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Carlos ZelayaCarlos A. Zelaya, II received his law degree from American University’s Washington College of Law in 1992. Upon graduation, Carlos began practicing appellate advocacy in Washington, D.C. He soon returned to his native Louisiana and practiced in a high-volume civil litigation firm representing clients in automobile and truck accident cases, oyster-lease damage claims, asbestos and toxic chemical exposure cases, and industrial noise-induced hearing loss claims. His practice areas later expanded to include complex litigation involving toxic torts, environmental contamination, constitutional takings, commercial disputes, and bad faith insurance claims.

Carlos has since successfully represented clients through trials and appeals in state and federal courts. Some of his reported cases include:

  • Radan v. Stolt-Nielsen, Inc., No. 2013-833, (La. App. 4 Cir. 2/12/14), 2014 WL 700213
  • Caceras v. Work, 2012-1097, (La. App. 4 Cir. 2/27/13), 110 So. 3d 275
  • Anderson v. Dresser, No. 11-30104 sub nom. McKnight v. Dresser, No. 11-30050 (5th Cir. 2012)
  • Barbe v. Am. Sugar Ref., 2011-0544 (La. App. 4 Cir. 12/14/11), 83 So. 3d 75
  • Becker v. Murphy Oil Corp., 2010-1519 (La. App. 4 Cir. 6/2/11), 70 So. 3d 885
  • Chevron v. Salazar, Nos. 11 Civ. 3718(LAK), 11 Civ. 0691(LAK), 2011 WL 2556046
    (S.D.N.Y. 2011)
  • Comer v. Murphy Oil USA, No. 07-60756, 607 F.3d 1049 (5th Cir. 2010)
  • St. Bernard Parish v. United States, No. 05-1119L, 88 Fed. Cl. 528 (2009)
  • Tommaseo v. United States, No. 05-1119L, 80 Fed.Cl. 366 (2008)
  • Tommaseo v. United States, No. 05-1119L, 75 Fed.Cl. 799 (2007)
  • Turner v. Murphy Oil USA, Inc., No. 05-4206, 2007 WL 4233676 (E.D. La. 2007)
  • Cotter v. Smith, No. 06-743, 2007 WL 1514022 (S.D. Miss. 2007)
  • Horizon Medical Group v. Landry, No. 06-1625, 2006 WL 3313855 (M.D. Fla. 2006)
  • Lyons v. Progressive Ins. Co., 2003-2163 (La. App. 4 Cir. 7/21/04), 881 So. 2d 124;
  • Pierce v. Reilly-Benton, Inc., 2002-2253 (La. App. 4 Cir. 4/16/03), 846 So. 2d 143;
  • Hernandez v. State, ex rel. Dept. of Transp. and Development, 2002-0162 (La. App. 4 Cir. 10/16/02), 841 So. 2d 808;
  • Updegraff v. State, ex rel. Dept. of Transp. and Development, 2001-1048 (La. App. 4 Cir. 10/2/02), 828 So. 2d 693;
  • Bowes v. Bowes, 2000-1062 (La. App. 4 Cir. 8/15/01), 798 So. 2d 996;
  • Matlock v. State, ex rel. Dept. of Transp. and Development, 2000-0350 (La. App. 4 Cir. 2/21/01), 782 So. 2d 100;
  • Evans v. Nogues, 1999-2761 (La. App. 4 Cir. 9/13/00), 775 So. 2d 471. 

Carlos is admitted to practice in the State of Louisiana (1994) and the Commonwealth of Virginia (1993). He is also admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court, the United States Court of Federal Claims, the United States Second Circuit Court of Appeals, the United States Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, the United States District Courts for the Eastern, Middle, and Western Districts of Louisiana, and the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas.

He has been admitted to practice pro hac vice before the United States District Courts for the Southern District of Mississippi, the Southern District of New York, the Middle District of Florida, the Northern District of California, and the District of Puerto Rico; the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York and the Western District of North Carolina; the First Judicial Circuit Court for Walton County, Florida; and the 45th District Court for the County of Bexar, Texas.

Carlos’s publications and presentations include:

  • Where do we stand? Taking it to the Limit, 15th Ann. Tulane Law School Summit on Envtl. Law & Policy (April 2010)
  • The Katrina Litigation: On the Front Edge of Civil, Constitutional, and Environmental Law, A.A.L.S. Ann. Meeting (January 2010)
  • Climate Change Litigation: Who has Standing?, A.B.A. Sec. of Litig. – Ann. Meeting (April 2009)
  • Sea Level Rise & Coastal Risk, 13th Ann. Tulane Law School Summit on Envtl. Law & Policy (April 2008)
  • Global Warming Litigation – A Matter for the Courts, A.B.A. Envtl. Torts and Toxic Torts Comm. Newsl. (Vol. 10, No. 1, December 2007)
  • It’s Getting Hot in Here: Global Warming and the Courts, A.B.A. Sec. of Env’t, Energy, and Resources (2007)

Carlos’s current practice areas include complex and class action litigation, commercial litigation, environmental and toxic torts, occupational diseases, and industrial noise-induced hearing loss.

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