Top Menu

Areas of Practice

Kristin M. Lausten is the founding member of Lausten & Co., LLC, a boutique law firm handling complex litigation with a difference. Kristin does not believe her clients should have to tailor their legal needs according to her practices. Instead, Kristin works across practice areas to provide customized solutions as efficiently and seamlessly as possible.

Lausten & Co., LLC offers its corporate and legal clients consulting on a variety of matters, including:
-Litigation Support
-Claim Investigation and Evaluation
-Travel for Deposition Circuit and/or Extended Deposition Timelines
-Brief Writing and Review; State, Federal and Appellate Courts
-Preparation of Electronic Trial Notebooks and Trial Assistance
-Investigate Prospective, New and/or Ongoing Projects to Ensure Compliance with Current Laws

Kristin is licensed to practice law in all state and federal courts in Arkansas and Louisiana, the United States Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, and the United States Supreme Court. She has also been admitted to practice Pro Hac Vice in several states, including New Jersey and New York.

Practice Areas

Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)

Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)

Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) can often serve as a more efficient, confidential, and cost-effective means of settling a dispute and potential claims. ADR can also allow for the parties involved to come up with a more flexible, collaborative, and creative solution outside of the courts.

Kristin M. Lausten has extensive experience in mediation and Alternative Dispute Resolution. Kristin helps clients optimize the outcome of their dispute while saving them the time, stress, and cost that can sometimes come with litigation.

Kristin can represent clients in accordance with the Rules of the American Arbitration Association in all matters of litigation that come before arbitration panels and arbitrators, as well as court-mandated mediations and pre-litigation matters. Kristin has served as a mediator in connection with commercial disputes, contract claims, and related legal matters.  Kristin also represents clients throughout the ADR process.  This not only includes arbitration and mediation, but also moderated settlement, conciliation, and early neutral evaluation.

ADR-Related Areas

As an accomplished attorney, Kristin M. Lausten is formally ADR-trained and has served as a mediator in conflicts ranging from minor two-party disputes to complex commercial matters.  Kristin has also represented clients throughout the ADR process on claims ranging from several hundred thousand dollars to multi-million dollar complex corporate litigation matters.  Some of these disputes have corporate financial issues, contracts and commercial agreements, construction claims, business torts, and other legal matters.

Important terms include:

  • Arbitration: involves the use of one or more neutral third parties to render a binding (or nonbinding) decision after the parties involved have presented their evidence;
  • Mediation: a neutral third party (mediator) assists the parties in arriving at their own agreement (usually non-binding). Parties retain control over the process;
  • Mini-trial: involves a hearing in front of a neutral third party with representatives of the parties who are authorized to enter into a settlement. Often utilized in commercial disputes;
  • Negotiation: attorneys assist the parties in resolving the dispute before trial;
  • Summary jury trial: jurors typically provide a non-binding decision in a private proceeding overseen by a judge. Following a non-binding decision, the parties involved can typically engage in mediation or negotiation.

Although these proceedings are designed to avoid the parties having to go to court, experienced attorneys still need to be involved in these processes so that the parties understand their legal rights and are provided with guidance when it comes to negotiating an agreement (whether that agreement is binding or nonbinding).

PANEL COUNSEL AND MAJOR CLAIMS COUNSEL

An effective ADR attorney can help you incorporate ADR practices into your everyday business activities to help prevent disputes where possible, especially when it comes to contract drafting and internal matters. Contact Kristin today to find out more.


Appellate Litigation

Appellate Litigation

Appellate attorneys assist clients with appealing an adverse judgment at the state, an intermediate court of appeals, federal courts and sometimes, a state supreme court.

Appellate attorneys also handle petitions after there has been a trial hearing in a lower court, or there has been inaction in the lower court, such as a refusal to rule on an order.  Conversely, appellate attorneys may also assist parties in defending an appeal.

If you disagree with the outcome of the lower court, you may have grounds for an appeal or for a writ of certiorari. Parties have a legal right to appeal after a case has proceeded to conclusion at the trial court level. In Louisiana, with regard to federal courts, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit is a federal court with appellate jurisdiction in the Eastern, Middle, and Western Districts of Louisiana.

With regard to appellate work, Kristin seeks to correct the errors of trial court judges and persuade the appellate courts to overturn lower court decisions and/or change the interpretation of the law on behalf of her clients. However, because not every appeal requires argument, it is paramount to carefully consider, plan and implement each aspect of preserving issues for appeal and briefing to ensure the client’s position is effectively advanced before an appellate court before bringing any appeal.

Important Skills

If you are dealing with a particularly complex case, you need to ensure that you present the best possible appeal. Some of the key activities involved in appellate law include:

  • Ensuring that any and all legal arguments brought at the trial level are developed so as to preserve the right to appeal them (if need be);
  • Managing complex litigation;
  • Developing creative, sometimes novel legal arguments and theories;
  • Looking at statutes, laws, regulations, etc. from a policy/public advocacy perspective; and
  • Counseling parties early on so as to anticipate potential litigation and avoid litigation.

Kristin M. Lausten has experience briefing and arguing a variety of appeals before Arkansas and Louisiana appellate courts, defending victories appealed by the other side as well as reversing incorrect rulings on behalf of her clients. Some of Kristin’s appellate representations have involved:

  • Obtaining Supreme Court affirmance (declaration that a judgment, order, or decree from a legal court is valid and will be upheld) ending longstanding litigation;
  • Helping companies reverse adverse lower court decisions on appeal;
  • Helping to resolve multimillion-dollar litigation; and
  • Helping clients narrow the issues between the parties to facilitate resolution of claims.

PANEL COUNSEL AND MAJOR CLAIMS COUNSEL

When you work with an appellate attorney, you want to ensure that they have a substantive knowledge of the law, superior oral advocacy services, and a strong familiarity with appellate practice.

Kristin M. Lausten has served as panel counsel and major claims counsel for insurers and TPAs handling work throughout Louisiana and elsewhere in the Gulf States. Contact Kristin today to find out how she can help you.


Construction

Construction

Construction disputes can arise at any point in the building process: before a project starts, while it is underway, and long after it has been completed. Construction is also often high-risk in nature. This area of the law doesn’t just involve those who specifically work in construction, but also contract law, commercial law, torts, and employment law. Claims can involve negligence, liens, and a host of other issues, as well as state, federal, and local laws. Construction, engineering and architectural disputes are often complicated and expensive as they involve multiple parties, thousands of documents, highly complex technical issues, and numerous lay and expert witnesses.

Kristin M. Lausten has experience in resolving disputes at each stage of the construction process. Kristin provides counseling and representation to the construction industry, representing contractors, developers, engineers, insurance companies, purchasers, architects, sellers, tenants, and more. Issues covered include land use, real estate, contract law, negotiation, employment law, and related areas.

Types of Disputes & Legal Services

Construction clients hire attorneys to ensure that they are in compliance with local laws and regulations as they begin a new project. Construction clients may need assistance in drafting legal documents such as contracts, in obtaining and/or ensuring compliance with permits, to help with existing disputes or dispute prevention, zoning and land use disputes, assistance with licensing and licensing compliance, construction financing, bankruptcy, taxation issues, or to assist them with filing or defending against a lawsuit.

Many of the contracts at issue in these disputes include owners and contractors, subcontractors and subconsultants, designers and builders, owners/architects and engineers, commercial lease build outs, construction loans, and more. Common disputes include claims for equitable adjustments, mechanic’s lien, construction-related product claims, warranty claims, and more.

The most frequent areas construction disputes typically involve:

  • Mechanic’s lien and payment bond claims
  • Construction contract drafting & review
  • Claims for equitable adjustments
  • Product liability involving construction products
  • Warranty claims
  • Defect claims
  • Property foundation/structure issues
  • Claims related to improperly-installed systems
  • Construction claims for new residences
  • Commercial project claims
  • Condominium claims
  • Subcontractor lawsuits against general contractors
  • Defective designs
  • Housing code violations
  • Implied warranty claims
  • Water damage
  • Defective window installation, roofing, etc.
  • Building component defects
  • Fraud-related claims
  • Insurance claims and coverage
  • Contractor licensing issues

States sometimes impose additional regulations (in addition to those required by federal law). For example, Louisiana has a construction law, as well as the Louisiana Private Works Act, which provides general contractors and subcontractors with a remedy if an owner fails to compensate them for work.

PANEL COUNSEL AND MAJOR CLAIMS COUNSEL

Kristin M. Lausten has experience representing owners, builders, contractors, developers, engineers, sureties, insurers and other construction professionals in high exposure construction disputes including construction defect matters, bid disputes and protests, claims for equitable adjustment, insurance coverage and bodily injury and property damage cases. Kristin works aggressively to create a manageable strategy from the beginning of the case which focuses on the objectives of the client, often acting as panel counsel and major claims counsel for insurers and TPAs handling work throughout Louisiana and elsewhere in the Gulf States.

For more information on, contact Kristin today.


Contract, Corporate and Commercial Litigation

Contract, Corporate and Commercial Litigation

Kristin M. Lausten’s commercial litigation work spans all areas of contracts and insurance coverage litigation. Kristin’s representation has resulted in a range of favorable outcomes for her clients, who range from small businesses to Fortune 500 companies.  Kristin has represented a variety of companies in a range of services, including officers, corporations, and individuals.

By thoroughly understanding her clients’ goals, concerns, and priorities, Kristin works to minimize the stress, time, and cost that litigation can sometimes bring. Kristin works closely with her clients to ensure that they are informed as to their rights and options throughout the entire process. Kristin prioritizes bringing her clients’ legal issue to a favorable resolution, but if litigation is inevitable, she aggressively represents her clients’ interests and helps protect their businesses from liability.

Examples of Kristin’s Work

Kristin provides counsel in areas such as commercial real estate transactions, consumer protection issues, Uniform Commercial Code and/or miscellaneous contract disputes, transaction disputes, breach of warranty issues, indemnity issues, non-compete agreements and related disputes, breach of fiduciary duties, claims related to tortious interference with business contracts, insurance disputes, partnership disputes, construction law issues, arbitration, mediation, real estate litigation, and more.

Specific examples of Kristin’s work include:

  • Representing companies in business disputes;
  • Representing clients in claims involving breach of contract, fraud, and related claims;
  • Defending clients in breach of contract and professional liability/errors;
  • Successfully defending clients on appeal;
  • Representing defense contractors in mediation proceedings; and
  • Representing parties in contractual-indemnification lawsuits; amongst others.

The Importance of Contract Language

In the business world, contracts include buy-sell agreements, mergers, acquisitions, contracts governing the exchange of goods and services, commercial leases, land purchase agreements, and more.

Carefully crafting contract language is extremely important in each of these endeavors. Not only does this language govern the transaction, but it protects both you and/or your business throughout the process. Carefully crafting any and all agreements that involve your business—including employment contracts—can make all the difference when it comes to avoiding significant disputes that could negatively affect your business and everything you’ve worked for.

PANEL COUNSEL AND MAJOR CLAIMS COUNSEL

The course of litigation and litigation strategy involved in resolving contract disputes is highly factual and made in consultation with the client and their desired objectives. When looking for an attorney, you want to ensure that you work with someone who understands that commercial disputes can sometimes jeopardize an entire business’ reputation and profitability.

Kristin M. Lausten provides panel counsel and major claims counsel services for insurers and TPAs handling work throughout Louisiana and elsewhere in the Gulf States. Contact Kristin today to discuss your contract, corporate, and/or commercial litigation needs.


Environmental Litigation

Environmental Litigation

Kristin M. Lausten has experience representing companies and individuals in environmental litigation, covering claims that involve all major environmental statutes and regulations, including but not limited to the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), Endangered Species Act (ESA), National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA and related state statutes), Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), and more.

Kristin brings a strong command of contract, corporate, commercial, and tort litigation, combined with the necessary scientific knowledge required to represent clients in environmental litigation defense. Whether your case involves environmental claims filed by private parties or civil enforcement actions, federal or state law, she has the knowledge and technical expertise to defend corporate clients who work in chemical, oil, and gas industries, coal, pulp and paper, hazardous waste treatment, asbestos manufacturing, green technology companies, building complexes, government entities, insurance companies, and more. Kristin has also successfully represented parties involved in multi-million-dollar cleanup cost issues.

Kristin has handled cases involving injunctions, civil penalties, investigations, notices of noncompliance, and more. In this capacity, Kristin has represented corporate clients in state and federal court, appellate litigation, and in administrative hearings involving the Environmental Protection Agency. Kristin understands the complexity associated with these cases and the importance of careful public messaging surrounding them.

Case Examples

Each case has its own unique set of circumstances. That said, many proposed development projects initially involve NEPA (and sometimes the associated state statute), as well as many other relevant federal laws, depending upon whether the project may affect a threatened or endangered species, or water or air quality. Examples of these types of cases might include defending a local, state or federal government agency for the environmental assessment or environmental impact statement associated with a project that was approved, or defending a private party against a class action lawsuit brought over environmental contamination and degradation, or property damage, etc.

Kristin has litigated cases involving groundwater contamination, underground aquifer contamination, mercury poisoning, arsenic, asbestos, lead, benzene, and exposure to other environmental hazards.

PANEL COUNSEL AND MAJOR CLAIMS COUNSEL

The course of litigation and litigation strategy involved in resolving environmental disputes is highly factual and made in consultation with the client and their desired objectives.  When looking for an attorney, you want to ensure that you work with someone who understands that environmental disputes can sometimes jeopardize an entire business’ reputation and profitability.

Kristin M. Lausten provides panel counsel and major claims counsel services for insurers and TPAs handling work throughout Louisiana and elsewhere in the Gulf States. Contact Kristin today to discuss your environmental litigation needs.


Insurance Coverage

Insurance Coverage

Kristin M. Lausten has experience with primary, umbrella, and excess claims, as well as how commercial general liability and other insurance policies are interpreted under the law in Louisiana and surrounding states. Kristin’s clients have included insurers, reinsurers, insurance brokers, and various members of other business sectors. Kristin works hard to achieve resolutions for her clients both in and outside of the courtroom, not only through litigation but also through alternative dispute resolution and mediation.

Kristin has represented clients on various insurance coverage issues areas, such as:

  • Business risk exclusions and other limitations
  • Insurer’s right to recoup indemnity and defense costs
  • Trigger of coverage
  • Allocation of responsibility and disputes involving allocation, application of aggregate limits, and other insurance provisions
  • Insurer liability to successor entities of policyholder
  • Late notice
  • Known loss, expected and intended provisions
  • Application of conditions

This includes representing clients on insurance coverage, bad faith litigation, regulatory matters, agency disputes, reinsurance, corporate litigation, and related areas in trial and appellate courts, as well as alternative dispute resolution forums.

Representative Clients & Coverage

Kristin M. Lausten has represented clients in a broad array of first and third party coverage disputes, which include property, completed operations, products, environmental, and more. Kristin’s approach to efficient claims handling has resulted in her appointment as panel counsel for several insurance companies and claims service providers across a broad range of insurance product lines including Accident and Health, Automobile, Contractors, Commercial Liability, General Liability, Professional Liability and Indemnity, and Product Liability.

PANEL COUNSEL AND MAJOR CLAIMS COUNSEL

Kristin M. Lausten is known for her aggressive representation of insurers on coverage disputes and dedication to defending companies on insurance claims. Kristin M. Lausten is available to act as panel counsel and major claims counsel for insurers and TPAs handling work throughout Louisiana and elsewhere in the Gulf States. Contact Kristin today to find out more.


Insurance Defense

Insurance Defense

In addition to litigating coverage disputes, Kristin M. Lausten also practices in the area of insurance defense. This includes representing clients in the defense of bad faith litigation, regulatory matters, agency disputes, corporate litigation, and related areas in trial and appellate courts, as well as alternative dispute resolution forums.

Types of Disputes and Claims Include:

  • Professional liability, including those involving engineers, architects, and other design professionals
  • Products liability, including those involving distributors, suppliers, retailers and manufacturers
  • Specialty risk liability, including commercial and comprehensive general liability
  • Breach of contract and other fee disputes
  • Slip-and-fall, trip-and-fall, ice and snow negligence, negligent ground-keeping, and other premises liability
  • Wrongful death
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Real estate and title insurance
  • Construction defects, including those involving owners, contractors, and subcontractors
  • Dog bites
  • Dram shop liability
  • Property damage
  • Fire
  • Life insurance coverage issues
  • Insurance coverage opinions
  • Umbrella and excess policies
  • Underinsured and uninsured motorist coverage
  • Libel and slander
  • Negligent misrepresentation
  • Tortious interference with contracts and/or prospective contracts
  • Enforcement of hold harmless and indemnification agreements
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution including mediation of pre-suit matters
  • Claims counsel oversight

Representative Clients & Coverage

Kristin M. Lausten has represented clients in a broad array of first and third party coverage disputes, which include property, completed operations, products, environmental, and more. Kristin’s approach to efficient claims handling has resulted in her appointment as panel counsel for several insurance companies and claims service providers across a broad range of insurance product lines including Accident and Health, Automobile, Contractors, Commercial Liability, General Liability, Professional Liability and Indemnity, and Product Liability.

PANEL COUNSEL AND MAJOR CLAIMS COUNSEL

Kristin M. Lausten is known for her aggressive representation of insurers and dedication to defending companies on insurance claims. Kristin M. Lausten is available to act as panel counsel and major claims counsel for insurers and TPAs handling work throughout Louisiana and elsewhere in the Gulf States. Contact Kristin today to find out more.


Maritime/Admiralty

Maritime/Admiralty

Maritime—or admiralty—is a body of law that involves both domestic laws which apply to maritime activities and private international law governing private entities that operate vessels on the oceans. While it involves marine commerce and navigation issues, it also involves the transportation of passengers and goods—a variety of commercial activities that are maritime in nature.

Kristin M. Lausten has a strong commitment to the practice of maritime /admiralty law, and has handled numerous claims over the years, representing companies including cruise ships, vessel owners, marine insurance clients, and other maritime employers, corporate clients, and companies against injury and wrongful death claims brought in connection with maritime accidents in Louisiana and the gulf states. Kristin has worked on cases involving maritime construction, liability insurers, and others, both at the state and federal levels, as well as in Federal Maritime Commission hearings and Coast Guard administrative hearings.

Areas of Practice

Kristin brings a strong command of corporate, contract, commercial, and tort litigation in defending maritime claims. Her unique qualifications in working to protect corporate clients in areas such as environmental litigation, mass torts, and toxic torts, as well as alternative dispute resolution, and insurance litigation provide her with unique qualifications in defending various industries. Her maritime work, specifically, has involved areas such as:

  • Maritime Liens
  • Limitations of Liability
  • Recreational Boating
  • Casualty & Cruise Ships
  • Longshoremen’s & Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act
  • Jones Act
  • Product Liability
  • Marine Insurance
  • Wrongful Death
  • Personal Injury Claims
  • Passenger Claims
  • Complex Multi-Party Litigation
  • Death on the High Seas Act
  • Insurance Coverage
  • Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act
  • Cargo Claims
  • Charter Disputes
  • Maritime Commercial Litigation
  • Carriage of Goods by Sea Act
  • Salvage
  • Arbitration

The reverse Erie doctrine dictates that state courts hearing admiralty or maritime claims apply the federal admiralty and maritime laws, even if they conflict with the laws of the state. However, state courts can, of course, apply state procedural law in the course of admiralty cases.

PANEL COUNSEL AND MAJOR CLAIMS COUNSEL

The course of litigation and litigation strategy involved in resolving maritime and admiralty disputes are highly factual and made in consultation with the client and their desired objectives.   If you are dealing with a maritime defense claim, you want to ensure you are working with experienced representation in defending and protecting your interests. Kristin M. Lausten offers a multidisciplinary practice that incorporates industry knowledge and experience with sophisticated trial and appellate litigation techniques to offer both corporate and individual clients with the best representation in maritime and admiralty defense.

Kristin M. Lausten provides panel counsel and major claims counsel services for insurers and TPAs handling work throughout Louisiana and elsewhere in the Gulf States. Contact Kristin today to discuss your maritime/admiralty litigation needs.


Mass Torts/Multi-District Litigation

Mass Torts/Multi-District Litigation

Kristin M. Lausten has experience as defense trial and appellate counsel in mass tort and product liability litigation, serving as a strategic adviser to clients who are typically involved in national and/or multi-state liability actions. She offers a multidisciplinary practice that incorporates industry knowledge and experience with sophisticated trial and appellate litigation techniques to provide corporate clients and their insurers a multi-faceted approach to mass tort defense.

Kristin has represented a variety of industries, ranging from food and beverage, to oil and gas, as well as agricultural, chemical, pharmaceutical, construction, energy, software, mining, and more. This includes serving as trial and national defense counsel in complex multi-district litigation. She also provides strategic advice and counseling to insurers seeking information on risk assessments and coverage issues.

Case Examples

Examples of mass tort cases Kristin has worked on include:

  • Defending products liability, consumer protection, class action, and mass tort claims;
  • Serving as lead multi-district litigation counsel for various companies involved in mass tort litigation;
  • Serving as lead defense counsel for various companies involved in products liability litigation;
  • Advising clients on how to mitigate potential future tort risk during contract discussions;
  • Advising various types of companies concerning advertising and labeling claims;
  • Helping to overturn decisions concerning the side effects of products at the appellate level;
  • Representing companies in class action litigation alleging violations of consumer protection laws and/or injuries in the marketing and/or manufacturing of the companies’ products;
  • Representing companies in consumer class actions arising out of recalls of their products; and
  • Assisting government contractors in successfully asserting the government contractor defense.

PANEL COUNSEL AND MAJOR CLAIMS COUNSEL

The course of litigation and litigation strategy involved in resolving mass torts is highly factual and made in consultation with the client and their desired objectives.  When looking for an attorney, you want to ensure that you work with someone who understands that mass torts and product recalls can sometimes jeopardize an entire business’ reputation and profitability.

Kristin M. Lausten provides panel counsel and major claims counsel services for insurers and TPAs handling work throughout Louisiana and elsewhere in the Gulf States. Contact Kristin today to discuss your litigation needs.


Professional Liability, Errors and Omissions

Professional Liability, Errors and Omissions

When professionals face claims for negligence and liability, their reputations and livelihoods are at stake. Kristin M. Lausten understands the sensitive nature of these allegations and is skilled at defending professional clients, allowing them to uphold their professional standing.

Many of Kristin’s clients have included architects, insurance adjusters, and contractors, as well as those who work in accounting and health care. Kristin has represented professionals at the trial and appellate court levels, as well as in mediation and before regulatory professional boards and agencies. Kristin M. Lausten has negotiated numerous settlements on behalf of her professional clients.

Legal Standards

The key issue in defending professionals against liability claims is addressing the issue of the perception and expectation when it comes to professional responsibilities. Whether a case is before a jury, judge, or administrative body, these entities must come to understand what the standards of performance and legal duties are for the professional field at issue. To do this, you must work with an attorney who is experienced in explaining complex terms and concepts to the lay audience; an audience that most likely hasn’t been exposed to that particular professional practice.

In defending architects, engineers, and related individuals (such as design professionals) against liability and negligence claims, it is important to understand the legal and professional standards governing their conduct, as well as the relevant federal laws. The most common causes of action against professionals like these typically include breach of contract, negligence, and/or breach of warranty.

While a breach of contract claim is brought when one party feels that the other has failed to perform according to the contract (without a legal excuse for not doing so), negligence claims against professionals requires expert proof of the applicable standard of care and the breach of that standard. This typically means doing that which a professional of ordinary prudence in the exercise of ordinary care would not have done under the same or similar circumstances, or, conversely, failing to do what a professional of ordinary prudence would have done under the same or similar circumstances.

PANEL COUNSEL AND MAJOR CLAIMS COUNSEL

Kristin M. Lausten has experience representing a broad range of professional service providers including architects, engineers, insurance adjusters and contractors, as well as their affiliated businesses and employers in matters involving allegations of professional negligence and liability.

Kristin M. Lausten is available to act as panel counsel and major claims counsel for insurers and TPAs handling work throughout Louisiana and elsewhere in the Gulf States. Kristin understands how important it is to preserve a professional’s reputation. In this endeavor, Kristin is skilled in finding creative solutions to avoid litigation where necessary by offering skilled alternative dispute resolution services. Contact Kristin today to find out more.


Tort & Insurance Litigation

Tort & Insurance Litigation

Kristin M. Lausten represents businesses, corporations, professionals and their associations, and individuals in complex and even high-risk tort claims ranging from negligence to products liability, construction defects, transportation, and more throughout Louisiana and the Gulf States. Kristin represents clients in state and federal courts, as well as before administrative agencies and at the appellate level.

Kristin M. Lausten has experience representing manufacturers, distributors, retailers, property owners, automotive dealerships, privately held businesses and public businesses in a variety of first and third party tort matters. This includes providing skilled services in alternative dispute resolution and a full range of expertise to insurers in areas such as:

Bad Faith & Business Litigation, General Negligence, Trucking & Transportation, and Premises Liability

Kristin M. Lausten represents insureds in defense of general negligence, premises liability, automobile claims, coverage disputes, bad faith, unfair claims, consumer protection claims, and more. This includes defending the construction industry against negligence claims, as well as contract, indemnity issues, and insurance coverage, as well as claims before alternative dispute resolution forums in resolving business, contract, insurance coverage, and general litigation disputes. Kristin has represented insurance companies and their insureds in first and third party claims involving commercial general liability, automobile, property and casualty and bad faith claims. With broad commercial litigation experience, Kristin understands how coverage litigation relates to each case.

Personal Injury & Products Liability Defense

Kristin M. Lausten defends parties against any and all personal injury claims, including wrongful death and employment torts and defend manufacturers, retailers, and distributors involved in a myriad of products, including product recalls.

Representation

Some examples of issues Kristin M. Lausten has worked on include representing and/or negotiating:

  • Manufacturers in obtaining coverage for product liability claims
  • Manufacturers in obtaining coverage for claims involving alleged defective products
  • Distributors in obtaining coverage for negligent repair claims
  • Distributors in obtaining coverage for recall liabilities
  • Construction product manufacturers in multi-carrier litigation in lawsuits to obtain coverage for construction product claims
  • Companies in multi-state litigation
  • Companies in business interruption and property damage first party loss claims arising from large loss damage claims
  • Manufacturers in litigation against carriers to obtain coverage for tort liabilities
  • Clients in obtaining insurance coverage
  • Cost-share agreements for liabilities
  • Companies in connection with coverage for losses

PANEL COUNSEL AND MAJOR CLAIMS COUNSEL

Kristin M. Lausten is available to act as panel counsel and major claims counsel for manufacturers, distributors, insurers and TPAs handling work throughout Louisiana and elsewhere in the Gulf States. Contact Kristin today to find out how she can help you.


Toxic Torts

Toxic Torts

Toxic Torts defense is related to both mass torts and environmental litigation in that it often involves claims of environmental contamination and toxic exposure issues, such as, litigation arising out of asbestos.

Kristin M. Lausten has experience practicing in mass torts and environmental litigation, especially when it comes to defense of class actions. Kristin’s clients represent a variety of industries, ranging from food and beverage, to oil and gas, as well as agricultural, chemical, pharmaceutical, construction, energy, software, mining, and more. This also includes companies that possess secured interests in and/or insure companies and property alleged to be contaminated. Kristin has also represented clients that were manufacturers of pharmaceutical drugs, chemicals, pesticides, and other products.

Kristin has also defended companies and private parties against injury and wrongful death claims brought in conjunction with toxic exposure claims, specifically those involving asbestos, lead paint, herbicides, benzene and other products. Many of these defense claims involve the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) and Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA).

Case Examples

  • Multi-defendant toxic tort actions involving claims of on-site exposure to toxic chemicals;
  • Premises liability claims/defendants;
  • Class actions brought in state and federal court with hundreds of plaintiffs claiming they suffered due to exposure to chemicals on-site;
  • Asbestos cases alleging exposure causing mesothelioma;
  • Representing various major oil companies in actions brought under CERCLA and/or RCRA; and
  • Representing companies in reaching settlements in groundwater contamination and/or nuisance and property damage claims; amongst others.

PANEL COUNSEL AND MAJOR CLAIMS COUNSEL

The course of litigation and litigation strategy involved in resolving toxic tort disputes is highly factual and made in consultation with the client and their desired objectives.  When looking for an attorney, you want to ensure that you work with someone who understands that toxic tort disputes can sometimes jeopardize an entire business’ reputation and profitability.

Kristin M. Lausten provides panel counsel and major claims counsel services for insurers and TPAs handling work throughout Louisiana and elsewhere in the Gulf States. Contact Kristin today to discuss your environmental contamination and litigation needs.


Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)
Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) can often serve as a more efficient, confidential, and cost-effective means of settling a dispute and potential claims. ADR can also allow for the parties involved to come up with a more flexible, collaborative, and creative solution outside of the courts.Kristin M. Lausten has extensive experience in mediation and Alternative Dispute Resolution. Kristin helps clients optimize the outcome of their dispute while saving them the time, stress, and cost that can sometimes come with litigation.

Kristin can represent clients in accordance with the Rules of the American Arbitration Association in all matters of litigation that come before arbitration panels and arbitrators, as well as court-mandated mediations and pre-litigation matters. Kristin has served as a mediator in connection with commercial disputes, contract claims, and related legal matters.  Kristin also represents clients throughout the ADR process.  This not only includes arbitration and mediation, but also moderated settlement, conciliation, and early neutral evaluation.

ADR-Related Areas

As an accomplished attorney, Kristin M. Lausten is formally ADR-trained and has served as a mediator in conflicts ranging from minor two-party disputes to complex commercial matters.  Kristin has also represented clients throughout the ADR process on claims ranging from several hundred thousand dollars to multi-million dollar complex corporate litigation matters.  Some of these disputes have corporate financial issues, contracts and commercial agreements, construction claims, business torts, and other legal matters.

Important terms include:

  • Arbitration: involves the use of one or more neutral third parties to render a binding (or nonbinding) decision after the parties involved have presented their evidence;
  • Mediation: a neutral third party (mediator) assists the parties in arriving at their own agreement (usually non-binding). Parties retain control over the process;
  • Mini-trial: involves a hearing in front of a neutral third party with representatives of the parties who are authorized to enter into a settlement. Often utilized in commercial disputes;
  • Negotiation: attorneys assist the parties in resolving the dispute before trial;
  • Summary jury trial: jurors typically provide a non-binding decision in a private proceeding overseen by a judge. Following a non-binding decision, the parties involved can typically engage in mediation or negotiation.

Although these proceedings are designed to avoid the parties having to go to court, experienced attorneys still need to be involved in these processes so that the parties understand their legal rights and are provided with guidance when it comes to negotiating an agreement (whether that agreement is binding or nonbinding).

PANEL COUNSEL AND MAJOR CLAIMS COUNSEL

An effective ADR attorney can help you incorporate ADR practices into your everyday business activities to help prevent disputes where possible, especially when it comes to contract drafting and internal matters. Contact Kristin today to find out more.


Appellate Litigation

Appellate attorneys assist clients with appealing an adverse judgment at the state, an intermediate court of appeals, federal courts and sometimes, a state supreme court. Appellate attorneys also handle petitions after there has been a trial hearing in a lower court, or there has been inaction in the lower court, such as a refusal to rule on an order.  Conversely, appellate attorneys may also assist parties in defending an appeal.

If you disagree with the outcome of the lower court, you may have grounds for an appeal or for a writ of certiorari. Parties have a legal right to appeal after a case has proceeded to conclusion at the trial court level. In Louisiana, with regard to federal courts, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit is a federal court with appellate jurisdiction in the Eastern, Middle, and Western Districts of Louisiana.

With regard to appellate work, Kristin seeks to correct the errors of trial court judges and persuade the appellate courts to overturn lower court decisions and/or change the interpretation of the law on behalf of her clients. However, because not every appeal requires argument, it is paramount to carefully consider, plan and implement each aspect of preserving issues for appeal and briefing to ensure the client’s position is effectively advanced before an appellate court before bringing any appeal.

Important Skills

If you are dealing with a particularly complex case, you need to ensure that you present the best possible appeal. Some of the key activities involved in appellate law include:

  • Ensuring that any and all legal arguments brought at the trial level are developed so as to preserve the right to appeal them (if need be);
  • Managing complex litigation;
  • Developing creative, sometimes novel legal arguments and theories;
  • Looking at statutes, laws, regulations, etc. from a policy/public advocacy perspective; and
  • Counseling parties early on so as to anticipate potential litigation and avoid litigation.

Kristin M. Lausten has experience briefing and arguing a variety of appeals before Arkansas and Louisiana appellate courts, defending victories appealed by the other side as well as reversing incorrect rulings on behalf of her clients. Some of Kristin’s appellate representations have involved:

  • Obtaining Supreme Court affirmance (declaration that a judgment, order, or decree from a legal court is valid and will be upheld) ending longstanding litigation;
  • Helping companies reverse adverse lower court decisions on appeal;
  • Helping to resolve multimillion-dollar litigation; and
  • Helping clients narrow the issues between the parties to facilitate resolution of claims.

PANEL COUNSEL AND MAJOR CLAIMS COUNSEL

When you work with an appellate attorney, you want to ensure that they have a substantive knowledge of the law, superior oral advocacy services, and a strong familiarity with appellate practice.

Kristin M. Lausten has served as panel counsel and major claims counsel for insurers and TPAs handling work throughout Louisiana and elsewhere in the Gulf States. Contact Kristin today to find out how she can help you.


Construction

Construction disputes can arise at any point in the building process: before a project starts, while it is underway, and long after it has been completed. Construction is also often high-risk in nature. This area of the law doesn’t just involve those who specifically work in construction, but also contract law, commercial law, torts, and employment law. Claims can involve negligence, liens, and a host of other issues, as well as state, federal, and local laws. Construction, engineering and architectural disputes are often complicated and expensive as they involve multiple parties, thousands of documents, highly complex technical issues, and numerous lay and expert witnesses.

Kristin M. Lausten has experience in resolving disputes at each stage of the construction process. Kristin provides counseling and representation to the construction industry, representing contractors, developers, engineers, insurance companies, purchasers, architects, sellers, tenants, and more. Issues covered include land use, real estate, contract law, negotiation, employment law, and related areas.

Types of Disputes & Legal Services

Construction clients hire attorneys to ensure that they are in compliance with local laws and regulations as they begin a new project. Construction clients may need assistance in drafting legal documents such as contracts, in obtaining and/or ensuring compliance with permits, to help with existing disputes or dispute prevention, zoning and land use disputes, assistance with licensing and licensing compliance, construction financing, bankruptcy, taxation issues, or to assist them with filing or defending against a lawsuit.

Many of the contracts at issue in these disputes include owners and contractors, subcontractors and subconsultants, designers and builders, owners/architects and engineers, commercial lease build outs, construction loans, and more. Common disputes include claims for equitable adjustments, mechanic’s lien, construction-related product claims, warranty claims, and more.

The most frequent areas construction disputes typically involve:

  • Mechanic’s lien and payment bond claims
  • Construction contract drafting & review
  • Claims for equitable adjustments
  • Product liability involving construction products
  • Warranty claims
  • Defect claims
  • Property foundation/structure issues
  • Claims related to improperly-installed systems
  • Construction claims for new residences
  • Commercial project claims
  • Condominium claims
  • Subcontractor lawsuits against general contractors
  • Defective designs
  • Housing code violations
  • Implied warranty claims
  • Water damage
  • Defective window installation, roofing, etc.
  • Building component defects
  • Fraud-related claims
  • Insurance claims and coverage
  • Contractor licensing issues

States sometimes impose additional regulations (in addition to those required by federal law). For example, Louisiana has a construction law, as well as the Louisiana Private Works Act, which provides general contractors and subcontractors with a remedy if an owner fails to compensate them for work.

PANEL COUNSEL AND MAJOR CLAIMS COUNSEL

Kristin M. Lausten has experience representing owners, builders, contractors, developers, engineers, sureties, insurers and other construction professionals in high exposure construction disputes including construction defect matters, bid disputes and protests, claims for equitable adjustment, insurance coverage and bodily injury and property damage cases. Kristin works aggressively to create a manageable strategy from the beginning of the case which focuses on the objectives of the client, often acting as panel counsel and major claims counsel for insurers and TPAs handling work throughout Louisiana and elsewhere in the Gulf States.

For more information on, contact Kristin today.


Contract, Corporate and Commercial Litigation

Kristin M. Lausten’s commercial litigation work spans all areas of contracts and insurance coverage litigation. Kristin’s representation has resulted in a range of favorable outcomes for her clients, who range from small businesses to Fortune 500 companies.  Kristin has represented a variety of companies in a range of services, including officers, corporations, and individuals.

By thoroughly understanding her clients’ goals, concerns, and priorities, Kristin works to minimize the stress, time, and cost that litigation can sometimes bring. Kristin works closely with her clients to ensure that they are informed as to their rights and options throughout the entire process. Kristin prioritizes bringing her clients’ legal issue to a favorable resolution, but if litigation is inevitable, she aggressively represents her clients’ interests and helps protect their businesses from liability.

Examples of Kristin’s Work

Kristin provides counsel in areas such as commercial real estate transactions, consumer protection issues, Uniform Commercial Code and/or miscellaneous contract disputes, transaction disputes, breach of warranty issues, indemnity issues, non-compete agreements and related disputes, breach of fiduciary duties, claims related to tortious interference with business contracts, insurance disputes, partnership disputes, construction law issues, arbitration, mediation, real estate litigation, and more.

Specific examples of Kristin’s work include:

  • Representing companies in business disputes;
  • Representing clients in claims involving breach of contract, fraud, and related claims;
  • Defending clients in breach of contract and professional liability/errors;
  • Successfully defending clients on appeal;
  • Representing defense contractors in mediation proceedings; and
  • Representing parties in contractual-indemnification lawsuits; amongst others.

The Importance of Contract Language

In the business world, contracts include buy-sell agreements, mergers, acquisitions, contracts governing the exchange of goods and services, commercial leases, land purchase agreements, and more.

Carefully crafting contract language is extremely important in each of these endeavors. Not only does this language govern the transaction, but it protects both you and/or your business throughout the process. Carefully crafting any and all agreements that involve your business—including employment contracts—can make all the difference when it comes to avoiding significant disputes that could negatively affect your business and everything you’ve worked for.

PANEL COUNSEL AND MAJOR CLAIMS COUNSEL

The course of litigation and litigation strategy involved in resolving contract disputes is highly factual and made in consultation with the client and their desired objectives. When looking for an attorney, you want to ensure that you work with someone who understands that commercial disputes can sometimes jeopardize an entire business’ reputation and profitability.

Kristin M. Lausten provides panel counsel and major claims counsel services for insurers and TPAs handling work throughout Louisiana and elsewhere in the Gulf States. Contact Kristin today to discuss your contract, corporate, and/or commercial litigation needs.


Environmental Litigation

Kristin M. Lausten has experience representing companies and individuals in environmental litigation, covering claims that involve all major environmental statutes and regulations, including but not limited to the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), Endangered Species Act (ESA), National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA and related state statutes), Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), and more.

Kristin brings a strong command of contract, corporate, commercial, and tort litigation, combined with the necessary scientific knowledge required to represent clients in environmental litigation defense. Whether your case involves environmental claims filed by private parties or civil enforcement actions, federal or state law, she has the knowledge and technical expertise to defend corporate clients who work in chemical, oil, and gas industries, coal, pulp and paper, hazardous waste treatment, asbestos manufacturing, green technology companies, building complexes, government entities, insurance companies, and more. Kristin has also successfully represented parties involved in multi-million-dollar cleanup cost issues.

Kristin has handled cases involving injunctions, civil penalties, investigations, notices of noncompliance, and more. In this capacity, Kristin has represented corporate clients in state and federal court, appellate litigation, and in administrative hearings involving the Environmental Protection Agency. Kristin understands the complexity associated with these cases and the importance of careful public messaging surrounding them.

Case Examples

Each case has its own unique set of circumstances. That said, many proposed development projects initially involve NEPA (and sometimes the associated state statute), as well as many other relevant federal laws, depending upon whether the project may affect a threatened or endangered species, or water or air quality. Examples of these types of cases might include defending a local, state or federal government agency for the environmental assessment or environmental impact statement associated with a project that was approved, or defending a private party against a class action lawsuit brought over environmental contamination and degradation, or property damage, etc.

Kristin has litigated cases involving groundwater contamination, underground aquifer contamination, mercury poisoning, arsenic, asbestos, lead, benzene, and exposure to other environmental hazards.

PANEL COUNSEL AND MAJOR CLAIMS COUNSEL

The course of litigation and litigation strategy involved in resolving environmental disputes is highly factual and made in consultation with the client and their desired objectives.  When looking for an attorney, you want to ensure that you work with someone who understands that environmental disputes can sometimes jeopardize an entire business’ reputation and profitability.

Kristin M. Lausten provides panel counsel and major claims counsel services for insurers and TPAs handling work throughout Louisiana and elsewhere in the Gulf States. Contact Kristin today to discuss your environmental litigation needs.


Insurance Coverage

Kristin M. Lausten has experience with primary, umbrella, and excess claims, as well as how commercial general liability and other insurance policies are interpreted under the law in Louisiana and surrounding states. Kristin’s clients have included insurers, reinsurers, insurance brokers, and various members of other business sectors. Kristin works hard to achieve resolutions for her clients both in and outside of the courtroom, not only through litigation but also through alternative dispute resolution and mediation.

Kristin has represented clients on various insurance coverage issues areas, such as:

  • Business risk exclusions and other limitations
  • Insurer’s right to recoup indemnity and defense costs
  • Trigger of coverage
  • Allocation of responsibility and disputes involving allocation, application of aggregate limits, and other insurance provisions
  • Insurer liability to successor entities of policyholder
  • Late notice
  • Known loss, expected and intended provisions
  • Application of conditions

This includes representing clients on insurance coverage, bad faith litigation, regulatory matters, agency disputes, reinsurance, corporate litigation, and related areas in trial and appellate courts, as well as alternative dispute resolution forums.

Representative Clients & Coverage

Kristin M. Lausten has represented clients in a broad array of first and third party coverage disputes, which include property, completed operations, products, environmental, and more. Kristin’s approach to efficient claims handling has resulted in her appointment as panel counsel for several insurance companies and claims service providers across a broad range of insurance product lines including Accident and Health, Automobile, Contractors, Commercial Liability, General Liability, Professional Liability and Indemnity, and Product Liability.

PANEL COUNSEL AND MAJOR CLAIMS COUNSEL

Kristin M. Lausten is known for her aggressive representation of insurers on coverage disputes and dedication to defending companies on insurance claims. Kristin M. Lausten is available to act as panel counsel and major claims counsel for insurers and TPAs handling work throughout Louisiana and elsewhere in the Gulf States. Contact Kristin today to find out more.


Insurance Defense

In addition to litigating coverage disputes, Kristin M. Lausten also practices in the area of insurance defense. This includes representing clients in the defense of bad faith litigation, regulatory matters, agency disputes, corporate litigation, and related areas in trial and appellate courts, as well as alternative dispute resolution forums.

Types of Disputes and Claims Include:

  • Professional liability, including those involving engineers, architects, and other design professionals
  • Products liability, including those involving distributors, suppliers, retailers and manufacturers
  • Specialty risk liability, including commercial and comprehensive general liability
  • Breach of contract and other fee disputes
  • Slip-and-fall, trip-and-fall, ice and snow negligence, negligent ground-keeping, and other premises liability
  • Wrongful death
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Real estate and title insurance
  • Construction defects, including those involving owners, contractors, and subcontractors
  • Dog bites
  • Dram shop liability
  • Property damage
  • Fire
  • Life insurance coverage issues
  • Insurance coverage opinions
  • Umbrella and excess policies
  • Underinsured and uninsured motorist coverage
  • Libel and slander
  • Negligent misrepresentation
  • Tortious interference with contracts and/or prospective contracts
  • Enforcement of hold harmless and indemnification agreements
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution including mediation of pre-suit matters
  • Claims counsel oversight

Representative Clients & Coverage

Kristin M. Lausten has represented clients in a broad array of first and third party coverage disputes, which include property, completed operations, products, environmental, and more. Kristin’s approach to efficient claims handling has resulted in her appointment as panel counsel for several insurance companies and claims service providers across a broad range of insurance product lines including Accident and Health, Automobile, Contractors, Commercial Liability, General Liability, Professional Liability and Indemnity, and Product Liability.

PANEL COUNSEL AND MAJOR CLAIMS COUNSEL

Kristin M. Lausten is known for her aggressive representation of insurers and dedication to defending companies on insurance claims. Kristin M. Lausten is available to act as panel counsel and major claims counsel for insurers and TPAs handling work throughout Louisiana and elsewhere in the Gulf States. Contact Kristin today to find out more.


Maritime/Admiralty

Maritime—or admiralty—is a body of law that involves both domestic laws which apply to maritime activities and private international law governing private entities that operate vessels on the oceans. While it involves marine commerce and navigation issues, it also involves the transportation of passengers and goods—a variety of commercial activities that are maritime in nature.

Kristin M. Lausten has a strong commitment to the practice of maritime /admiralty law, and has handled numerous claims over the years, representing companies including cruise ships, vessel owners, marine insurance clients, and other maritime employers, corporate clients, and companies against injury and wrongful death claims brought in connection with maritime accidents in Louisiana and the gulf states. Kristin has worked on cases involving maritime construction, liability insurers, and others, both at the state and federal levels, as well as in Federal Maritime Commission hearings and Coast Guard administrative hearings.

Areas of Practice

Kristin brings a strong command of corporate, contract, commercial, and tort litigation in defending maritime claims. Her unique qualifications in working to protect corporate clients in areas such as environmental litigation, mass torts, and toxic torts, as well as alternative dispute resolution, and insurance litigation provide her with unique qualifications in defending various industries. Her maritime work, specifically, has involved areas such as:

  • Maritime Liens
  • Limitations of Liability
  • Recreational Boating
  • Casualty & Cruise Ships
  • Longshoremen’s & Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act
  • Jones Act
  • Product Liability
  • Marine Insurance
  • Wrongful Death
  • Personal Injury Claims
  • Passenger Claims
  • Complex Multi-Party Litigation
  • Death on the High Seas Act
  • Insurance Coverage
  • Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act
  • Cargo Claims
  • Charter Disputes
  • Maritime Commercial Litigation
  • Carriage of Goods by Sea Act
  • Salvage
  • Arbitration

The reverse Erie doctrine dictates that state courts hearing admiralty or maritime claims apply the federal admiralty and maritime laws, even if they conflict with the laws of the state. However, state courts can, of course, apply state procedural law in the course of admiralty cases.

PANEL COUNSEL AND MAJOR CLAIMS COUNSEL

The course of litigation and litigation strategy involved in resolving maritime and admiralty disputes are highly factual and made in consultation with the client and their desired objectives.   If you are dealing with a maritime defense claim, you want to ensure you are working with experienced representation in defending and protecting your interests. Kristin M. Lausten offers a multidisciplinary practice that incorporates industry knowledge and experience with sophisticated trial and appellate litigation techniques to offer both corporate and individual clients with the best representation in maritime and admiralty defense.

Kristin M. Lausten provides panel counsel and major claims counsel services for insurers and TPAs handling work throughout Louisiana and elsewhere in the Gulf States. Contact Kristin today to discuss your maritime/admiralty litigation needs.


Mass Torts/Multi-District Litigation

Kristin M. Lausten has experience as defense trial and appellate counsel in mass tort and product liability litigation, serving as a strategic adviser to clients who are typically involved in national and/or multi-state liability actions. She offers a multidisciplinary practice that incorporates industry knowledge and experience with sophisticated trial and appellate litigation techniques to provide corporate clients and their insurers a multi-faceted approach to mass tort defense.

Kristin has represented a variety of industries, ranging from food and beverage, to oil and gas, as well as agricultural, chemical, pharmaceutical, construction, energy, software, mining, and more. This includes serving as trial and national defense counsel in complex multi-district litigation. She also provides strategic advice and counseling to insurers seeking information on risk assessments and coverage issues.

Case Examples

Examples of mass tort cases Kristin has worked on include:

  • Defending products liability, consumer protection, class action, and mass tort claims;
  • Serving as lead multi-district litigation counsel for various companies involved in mass tort litigation;
  • Serving as lead defense counsel for various companies involved in products liability litigation;
  • Advising clients on how to mitigate potential future tort risk during contract discussions;
  • Advising various types of companies concerning advertising and labeling claims;
  • Helping to overturn decisions concerning the side effects of products at the appellate level;
  • Representing companies in class action litigation alleging violations of consumer protection laws and/or injuries in the marketing and/or manufacturing of the companies’ products;
  • Representing companies in consumer class actions arising out of recalls of their products; and
  • Assisting government contractors in successfully asserting the government contractor defense.

PANEL COUNSEL AND MAJOR CLAIMS COUNSEL

The course of litigation and litigation strategy involved in resolving mass torts is highly factual and made in consultation with the client and their desired objectives.  When looking for an attorney, you want to ensure that you work with someone who understands that mass torts and product recalls can sometimes jeopardize an entire business’ reputation and profitability.

Kristin M. Lausten provides panel counsel and major claims counsel services for insurers and TPAs handling work throughout Louisiana and elsewhere in the Gulf States. Contact Kristin today to discuss your litigation needs.


Professional Liability, Errors and Omissions

When professionals face claims for negligence and liability, their reputations and livelihoods are at stake. Kristin M. Lausten understands the sensitive nature of these allegations and is skilled at defending professional clients, allowing them to uphold their professional standing.

Many of Kristin’s clients have included architects, insurance adjusters, and contractors, as well as those who work in accounting and health care. Kristin has represented professionals at the trial and appellate court levels, as well as in mediation and before regulatory professional boards and agencies. Kristin M. Lausten has negotiated numerous settlements on behalf of her professional clients.

Legal Standards

The key issue in defending professionals against liability claims is addressing the issue of the perception and expectation when it comes to professional responsibilities. Whether a case is before a jury, judge, or administrative body, these entities must come to understand what the standards of performance and legal duties are for the professional field at issue. To do this, you must work with an attorney who is experienced in explaining complex terms and concepts to the lay audience; an audience that most likely hasn’t been exposed to that particular professional practice.

In defending architects, engineers, and related individuals (such as design professionals) against liability and negligence claims, it is important to understand the legal and professional standards governing their conduct, as well as the relevant federal laws. The most common causes of action against professionals like these typically include breach of contract, negligence, and/or breach of warranty.

While a breach of contract claim is brought when one party feels that the other has failed to perform according to the contract (without a legal excuse for not doing so), negligence claims against professionals requires expert proof of the applicable standard of care and the breach of that standard. This typically means doing that which a professional of ordinary prudence in the exercise of ordinary care would not have done under the same or similar circumstances, or, conversely, failing to do what a professional of ordinary prudence would have done under the same or similar circumstances.

PANEL COUNSEL AND MAJOR CLAIMS COUNSEL

Kristin M. Lausten has experience representing a broad range of professional service providers including architects, engineers, insurance adjusters and contractors, as well as their affiliated businesses and employers in matters involving allegations of professional negligence and liability.

Kristin M. Lausten is available to act as panel counsel and major claims counsel for insurers and TPAs handling work throughout Louisiana and elsewhere in the Gulf States. Kristin understands how important it is to preserve a professional’s reputation. In this endeavor, Kristin is skilled in finding creative solutions to avoid litigation where necessary by offering skilled alternative dispute resolution services. Contact Kristin today to find out more.


Tort & Insurance Litigation

Kristin M. Lausten represents businesses, corporations, professionals and their associations, and individuals in complex and even high-risk tort claims ranging from negligence to products liability, construction defects, transportation, and more throughout Louisiana and the Gulf States. Kristin represents clients in state and federal courts, as well as before administrative agencies and at the appellate level.

Kristin M. Lausten has experience representing manufacturers, distributors, retailers, property owners, automotive dealerships, privately held businesses and public businesses in a variety of first and third party tort matters. This includes providing skilled services in alternative dispute resolution and a full range of expertise to insurers in areas such as:

Bad Faith & Business Litigation, General Negligence, Trucking & Transportation, and Premises Liability

Kristin M. Lausten represents insureds in defense of general negligence, premises liability, automobile claims, coverage disputes, bad faith, unfair claims, consumer protection claims, and more. This includes defending the construction industry against negligence claims, as well as contract, indemnity issues, and insurance coverage, as well as claims before alternative dispute resolution forums in resolving business, contract, insurance coverage, and general litigation disputes. Kristin has represented insurance companies and their insureds in first and third party claims involving commercial general liability, automobile, property and casualty and bad faith claims. With broad commercial litigation experience, Kristin understands how coverage litigation relates to each case.

Personal Injury & Products Liability Defense

Kristin M. Lausten defends parties against any and all personal injury claims, including wrongful death and employment torts and defend manufacturers, retailers, and distributors involved in a myriad of products, including product recalls.

Representation

Some examples of issues Kristin M. Lausten has worked on include representing and/or negotiating:

  • Manufacturers in obtaining coverage for product liability claims
  • Manufacturers in obtaining coverage for claims involving alleged defective products
  • Distributors in obtaining coverage for negligent repair claims
  • Distributors in obtaining coverage for recall liabilities
  • Construction product manufacturers in multi-carrier litigation in lawsuits to obtain coverage for construction product claims
  • Companies in multi-state litigation
  • Companies in business interruption and property damage first party loss claims arising from large loss damage claims
  • Manufacturers in litigation against carriers to obtain coverage for tort liabilities
  • Clients in obtaining insurance coverage
  • Cost-share agreements for liabilities
  • Companies in connection with coverage for losses

PANEL COUNSEL AND MAJOR CLAIMS COUNSEL

Kristin M. Lausten is available to act as panel counsel and major claims counsel for manufacturers, distributors, insurers and TPAs handling work throughout Louisiana and elsewhere in the Gulf States. Contact Kristin today to find out how she can help you.


Toxic Torts

Toxic Torts defense is related to both mass torts and environmental litigation in that it often involves claims of environmental contamination and toxic exposure issues, such as, litigation arising out of asbestos.

Kristin M. Lausten has experience practicing in mass torts and environmental litigation, especially when it comes to defense of class actions. Kristin’s clients represent a variety of industries, ranging from food and beverage, to oil and gas, as well as agricultural, chemical, pharmaceutical, construction, energy, software, mining, and more. This also includes companies that possess secured interests in and/or insure companies and property alleged to be contaminated. Kristin has also represented clients that were manufacturers of pharmaceutical drugs, chemicals, pesticides, and other products.

Kristin has also defended companies and private parties against injury and wrongful death claims brought in conjunction with toxic exposure claims, specifically those involving asbestos, lead paint, herbicides, benzene and other products. Many of these defense claims involve the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) and Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA).

Case Examples

  • Multi-defendant toxic tort actions involving claims of on-site exposure to toxic chemicals;
  • Premises liability claims/defendants;
  • Class actions brought in state and federal court with hundreds of plaintiffs claiming they suffered due to exposure to chemicals on-site;
  • Asbestos cases alleging exposure causing mesothelioma;
  • Representing various major oil companies in actions brought under CERCLA and/or RCRA; and
  • Representing companies in reaching settlements in groundwater contamination and/or nuisance and property damage claims; amongst others

PANEL COUNSEL AND MAJOR CLAIMS COUNSEL

The course of litigation and litigation strategy involved in resolving toxic tort disputes is highly factual and made in consultation with the client and their desired objectives.  When looking for an attorney, you want to ensure that you work with someone who understands that toxic tort disputes can sometimes jeopardize an entire business’ reputation and profitability.

Kristin M. Lausten provides panel counsel and major claims counsel services for insurers and TPAs handling work throughout Louisiana and elsewhere in the Gulf States. Contact Kristin today to discuss your environmental contamination and litigation needs.