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Nancy Scott Degan

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Nancy Degan, office managing shareholder in the New Orleans and Mandeville offices, is a member of the Business Litigation Group and served for six years on Baker Donelson's Board of Directors.

Professional Biography

Overview

Ms. Degan is the office managing shareholder of Baker Donelson's New Orleans and Mandeville offices, and served on the Firm's board of directors for six years. She also chaired Baker Donelson's Business Litigation Group for nine years. Ms. Degan has more than thirty-five years of experience helping businesses and business people resolve their disputes through trials, arbitrations, appeals and negotiations. She handles breach of contract disputes, all manner of bank litigation, oil and gas royalty and environmental damage cases, property disputes, general business torts, and shareholder and securities litigation. She also has extensive experience defending companies' officers and directors against breach of duty allegations.

Ms. Degan has been licensed in Louisiana (including all state and federal courts) since 1983 and the U.S. Supreme Court since 1993. She has tried cases to judges and juries in state and federal court, and has argued on multiple occasions before the U. S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals and numerous state appellate courts.

In addition to her work on the boards of local bar associations, law schools, and charitable organizations, Ms. Degan has held nationally significant positions in the American Bar Association. From 2014 – 2015, she served as chair of the ABA Section of Litigation, overseeing its service to the group's 60,000 members. From 2016 – 2017, Ms. Degan chaired the ABA's nonpartisan Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary, which assists the White House and United States Senate by vetting federal judicial nominees for integrity, professional competence and judicial temperament. In this capacity, in 2017, Ms. Degan testified before the United States Senate Judiciary Committee in connection with the nomination of Justice Neil M. Gorsuch. 

Ms. Degan is the author of numerous articles and scholarly works regarding commercial litigation, mineral law and evidence, and has taught Courts in a Federal System at Loyola College of Law. She is a member of the American Law Institute (ALI), the leading independent organization in the United States producing scholarly works to clarify, modernize and otherwise improve the law, and has spoken on substantive and procedural topics, trial practice and leadership skills at ABA, Louisiana and New Orleans Bar Association meetings, the LSU Mineral Law Institute, Tulane University Law School, Loyola College of Law, and The University of New Orleans.

Ms. Degan received her J.D. from Loyola University in 1983, magna cum laude, and served as the Articles Editor for the Loyola Law Review. She obtained her B.A., cum laude, from the University of New Orleans in 1979.

Representative Matters
  • Extensive experience in trial and appellate courts in litigation relating to the exploration, production and sale of minerals, and related environmental issues.

  • Prevailed in $80 million partnership dispute concerning allegations of fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, and numerous business torts.

  • Represents officers and directors in complex matters arising from board service.

  • Successfully defended numerous companies in disputes with their shareholders.
  • Prevailed in state court trial in "corporate divorce" litigation between members of limited liability companies.

  • Obtained multi-million dollar judgment in securities fraud case and won appeal.
  • Won several million dollars for national oil and gas concern in a breach of contract action.

  • Successfully defended an international manufacturer/supplier of products to energy companies.

  • Obtained dismissal of case for international hair care manufacturer and majority stockholder sued for breach of contract and unfair trade practices.

  • Won judgment for national bank sued for rescission of $40 million interest rate swap.

  • Regularly represents banks in a variety of breach of contract and lender liability claims.

  • Regularly represents hotel owners and operators on various issues. 

  • Defended national insurance broker against breach of contract and negligence claims in litigation in which the plaintiffs sought more than $7 million in defense and settlement costs and attorneys' fees. Won case on motion to dismiss.

  • Successfully defended a hospitality consultant in a lawsuit filed by a losing bidder on a high-profile redevelopment RFP, seeking more than $1.5 billion in damages for alleged negligent and fraudulent misrepresentations in connection with the plaintiff's redevelopment proposal. We obtained the suit's dismissal, on exceptions of no cause and no right of action, with prejudice and without leave to amend.

Professional Honors & Activities
  • Listed among top 10 attorneys in Louisiana by Louisiana Super Lawyers (2010 – 2013), listed among top 25 female attorneys in the state since 2007; listed among top 50 attorneys in Louisiana (2009 – 2019); listed among top 50 attorneys in New Orleans (2013 – 2019)
  • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America® since 2003
  • Named The Best Lawyers in America® 2020 New Orleans Litigation - Banking and Finance "Lawyer of the Year"
  • Listed in Chambers USA: America's Leading Business Lawyers since 2010
  • Named a Benchmark Litigation "Local Litigation Star" for Louisiana (2014 – 2017)
  • Recognized as a Benchmark Litigation "Top 250 Women in Litigation" for Louisiana (2015 – 2017)
  • Recognized as a "Top Female Achiever" by New Orleans Magazine (2012)
  • 2006 "Leader in the Law," New Orleans CityBusiness magazine
  • Recognized as a "Top Lawyer" by New Orleans Magazine (2010 – 2019)
  • Named to New Orleans CityBusiness Women of the Year (2008 and 2014)
  • Adjunct Professor of Law – Loyola University Law School (2002 – 2003) (Courts in a Federal System)
  • Recipient of Firm-wide Pro Bono Award (2015)
  • Fellow – American Bar Foundation, Louisiana Bar Foundation
  • Pro bono volunteer and coordinator for Homeless Experience Legal Protection (H.E.L.P.)
  • Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) volunteer
Publications
Press Releases

Education

  • Loyola University, J.D., 1983, magna cum laude 
    • Articles Editor, Loyola Law Review
  • University of New Orleans, B.A., 1979, cum laude, with honors in English

Admissions

  • Louisiana, 1983 (all federal and state courts)
  • U.S. Supreme Court, 1993

Nancy Degan impresses sources with the 'preparation and skill' she brings to her mandates. She has a particular focus on disputes arising in the financial and oil and gas industries. Additional expertise in shareholder and other securities litigation.

Clients praise Nancy's pragmatic approach to cases. One stated: 'She solves her clients' issues in the most efficient manner possible.' Another noted that 'she was very attentive to what it takes to win.'

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