Adams and Reese attorney Mark Surprenant was sworn in as 2013-2014 President of the New Orleans Bar Association (N.O.B.A.) as the organization conducted its 89th Annual Dinner on November 20th. Surprenant was passed the presidential gavel from outgoing N.O.B.A. President, Timothy F. Daniels.
The last Adams and Reese attorney to take the reins as N.O.B.A. President was one of the law firm’s original founders, Ford Reese, in 1953. The first N.O.B.A. President was the firm’s other founder, St. Clair Adams.
With more than 36 years of a successful legal career and an impressive background in community service, Surprenant was the recipient of the N.O.B.A. Presidents’ Award in 2010 and the 2012 Times-Picayune Loving Cup Award. His priorities as President will be to promote the Association’s ongoing commitment to provide valuable services to its more than 3,000 member attorneys and judges and to encourage greater pro bono service by all in the New Orleans community.
Since the beginning of his legal career, Surprenant has been dedicated to community service. In 1988, he created HUGS — the Adams and Reese corporate philanthropy program — and in 2000 he established CA&RE — the firm’s official pro bono program. He is also the Co-Founder of SOLACE, Inc. (Support of Lawyers/Legal Personnel All Concern Encouraged). SOLACE is a statewide volunteer organization with more than 6,000 volunteers. It reaches out to assist those in the legal community who have experienced some significant, potentially life-changing event in their lives.
Surprenant is also a recipient of several other pro bono and community service awards, including the Pro Bono Award from the Legal Services Corporation (2013); the Distinguished Donor Award from The Pro Bono Project (2012); Friend of Pro Bono Award from The Pro Bono Project (2011); Presidents Award from the New Orleans Bar Association (2010); Camille F. Gavel, Jr. Pro Bono Award from the New Orleans Chapter of the Federal Bar Association (2008); the Leah Hipple McKay Memorial Award for Outstanding Volunteerism from the Louisiana State Bar Association (2008); “Role Model of the Year” by the Young Leadership Council of New Orleans and “Great Gentleman for 2007” by the East Jefferson General Hospital Auxiliary.
Surprenant joined Adams and Reese in 1977 as an Associate and is now the Partner with the longest tenure at the firm. He serves as Practice Team Leader of the Agricultural Chemicals team and as Liaison Partner of the Pro Bono Services Committee.