The Louisiana Supreme Court recently issued a major decision in favor of industry by reversing the rulings of a trial court and an appellate court that found plaintiffs in a toxic tort case were entitled to an award of punitive damages based on the application of another state’s law.

Kean Miller submitted an amicus brief

Following a class action or mass joiner settlement certain funds are often unable to be distributed to individual class members.  Either class members do not come forward to file the necessary proof of claim to qualify for an allocation and distribution, the allowed claims do not equal the available settlement funds, reserves or allocations for

The country is fixated with whether the 1,000 plus page American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (2), or near trillion dollars economic stimulus package, contains the necessary elements and spending mix to reinvigorate the economy. Equally important to every lawyer’s financial future, however, should be whether their firm, be it large or small, is ready to meet the 2009 economic challenges presented; or, does the firm need to enact a “Law Firm Evaluation and Recovery Act?” In order to answer this important question, firm members may wish to consider a law firm procedures and systems review to take the legal pulse of the firm’s health.
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In 1997, the Louisiana Legislature adopted a claims review panel procedure involving “claims” against certified public accountants and firms.  “Claims” as contemplated by the Act are broadly defined as:

(1) “Claim” means any cause of action against a certified public accountant or firm, regardless of the legal basis of the claim, including but not limited to tort, fraud, breach of contract, or any other legal basis, arising out of any engagement to provide professional services, including but not limited to the following:

(a) The providing of attest services as defined in R.S. 37:73(1)(a).
(b) The providing of business or financial advice.
(c) Advice relative to plans or actions to qualify for tax benefits or otherwise reduce the amounts of
tax owed.
(d) Advice relative to the structuring of pension or retirement or insurance plans or other employee
(e) The provision, including design, of computer software for accounting or bookkeeping functions.
(f) Any other advice relative to the conduct of any business whether conducted for profit or not.Continue Reading Professional Liability Claims Against Louisiana Certified Public Accountants

The declared purpose of the Louisiana Accountancy Law, is to promote the reliability of information that is used for guidance in financial transactions or for accounting for or assessing the financial status of private and public clients. To that end, the Louisiana Legislature has decided that it is in the public interest to regulate the qualifications and conduct of those with special competency and skill in the field of accounting and has created the State Board of Certified Public Accountants of Louisiana and given it the responsibility to regulate entry into the practice, the continuum of practice and enforce the provisions of the law with respect to violations of the various prohibitory provisions. In addition to the statutory grants of authority, in carrying out its duties, the Board has promulgated an extensive set of regulations.
Continue Reading Duties and Responsibilities of the State Board of Certified Accountants of Louisiana

This is the first of a three-part series related to Louisiana law and regulations pertaining to the accounting profession. This part focuses on the historical licensing and regulation of the profession by the State of Louisiana.

The Louisiana statutes and regulations governing accountants have become much more sophisticated and comprehensive through the years. In the early 1900s the State’s emphasis was on the qualifications and admission to the practice of public accounting. This continues to be a focus of the state¹s efforts; however, like other learned professions, the Louisiana legislature has adopted additional provisions recognizing the inevitable fact of life that: “Professions once seemingly inviolate from litigation are no longer sacrosanct. The age old axiom that physicians bury their mistakes, while attorneys and accountants file theirs away, has little relevance in modern day America.”

The purpose of this article is to provide an analysis of Louisiana statutes, regulations and jurisprudence regarding the accounting profession, as accountants, like others who practice skilled professions, are now full members of the “Krewe of Defendants” in the Louisiana litigation parade. The article does not include an analysis of other state or federal jurisdictions, regulatory bodies or professional standards and requirements.Continue Reading Regulation and Liability of Accountants Pursuant to Louisiana Law

In today’s difficult economic climate, franchisors are often faced with a decision to consolidate, not renew or terminate unprofitable franchises.  Generally, franchise agreements have been entered into in better economic times and contain provisions that attempt to minimize adverse economic consequences to the franchisor arising from a non-renewal or termination.  The termination decision often leads to legal challenges involving the validity of such provisions.  These challenges include a determination of whether the termination is permitted by the contract, termination procedures, buy back issues and any damages that flow from the termination or non-renewal.
Continue Reading Franchise or Distributorship Termination Under Louisiana Law