Joseph E. 'Josh' Lee III
Email: Joseph E. 'Josh' Lee III
Admiralty & Maritime
Energy & Environmental
BAR & COURT ADMISSIONS
PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATIONS & MEMBERSHIPS
Litigation Counsel of America, Fellow, 2007 - Present
Louisiana Super Lawyers - Maritime, Appellate, 2013
Committee on Bar Admissions, Supreme Court of Louisiana, Assistant Examiner, 2012 - Present
A Return to Negligence or Something More? Proving Knowledge in Strict Liability' Cases in Louisiana Under Civil Code Article 2317.1, 59 LOUISIANA LAW REVIEW 1225 (1999).
The Eleventh Amendment, the Flotilla Doctrine and Other Flanking Maneuvers: Recent Efforts by Claimants to Avoid the Application of the Limitation of Liability Act, 29 TULANE MARITIME LAW JOURNAL 1 (2004).
Louisiana Supreme Court Clerkship, New Orleans, Louisiana, The Hon. Catherine D. Kimball, 2000 to 2001 Term
Josh Lee maintains a broad civil defense practice at the trial and appellate levels, with a particular emphasis in marine and energy matters. Since 2007, he has been a Fellow in the Litigation Counsel of America, a national trial lawyer honorary society whose membership is limited to less than one-half of one percent of practicing lawyers nationwide. He has been named a Louisiana Super Lawyer (2013 to present) and is an Assistant Bar Examiner for the Louisiana State Bar Association.
For over a decade, Josh has defended vessel owners, oil companies, oilfield service contractors, and their insurers in a wide range of personal injury and property damage matters. Josh also routinely handles various other casualty and commercial matters, ranging from premises liability and auto collision claims to multi-million dollar insurance coverage litigation. He acted as co-lead counsel for the general contractor in litigation arising from the catastrophic destruction of the roof of the Louisiana Superdome during Hurricane Katrina. He further has advised insurance companies, corporate and individual clients, and insurance agents on insurance and contract matters, including the preparation of vessel charters and master service contracts.
Prior to entering private practice, Josh served as a Law Clerk to The Honorable Catherine D. Kimball, then-Associate Justice of the Louisiana Supreme Court, an experience that gave him particular insight into the field of appellate practice. Josh has utilized this experience in briefing and arguing appeals and engaging in writ practice throughout the Louisiana state appellate courts and the federal appellate courts. In addition to handling appeals, he also monitors trials to assist trial counsel with preservation of issues for appeal and consults with clients regarding post-judgment relief and the potential viability of appeal following adverse judgments.
A lifelong resident of New Orleans, Josh is a 2000 graduate of The Paul M. Hebert Law Center at Louisiana State University. He graduated eleventh in his law school class, where he was elected to the Order of the Coif, Phi Kappa Phi Honorary Society, and the Louisiana Law Review. Prior to law school, Josh obtained a Masters in Mass Communication from The Manship School at Louisiana State University. While obtaining his graduate degree, he worked as a reporter and on-air announcer for the Louisiana Network, a statewide radio news service providing news, sports, and weather coverage from Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He obtained his undergraduate degree from the University of New Orleans, where he was a member of Phi Kappa Theta Fraternity.
Josh is admitted to the Louisiana and Texas bars. He also is admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court, the United States Courts of Appeals for the Fifth, Tenth, and Federal Circuits, the Court of Federal Claims, and the United States District Courts for the Eastern, Western, and Middle Districts of Louisiana; the Eastern, Northern, and Southern Districts of Texas; and the Eastern and Western Districts of Arkansas. He has practiced on a pro hac vice basis in other states as well, including Arkansas, Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, and Oklahoma.
Among the matters Josh has handled are:
■ Galtier v. King, Nineteenth Judicial District Court for the Parish of East Baton Rouge, No. 600,115. Jury trial. Plaintiff sought seven-figure recovery in a motor-vehicle accident with two-level cervical fusion recommended; jury returned verdict for one-quarter of pre-trial demand and assessed plaintiff with 50% contributory fault.
■ Manton, et al. v. Audubon Nature Institute, et al., Civil District Court for the Parish of Orleans, No. 07-15791. Jury trial. Plaintiff sought $5 million in damages; liability stipulated; defendant driver intoxicated. Obtained key pre-trial rulings that punitive damages were unrecoverable, Manton v. Audubon Nature Institute, Inc., 2010-1547 (La.App. 4 Cir. 4/13/11) 64 So.3d 326. Jury returned verdict of less than one-quarter of amount sought, which amount was further reduced by credit for settlement with underlying insurer.
■ Texas Gulf Seafood, Inc., et al. v. Vietnamese American Commercial Fisherman's Union, et al., United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, No. 08-4064. Seven-figure recovery for fishery owner in action for unpaid anti-dumping subsidies.
■ B&S Equipment Company, Inc. v. Truckla Services, Inc., et al., United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, No. 09-3862. Recovery of outstanding charter hire and attorney fees for boat broker and barge owner in multi-party commercial and property damage dispute.
■ Farrar v. Certified Coatings of California, Inc., 09 920 (La.App. 5 Cir. 3/23/10), 38 So.3d 940. Dismissal of wrongful death claims against Crescent City Connection painting contractor; obtained ruling of first impression in Louisiana Fifth Circuit that adverse venue ruling is waived if not challenged by supervisory writ.
■ Allemand v. ARTCO, 490 F.3d 351, 2007 A.M.C. 1593 (5th Cir. 2007). Resolved lingering ambiguity in maritime wrongful death jurisprudence by obtaining ruling that non-dependent parents of a longshoreman who dies in territorial waters are not entitled to non-pecuniary damages.
■ Fireman's Fund Insurance Company v. Community Coffee Company, United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, No. 06-2806. Representation of cargo insurer in multi-million dollar declaratory judgment action arising out of alleged contamination following Hurricane Katrina.
■ Louisiana Stadium and Exposition District, et al v. BFS Diversified Products, et al., Civil District Court for the Parish of Orleans, No. 2006-8927. Representation of general contractor in litigation arising from catastrophic damage to Superdome roof during Hurricane Katrina.
■ In re Parker Drilling Rig 14-J, United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, No. 03-2611. Summary judgment for third-party defendant in multi-party limitation proceeding arising out of collapse and sinking of jack-up drilling rig with over thirty hands aboard.
■ In re Magnolia Marine Transport Company, United States District Court for the Eastern District of Oklahoma, No. CV-02-615-P. Representation of tug and barge owner in all litigation arising out of Memorial Day 2002 allision between the M/V ROBERT Y. LOVE and the I-40 Bridge over the Arkansas River near Webbers Falls, Oklahoma, resulting in over 30 claims, including 14 wrongful death claims and $58 million claim by State of Oklahoma for collapse of bridge. All claims favorably resolved. Responsibility for all briefing in trial and appellate courts, resulting in numerous published opinions:
- Eleventh Amendment does not bar removal of suit brought by a State, 359 F.3d 1237, 2004 A.M.C. 491 (10th Cir. 2004);
- Eleventh Amendment does not give a State immunity from Limitation of Liability proceedings, 366 F.3d 1153 (10th Cir. 2004);
- Corporate shareholder can qualify as an owner under Shipowner's Limitation of Liability Act, 2003 A.M.C. 2425, (E.D.Okla. 2003);
- Claimants must waive subject matter jurisdiction objection to gain relief from Limitation stay, 2003 A.M.C. 2427 (E.D.Okla. 2003).
■ Becker v. Tidewateret al., 335 F.3d 376 (5th Cir. 2003). Obtained reversal on appeal of $43 million jury verdict against employer by persuading appellate court that temporarily-assigned maritime worker failed to meet requirements for Jones Act seaman status.