Gordon Rees Scully Mansukhani continues its national expansion with the opening of an office in New Orleans, Louisiana. The New Orleans office, the firm's 51st nationwide, will complement its existing offices in the southern portion of the United States, including Atlanta, Birmingham, Charleston, Louisville, Miami and Tampa.
The firm also welcomes nine new attorneys in the New Orleans office which includes five partners Julie Araujo, David Bland, Brian Comarda, Beau LeBlanc, and James Prescott, III; one of Counsel, Allison Colon; and three associates Rachel Bland, Jack Byrom and Mallory Wynne. David Bland will serve as the Office Managing Partner of Gordon & Rees' New Orleans office. All attorneys join Gordon & Rees from Bland & Partners law firm in New Orleans.
“New Orleans has been a target destination of the firm for some time, and we are thrilled to be able to open there with such a talented and dynamic team of attorneys,” said Dion Cominos, Firmwide Managing Partner. "This highly respected group has vast experience and deep roots in Louisiana and the surrounding area, and will make immediate contributions to our service capabilities throughout the South.”
“We are excited to become a part of the Gordon & Rees team," said Bland. "The firm’s national presence and diversity of practice areas provide an opportunity for us to offer a more complete representation to the firm’s clients."
David S. Bland's core practice is construction, marine and energy related advice and litigation, complex commercial litigation and insurance litigation. His practice primarily includes representation of domestic and international onshore and offshore commercial construction companies, energy and marine operators and contractors, shipyards, marine and rig fabrication facilities, government contractors, power plant, bridge, and pipeline construction companies, vendors and engineering firms. Bland has over 34 years of experience in the prosecution and defense complex construction, commercial and insurance cases in federal and state courts and appellate courts of Louisiana, Texas, Mississippi, New York and the United States Court of Federal Claims. This litigation practice includes substantial experience in domestic and international arbitration, including arbitrations conducted under the auspices of the American Arbitration Association, International Centre for Dispute Resolution, London Court of International Arbitration, and United Nations Commission on International Trade Law. Bland is a Panelist on the American Arbitration Association National Roster of Arbitrators. He has also been appointed as an arbitrator in energy and marine construction disputes. Bland received his law degree from Louisiana State University Law School and his undergraduate degree from Tulane University. He is admitted to practice in Louisiana, Texas, Louisiana Supreme Court, U.S. Supreme Court, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, U.S. Court of Claims, U.S. District Court, Eastern, Western and Middle Districts of Louisiana, and U.S. District Court, Southern, Northern and Eastern Districts of Texas.
Julie M. Araujo has more than 15 years of experience reviewing, negotiating, drafting and litigating complex commercial contracts, both domestically and internationally. In her role as a transactional lawyer, Araujo has advised clients in the oil and gas, energy, maritime, construction, shipping and engineering industries with a wide range of contractual relationships, including construction contracts, repair contracts, master service agreements, operating agreements, distribution agreements, equipment and land leases, teaming agreements, charterparties, hold harmless and indemnity contracts, and non-disclosure agreements. Araujo is devoted to understanding her client's core business, their culture, and their goals, in order to better provide each with tailored, cost-effective legal services and advice. Araujo has successfully handled numerous contractual disputes and claims both “out of court” and in various state, federal, international and arbitral forums. Through her years of representing both contractors and project owners, Araujo has developed a niche construction disputes practice. Construction project claims involving delay, disruption, loss of productivity, inefficiency, acceleration, compression of schedule, design defects, cumulative impact, and indirect or consequential losses cannot be successfully handle by general practitioners. Araujo received her law degree from Tulane Law School and her undergraduate degree from Rutgers University. She is admitted to practice in Louisiana, U.S. District Court, Eastern, Western and Middle Districts of Louisiana and U.S. District Court, Southern District of Mississippi.
Brian J. Comarda's practice is primarily focused on construction litigation and arbitration. He represents a diverse group of domestic and international clients in complex commercial litigation and arbitration proceedings primarily involving the construction, shipbuilding, oil and gas, pipeline and offshore service industries. He is well known for his ability to quickly identify the critical issues at the heart of a disputed matter and craft winning, cost-efficient strategies. His experience has mainly encompassed the preparation, prosecution and defense of claims involving disputed changes orders, breach of contract, delays of all types, disruption, accelerated work, cumulative impacts, warranty obligations, force majeure events, design defects, scope growth, schedule compression, labor inefficiencies, liquidated damages, differing site conditions, consequential damages and liens. Comarda also has experience counseling clients regarding the builder’s risk and professional liability insurance coverage issues that often accompany these claims. He also handles a variety of admiralty and maritime related matters. His litigation experience includes defending vessel owners, offshore service contractors and other maritime employers against serious personal injury claims asserted under the Jones Act, Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act and general maritime law. He also has significant experience representing vessel owners and charterers in variety of contractual disputes, including charter party disputes. Comarda received his law degree and Bachelor of Civil Law Studies from Paul M. Hebert Law Center and his undergraduate degree from Louisiana State University. He is admitted to practice in Louisiana, Texas, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, U.S. District Court, Southern, Eastern and Northern Districts of Texas and U.S. District Court, Western, Middle and Eastern Districts of Louisiana.
Beau E. LeBlanc's practice focuses on complex commercial litigation, construction-related dispute resolution and advice, general contract advice, as well as admiralty and insurance litigation. Among the clients LeBlanc serves are onshore and offshore energy and marine general and EPC contractors, shipyards, marine and rig fabrication companies, land-based contractors and vendors, design and engineering firms, marine transportation and offshore service companies, marine and energy power manufacturers/service providers, and heavy equipment manufacturers. LeBlanc has significant experience in prosecuting and defending against claims in complex commercial, construction, maritime and insurance matters, in state and federal courts -- on the district court and appellate levels -- in Louisiana, Texas and Mississippi, as well as in domestic and international arbitrations administered by the American Arbitration Association and the London Court of International Arbitration. LeBlanc’s litigation and arbitration experience has included the preparation, litigation and/or trial of claims addressing: commercial contract breaches, delay, disruption and acceleration, cumulative impacts, disputed changes orders, warranty or guarantee obligations, force majeure, contractual liquidated damages, non-competition agreements, breach of fiduciary duties, fraudulent transfers, builder's risk and other insurance coverage issues, bonds/letters of credit, exoneration from and/or limitation of liability and personal injury/death. LeBlanc received his law degree from the University of Virginia School of Law and his undergraduate degree from Georgetown University. He is admitted to practice in Texas, Louisiana, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, U.S. District Court, Eastern, Western and Middle Districts of Louisiana, U.S. District Court, Southern, Northern and Eastern Districts of Texas, U.S. District Court and U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of Mississippi and U.S. District Court, Southern District of Alabama.
James D. Prescott, III focuses his practice in the areas of land, offshore, and vessel construction disputes, construction contract negotiation, land and offshore complex EPC contract negotiation, government contracting, insurance, and complex commercial disputes. Representative clients include of domestic and international construction companies, power generation plant owners and operators, pipeline construction companies, shipyards and rig repair facilities, subcontractors, equipment suppliers engineers and designers, as well as their insurers. Prescott has more than a decade of experience in representing clients in the resolution of disputes including of complex construction disputes, government contract claims, requests for equitable adjustments, a wide range of commercial disputes, insurance coverage, and personal injury claim defense. Prescott has also acted as outside general counsel for many clients providing a full range of commercial advice. Prescott received his law degree and Bachelor of Civil Law Studies from Paul M. Hebert Law Center and his undergraduate degree from Louisiana State University. He is admitted to practice in Louisiana, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and the Second Circuit, U.S. Court of Federal Claims, U.S. District Court, Western, Middle and Eastern Districts of Louisiana, all state courts in Louisiana and all state courts in Texas.
Gordon & Rees is a national litigation and business transactions firm with more than 800 lawyers in 51 offices across the United States. Our lawyers provide full service representation to public and private companies ranging from the Fortune 500 to start-ups. Founded in 1974, Gordon & Rees is recognized among the fastest growing and largest law firms in the country. Additionally, in 2018 Law360 ranked the firm among the top 40 largest U.S. firms and The American Lawyer ranked the firm among the top 45 on its Diversity Scorecard.