Persuasion requires more than just reciting legally significant facts. It requires the advocate to weave those facts into a coherent story that resonates with the judges and leads them to view the case through the client’s eyes. It’s my job to find that story in a sometimes large and messy appellate record and tell that story concisely and persuasively.
Ray Ward has deep experience in appellate advocacy, with more than 100 reported decisions and countless unreported decisions to his credit. He has argued cases in the U.S. Fifth Circuit, the Louisiana Supreme Court and all five Louisiana Courts of Appeal. He is certified as an appellate specialist by the Louisiana Board of Legal Specialization, and was one of the first group of Louisiana lawyers to earn that distinction.
Ray typically defends clients in a range of industries, including oil and gas, manufacturing, insurance and health care.
In one case arising from a massive industrial explosion, he helped win a reversal of an $88.75 million judgment against an electrical-products manufacturer. More recently, he helped win a judgment by the Louisiana Supreme Court restoring state funding of Type 2 charter schools, reversing a court of appeal’s judgment that had held the funding scheme unconstitutional.
Ray has been deeply involved in several appeals related to massive, complex litigation arising from the Bayou Corne sinkhole, working with other members of the firm’s Appellate Team to win reversals in a series of appeals upholding the client’s right to arbitration.
Ray has given numerous CLE presentations and written several articles on appellate advocacy. He shares his knowledge of appellate advocacy on his blog, Louisiana Civil Appeals. He also serves as an associate editor of the Scribes Journal of Legal Writing.
“ 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. ”
- 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 2013-2020
- 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, 2016, 2017 and 2019
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, 2013-2020