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Amy L. Champagne

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Amy Champagne has a diverse litigation and appellate practice, concentrating in the areas of products liability, premises/personal injury, commercial litigation and class actions on behalf of clients in the energy, chemical, petrochemical and pharmaceutical industries.

Featured Experience

Successfully persuaded appellate court to reverse and render judgment in favor of casino following unsuccessful trial of contract dispute resulting in seven-figure verdict.

Briefed and argued the appeal of a multimillion dollar verdict against an international oil company before the state supreme court, resulting in a favorable settlement.

Professional Biography

Ms. Champagne has tried approximately 12 cases to jury verdict and three bench trials. She has briefed dozens of appellate matters, including direct and interlocutory appeals, mandamus proceedings, and petitions for review, and has successfully argued before both state and federal courts.

Ms. Champagne also serves regularly as appellate counsel at the trial level, taking on roles ranging from advising on pre-trial motions, preparing jury instructions and "monitoring" trials to seamlessly integrating with an existing trial team from another firm days before a nearly month-long trial and assuming primary responsibility for all aspects of error preservation and motions practice.

Ms. Champagne holds a degree in chemical engineering and practiced in that field for a number of years before entering law school. As a project/process engineer for a major energy corporation, she oversaw capital projects as well as the optimizing of existing natural gas processing operations in Louisiana. She also worked as a consulting engineer for a global engineering, design and construction firm, where she focused primarily on providing environmental services to the chemical and petrochemical industries.

  • Appeals

  • Successfully persuaded appellate court to reverse and render judgment in favor of casino following unsuccessful trial of contract dispute resulting in seven-figure verdict.

  • Briefed and argued the appeal of a multimillion dollar verdict against an international oil company before the state supreme court, resulting in a favorable settlement.
  • Briefed, argued and successfully defended judgment in favor of our client before the Fifth Circuit in first reported Legionella wrongful death case against water treatment professionals.

  • Secured a favorable opinion on interlocutory appeal from the Fifth Circuit for a major insurer following Hurricane Katrina, which included the granting of all motions filed on the clients' behalf.

  • Served as appellate counsel and obtained the reversal of a $1.9 million judgment against a gaming company and entry of judgment in client's favor in Mississippi Court of Appeals. Successfully opposed former judgment creditors' motion for rehearing and petition for writ of certiorari to the Mississippi Supreme Court.

  • Secured the reversal and remand for a new trial for a local oil and gas producer after the circuit court improperly instructed the jury.

  • Presented oral argument before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit on an issue of first impression involving the intersection of bankruptcy law and a statutory lien for gas sellers.
  • Appealed a jury verdict in favor of royalty owners for trespass and drainage damages resulting from a deviated well bore.
  • Hired by national counsel and principal executive officer for a national fraternity to assist with a petition for interlocutory appeal from the denial of a motion for summary judgment in two wrongful death cases. Engaged as trial counsel after the petition was denied, conducting discovery, ADR and trial preparations, and successfully negotiated settlement shortly before the scheduled trial.
  • Successfully appealed a criminal conviction to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals following a guilty plea for reentering the United States after having been deported following an aggravated felony conviction in violation of 8 U.S.C. 1326, which resulted in a remand for a significantly lower sentence.
  • Toxic and Hazardous Substances Litigation

  • Secured exclusion of plaintiffs' experts and summary judgment in the first reported case against a water treatment company involving multiple Legionella-related injuries and deaths; successfully defended judgment before the Fifth Circuit.

  • Defended international chemical company in series of suits brought by neighboring residents and municipality alleging contamination of nearby properties and RCRA violations under RCRA's citizen suit provision. Favorable settlement of most claims was reached just prior to trial, and dismissal of remaining claims for violation of Lone Pine order recommended by magistrate.

  • Secured the dismissal with prejudice of a multi-plaintiff suit against an international oil company arising out of the alleged exposure to fumes from an abandoned underground storage tank, and successfully defended the dismissal on appeal to the Fifth Circuit.

  • Successfully defended numerous chemical and petrochemical companies against benzene-exposure claims by former employees and contractors in multiple states' courts.

  • Other

  • Won a directed verdict dismissing all individual defendants and multiple counts of the complaint in a professional negligence case.
  • Represented an oil and gas exploration and production company in a dispute by investors and non-working interest owners involving claims of breach of fiduciary duty, fraud, breach of contract and various tort claims related to their joint operating agreement, joint venture agreement and the conveyance and repurchase of a volumetric production payment.
  • Defended qui tam suits involving allegations of improper valuation and improper measurement of natural gas produced on federal leases.

  • Favorably settled slander and defamation allegations against an attorney without the need for deposition.
  • Won summary judgment in multiple jurisdictions on issue of learned intermediary on behalf of a national drug manufacturer.

  • Prevailed on summary judgment in defeating Conti-type claims against a generic drug manufacturer in multiple jurisdictions.

  • Secured dismissal on the pleadings with prejudice for a major wireless telecommunications company in a federal action involving claims of fraud, conversion, breach of contract, interference with prospective business advantage and breach of good faith and fair dealing.
  • Obtained the dismissal of a class action on behalf of a major insurer following Hurricane Katrina.  
  • Law Clerk for The Honorable W. Eugene Davis, U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals
  • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America® in Appellate Practice (2021)
  • AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell
  • Appointed – District 1 Member, Governor of Mississippi's Judicial Appointments Advisory Committee
  • Named as one of Portico Magazine's "Top 10 Attorneys in Mississippi" (January 2016)
  • Recognized as one of the "50 Leading Businesswomen in Mississippi" by the Mississippi Business Journal (2011)
  • Listed in Mid-South Rising Stars (2009 – 2012)
  • Past Chairman – Mississippi Bar Appellate Committee (longest serving member of Executive Committee, 2012 – 2019; Chairman, 2017 –  2018)
  • Member – International Association of Defense Counsel
    • Appellate Committee
    • Chair – Toxic Tort and Hazardous Substance Litigation Committee (2020 – 2021)
    • Vice Chair for Membership –  Toxic Tort and Hazardous Substance Litigation Committee (2019 – 2020)
    • Vice Chair for Webinars – Toxic Tort and Hazardous Substance Litigation Committee (2017 – 2019)
  • Barrister – Charles Clark American Inn of Court
  • Delegate – Mackrell International's Americas Junior Lawyers Group
  • Recipient – The Judge Thomas Gibbs Gee Award for Outstanding Pro Bono Service (2004)
  • Co-chairman – CABA Community Service/Pro Bono Committee
  • Member – Federal, American, Capitol Area, Texas, Houston and Fifth Federal Circuit Bar Associations
  • Member – Mississippi Defense Lawyers Association
  • Member – DRI (Appellate Advocacy Committee, Drug and Medical Device Committee, Product Liability Committee)
  • Member – Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation  
  • Leadership Jackson (2013 – 2014 Class)
  • "Mass (Trial) Appeal: How Incorporating an Appellate Attorney Can Benefit a Trial Team," Trial Spotlight Newsletter (December 2019)
  • Co-author – "A Landmark Legionella Lawsuit: A Case Study Highlighting the Legal, Mechanical and Microbial Factors," Cooling Technology Institute (2018)
  • "EPA Finalizes Methane Emissions Limits for Oil and Gas Industry" (May 2016)
  • Co-author – "State of Mississippi," Chapter, State Antitrust Practice and Statutes, Volume 2, Fifth Edition, ABA Antitrust Litigation Section (2014)
  • Co-author – "Mississippi," Chapter: State Antitrust Practice and Statutes, (Fourth Edition) ABA Antitrust Litigation Section (2009)
  • Co-author – "The FDA's Role in Incorporating Human Factors Engineering in Medical Device Design," published by DRI in connection with its Drug & Device Conference in New York, New York (May 2009)
  • Co-author – "Federal Preemption: The Drug and Device Trilogy," American Health Lawyers Weekly (March 2008)
  • Author – "Defending Products Liability Cases in Dangerous Venues: Removal/Fraudulent Joinder Issues in Products Liability Litigation," SGMA Spring Market (June 2007)
  • Author – "Akzo Nobel Coatings, Inc. v. Aigner Corp.: The Settlement Credit Issue Answered for CERCLA Litigation?," Louisiana Law Review (2001)
  • Moderator – "May It Not Displease the Court: Sharpening Appellate Skills from the Trial Court to Mandate," Mississippi Bar Annual Convention, joint Appellate and Litigation Section meeting (July 2018)
  • "Legionella Litigation on the Rise – The Science, Industry Response, Law and Defense Strategies," International Association of Defense Counsel (June 2018)

Education

  • Paul M. Hebert Law Center at Louisiana State University, B.C.L., J.D., 2002
    • First in Class
    • Order of the Coif 
    • Member – Louisiana Law Review
    • Phi Kappa Phi
    • 2000 – 2001 Vinson & Elkins Award for Best Student Article appearing in the Louisiana Law Review  
  • Louisiana State University, B.S., 1996

Admissions

  • Mississippi
  • Texas (Inactive)
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
  • U.S. District Courts for the Northern and Southern Districts of Mississippi
  • U.S. District Courts for the Northern and Southern Districts of Texas

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