Paul J. Verlander

New Orleans, LA
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Paul is an experienced and talented trial lawyer and appellate counsel.  He believes that the meaning and value of his work come from helping his clients, from the individual to the largest corporate entity, to resolve the problems that confront them in the most efficient and cost-effective manner possible, whether that means negotiating a dispute with a single telephone call or aggressively litigating a complex matter through trial.  Paul believes that effectively implementing his professional philosophy requires, first and foremost, really listening to understand his clients’ needs and objectives clearly from the outset.

Paul is originally from New Orleans, Louisiana.  He attended Duke University for his undergraduate degree, graduating Summa Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa, with special honors in English in 1984. He then graduated from the University of Virginia School of Law in 1987, where he served as a member of the Virginia Law Review.  After law school, Paul served as a federal judicial law clerk for the Hon. Henry A. Politz on the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. He also later received a Masters in Educational Administration from the University of Southern Mississippi in 2004.

Paul’s areas of practice include EEOC and employment discrimination matters, labor and employment policy guidance, environmental and toxic tort, including oil field legacy cases, class actions, insurance coverage litigation, construction litigation, commercial litigation, medical malpractice defense, products liability and school law and policy.  Paul also has an active appellate practice, having briefed and argued successfully before the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and the Louisiana appellate courts and Supreme Court, and having handled writs of certiorari before the United States Supreme Court.

Away from work, Paul’s hands are full with his two teenagers and their sports and activities.  In the midst of his professional and personal responsibilities, he carves out time for gardening and the occasional foray into bread baking and beer making.  He tries to stay fit enough to pursue his love of the solitude of the mountains, despite an almost equal love for good food and fine wine.

Areas of Practice
  • Construction
  • Labor and Employment
  • Environmental and Hazardous Waste
  • Products Liability
  • Professional Liability, including Medical Malpractice Defense
  • Insurance Coverage and Defense
  • Class Action Defense
  • Commercial Litigation
  • Appellate Representation
  • All Facets of School Law, Including Desegregation, Employment Discrimination and Special Education Policy and Litigation
  • FEMA Funding Administrative Review and Appeals
  • Favorable Jury Verdicts/Reported Decisions
Certified Legal Specialties
Bar Admissions
  • Louisiana 1987
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 5th Circuit
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of Louisiana
  • U.S. District Court Middle District of Louisiana, 1988
  • U.S. District Court Western District of Louisiana
  • U.S. Supreme Court

Duke University

  • B.A. 1984

University of Virginia School of law

  • J.D., 1987
Honors & Awards
  • Phi Beta Kappa Academic Honor Fraternity, Duke University.
  • Graduated summa cum laude with special departmental honors in English from Duke University.
  • Articles Review Board, Virginia Law Review.
  • Clerked for the Honorable Henry A. Politz, United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.
Professional Associates & Awards
  • New Orleans Bar Association
  • Federal Bar Association
  • Defense Research Institute
Published Works
Representative Cases
  • Mercato Elisio, LLC v. Deveney, No. CV 15-563, 2016 WL 4181021 (E.D. La. Aug. 8, 2016), affirmed on reconsideration, 2017 WL 615346 (E.D. La Feb. 15, 2017), and affirmed
  • Mercato Elisio, L.L.C. v. Deveney, 706 F. App'x 192 (U.S. 5th Cir. 2017)
Past Employment Positions
Community Involvement
  • Paul has been an active supporter of Covenant House through the “Sleep Out” program.