Adams and Reese attorney Charlie Gay, Partner in the firm’s New Orleans office and with more than 35 years of litigation experience, will be honored with the 2014 Curtis R. Boisfontaine Trial Advocacy Award, to be presented by the Louisiana Bar Foundation at the Louisiana State Bar Association Annual Meeting on Thursday, June 5th at 11 a.m. in Destin, Florida.
The award was established through an endowment to the LBF in memory of Boisfontaine, who served as LSBA President and the Association of Defense Counsel and was a trial lawyer, who adhered at all times to the highest standards of the profession.
Gay was selected for the award because of his long-standing devotion to an excellence in trial practice and because in his practice, he upheld the standards of ethics and consideration for the courts, litigants and all counsel.
Gay has more than 35 years of experience in general litigation, toxic tort, product liability and medical malpractice. He currently serves as a member of the firm’s Pharmaceuticals and Products Liability team of the Litigation Practice Group. He also works extensively with the Healthcare Litigation Group.
In the last several years, Gay has tried more than 15 major toxic tort, products liability and medical malpractice cases involving serious personal injury (e.g., quadriplegia, brain damage) to successful defense verdicts before juries in Louisiana. He is experienced in partnering with clients to achieve cost-effective, quality solutions to problems through the efficient use of resources, employment of technology, early case assessment and case management.
Gay is a member of the prestigious American College of Trial Lawyers, The International Society of Barristers, and many other bar groups, including the Louisiana State Bar Association and Louisiana Bar Foundation.
Gay has served as lead counsel on hundreds of trials beginning with his practice at Martzell and Montero as a personal injury lawyer from 1976-1983 when he moved his practice to Adams and Reese, where he has continued to handle major trials for many clients. Gay has been the lead medical malpractice trial counsel for the Ochsner Medical Institutions for over 30 years and trial counsel for many publicly and privately held companies during his career.
Gay served as lead counsel for Exxon Mobil in a mass joinder fraud claim for exposure to radioactive materials. The previous trial that involved same facts and issues handled by different outside counsel found fraud and awarded $1 billion in punitive damages. A two-month jury trial held January-March 2010 involved 19 plaintiffs and resulted in a $1.2 million verdict in compensatory damages and no punitive damages. (Warren Lester, et al vs. Exxon Mobil Corporation, et al; 24th Judicial District Court for the Parish of Jefferson; Civil Action No.: 630-402; Division G)
Gay also served as lead counsel for Philip Morris in class action brought by cigarette smokers alleging fraud, deceptive practices, etc., and seeking damages of $15 billion for medical monitoring. The court then inserted a claim for smoking cessation which is currently on appeal. Jury trial was held in phases over three years (2001-2004) and plaintiffs’ claims for medical monitoring were defeated. (Gloria Scott, et al vs. The American Tobacco Company, Inc., et al; Civil District Court for the Parish of Orleans; Civil Action No.: 96-8461 (Class Action Claim); Ad Hoc Division)
Gay represented Michael J. Jackson in alleged abuse case. High profile and publicity issues were involved. Summary Judgment granted in favor of Mr. Jackson. (Joseph Thomas Bartucci, Jr. vs. Michael J. Jackson; United States District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana; Civil Action No.: 04-2977; Section “L”, Magistrate 5)
Gay is a former chair of the IADC Pharmaceutical, Medical Device Committee, as well as a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and International Society of Barristers. He has served as Chair of the Louisiana State Bar Legal Malpractice insurance committee. He has also served on the Medical Legal Interprofessional Committee as co-Chair. He has been a frequent lecturer in the areas of trial practice and personal injury litigation.