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Edwin C. Laizer

Partner and Member, Executive Committee

At the heart of great client service is listening – and making sure that you have a good understanding of the client’s problem, their issue and their desired outcome. Then you take the time to craft a strategy that gets them where they want to be. I always look to have a discussion of the problem and the client’s goals at the outset. Then, collaborating with the client, we make a plan, we act on it, and we make adjustments along the way, if necessary.

Ed Laizer has many years of experience litigating cases in the insurance, energy, marine, transportation, construction and commercial arenas. This includes advising clients on insurance coverage issues and handling sophisticated coverage litigation, as well as defending complex personal injury and death, property damage and construction dispute claims, as well as litigating all manner of contract disputes, commercial disputes and maritime claims. He has served several clients as outside general counsel and, as a result, has developed a broad range of knowledge on a variety of issues faced every day by his clients. Ed has been involved in a number of high-profile, complex, mass tort, class action and maritime limitation of liability actions.

In the transactional part of his practice, Ed has experience drafting, litigating and negotiating maritime and construction contracts, particularly those involving indemnity and insurance coverage. He has negotiated and drafted contracts and subcontracts for several large construction projects and has also worked on several mergers and acquisitions involving entities in the offshore and construction industries. Ed also has experience in the negotiation and litigation of financing, labor and employment issues and employee benefit disputes. He also counsels clients on methods to reduce risk and solve problems in their business operations.

Ed is also serving his third three-year term as a member of the firm’s Executive Committee, and he was one of the Firm’s Litigation Practice Group leaders for four years.

Representative Experience

Insurance

  • Winning a judgment on the pleadings in favor of an insurer in a multi-million dollar claim on a manufacturer’s errors and omissions claim related to a failure of equipment in an industrial plant
  • Assisting numerous clients in resolving insurance issues that followed Hurricane Katrina
  • Filing and litigating multiple declaratory judgment actions on behalf of insurers
  • Successfully defending numerous serious personal injury and death claims on behalf of insurers and their insureds
  • Winning a summary judgment under the Louisiana anti-dram shop statute in favor of a casino employee personally sued following a fatal automobile accident

Maritime

  • Winning dismissal in a case of first impression for an environmental contractor of claims asserted against it under the Oil Pollution Act by a vessel owner seeking to recoup payments made by the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund
  • Winning a number of summary judgment motions asserting the McCorpen defense on behalf of Jones Act employers
  • Winning a verdict exonerating a vessel owner from any liability in a head-on collision of two vessels operating in near zero visibility conditions in the Mississippi River and briefing, arguing and winning affirmance of that victory on appeal
  • Winning summary judgment for the owner of a construction barge in an indemnity dispute arising from damage to a power cable that supplied Manhattan
  • Winning summary judgment exonerating a towing contractor from any liability for damage to a sub-sea pipeline caused by the dragging anchor of a drilling rig
  • Winning summary judgment exonerating a towing contractor from any liability when a drilling rig capsized and sank while under tow
  • Briefing, arguing and winning the seminal U.S. Fifth Circuit case applying the Louisiana independent contractor defense to offshore platforms, which has since been cited in over 150 other cases
  • Negotiating and drafting numerous construction contracts for state of the art vessels
  • Negotiating and drafting long term vessel charter agreements for existing and new build vessels
  • Serving as court appointed liaison counsel for the property damage claimants in litigation arising from the destruction of the Interstate 40 Bridge in Oklahoma
  • Being well-versed in complex property damage disputes, in federal court practice, and in actions brought under the Limitation of Vessel Owner’s Liability Act, as a result of litigating many vessel allision and collision cases
  • In addition to representing clients in state and federal courts, Ed has appeared on behalf of clients before governmental agencies including the United States Coast Guard, the National Transportation and Safety Board, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement and the National Labor Relations Board.

Construction

  • Helping a general contractor on a major construction project to negotiate and complete a complex multi-party resolution of claims for damage and delay arising out of Hurricane Harvey
  • Negotiating and drafting construction contracts for commercial projects
  • Negotiating and drafting multi-party settlement agreements at the conclusion of numerous commercial construction projects

Education

  • Loyola University New Orleans College of Law, J.D., 1985
  • Loyola University, B.B.A., 1983

Bar Admissions

  • Louisiana

Court Admissions

  • Louisiana Supreme Court
  • United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana
  • United States District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana
  • United States District Court for the Western District of Louisiana
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
  • United States Supreme Court

Acknowledgements

  • AV® Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell
  • Louisiana Super Lawyers® - Transportation/Maritime
  • Best Lawyers® - Admiralty and Maritime Law, Personal Injury Litigation - Defendants, Product Liability Litigation - Defendants 

Professional Affiliations & Memberships

Ed is a past Chair of the Admiralty and Maritime Law Committee of the Tort and Insurance Practice Section of the American Bar Association.

Publications

Ed is a past Chair of the Admiralty and Maritime Law Committee of the Tort and Insurance Practice Section of the American Bar Association.

Presentations

Ed has participated in many presentations and seminars on maritime law and trial practice.