Commercial Litigation

Elkins, PLC provides advocacy and business-focused counsel to manage risks and resolve business and commercial disputes of any size. No matter the forum (state or federal court, state or federal agency, or mediation or arbitration panel), we work side-by-side with each client to set goals, develop cost-effective plans to implement them and work effectively to achieve those goals. We find that a measured, analytical business based approach to litigation that relies on motion practice to narrow or eliminate issues brings our clients better, more cost-efficient results. Our Team litigates in many diverse areas including Construction, Bankruptcy, Commercial and Business, General Civil, Intellectual Property, Life, Health, Disability and ERISA, Probate, Real Estate Litigation, Tax, both State and Federal; and Securities and Corporate.

Success Stories

Whitney National Bank v. McCrossen, 635 So.2d 401 (La. App. 4th Cir. 3/29/1994), writ denied, 639 So.2d 1164 (La. 7/1/1994)

The firm successfully fought an attempt by Whitney National Bank to have the Recorder of Mortgages of Orleans Parish remove a Notice of Lis Pendens (pending litigation) that had been filed by the firm’s client against property which Whitney claimed to own as a result of a “friendly foreclosure,” to which the firm’s client, the then owner of the property, had agreed. Subsequent actions led to a dispute over the true owner of the property, which led to the filing of the notice of lis pendens. In a case of first impression, the firm successfully defeated Whitney’s claim that the lis pendens violated federal law precluding any pre-judgment attachment against a national banking association or its property.

Chaisson, et al. v. New Orleans Publishing Group, Inc., et al., 761 So.2d 89 (La. App. 5th Cir. 4/25/00), writ denied, 819 So.2d 344 (La. 4/25/00) and Times-Picayune Publishing Corporation v. New Orleans Publishing Group, Inc., 814 So.2d 34 (La. App. 4th Cir. 3/20/02), writ denied, 819 So.2d 335 (La. 6/21/02).

In these related cases, the firm successfully defended a challenge by the Times-Picayune Publishing Corporation, which published the Times-Picayune newspaper, to the right of New Orleans City Business, a publication of the firm’s client, New Orleans Publishing Group, Inc., to serve as the “Official Journal” of Jefferson Parish, and a subsequent suit by the Times-Picayune Publishing Corporation filed in Orleans Parish, alleging unfair trade practices against New Orleans Publishing Group, Inc., arising out of the same facts.

Kennedy v. United Airlines, Inc., 797 So.2d 186 (La. App. 5th Cir. 2001), writ denied, 811 so.2d 882 (La. 3/8/02)

The firm successfully represented the Louisiana State Treasurer and overcame a Constitutional “Commerce Clause” defense, in holding United Airlines liable for state sales tax for its purchase of jet fuel in Louisiana by airlines engaged in interstate commerce. As a result of the firm’s successful efforts in this case, the State was able to collect state sales taxes from other major airlines operating in the state.

Brennan’s, Inc., et al. v. Dickie Brennan & Company, Inc., et al., No. 00-2413 on the docket of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, on appeal to the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, 376 F.3d 356 (5th Cir. 2004); and, Brennan’s, Inc. v. Brennan, 377 F. Supp. 2d 579 (E.D. La. 2005), aff’d., 150 Fed. Appx. 365 (5th Cir. 2005), cert. denied, 547 U.S. 1097 (2006).

In these cases, the firm successfully defended the right of Richard J. “Dickie” Brennan to use his name in the operation and promotion of his restaurants. Brennan’s, Inc. claimed that Dickie Brennan’s use of his name constituted trademark infringement. After the courts determined that Dickie Brennan could continue to use his name in connection with his restaurant operations, Brennan’s, Inc. filed a second suit under a different theory, again challenging the rights of Dickie Brennan to use his name in connection with his restaurant operations. The firm successfully defended this action, which Brennan’s, Inc. pursued to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Coliseum Square Assoc.’n, et al. v. Jackson, 465 F.3d 215 (5th Cir. 2006), cert. denied, 552 U.S. 810 (2007) and Coliseum Square Assoc’n, et al. v. Martinez, 2004 WL 551217 (E.D. La. 2004

The firm, on behalf of our client, Historic Restoration, Incorporated, the developer of the River Garden Development (the former St. Thomas Public Housing Project) with financing provided, in part, by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, participated in this litigation which successfully thwarted the attempts by certain citizens groups to block or hinder the River Garden Development. As a result, the development was able to proceed.

Advocate Financial, LLC v. Longenecker & Associates, Ltd., et al., 3 So.3d 1 (La. App. 5th Cir. 11/25/08).

In a case of first impression, the firm successfully sued the defendant in a personal injury case to recover litigation proceeds that the defendant had paid over to the plaintiff and her attorney after having been timely provided with notice that any recovery by the plaintiff and her attorney had been assigned to the firm’s client, a champerty lender, which had loaned money to the plaintiff and her attorney in connection with the prosecution of the underlying litigation.

Whitehouse Hotel Limited Partnership v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue, 131 T.C. 10 (2008), rev’d., 615 F.2d 321 (5th Cir. 2010).

The firm was successful in overturning an adverse judgment of the United States Tax Court, rendered against the firm’s client, in a case involving the valuation of the charitable donation of a conservation easement affecting the façade of the former Maison Blanche Building, which now houses the New Orleans Ritz-Carlton Hotel. The case is currently on appeal to the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals following the Fifth Circuit’s prior remand and related proceedings.

St. Bernard I, LLC v. Williams, 112 So.3d 922 (La. App. 4th Cir. 3/13/13), writ denied, 118 So.2d 1090 (La. 6/14/13).

The firm successfully defeated the Orleans Parish Tax Assessor’s challenge to the tax exempt status of the redeveloped site of the former St. Bernard Public Housing Development. This decision upholds the tax exempt financing structure of the New Orleans Industrial Development (Bond) Board, and also prevents the Assessor from making similar challenges to other revitalization and redevelopment projects involving former public housing complexes. In a related case between the parties, before the Louisiana Tax Commission, the firm was successful in blocking the Assessor’s attempt to include the value of low income housing tax credits in the valuation analysis of this mixed income/mixed use development.