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Thomas M. Benjamin
Thomas M. Benjamin

Thomas M. Benjamin

Partner - New Orleans

Thomas M. Benjamin is a partner in the New Orleans office, where his practice includes complex commercial litigation, class actions and gaming. Mr. Benjamin is ranked as a leading Louisiana lawyer by both Chambers USA: America’s Leading Business Lawyers for Louisiana and Best Lawyers in America® and is the head of the Firm’s Gaming Section.

Business and Commercial Litigation
Mr. Benjamin has experience in all aspects of litigation including trial, appellate work, and arbitration. He has represented clients in a variety of industries including real estate, financial, energy, manufacturing, transportation and construction. His litigation experience includes disputes involving the following, among others:

  • unfair competition and trade practices
  • class actions
  • contract and lease litigation
  • partnership and shareholder disputes
  • securities fraud
  • product liability
  • construction disputes
  • copyright infringement
  • bankruptcy litigation


Class Actions

Mr. Benjamin has successfully defended corporate clients in class actions in a variety of matters including:

  • securities fraud
  • defective and recalled products
  • billing practices


Gaming
Mr. Benjamin is the head of the Firm’s Gaming Section and has extensive experience in gaming law including:

  • buying and selling of gaming assets including video poker truck stops, gaming routes, and contracts for placement of video gaming devices
  • compliance, permitting and regulatory matters including before the Louisiana Gaming Control Board, the Attorney General’s Office, and the State Police
  • numerous litigation involving gaming companies including unfair trade practices, breach of sales and other contracts, and partnership disputes


Transactional Matters
Mr. Benjamin has also represented clients in various business related transactions including:

  • contracts, joint ventures, and leases
  • formations of companies
  • the purchase and sale of assets


Mr. Benjamin graduated cum laude from Tulane University School of Law in 1987 where he was a member of the Order of the Coif and the Tulane Moot Court Board. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1983.

Mr. Benjamin is admitted to the Bars of the State of Louisiana, the United States District Courts Eastern, Middle, and Western Districts and the United States Fifth Circuit. Mr. Benjamin is a native of New Orleans. He is the former President and current member of the Board of Governors of the Louisiana Civil Service League and Treasurer and a current member of the Board of Trustees of Metairie Park Country Day School.
 

Education

Tulane University, J.D., cum laude, 1987

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, B.A., 1983

Admissions

Louisiana

United States District Court, Eastern, Middle and Western Districts of Louisiana

United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

Professional Associations

American Bar Association

Louisiana State Bar Association

New Orleans Bar Association

Louisiana Civil Service League, Current Member of Board of Governors; President, 2000 - 2002; Secretary, 1998 - 2000

Metairie Park Country Day School, Board of Trustees, 2012 - 2016; Treasurer and Chairman of Finance Committee, 2015-2016; Alumni Chairman, Annual Giving Council, 1997

Honors and Awards

Chambers USA: America’s Leading Business Lawyers for Louisiana

The Best Lawyers in America®

AV® PreeminentTM Peer Review Rated

Louisiana Super Lawyers

"Top Lawyers of New Orleans" by New Orleans Magazine

Order of the Coif (Tulane Law School)

Moot Court Board (Tulane Law School)

Publications

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Representative Matters

Business and Commercial Litigation:

 
  • United Companies Financial Corporation Securities Litigation. Successfully represented former Chief Executive Officer of United Companies in defending against securities fraud class actions, individual shareholder litigation, and ESOP litigation involving claims totaling over $100 million.
  • Monnie Greer, et al versus Denbury Resources Inc., et al, 2006 WL 2475317 (E.D. La. 2006). Successfully defended publicly traded oil company and its chief executive officer in a suit brought by eleven former employees claiming in excess of $10 million in damages allegedly due as a result of stock options vesting from a corporate reorganization and subsequent sale of a subsidiary.
  • In re: Tahkenitch Tree Farm Partnership (Yorkshire Partnership, Ltd. v. Pacific Capital Partners). Successfully represented partner in multi-million dollar breach of contract and fraud dispute involving timber properties.
  • Jules Maraist v. Polymer International Corp., 2000 WL 666381 (E.D. La. 2000). Successfully defended company against stock option and profit sharing dispute brought by former executive.
  • Aneco Reinsurance Company (Peter Mitchell, as Liquidator of Aneco v. James H. Brown Commissioner of Insurance, et al). Obtained judgment requiring over $1 million in funds to be turned over to a debtor in a foreign insolvency proceeding.
  • Morgan Keegan & Company v. Stern, Agee & Leach, Inc., et al. Defended brokerage firm and brokers against federal court and subsequent arbitration proceeding involving alleged claims of raiding of brokers, unfair trade practices, and breach of noncompete and non-solicitation contracts.
  • Illinois Central Railroad Company v. 16.032 Acres of Land in Jefferson Parish, Louisiana, 1999 WL 1276835 (E. D. La. 1999). Represented railroad in expropriation of property and defense of counter-claim relating to same.
  • Coastal Land and Timber Company v. Florgan Forest Products. Successfully obtained a judgment on behalf of principal in suit for breach of fiduciary duty and misappropriation of funds by agent.
  • Andy McDonald Copyright Litigation. Prosecuted claims on behalf of home designer against various contractors and architects involving infringement of home design plans.
  • Solo Serve Corp. v. Westowne Associates, 929 F.2d 160 (5th Cir 1991). Successfully represented landlord from the trial court through the appeal before the U.S. Fifth Circuit in dispute over shopping center lease.
  • Borders, Inc. v. Perkins Rowe Associates, LLC, et al., Case No. 05-1374, USDC, M.D. La.  Represented Borders book company in an unfair trade practice and breach of letter of intent litigation against shopping center owner and developer.  
  • Redman Gaming Litigation.  Successfully prosecuted an unfair trade practice claim against casino competitor which sought to block the construction and opening of a new video poker truck stop.   

Class Actions:  

 
  • Steven J. Leon, Individually, and on Behalf of all Others Similarly Situated v. Blue Bell Creameries, Inc., Case No. 15-3454, USDC, EDLA.  Successfully represented Blue Bell in a class action seeking refunds for allegedly contaminated ice cream.  
  • United Companies Financial Corporation Securities Litigation, Case No. 99-1035-B-M2, 99-1049-B-M2, 00-0006-B-M2 and 00-0099-B-M2, USDC, M.D. LA.  Successfully represented former CEO of United Companies in federal class action securities fraud litigation involving over $100 million in alleged damages.
  • Billy R. Brew, Individually and on Behalf of All Others Similarly Situated v. University Healthcare System, L.C. D/B/A Tulane University Hospital and Clinic, Case No. 15-7329, CDC.  Successfully defended Tulane University Hospital (now owned by HCA) in a class action involving alleged violations of the Louisiana Balance Billing Act.  
  • Charles James Myer v. U.S. Trust Company of California, N.A., Case No. 00-147-D-M3, USDC, M.D. LA. Defended fiduciaries of ESPO in a class action and obtained settlement without payment of any funds.  
  • The Tobacco Institute:  Represented trade association in numerous class actions. 

Gaming Matters:

 
  • Gaming Transactions. Represented various gaming companies in numerous transactions involving buying and selling of video poker truck stops, gaming routes, placement agreements for gaming machines and other gaming assets, permitting and licensing, and in negotiation and completion of numerous gaming contracts including placement agreements, revenue share agreements, distributorship agreements for gaming machines and joint venture agreements. 
  • Gaming Compliance.  Represented gaming companies in compliance and regulatory matters in consultation with and before the Louisiana Gaming Control Board, the Attorney General’s Office and the State Police including obtaining a favorable declaratory judgment ruling before the Louisiana Gaming Control Board to facilitate a multi-million dollar transaction.  
  • Gaming Litigation. Represented gaming companies in various disputes over unfair trade practices, breach of sales and other contracts, partnership disputes, breach of fiduciary duties, and various other litigation.

Securities Litigation and Arbitration:

 
  • United Companies Financial Corporation Securities Litigation. Successfully represented former Chief Executive Officer of United Companies in defending against securities fraud class actions involving claims totaling over $100 million.
  • Charles James Myer v. U.S. Trust Company of California, N.A., Case No. 00-147-D-M3, USDC, M.D., LA.  Defended fiduciaries of ESOP and obtained settlement without payment of any funds.
  • Findim Investments S.A., et al v. J. Terrell Brown, et al., Case No. 474, 161, 19th Judicial District Court, Parish of East Baton Rouge, State of Louisiana:  Obtained dismissal of multi-million dollar state securities fraud claims.  
  • Representation of Brokerage Firm in FINRA arbitration.  Represented brokerage firm in major arbitration case involving a multi-million dollar claim arising from alleged wrongful actions of a former broker in the sales of securities and alleged Ponzi scheme.
  • Morgan Keegan & Company v. Stern, Agee & Leach, Inc., et al. Defended brokerage firm and brokers against federal court and subsequent arbitration proceeding involving alleged claims of raiding of brokers, unfair trade practices, and breach of noncompete and non-solicitation contracts.