Honest communication is an essential component of a good legal strategy, and I’m always clear and candid with my clients. It’s my job to tell them the good, the bad and the ugly so they can make an informed decision. I also like to be active rather than reactive, embracing innovative thinking and different approaches to cases, which allows me to stay one step ahead of the opposition, or more.
As an advisor and advocate for clients in a diverse roster of matters, Billy Gaudet leads the complex/class action practice across all offices. He handles local, state and nationwide claims in the areas of consumer fraud, securities, employment, health care, maritime, environment, oil and gas, federal discrimination, ERISA, commercial disputes, civil RICO and fiduciary breaches.
Acting as lead trial counsel in local, state and federal courts in the Southeast and beyond, Billy represents clients, including Fortune 500 companies, in all aspects of class action and complex litigation. He negotiates class action settlements, acts as national coordinating counsel and trial counsel, serves on defendant liaison committees, and heads up the defense group trial team. In addition, Billy litigates and tries commercial disputes at the trial court and appellate court levels.
Billy has ample experience guiding clients in and to the other side of complex and multidistrict litigation, including cases and actions that are tried over many years. He truly enjoys the challenge of taking on the factual and legal intricacies and resolving complicated issues.
Over the course of his career, Billy has emphasized the importance of teaching and helping others. He has taken on many leadership positions, both within the firm and in professional and community organizations. Currently the firm’s class action team leader, Billy was previously a member of the firm’s Executive Committee, served as one of the firm’s litigation practice group leaders, and was a member of the committee that oversaw the firm’s expansion to Birmingham and Nashville.
In addition, Billy often acts as an advisor or mentor to younger lawyers in the firm on litigation and strategic issues. He has served as the chair of the Class Actions/Complex Litigation Committee of the New Orleans Bar Association, is presently on the Executive Board and Treasurer of the New Orleans Bar Association, is outgoing President of the Loyola New Orleans Law School Alumni Board, and has served as president of the Executive Board of Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Southeast Louisiana. Billy appreciates the firm’s energetic commitment to pro bono work.
“ In service to clients in class action litigation, I focus on the nuts and bolts of the case and on deploying a highly reasoned, sometimes aggressive and often creative strategy. Clients say I’m good at learning what they need and then devising ways to best achieve their objectives. ”
- Loyola University New Orleans College of Law, J.D., 1982
- Tulane University, B.S., 1979
Areas of Practice
- AV® Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell
- Best Lawyers® - Mass Tort Litigation/Class Actions - Defendants, Personal Injury Litigation - Defendants Since 2010
- Louisiana Super Lawyers® (by Thomson Reuters) Business Litigation, Class Action 2007-2018
- Litigation Counsel of America - Fellow
- Leadership in Law Honoree, 2017 - New Orleans CityBusiness
- New Orleans' Top Lawyers, New Orleans Magazine, 2020
Professional Affiliations & Memberships
- American Bar Association
- Bar Association of the Fifth Circuit
- Big Brothers/ Big Sisters of Southeast Louisiana, Past President
- Defense Research Institute
- Federal Bar Association
- Louisiana Association of Defense Counsel
- Louisiana State Bar Association Legislative Committee, CLE Committee
- New Orleans Association of Defense Counsel
- New Orleans Bar Association, President-Elect, Class Actions/Complex Litigation Committee, Chair
- New Orleans Regional Leadership Association Alumni Association, Executive Board
- State Bar of Texas
- Loyola University Law School Alumni Association, President, Board of Directors