Young Lawyers Committee


~The LADC Young Lawyers Committee is where new lawyers get to know one another, and network with experienced professionals.~

In 2014 the LADC Board of Directors mandated and formed the Young Lawyers Committee in order to provide more participatory opportunities for young lawyer members. The Association concluded that young lawyers need their own committee to determine ways in which to increase their roles.  Since that time, the roles of young lawyers in participating and governing have increased through communication between the YL Committee, the LADC Board, and initiatives started by the YL Committee and supported by the Board. 

The YL Committee is now a standing Committee provided for in the LADC bylaws.  Young lawyers speak at almost all LADC seminars, write columns for the LADC monthly newsletter, and organize their own mini-seminars.  These activities provide an excellent opportunity for young lawyers to get exposure in their field of interest. Perhaps the crown jewel of YL Committee initiatives has been the annual LADC Board and Young Lawyers Awards Dinner, at which the Frank L. Maraist and Young Lawyers Committee Member of the Year awards are presented. The lifeblood of an organization is in developing its younger members.  The LADC is grateful for the work of the Young Lawyers Committee.

The Committee is chaired by Amber Barlow. Committee members serve a three year term except for at large members.  We thank our committee members who have completed their terms for their faithful service.

If you are interested in serving on the Committee or in assisting with any of the activities of the Committee, please contact the LADC at [email protected]


Amber Barlow - Chair, Deutsch & Kerrigan LLP

Amber Barlow is a partner in Deutsch & Kerrigan’s Toxic Tort and Environmental Group. Amber represents manufacturers, retailers, distributors, and premise owners in complex litigation matters, including environmental litigation, toxic tort litigation, and premises and products liability. She handles all phases of representation from initial case assessment, pre-trial discovery and depositions, motion practice, mediation and negotiations, through to trial.

While in law school, Amber served as Managing Editor of the Law Review, President of the Women’s Student Bar Association, Vice President of the Mississippi Defense Lawyer’s Association-Student Chapter, Law Student Bar Association Senator, and Mississippi College School of Law Honor Court Justice. She was awarded the Am Jur Award in Trial Practice taught by Presiding Mississippi Supreme Court Justice Jess Dickinson as well as receiving the Mississippi Defense Lawyer’s Association’s Outstanding Leadership Award. While in law school, she clerked for the United States Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals Staff Attorney’s Office and the Honorable Neil P. Olack, United States Bankruptcy Judge for the Southern District of Mississippi.



David Adams, Bradley Murchison Kelly & Shea

David Adams is an associate in the New Orleans office of Bradley Murchison Kelly & Shea, where he practices primarily in the areas of medical malpractice defense, toxic tort, and other casualty litigation. David graduated summa cum laude from Loyola law school in May 2016 and was a member of Loyola Law Review. Before law school, David earned his bachelor’s degree in Greek and Roman Studies from Rhodes College in December of 2012.





Justin Jack, Adams & Reese LLP

Justin A. Jack is an associate at Adams and Reese, LLP in the Baton Rouge office. Justin served as a Judicial Law Clerk to the Hon. Ulysses Gene Thibodeaux, Chief Judge of the Louisiana Third Circuit Court of Appeal. In that role, Justin conducted research on complex civil and criminal matters on appeal, assisted in the preparation of opinions for both civil and criminal matters on appeal, and reviewed and edited opinions authored by judges prior to their publications. He served as a judicial law clerk for the Hon. Karen Wells Roby, United States Magistrate Judge of the United State District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana from 2015-2016.Justin graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor of arts in political science from Carleton College in 2012 and completed his J.D. from Tulane University Law School in 2015. While in law school, he served as managing editor of the Tulane Journal of International and Comparative Law and the executive editor of The Southern Journal of Policy and Justice. In addition, Justin was a member of the Legislative Administrative Advocacy Clinic, the Frederick Douglass Moot Court and the Black Law Students Association. A recipient of the Greater New Orleans Louis A. Martinet Legal Society Writing Scholarship, he earned a dean’s scholarship and was an Equal Justice Works Summer Corps Fellow.



Katelyn W. Harrell, Jackson Lewis P.C.

Katelyn W. Harrell is an Associate in the New Orleans, Louisiana, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. Ms. Harrell’s practice focus includes the defense of ERISA plans and plan fiduciaries at both public and private companies. She is a member of the firm’s Employee Benefits group, and is a contributor to the Employee Benefits Newsletter, the firm’s publication covering current events in benefits law. In addition to litigating ERISA-based claims, Ms. Harrell is also involved in litigating general employment law matters, including representing employers in Family and Medical Leave cases, discrimination claims relative to age, sex, disability, race, religion, and sexual harassment, and handling EEOC charges and other administrative complaints through the administrative and judicial process. She has trial experience including sitting first chair in two bench trials as well as second chair in a third. Prior to joining Jackson Lewis, Ms. Harrell practiced general casualty litigation with a local New Orleans defense firm. 


Matt Smith,  Kean Miller

Matt Smith is a partner in the Baton Rouge office of Kean Miller. He joined the firm in 2013 and practices in the commercial litigation, toxic tort defense, and environmental litigation groups. His work focuses on the representation of oil and gas exploration and production companies, mid-stream companies, and other industry companies in various litigation matters including property damage and contamination, property rights, and commercial and contractual disputes. Matt earned his B.A, summa cum laude, from Louisiana State University in 2009. He earned his J.D., magna cum laude, from the LSU Law Center in 2013, where he was a member of the Moot Court Board and the Order of the Coif.



Jared Nelson, Liskow & Lewis

Image: Jared Nelson

Jared is an energy litigator practicing in the Lafayette office of Liskow & Lewis, where he practices primarily in the areas of Energy Litigation. Prior to joining Liskow & Lewis, Jared served as an Assistant Attorney General for the Louisiana Department of Justice, Office of the Attorney General handling tort and civil rights litigation for the State of Louisiana. He has experience in multiple facets of litigation, including drafting motions, exceptions, demand and settlement letters, discovery requests and responses, and direct and cross examination questions. A native of New York City, Jared received his undergraduate degree in Government from the University of Virginia in 2008, and an Master of Public Administration from Southern University and A&M College in 2010. Prior to practicing law, Jared served as a Probation and Parole Officer for the State of Louisiana, Department of Public Safety and Corrections for seven years. Jared received his Juris Doctor, cum laude, from Southern University Law Center in 2018. In addition to his involvement with the LADC Young Lawyers Committee, Jared is a member of the 2019-2020 Louisiana State Bar Association’s Leadership Class, Louisiana State Bar Association’s House of Delegates Member (representing the 15th Judicial District Court- effective June 2020), Louisiana State Bar Association’s Committee on Diversity and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated.


Gemma Zuniga, Wilkinson Carmody & Gilliam

Ms. Zuniga’s principal practice involves commercial, public utility, railroad and employment litigation. Ms. Zuniga was a Dean’s List student and received her law degree from Baylor Law School in 2018. She was a magna cum laude graduate of Centenary College of Louisiana in Shreveport in 2015 with undergraduate degrees in Economics and Political Science. Following law school, Ms. Zuniga served as Law Clerk for the Hon. Michael A. Pitman and Hon. Katherine C. Dorroh of the First Judicial District Court for Caddo Parish, Louisiana. She is licensed to practice in Louisiana and Texas and is a member of the Shreveport, Louisiana, Texas and Federal Bar Associations. Ms. Zuniga is also a member of the National Association of Railroad Trial Counsel and the Louisiana Association of Defense Counsel. She is admitted to practice in all Louisiana state, Texas state, and federal courts.




Thomas McCall, Jones Walker LLP

Thomas McCall is an associate in the Litigation Practice Group of the Baton Rouge office.  He has been with Jones Walker since 2013 and is a member of the firm’s Business & Commercial Litigation Practice Group.  A native of Lake Charles, Thomas earned his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science with a Minor in Journalism cum laude from the University of Notre Dame in 2007.  After working in Chicago for three years, he moved back to Louisiana and earned his Juris Doctor degree and Diploma in Comparative Law magna cum laude from Louisiana State University in 2013. During law school, Thomas served as a judicial extern to the Honorable Brian A. Jackson of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana



Erica Durr, Stamey & Miller LLC

A native of Natchitoches, Erica Durr is with the firm of Stamey & Miller, LLC, practicing primarily in the field of insurance defense. She received her Toxicology degree with a minor in Chemistry from the University of Louisiana at Monroe before obtaining her Juris Doctor from the University of Arkansas School of Law in 2012. Erica is licensed to practice law in Louisiana, Texas, and Arkansas, and is a licensed teacher as well.


Stephen Butterfield, Lugenbuhl Wheaton Peck Rankin & Hubbard

As an insurance law attorney, Stephen Butterfield’s practice has led him to represent some of the most recognized insurers. In turn, this has allowed him the opportunity to try cases in both jury and bench trials. Most of his trial practice has centered around personal injury claims from both the plaintiff and defense side having to do with automobile accidents and premises liability. Aside from insurers, Stephen has extensive experience with commercial litigation involving small to mid-size institutions and state and local governments. These types of cases, with his variety of clients, have led him to oral arguments before the Louisiana First Circuit and Second Circuit Courts of Appeals.




Kelly L. Staples, Kinney Ellinghausen Richard & DeShazo

Kelly’s practice includes a wide range of commercial litigation and transactional matters. She handles bad faith cases, employment and contractual disputes, and has negotiated and structured various real estate and corporate transactions. Kelly graduated cum laude from Tulane University in 2008 with majors in Psychology and Sociology. After college, she was selected as a Teach For America Corps Member and taught special education in the New Orleans Recovery School District. Kelly is a 2013 graduate of the Paul M. Hebert Law Center, Louisiana State University, where she was a member of the Louisiana Law Review.





William H. Priestley Jr., Lunn & Irion

William H. Priestley, Jr. Attorney at LawMr. Priestley is a native of North Louisiana.  He received his undergraduate degree from Texas A&M University in 2001, and an M.B.A. in finance from Texas Christian University in 2004, graduating with honors.  He worked as a commercial banker in Houston, Texas and Little Rock, Arkansas before opting to pursue a legal career, and received his J.D. from Louisiana State University in 2013.  He has lived in Shreveport since 2013 with his wife, Anna. His practice focuses primarily on civil litigation, and he has experience successfully representing clients in a variety of disputes including insurance defense and coverage; EEOC claims and other employment litigation; oil and gas environmental “legacy” litigation; defense of workers compensation claims; exhibition and products liability; contractual disputes and collections; administrative claims and professional licensing; and succession litigation.




Dianna Duffy Willem, Hebbler & Giordano