Phillip Wade Devilbiss
Phillip joined the firm upon his graduation from law school in May of 1999. Since joining the firm Phillip has concentrated on litigation and has handled cases involving in a variety of areas including maritime personal injury, commercial litigation, premises liability, and oil and gas law.
At LSU Law School, Phillip received class high grades in Criminal Law, Constitutional Law II, and History of European Law. Phillip also participated in the LSU Law School summer study program in France, where he studied under U. S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeal Senior Judge Henry Politz and former U. S. Attorney General Richard Thornburgh.
LSU Law School France, 1996
Together with Richard Gerard, successfully secured the complete dismissal on summary judgment of claims against their client seeking over $51M in damages for alleged trade secret violations, breach of contract, and unfair trade practices. This dismissal was affirmed on appeal by the Federal Fifth Circuit Court of Appeal. Mayne & Mertz, Inc. v. Excalibur Land Company, 2009 WL 3678253 (W.D. La. 2009), affirmed on appeal, 401 Fed.Appx. 871 (5th Cir. 2010).
Secured summary judgment which was affirmed on appeal dismissing trespass action claiming that hazardous material had been placed on property without landowner's consent. Landry v. Laney Directional Drilling, 09-615 (M.D. La. 2010).
Together with Scott Scofield, represented Southwest Louisiana Convention and Visitor's Bureau against its insurer for bad faith adjustment practices, which resulted in a settlement recovering all of their client's covered claims, and additional amounts for penalties, damages, attorneys fees, and jury costs.
Secured summary judgment dismissing trespass action seeking treble damages against a geophysical company. Braneff v. Tidelands Geophysical Co., 2008 WL 4960231 (W.D. La. 2008).
Along with Scott Scofield, successfully secured summary judgment dismissing claims against employer for intentional infliction of emotional distress, assault, defamation, hostile work environment and invasion of privacy. Groff v. Southwest Beverage Co., Inc., 2008-625 (La.App. 3 Cir. 11/5/08), 997 So.2d 782.
Successful representation of physicians in action for breach of option contract, fraud and damages against hospital resulting in pre-trial settlement in excess of one half million dollars.
Along with Pat Gallaugher and co-counsel, secured multi-million dollar settlement for landowners against various oil well operators for negligently design and drilling of oil well
Successful representation of operators and oil field service companies in obtaining and preserving liens under the Louisiana Oil Well Lien Act
Secured damage award – including penalties and attorney's fees – against an insurer for arbitrary and capricious failure to pay a claim. Morgan v. Allstate, 03-0014, 14th JDC, Louisiana
Along with Scott Scofield, obtained the dismissal of a civil rights claims and recovered clients' attorney fees at both the district and appellate court levels. Robins v. Jarreau, 90 Fed. App. 749, 2004 WL 330861 (5th Cir. 2004); and Robins v. Jarreau, 2005 WL 1050754, (5th Cir. 2005)
Successful representation at trial and through settlement negotiation of clients in redhibition claims
Successfully secured reduction of penalty for alleged regulatory violations assessed by the U.S. Coast Guard
Successful representation through litigation and settlement negotiations of several clients in maritime personal injury claims involving Jones Act negligence, unseaworthiness and LHWCA negligence claims
Instrumental in successful litigation of claims involving clients' entitlement to funds in an account governed by the Federal Employee Retirement Income Security Act. Halphen v. Crosby, 6:02-CV-0880, Western District of Louisiana
Areas of Practice
- Commercial Litigation
- Personal Injury Defense
- Mineral Law
- Louisiana, 1999
- Louisiana State University Law Center, Baton Rouge, Louisiana
- J.D. - 1999
- Northwestern State University
- B.A. - 1995
- Major: Sociology, Natchitoches
Honors and Awards
- Recipient of Kiwanis Club of Lake Charles Outstanding Director Award
- Recipient of Kiwanis Club of Lake Charles Human and Spiritual Values Award, 2003 - 2004
- Graduate – Chamber Southwest Leadership Program, 2004 - 2005
Professional Associations and Memberships
- Louisiana Bar Association
- Southwest Louisiana Bar Association
- SWLBA Young Lawyer's Section
- Louisiana Association of Defense Counsel
- Louisiana State Law Institute
- Louisiana State Law Institute, Young Lawyer's Representative, 2009 - 2010
- Southwest Louisiana Bar Association, Vice President
- Southwest Louisiana Bar Foundation, Board Member
- Southwest Louisiana Bar Association, Past Treasurer
- Southwest Louisiana Bar Association Young Lawyers Section, Past President
- Southwest Louisiana Bar Association's Executive Counsel
- Kiwanis Club of Lake Charles, Past President
- Kiwanis Club of Lake Charles, Past Director
- American Cancer Society of Southwest Louisiana, Past Member Leadership Council
- Southwest Louisiana Association of Defense Counsel, Past President/Secretary
- Louisiana Bar Association Young Lawyers Section Disaster Relief Committee, Past Member
- St. John's Lutheran Church, Member
- Business Law at McNeese State University, Past Visiting Lecturer
Pro Bono Activities
- Volunteer for Local Charities