2017-18 Officers


Valerie Briggs Bargas (2012-2019)
Kinchen, Walker, Bienvenu, Bargas, Reed & Helm, L.L.C.

Bargas is a founding member of Kinchen, Walker, Bienvenu, Bargas, Reed & Helm, L.L.C. Her practice is focused on insurance defense (bad faith, coverage, & personal injury) and general casualty defense. She received her BA in Environmental Science and Policy from Smith College and her J.D. from Tulane University Law School.


Kinchen, Walker, Bienvenu, Bargas, Reed and Helm, L.L.C.
9456 Jefferson Hwy, Ste. F
Baton Rouge, LA 70808
Phone: 225-292-6704
Fax: 225-292-6705

Vice President

W. Michael Street (2013-2019)
Watson, McMillin, & Street 

Street is a partner of Watson, McMillin, & Street in Monroe. His practice is focused on construction law, employment law, medical malpractice, real estate and general litigation. He received BA's in Philosophy and in Political Science from Centenary College of Louisiana. He received his JD from LSU Paul M. Hebert Law Center.

Watson, McMillin, & Street
1881 Hudson Circle
Monroe, LA 71201
Phone: 318-322-9700
Fax: 318-324-0809


Amanda W. Barnett(2013-2020)
Red River Bank

Barnett is General Counsel and Corporate Secretary for Red River Bank and Red River Bancshares, Inc., with corporate offices in Alexandria. Prior to joining the bank, Ms. Barnett was with Gold, Weems, Sues, Bruser & Rundell where her practice focused on general corporate law and commercial litigation. She has a B.A. in English Literature from Newcomb College of Tulane University, and a J.D. from Louisiana State University.

Red River Bank
1412 Centre Court Drive, Suite 502
Alexandria, LA 71301
Phone: 318-561-5028
Fax: 318-561-5002


Christopher K. Ralston (2014-2021)
Phelps Dunbar LLP

Ralston is a litigation partner and litigation group coordinator at Phelps Dunbar LLP.  His practice is focused on business disputes, including litigation of real estate, intellectual property, tax and licensing disputes.  He received his undergraduate degree from the College of William and Mary and his law degree from Tulane University Law School.

Phelps Dunbar LLP
365 Canal Street, Suite 2000
New Orleans, LA 70130
Phone: 504-584-9358
Fax: 504-568-9130

Immediate Past President (permanent ex-officio)

E. Jane Sherman (2011-2017)

A resident of Baton Rouge, Sherman is a Charter Fellow of the Foundation, having begun in 1987 while serving as Chair of the Young Lawyers Section of the Louisiana State Bar Association. Her practice has focused on expropriation, utility and real estate related law with Phelps Dunbar and with Mangham, Hardy, Rolfs & Abadie and she now provides legal counsel and representation to various corporate entities, both non-profit and commercial. She received her BA and JD degrees from Louisiana State University.

422 Highland Crossing Street
Baton Rouge, LA 70810
Phone: 225-939-4440
Fax: 225-755-1639 


2017-18 Board of Directors

Charles C. "Chuck" Bourque, Jr. (2015-2018)
Bourque is a partner at St. Martin & Bourque in Houma, where he focuses his practice on aviation and maritime casualties. Chuck received his BS in accounting from Louisiana State University, and his JD from Loyola University New Orleans College of Law.

St. Martin & Bourque
315 Barrow Street
Houma, LA 70360
Phone: 985-876-3891
Fax: 985-851-6455

Alan G. Brackett (2017-2020)
Brackett is a member of Mouledoux, Bland, Legrand & Brackett in New Orleans, where his practice is focused on representing maritime clients in transactions and defense of personal injury claims. He also manages the firm’s workers’ compensation defense group, which includes federal longshore and Defense Base Act claims as well as claims under the War Hazards Compensation Act. He obtained both his B.A. and J.D. from Tulane University.

Mouledoux, Bland, Legrand & Brackett LLC
701 Poydras Street, Suite 4250
New Orleans, LA 70139-7701
Phone: 504-595-3000
Fax: 504-522-2121

George D. "Dave" Ernest III (2017-2020)
Ernest is a partner of Hurlburt, Monrose and Ernest in Lafayette. His practice areas are admiralty and maritime law, alternative dispute resolution, arbitration, mediation, insurance, social security, torts, securities law, and transportation. He received his JD from LSU Paul M. Hebert Law Center.

Hurlburt, Monrose and Ernest
700 Saint John Street, Suite 200
Lafayette, LA 70501-6768
Phone: 337-237-0261
Fax: 337-237-9117

H. Dunbar Healy (2016-2019)
Healy, General Counsel with Continental Underwriters, Ltd, in Covington, LA,  handles a broad range of legal matters with an emphasis on maritime law, insurance issues and claims administration/resolution. He graduated cum laude from Vanderbilt University with a  B.A. in Political Science and a minor in Spanish. He received his J.D from the Paul M. Hebert Law Center of Louisiana State University.

Fidelis Marine, LTD
2235 N. Highway 190
Covington, LA 70433
Phone: 985-898-5300
Fax: 985-898-5322

Julie M. Lafargue (2015-2018)
Lafargue, a partner at Abrams & Lafargue, LLC in Shreveport, focuses  her practice on governmental tort law, expropriation and eminent domain, and litigation relating to insurance defense and commercial litigation. She received her BS in Business Administration from Louisiana Tech University and her JD from Louisiana State University Paul M. Hebert School of Law.

Abrams & Lafargue, LLC
330 Marshall Street, Suite 1020
Shreveport, LA 71101
Phone: 318-222-9100
Fax: 318-222-9191

Michael J. Mestayer, APLC (2016-2019)
Mestayer is a solo practitioner in New Orleans, where he handles a broad range of litigation, including admiralty, product liability, and complex civil matters. He received his B.S. from L.S.U. and his J.D. from Tulane University Law School.

1100 Poydras Street, Suite 2785
New Orleans, LA 70130
Phone: 504-522-7360
Fax: 504-522-7356

Kerry A. Murphy (2017-2020)
Murphy is a member of Lasky Murphy, LLC in New Orleans. Her practice focuses on commercial and business litigation, including contract disputes, breach of fiduciary duty claims, and partnership and shareholder disputes, as well as business formation and transactional matters. She received her BA from Villanova University and her JD from the University of Wisconsin Law School.

Lasky Murphy LLC
715 Girod Street, Suite 250
New Orleans, LA 70130
Phone: 504-603-1500
Fax: 504-603-1503

Harry J. "Skip" Philips, Jr.(2015-2018)
Philips is the Managing Partner of Taylor, Porter, Brooks & Phillips, L.L.P. in Baton Rouge. He practices primarily in the areas of commercial and personal injury litigation and insurance law. He received his BS and JD degrees from Louisiana State University.

Taylor, Porter, Brooks & Phillips, LLP
451 Florida Street, Floor 8
Baton Rouge, LA 70801
Phone: 225-387-3221
Fax: 225-346-8049

Shayna L. Sonnier (2016-2019)
Sonnier is a partner at Hunter, Hunter & Sonnier, LLC in Lake Charles. Her practice primarily involves family law and litigation. She received her BA from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and her JD from the Dedman School of Law at Southern Methodist University.

Hunter, Hunter & Sonnier, LLC
1807 Lake Street
Lake Charles, LA 70601
Phone: 337-436-1600
Fax: 337-439-2505

Hon. Max N. Tobias, Jr. (2017-2018)
Tobias is a recently retired Louisiana appellate and trial court judge, having served in such combined capacities for over 30 years. His specialty is civil procedure, both appellate and trial, but he has a broad range of experience in all aspects of Louisiana law. He received both his BA & JD from Tulane University Law School in 1971 where he taught trial advocacy for over 25 years. He is known for his advocacy for diversity in the legal profession.

P.O. Box 2471
Baton Rouge, LA 70821
Phone: 504-723-2025

Tina Crawford White (2017-2019)
White is a Partner at Pandit Law in New Orleans, where she leads the firm’s Construction Law Practice Group, and also represents clients in commercial disputes. She received her B.B.A., cum laude, from Loyola University and her J.D., magna cum laude, from Tulane University Law School.  She served as Law Clerk to the Honorable Walter F. Marcus on the Louisiana Supreme Court before beginning the private practice of law, and worked for five years as a CPA at an international public accounting firm before attending law school.

Pandit Law Firm
One Shell Square
701 Poydras Street, Suite 3950
New Orleans, LA 70139
Phone: 504-208-9525
Fax: 504-313-3820

Sharonda R. Williams (2017-2020)
Williams joined Fishman Haygood as Special Counsel in December 2015. She has practiced in the areas of construction disputes, medical malpractice, insurance coverage disputes, entertainment law contract negotiations, intellectual property licensing issues, and bankruptcy adversary proceedings. Williams attended the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, and she worked as a research laboratory technician there and at the Duke University School of Medicine. She graduated summa cum laude from Xavier University New Orleans in 1994, and earned her law degree from Loyola University New Orleans School of Law in 2001, where she was a member of Loyola Law Review.

Fishman Haygood LLP
201 St. Charles Avenue, 46th Floor
New Orleans, LA 70170
Phone: 504-556-5506
Fax: 504-586-5250

LSBA Officer (2016-2018)
Dona Kay Renegar

Renegar is a member of Veazey, Felder & Renegar, LLC and her primary practice is defending Louisiana Worker’s Compensation Act and Longshore and Harborworkers’ Compensation Act claims representing some employers state-wide. She also practices in the area of premises liability, automobile liability, and family law. Renegar received BAs in English and French from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and her JD from Tulane Law School.

Veazey, Felder & Renegar, LLC
2 Flagg Place
Lafayette, LA 70508-7063
Phone: 337-234-5350
Fax: 337-234-5310

LSBA Board of Governors Designee (2017-2018)
Barry H. Grodsky
Grodsky is a member of Taggart Morton where he focuses on bankruptcy and business litigation. He received his Bachelor's of Business Administration from the University of Texas-Austin and his J.D. from Tulane Law School. 

Taggart Morton, LLC
1100 Poydras Street, Suite 2100
New Orleans, LA 70163
Phone: 504-599-8535
Fax: 504-599-8501

LSBA House of Delegates Representative (2016-2019)
Deidre Deculus Robert

Robert is the Deputy Director of the Litigation Division of the Louisiana Attorney General’s Office. The division defends the state in all tort claims and represents the state in all claims covered under the Self-Insurance Fund as administered by the Office of Risk Management. She received her B.A. in History and Classical Civilizations from LSU and her J.D. from Southern University Law Center.

Assistant Attorney General
Louisiana Department of Justice
P.O. Box 94005
Baton Rouge, LA 70804
Phone: 225-326-6355
Fax: 225-326-6491

Member-at-Large Designee (2017-2018)
Alainna R. Mire

Mire is the chief resilience officer and an assistant attorney for the City of Alexandria and a former human resources director. She received a BA degree in political science in 2000 from Louisiana State University and her JD/BCL degree in 2004 from LSU Paul M. Hebert Law Center. She was admitted to practice in Louisiana in 2004.

City of Alexandria - Legal Division
915 3rd Street
Alexandria, LA 71301
Phone: 318-449-5046
Fax: 318-449-5019

Judicial District Judges Association Designee (2015-2018) 
Hon. John Davidson 
Judge John C. Davidson is a 1988 graduate of The LSU Law Center.  At LSU Law School, he was Order of the Coif and a member of Louisiana Law Review.  He began his private practice in New Orleans working in the areas of complex commercial litigation and bankruptcy.  He moved to Alexandria in 1992 and continued his private practice in the areas of commercial litigation, general defense work, personal injury and domestic law.   In November 2004, he was elected Ninth Judicial District Judge in Rapides Parish.

9th Judicial District Court 
P.O. Box 1431
Alexandria, LA 71309
Phone: 318-443-6893, ext. 2818

Philanthropic Community-at-Large (2017-2018)
Edmund J. Giering IV

Giering serves as general counsel to the Baton Rouge Area Foundation and his practice emphasizes corporate law & governance, corporate, real estate & complex gift transactions, risk management and nonprofit & tax-exempt organizations. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in History from Louisiana State University and Agricultural and Mechanical College in 1990, a Juris Doctor degree from the LSU Paul M. Hebert Law Center in 1994 and a Master of Business Administration degree from the LSU E.J. Ourso College of Business in 2005. 

Baton Rouge Area Foundation
100 North Street, Suite 900
Baton Rouge, LA 70802-5264
Phone: 225-387-6126
Fax: 225-387-6153

The Louisiana Bar Foundation is a non-profit 501(c)(3) entity organized under the state of Louisiana.