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Roy C. Cheatwood

Shareholder

Roy C. Cheatwood is a member of the Firm's Strategic Planning Committee and is a former member of the Firm's board of directors.

Featured Experience

Successfully defended a national bond insurer before the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana and the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals against claims brought by a Louisiana hospital over a $350 million bond issuance alleging bad faith breach of contract, negligent misrepresentation, abuse of right, and related business torts, ultimately prevailing on appeal pursuant to a unanimous three-judge decision affirming the trial court's dismissal of the entirety of the plaintiff hospital's suit with prejudice.

2013

Successfully defended a client in an $18 million lawsuit filed in federal court alleging violations of federal securities laws, state law fraud and intentional misrepresentation concerning the client's purchase of the plaintiffs' interest in a company formed after the Deepwater Horizon explosion in 2010 to employ unique centrifuge technology to separate oil from water to assist oil spill remediation efforts in the Gulf.

2013

Lead trial counsel in a bellwether case in a multi-district litigation comprising tens of thousands of individual lawsuits alleging injuries due to formaldehyde exposure while living in FEMA trailers following the devastation from Hurricane Katrina. After two-week federal jury trial, won a unanimous verdict in favor of our client dismissing all claims and removing them from third bellwether case.

Professional Biography

Overview

Mr. Cheatwood is also the former managing shareholder of the Firm's New Orleans and Mandeville offices. He concentrates his practice in the areas of commercial litigation, including construction, contract, banking, corporate and securities, anti-trust and unfair trade practices, trade secrets, oil and gas, energy and minerals, and legal malpractice. He has represented high profile individuals on various liability issues.

Mr. Cheatwood represents local, national and international concerns in complex commercial matters before trial and appellate courts and regulatory authorities. He also represents clients in various forms of alternative dispute resolution and has been selected to arbitrate disputes for other litigants.

Representative Matters
  • Successfully defended a national bond insurer before the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana and the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals against claims brought by a Louisiana hospital over a $350 million bond issuance alleging bad faith breach of contract, negligent misrepresentation, abuse of right, and related business torts, ultimately prevailing on appeal pursuant to a unanimous three-judge decision affirming the trial court's dismissal of the entirety of the plaintiff hospital's suit with prejudice.

  • Successfully defended a client in an $18 million lawsuit filed in federal court alleging violations of federal securities laws, state law fraud and intentional misrepresentation concerning the client's purchase of the plaintiffs' interest in a company formed after the Deepwater Horizon explosion in 2010 to employ unique centrifuge technology to separate oil from water to assist oil spill remediation efforts in the Gulf.

  • Lead trial counsel in a bellwether case in a multi-district litigation comprising tens of thousands of individual lawsuits alleging injuries due to formaldehyde exposure while living in FEMA trailers following the devastation from Hurricane Katrina. After two-week federal jury trial, won a unanimous verdict in favor of our client dismissing all claims and removing them from third bellwether case.

  • Defended bond insurer against $1.1 billion suit alleging fraud, conspiracy to defraud, unfair business practices, negligent misrepresentation, and related business torts. Following the successful resolution of a motion to recuse the initial trial judge, extensive electronic and conventional document discovery, and depositions of the plaintiffs' CEO and CFO, insurer was voluntarily dismissed with prejudice under a confidential agreement that involved no monetary consideration to the plaintiffs.
  • Defended a major integrated health care system against dozens of claims seeking damages in excess of $300 million for the alleged breach of management and consulting contracts. The case involved every facet of health care delivery, including: health care system management, hospital operations, quality of care, academic interests, community service obligations, fiduciary duties, and operations of profit v. non-profit health care systems. Our efforts resulted in a favorable settlement for our client.

  • Successfully defended a leading international bond insurer in a suit before the Western District of Louisiana against claims for fraud, conspiracy to defraud, unfair business practices, negligent misrepresentation and other intentional and non-intentional business torts seeking more than $1.1 billion in damages based on allegations that the insurer, individually and in concert with various investors and other credit insurers, sought to force the plaintiff hospital system into a default on a series of conduit financing bonds used to develop integrated and stand-alone facilities within the plaintiff's system.

  • Successfully defended an international disaster recovery and remediation company in an $85 million suit in the Middle District of Florida against civil claims asserted under the RICO Act, as well as for fraud, civil conspiracy, tortious interference and related business torts involving alleged conspiratorial misconduct with the plaintiffs' insurers and adjusters, third-party construction managers and others related to property damage claims for nine beach front hotels stemming from hurricanes Charlie, Francis and Jeanne.

Professional Honors & Activities
  • AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell
  • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America® in the areas of Appellate Law, Banking and Finance Litigation, Bet-the-Company Litigation, Commercial Litigation, Environmental Litigation, Legal Malpractice Law - Defendants, Professional Malpractice Law and Securities Litigation since 1995
  • Named the Best Lawyers' 2015 and 2012 New Orleans Litigation - Banking & Finance "Lawyer of the Year;" 2016, 2014, 2011 and 2019 New Orleans Appellate "Lawyer of the Year;" 2013 New Orleans Bet-the-Company Litigation "Lawyer of the Year"
  • Named as a top commercial litigator in Louisiana by Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers since 2003 
  • Named "Commercial Litigation Attorney of the Year" in Louisiana by Corporate INTL Legal Awards (2015)
  • Named "Commercial Litigation Attorney of the Year in Louisiana" by Global Law Experts (2015)
  • Named a Benchmark Litigation "Local Litigation Star" for Louisiana, General Commercial, Securities, Energy and Natural Resources (2013 – 2017)
  • Listed in Louisiana Super Lawyers since 2007; listed as among the top ten attorneys in Louisiana, 2009; listed as among top 50 attorneys in Louisiana 2007 – 2018; listed as among top 50 attorneys in New Orleans (2014 – 2018)
  • Named to the Lawdragon 3000 (2010, 2011)
  • Recognized as a "Top Lawyer" by New Orleans Magazine (2010 – 2017)
  • Faculty Member – American Bar Association, National Institute of Trial Advocacy, Loyola University College of Law, "Critical Trial Skills for Legal Services Attorneys" (July 2008)
  • Master Barrister – Tulane Inn of Court
  • Judge – Tulane Moot Court Competition; National Appellate Advocacy Competition
  • Member – Louisiana State Bar Association (Co-Chair of the Continuing Legal Education Committee, 2012 – 2013); New Orleans Bar Association; American Bar Association; Federal Bar Association; DRI, Commercial Litigation Committee; International Association of Defense Counsel
  • Member – Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation
Military Service
  • 1st Lieutenant, U.S. Army Infantry, Vietnam
Speaking Engagements
  • Co-speaker – "Trial Direct and Cross Examinations," The Jurist Speak Out, 34th JDC Bar Convention (July 2019)
  • "The Persuasive Use of Experts," Louisiana State Bar Association's "The Song and Art of Persuasion" CLE (April 2018)
  • 2016 LSBA Energy & Environmental Law Summit, co-chair, New Orleans, Louisiana (October 2016)
  • Speaker and Co-Chair – "Avoiding Mischief & Mayhem," 2015 VooDoo Festival Seminar, Louisiana State Bar Association (October 2015)
  • Speaker and Co-Chair – "Sinkhole Litigation Update," 2015 Energy and Environmental Law Summit, Louisiana State Bar Association (October 2015)
  • Panelist – "What is 'Spoliation?' Once Found, What are the Consequences?," Louisiana State Bar Association's New York City Multi-Topic CLE Seminar (November 2014)
  • Panelist – "Does Spoliation Constitute an Independent Cause of Action?," Louisiana State Bar Association's New York City Multi-Topic CLE Seminar (November 2014)
  • "Sinkhole Litigation - Problems and Prospects," Louisiana State Bar Association's Energy and Environmental Law Summit (November 2014)
  • Co-chair – "Truth or Dare and Ethics Beware," Louisiana State Bar Association's 2014 VooDoo Festival Seminar CLE (October 2014)
  • "Motions for Summary Judgment," Louisiana State Bar Association's "Motion Commotion & Appellate Review: Tips from the Bench & Bar" CLE (September 2014)
  • "Discovery Practice in Federal Court," Louisiana State Bar Association's "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington: Federal Court Practice" CLE (June 2014)
  • Co-chair – "TRIALS: Not a Halloween Surprise," Louisiana State Bar Association's 2012 VooDoo Festival Seminar (October 2012)
  • "Business Development and Evaluation for Recruiting Lateral Partners," National Association of Legal Search Consultants 2012 Annual Meeting (May 2012)
  • "Direct Examination," Louisiana State Bar Association's Trial Masters Seminar (April 2012)
  • "Legal Professionalism: Overview and Application of the Louisiana Rules of Professional Conduct and Professionalism, and Their Relation to the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct," with Hon. Phyllis M. Keaty and Hon. Paul N. Sens, Louisiana State Bar Association (November 2011)
  • "Your Most Valuable Discovery Device," Louisiana State Bar Association CLE (November 2011)
  • Co-chair – "TRIALS: No Tricks, Just Treats," Louisiana State Bar Association's 2011 VooDoo Festival Seminar (October 2011)
Press Releases

Education

  • Tulane University, J.D., 1974, Moot Court Board
  • University of South Florida, B.A., 1968

Admissions

  • Louisiana, 1974
  • U.S. District Courts, Eastern, Middle and Western Districts of Louisiana
  • U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeal
  • U.S. Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeal
  • U.S. Supreme Court

Roy Cheatwood evokes glowing comments from clients, who describe him as a 'superb lawyer – strategic, even-tempered and capable of being the 'field marshal' in large cases, developing and overseeing strategy.' He is well-versed in commercial contracts disputes of all kinds, as well as torts, corporate and energy litigation.

Roy Cheatwood comes highly recommended as an 'outstanding' litigator who maintains a broad commercial practice. Clients praise the 'unique set of skills' he brings to disputes, noting his practical approach and experience in navigating the Louisiana court system.

Roy Cheatwood is a strong commercial litigator for clients in a range of sectors, including energy, financial and construction. He has a strong reputation for his courtroom manner, which is described as 'professional and tenacious, but never abrupt.' One source stated: 'He is a superb lawyer. He knows a lot of lawyers and judges in Louisiana and he knows his way around the courtroom.'

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