In oral argument, I like answering questions I get from the bench. I look the appellate judges in the eye and talk straight to them, firmly believing every word out of my mouth. I know the record and cases backwards and forwards, and for virtually any question they throw at me, I’ve got the answer. It’s not necessarily from being intelligent; it comes from being prepared, doing the work, and digesting and synthesizing all of the information.
As a litigator and appellate lawyer, Ray Ward defends clients in a range of industries, including oil and gas, manufacturing, insurance, and health care, in complex, document-heavy toxic-exposure and other tort cases. As the lead brief writer in a litigation arising from a massive industrial plant explosion, Ray and his team gained a reversal from an appellate court of an $88.75 million judgment against his client, an electrical-products manufacturer. In litigation stemming from another industrial accident, the Louisiana Supreme Court peremptorily reversed a court of appeal’s judgment, ruling in favor of his client. In an appeal representing a state medical board, he obtained reversal of a district court’s judgment and reinstatement of the board’s disciplinary action against a physician involving his treatment of 11 patients.
Ray serves clients in complicated appellate litigation that requires him to dig through the labyrinth of a big-record case to find and craft the client’s story, and then clearly convey that narrative to the panel of appellate judges. He studies what judges have written so he can get a sense of the way they think - to get inside their heads and their hearts – and convince them to see the case his way. He fully realizes that written and oral persuasion is the stock-in-trade of his service to clients.
Frequently asked to share his knowledge of appellate practice with other lawyers, Ray conducts presentations and writes articles on appellate advocacy and legal writing. A blog he regularly writes is considered by Louisiana appellate lawyers as the leading such media outlet in the state for all aspects of Louisiana civil appeals. He’s among the first group of lawyers (currently only six statewide) to be certified by the Louisiana Board of Legal Specialization as an Appellate Practice Specialist, a highly respected certification that requires a difficult-to-attain set of criteria.
“ As lawyers, we need to learn from classical rhetoric, psychology, the social sciences, biology of the brain – every discipline that tells us how people think and make decisions, and how we can influence their thinking and decision-making. While many lawyers don’t make this effort, the effort is worthwhile for those who do. ”
- Loyola University New Orleans College of Law, J.D., 1990
- Franciscan University of Steubenville, B.A., 1980
- United States Supreme Court
- United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
- United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
- United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
- United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
- 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
Areas of Practice
- AV® Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell
- Louisiana Super Lawyers® (by Thomson Reuters) Appellate Law 2013-2019
- Order of St. Louis IX Medallion, Archdiocese of New Orleans 2008
- President's Law Award, Franciscan University of Steubenville 2005
- Loyola Law Alumni Award, Loyola Law Review 1990
- Editorial Board Award, Loyola Law Review 1990
- New Orleans' Top Lawyers, New Orleans Magazine, 2017
Professional Affiliations & Memberships
- American Bar Association, Council of Appellate Lawyers
- Defense Research Institute, Appellate Advocacy Committee
- Louisiana Association of Defense Counsel
- Scribes - The American Society of Legal Writers, Board of Directors