LSU Law Center to Host Environmental Roundtable on Oyster Lease Case

The LSU Law Center will convene a panel of legal experts on Thursday, November 18 to discuss the recent state Supreme Court ruling regarding oyster leases and public takings. The Environmental Roundtable will focus on Avenal v State of Louisiana in which a $1.3 billion judgment for south Louisiana oystermen was thrown out by a unanimous state Supreme Court.

Panelists will include: Jack Caldwell, former Director, Louisiana Department of Natural Resources (Defendant in Avenal v. State); Michael Voisin, President, Motivat Corp (Oyster and food processing firm); Andrew Wilson, Counsel for the State of Louisiana, Avenal v. State; John Costonis, Chancellor, LSU Law Center; Thomas B. Calvert, Counsel for Plaintiff, Slavich v. Department of Wildlife and Fisheries; and Jerry McKernan, local attorney. Panelist will speak for 5-8 minutes on their perspective views on the case.

Program moderators will include Kyle Beall, Kean Miller Law Firm and Erinn Neyrey, Taylor Porter Brooks Law Firm.

The Avenal v State case centered on a decision that the state should pay oystermen for the value of their damaged oyster beds because of a 1991 project that channeled fresh water and sediment from the Mississippi River into the salty Breton Sound oyster beds. Oystermen contended that the beds were destroyed. The class action suit was thrown out by the Louisiana high court in late October. Additional lawsuits are still pending in Plaquemines Parish, East Baton Rouge and St. Bernard Parish.

The dinner session of the LSU Law Center Environmental Roundtable will be held in the Tucker Room of the LSU Law Center beginning at 6:30 p.m.