Monday, June 17, 2013
|Jim Pate and Frank Neuner of NeunerPate|
Lafayette corporate defense attorneys Frank Neuner and Cliffe Laborde have dissolved their partnership after 26 years as the Laborde & Neuner law firm. Effective July 1, the firm’s name will change to NeunerPate, adding longtime partner James “Jim” Pate’s name to the company’s banner.
Neuner tells ABiz the split was amicable and Laborde, who has joined the Mahtook & Lafleur law firm, just “wanted to take a different path.”
“We’re growing and expanding, and he just wanted to keep doing what he was doing,” Neuner says.
NeunerPate is focused on continued representation of its current clients and its expansion into the New Orleans area, Neuner says, including three new attorneys at the firm’s office in Metairie and a new office on Poydras Street in New Orleans’ Central Business District.
In a statement sent to ABiz, Laborde says he had a “great run” at Laborde & Neuner and wishes “nothing but continued success in the practice, as well as in their own personal lives.”
“We forged strong business and personal relationships and did rewarding work for clients during our association,” Laborde says. “No doubt more rewards lie ahead for the lawyers at NeunerPate. I have made a change, and different challenges accompany any new environment. The legal group at Mahtook & Lafleur have welcomed us with open arms, and I am both excited and privileged to be a part of such a prestigious organization.”
Pate is a longtime partner at Laborde & Neuner who has worked alongside Neuner since their days at Onebane Law Firm in 1980. Pate has been with Laborde & Neuner since 1987, the year the firm — which is now widely recognized for its commitment to pro bono representation of the less fortunate — was founded.
Neuner, who serves as chairman of the Louisiana Public Defender Board, worked diligently to repair the legal system in New Orleans post-Katrina. He was president of the Louisiana State Bar Association when Katrina and Rita hit in 2005 and later served on the American Bar Association’s Committee on Disaster Response and Preparedness. He has since been invited in early July to speak about legal challenges associated with disaster recovery at the World Justice Forum IV in The Hague, Netherlands.
“I think it’s an exciting time for us,” Neuner says. “We’ve got our same core group that’s been with us for a number of years, and we’ve got some new people brought on recently in our Metairie office who offer the same services and share the same values. They’re committed to clients, the community and the profession.”