though interlocutory, can be appealed as of right. Davis v. Jazz Casino Co., LLC, 849 So. 2d 497 (La. 2003). This rule has since been codified by the Louisiana Legislature in Act 205 of the 2005 Regular Session.
- Persuading the Louisiana Supreme Court to reverse the lower courts and hold that under Louisiana law, liability for conversion depends on a finding of fault. Prior law held defendants strictly liable for conversion, regardless of fault. Dual Drilling Co. v. Mills Equipment Investments, Inc., 721 So. 2d 853 (La. 1998), reversing 705 So. 2d 1246 (La. App. 4 Cir. 1998).
Ray has taught many CLE classes on appellate practice, legal writing, and other topics. He also edits The (New) Legal Writer, a blog devoted to legal writing. He counts General Russel Honore among the people he most admires for his leadership in resurrecting New Orleans following the devastating levee failures and resulting flood of 2005.
In his free time, Ray practices his skill at playing blues-style guitar. At his church, he serves in the music ministry and as a lector.
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