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Shelly Spansel Howat


Shelly Spansel Howat joined Adams and Reese in 2006. She is a partner in the Litigation group and has focused her practice on health care, labor and employment, and commercial litigation. She has tried numerous cases to verdict and has also arbitrated several cases, obtaining victories for her clients in nearly every one of these cases. She has also obtained dismissals of several cases on behalf of her clients through successful and aggressive motion practice.

Shelly’s work in healthcare litigation includes defense of health care providers in medical malpractice cases at the medical review panel stage and in post-panel suits in both state and federal court.

Her employment litigation experience includes representing employers in EEOC proceedings, in state and federal court proceedings, and in arbitrations. She has defended employers on a variety of claims, including race, national origin, age, disability, and gender discrimination, and sexual harassment; Section 1983 claims; FMLA claims; and ERISA claims.

She has also been involved in the defense of national companies in complex suits instituted by the Louisiana Attorney General’s office.

Shelly’s appellate experience includes drafting supervisory writ applications and appellate briefs and arguing in appellate court. She has had several appellate victories.
Significant Representations Include:

  • Obtaining numerous dismissals of medical malpractice claims filed against a hospital client and its physicians.
  • Obtaining numerous dismissals of employment discrimination claims on behalf of a variety of clients, including but not limited to an oil refining company, hotels, a car dealership, a food wholesaler and distributer, and restaurants.
  • Successfully drafting appellate briefs and arguing before the Louisiana Fifth Circuit Court of Appeal pertaining to an exception of prescription.
  • Successfully obtaining reversal of lower court decisions via supervisory writ applications to the Louisiana First, Fourth, and Fifth Circuit Courts of Appeal.

Before joining Adams and Reese, Shelly clerked for the Honorable Jay C. Zainey of the Federal District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana. She attended law school at Loyola University School of Law in New Orleans and graduated Cum Laude. She was a Professor William L. Crowe, Sr. Scholar and served as a Casenote and Comment Editor for Loyola’s Law Review. She was also a member of Moot Court. She received a B.A. in Communications and minors in Spanish and Business Administration from Loyola University, as well.

Shelly currently serves on the Board of the Louisiana Children’s Museum and has been involved in other charitable organizations, including Boys Hope Girls Hope.

When she’s not in the office she enjoys spending time with her husband and her three sons. She also enjoys sports, traveling, and spending time outdoors.


  • Comment, "Robins Dry Dock Versus State Laws Governing Liability for Pure Economic Loss: How the Maritime Circuit Should Resolve the Preemption Conflict," 51 Loy. L. Rev. 165 (2005)
  • Casenote, "East Baton Rouge Parish School Board v. Foster: The Constitutionality of the Appropriations to Various Schools Under Act 26," 49 Loy. L. Rev. 1025 (2003)