Richard Arsenault is a nationally recognized member of complex litigation bar and has participated in over 25 multidistrict litigation proceedings, often serving in leadership capacities. He currently serves as Co-Lead Counsel in the Actos MDL where a jury rendered a historic $9 billion dollar punitive damage verdict which has been reported as one of the nation’s largest personal injury verdicts. He subsequently served on the Actos MDL negotiating team that secured a $2.4 billion dollar settlement which is the largest single mass tort settlement for a drug that is still on the market. Richard was nominated for the 2015 Trial Lawyer of the Year Award by the Public Justice Foundation and also selected as a 2015 member of the Nation’s Top One Percent by the National Association of Distinguished Counsel. The National Trial Lawyers recognized Richard as the 2014 Trial Lawyer of the Year Civil Plaintiff Finalist. The New York Times has referred to him as a “big player” in the legal community. The Wall Street Journal has described him as having “national notoriety” and as a “big gun” among attorneys in competition for national leadership roles. They also noted he hosts “must-attend” legal seminars on the “hot cases” of the moment. Business Week has referred to him as “a Dean of the Louisiana tort bar”, USA Today featured him as a member of the “Legal Elite” and the New Orleans Times Picayune has referred to him as “an authority on class actions.”
Richard has over 300 articles and presentations to his credit and has authored many Law Review articles including one published in Federal Courts Law Review. Among other writings, he co-authored the chapter on Multidistrict Litigation in an ABA treatise. Richard was also asked by Judge Heyburn, JPML Chair, to participate in the Panel’s “Multidistrict Litigation Study Project”. He has personally participated in negotiating over $3.5 billion in MDL-related settlements in the last five years. Through a multi-phase selection process, the National Academy of Personal Injury Attorneys has chosen Richard to receive the organization’s Top 10 Attorney Award for the State of Louisiana. Richard’s commitment to legal excellence is reflected in years of serving as a faculty member for LSU’s Trial Advocacy Program, lecturing at Judicial Colleges and assuming leadership roles in both local as well as national Bar Associations. For over 25 years, Richard has had Martindale Hubbell’s highest rating. He likewise is recognized by many other peer reviewed publications including the “Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers,” “Best of United States,” “SuperLawyers” and the “Best Lawyers in America.”
Legal Excellence & Professionalism
The commitment to legal excellence is reflected in years of service which has included teaching at law schools, publishing law review articles, lecturing at Judicial Colleges and assuming leadership roles in both local, as well as national bar associations. Through an appointment by the President of the Louisiana Bar Association, Arsenault joined the Professional Assessment Committee composed of a distinguished panel including Federal and State Court Judges along with members of the Bar. He also coordinates an annual tort law presentation by several United States District Judges and the former Dean of the University of Tennessee College of Law, Thomas C. Galligan, Jr.
Arsenault has helped chair national complex litigation programs with speakers that have included former President Bill Clinton, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., Eliot Spitzer, Harvard Professor Alan Dershowitz, Morris Dees, Arianna Huffington, Al Franken, Bob Woodward, Al Sharpton and Paul Begala. He has chaired dozens of symposiums with guests ranging from Ken Starr to Jan Schlichtman (lawyer portrayed by John Travolta in “A Civil Action”). Arsenault has organized numerous counsel meetings and conferences, comprising hundreds of law firms in venues across the country. These have been designed to facilitate consensus for leadership roles, consider organizational structures and promote coordinated litigation efforts. Arsenault recently co-chaired the national HarrisMartin Toyota Recall Litigation Conference, which attracted over 100 plaintiff and defense attorneys seeking to learn more about the unique circumstances of the Toyota litigation. The conference agenda featured some of the nation’s preeminent attorneys, many with decades of experience handling large, complex national cases. The event, which was held in San Diego was profiled by the Associated Press, the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg News, National Public Radio, CBS Radio, CBC Montreal and other national and international news organizations. Consequently, he understands and functions well in the national complex litigation landscape.