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Areas of Practice
Education
  • Paul M. Hebert Law Center, Louisiana State University, J.D.
  • Georgia Institute of Technology, B.S. in Economics
Bar Admissions
  • Louisiana, 1978
Court Admissions
  • 5th Cir., 1978
  • 11th Cir., 1981
  • E.D. La., 1980
  • M.D. La., 1980
  • W.D. La., 1980
professionalsBio
James Wright, III
Partner
201 St. Charles Ave
New Orleans, LA 70170-5100
504.582.8234 tel
504.589.8234 fax

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Jim Wright is a partner in the firm's Admiralty & Maritime Practice Group in New Orleans. He is also a member of the firm's Environmental & Toxic Torts and Corporate Compliance & White Collar Defense Practice Groups. He has more than three decades of experience as a trial attorney in civil and criminal jury and judge trials in federal and state courts. His practice areas include maritime, white collar crime, environmental, customs, gaming regulatory enforcement, commercial litigation, products liability, personal injury, and professional errors and omissions cases. He has represented numerous clients involved in federal grand jury investigations arising out of alleged environmental crimes and other federal crimes. He has also represented clients in hearings before U.S. Coast Guard Marine Boards of Investigations and other U.S. Coast Guard investigations of marine casualties and accidents. He has represented gaming licensees before gaming regulatory bodies in connection with gaming enforcement actions. Mr. Wright received a Bachelor of Science in Economics from the Georgia Institute of Technology and a juris doctor degree from the Paul M. Hebert Law Center, Louisiana State University.
 
Prior to joining Jones Walker in 1980, Mr. Wright served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Criminal Division of the United States Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Louisiana where he worked in the major drug traffic unit and the general crimes unit. His responsibilities included handling of federal grand jury investigations, prosecution and trial of mail fraud, perjury, customs crimes, conspiracies to import and distribute controlled substances, false statements to government agencies, theft of government information, environmental crimes, and kidnapping cases. He is a native of New Orleans.

Noteworthy

  • Recommended by Legal 500 US in the area of Transport: Shipping (2017)
  • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America® 2018 (Copyright 2017 by Woodward/White, Inc., Aiken, SC) in the area of Admiralty and Maritime Law (listed annually since 2013)
  • Listed in the 2017 edition of Louisiana Super Lawyers in the area of Transportation/Maritime (also listed 2007, 2012 to present)
  • Recognized as a 2013 Top Lawyer by New Orleans Magazine
  • AV Preeminent® Peer Review Rating in Martindale-Hubbell

Representative Matters

    • Ruiz, et al. v. Waterman Steamship Corporation and Maersk Line Limited – 2011 WL 4089416 (Tex.App.-Houston [1st Dist.] 2011); ATM Reza, et al. Waterman Steamship Corporation and Maersk Line Limited – Case No.:  02-CV-2012-900746-MAY in the Circuit Court of Mobile County, Alabama – trial counsel for the owner and the bareboat charterer of the M/V MAERSK ALABAMA in defense of civil claims arising out of the hijacking of the M/V MAERSK ALABAMA by Somali pirates in the Indian Ocean off the coast of Somalia in April 2009.
    • Dominion Exploration & Production, Inc. et al. v. Delmar Systems, Inc. et al. – 2008 WL 2224839, E.D.La., May 27, 2008, 2008 WL 4809453, E.D.La., November 03, 2008, 2009 WL 701717, E.D.La., March 13, 2009, 2012 WL 6020121, E.D.La., December 03, 2012, 2016 WL 6069495, E.D.La., October 17, 2016, 2016 WL 6276776 CV 07-9492, E.D.La., October 27, 2016 – trial counsel for oil companies in breach of contract/warranty and products liability litigation involving the failure of a mooring system for a deep water semi-submersible drilling rig operating in 7800 feet of water on the Outer Continental Shelf off the Coast of Louisiana.
    • In the Matter of Hornbeck Offshore Transportation LLC and Hornbeck Offshore Operators LLC Praying Exoneration From or Limitation of Liability – 2010 WL 3853017, W.D.La., September 21, 2010 – trial counsel in an admiralty exoneration/limitation action arising out of the sinking of the F/V PATRIOT and loss of its crew off the coast of Massachusetts in January 2009 and in related U.S. Coast Guard investigation of the sinking.
    • Cantuba, et al. v. The American Bureau of Shipping, et al. - 811 So. 2d 50 (La. App.4th Cir 2002); 31 So. 3d 397 (La. App.4th Cir 2009); 187 So.3d 995 (Mem), 2016-0081 (La. 3/24/16) – trial counsel for Japanese shipyard in civil case involving claims of representatives of deceased Greek and Filipino crewmen arising out of the sinking of the bulk carrier M/V MARIKA with a loss of its crew occurring in the Atlantic Ocean during a severe winter storm.
    • Detroit Diesel Corp. v. Delta Launch Services, LLC, – 2010 WL 1037974, E.D.La., March 18, 2010 – trial counsel in maritime products liability claim against diesel engine manufacturer for defective commercial marine diesel engines for pilot launch vessels.
    • United States Coast Guard Formal Investigation of the Collision between TV Tintomara & Tank Barge DN932 being Pushed by the Towing Vessel Mel Oliver which occurred on July 23, 2008 – hearing counsel for Barge and Cargo owner in the U.S. Coast Guard hearing involving a collision in the Mississippi River off New Orleans between a downbound tanker vessel and a tug pushing a barge resulting in a discharge of fuel oil into the river and the closing of a 100 mile stretch of the Mississippi River between New Orleans and the Head of Passes for six days.
    • Torch, Incorporated, Owner of the L/B Torch I and Operator of the M/v Chantel Lynn for Exoneration from or Limitation of Liability – 1996 WL 185765 E.D.La., April 16, 1996; 148 F.3d 424 (5th Cir. 1998) – trial counsel in admiralty limitation action arising out of oilfield explosion case involving the rupture of an infield natural gas line located in an oilfield in the Mississippi River Delta.
    • Alliance General Insurance Co. v. Louisiana Sheriff's Automobile Risk Program and The Louisiana Sheriff's Association, Inc. – 52 F.Supp.2d 711, (USDC E.D.La.,1999) – trial counsel for wholesale insurance broker and third-party administrator in civil suit for rescission of excess automobile liability insurance policies for alleged failure to disclose facts which were important for determination of issuing the policies of insurance.
    • Cinel v. Harry F. Connick, Individually and As District Attorney for the Parish of Orleans, State of Louisiana, et al. – 15 F. 3d 1338 (5th Cir. 1994) – trial counsel in defense of attorney against civil rights claims under 42 U.S.C. 1983 for conspiracy to deprive plaintiff of his civil rights by making public certain allegedly confidential information gathered during a state criminal investigation.
    • Foster v. SubSea International, Inc., 101 F.Supp.2d 454, (E.D.La.1998) – trial counsel for Vessel Owner in personal injury claim aboard pipe-laying barge brought under Jones Act suit against employer and vessel owner. Vessel owner sought indemnity from employer under terms of master service agreement.
    • In Re OCEAN RANGER Sinking off Newfoundland on Feb. 15, 1992 – 589 F.Supp. 302, (E.D.La.1984), 1985 A.M.C. 1293 – defended Japanese shipyard in semi-submersible drilling rig sinking case occurring in the Atlantic Ocean off the Coast of Newfoundland.
    • Hudson v. Kim Susan, Inc. – 2007 WL 1063322,  E.D.La., April 05, 2007 – trial counsel for offshore platform owner/operator in personal injury claim aboard supply vessel brought under Jones Act suit against employer and platform owner. Platform owner sought indemnity from employer under terms of vessel charter party contract.
    • Marathon Pipe Line Company v. Drilling Rig Rowan/Odessa, et al., – 527 F.Supp. 824 (E.D.La.1981), 699 F.2d 240 (5th. 1983); 761 F.2d 229 (5th Cir. 1985) – trial counsel in oilfield products liability case arising out of the failure of a pipeline coupling device for a pipeline located offshore in the Gulf of Mexico.
    • Otto Candies, Inc. v. McDermott Intern., Inc. – 600 F.Supp. 1334 (E.D.La.1985) – trial counsel for suit claiming breach of bareboat charter parties for two barges which were not properly repaired at end of charter period as required by charter parties. 
    • Hebert v. Chateau Living Center, L.L.C., et al. –  836 So.2d 489 (La.App. 5 Cir. 2002); 841 So.2d 774 (La.App. 5 Cir. 2003) – defense of nursing home in suit under Nursing Home Residents' Bill of Rights (NHRBR), La. R.S. 40:2010.8, et seq.
    • CNG Producing Co. et al. v. Bethlehem Supply Co., et al. – trial counsel in oilfield products liability case arising out of the failure of downhole well casing set in a well located offshore in the Gulf of Mexico.
    • United States v. Casa Bernardo, LTDA – trial counsel in criminal anti-trust case arising out of alleged price fixing in the international aluminum phosphide industry.
    • In Re Aluminum Phosphide Anti-Trust Litigation – trial counsel in civil anti-trust case arising out of alleged price fixing in the international aluminum phosphide industry.
    • Giroir v. Texaco Pipeline, Inc., et al. – trial counsel in civil oilfield explosion case arising out of the rupture of an infield natural gas line located in an oilfield in the Mississippi River Delta.
    • Ocean Energy, Inc. v. Alexander & Alexander, Inc. – trial counsel in Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) civil action arising out of post policy audits for alleged additional premiums due from an oilfield service company.
    • State of Louisiana v. Allwaste Oilfield Services, Inc. – trial counsel in state criminal racketeering case involving the alleged theft of oil from wells in an oilfield.
    • Lewis Crist, Receiver for Transit Casualty Company v. Dixon Welding, Inc., et al. - 957 F. 2d 1281 (5th Cir. 1992) – trial counsel in civil insurance agent errors and omissions case arising out of post policy audits brought by the Receiver for Transit Casualty Company for alleged additional premiums due from an oilfield service company.
    • Lewis Crist, Receiver for Transit Casualty Company v. Benton Casing Service, 572 So.2d 99 (La.App. 1 Cir., 1990) – trial counsel in civil insurance agent errors and omissions case arising out of post policy audits brought by the Receiver for Transit Casualty Company for alleged additional premiums due from an oilfield service company.
    • Smith v. G. H. Fluid Co., 418 So.2d 6, (La.App. 1 Cir.1982) – trial counsel in civil suit against employer for damages wrongful death of son. 
    • Appointed by the Orleans Parish Criminal District Court to defend three state capital murder death penalty cases (1988, 1990, 1993) as pro bono trial counsel and handled various other pro bono appointments in Juvenile Court for Orleans Parish.
    • Fort James Corp. v. T.E. Ratliff – trial counsel in civil suit against employee for embezzlement involving the forging of documents related to advertising promotions.
    • North American Mechanical Services v. Clessi, et al. – trial counsel in civil suit against employee for embezzlement involving the forging of company payroll records.
    • Bartlett v. Browning-Ferris Industries Chemical Services, Inc., 759 So.2d 755, 99-0494 (La. 11/12/99), 726 So.2d 414, 98-341 (La.App. 3 Cir. 12/9/98) – defended oilfield waste company in a class action claim brought by neighboring land owners against oilfield waste disposal site.

    News

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    Presentations

    • "Judicial Courage Under Fire – Bush v. Orleans Parish School Board", November 20, 2014, 35th Annual Conference of Council of Chief Judges of the State Courts of Appeal
    • "Judicial Courage Under Fire - A Discussion About Bush v. Orleans Parish School Board, June 20, 2014, Louisiana State Bar Association ("LSBA") Annual Meeting and LSBA/Louisiana Judicial College Summer School
    • "Making the Hard Decisions in the Face of Adversity: Bush v. Orleans Parish School Board", June 7, 2013, Louisiana State Bar Association and Louisiana Judicial College Summer School
    • “Vessel Piracy at Sea - The Cost to All of Us - Insuring Against Piracy Losses”, April 10, 2012, The Port of New Orleans' annual Critical Commodities Conference, New Orleans, Louisiana
    • "What to Expect In and How to Handle Investigation, Prosecution, and Defense of Both Civil and Criminal Investigations by the U.S. Coast Guard and Department of Justice", April 7, 2011, Greater New Orleans Barge and Fleeting Association 2011 River and Marine Industry Seminar, New Orleans, Louisiana
    • "To Talk or Not To Talk: It Depends on Your Exposure, Marine Casualty Investigations are Necessary and Important, but Protection of the Personal Interests of You and Your Employees is Paramount", April 29, 2010, Greater New Orleans Barge and Fleeting Association 2010 River and Marine Industry Seminar, New Orleans, Louisiana

    Publications

    • "Bush v Orleans Parish School Board: The Second Battle of New Orleans"
      61 Loy. L. Rev. 135, 2015

    Memberships

    • American Bar Association (Member, Sections on Criminal Justice and Tort Trial and Insurance Practice)
    • Bar Association of the Fifth Federal Circuit
    • Federal Bar Association
    • Fifth Federal Circuit Court of Appeals Bar Association
    • Legal Aid Bureau (United Way Agency providing free civil legal services to the indigent)
      • Member, Board of Directors, 1986 to date
      • Treasurer, 1997—2009
      • Secretary, 1994—1996
      • Chairman, CLE Fundraising Committee, 1993 to date
      • Organizer and Host, Legal Aid Bureau and Federal Bar Association End of the Year CLE Seminar, 1993 to date
    • Louisiana Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
    • Louisiana State Bar Association (Member, Group Insurance Committee, 1986—1994)
    • Maritime Law Association of the United States, Proctor (Member, Subcommittee on Maritime Frauds)
    • National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
    • New Orleans Bar Association