Michele Hale DeShazo is Senior Counsel with Kuchler Polk Schell Weiner & Richeson, LLC.
Ms. DeShazo completed her undergraduate education at the Florida State University, where she was a graduate of the Honors College. In 2002, she received her Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science, with a minor in English. While in college, she was active in campus leadership organizations and served on the Executive Board of her sorority, Delta Zeta. Ms. DeShazo received her Juris Doctorate and Bachelor of Civil Law from the Paul M. Hebert Law Center at Louisiana State University in 2005, and was licensed to practice law in Louisiana that same year. While attending law school, she was active in the Legal Association for Women, as well as the Health Law Club. She also participated in a number of mock trial activities.
She is admitted to practice before the United States District Courts for the Eastern, Middle and Western Districts of Louisiana, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, and all Louisiana State Courts. She is a member of the Federal and Louisiana State Bar Associations. She is also active in the Defense Research Institute (DRI).
Ms. DeShazo practices in the areas of Toxic Tort Litigation focusing on Products and Premises Liability claims, Environmental Law, Hearing Loss, Commercial Litigation, Naturally Occurring Radioactive Material (NORM) Litigation, and General Civil Litigation. Additionally, she has experience in Transportation law.
Ms. DeShazo resides in Covington, Louisiana with her husband, Michael.
Ms. DeShazo has served as lead liaison for the DRI Federal Legislative Liaison Pilot Tracking team. She is also a member of DRI’s Women in the Law Publications Subcommittee and Newsletter Chair/Editor for the DRI Technology Committee.
- Panelist at the Louisiana State Bar Association’s CLE program, Superwomen: Female Attorneys Can Run the World, May 2013.
- Panelist on the Asbestos Litigation Tsunami, Seventh Annual Judicial Symposium on Civil Justice Issues, George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia, November 201s
- Louisiana Diversity Council’s Fourth Annual Louisiana Women’s Conference, “Finding Health, Wealth, and Balance in 2012,” New Orleans, LA, November 2012
- Harris Martin Louisiana Asbestos Litigation Conference, June 2011, submission of Medicare Secondary Payer Act (MSPA) Issues in the MMSEA
- HB Litigation’s Chinese Drywall Symposium, May 2010, Ritz Carlton, New Orleans, LA
LITIGATION–RELATED AWARDS AND VICTORIES
- Michele Hale DeShazo was selected for inclusion on the 2012 and 2013 Louisiana Super Lawyers’ Rising Stars list. Lawyers are asked to nominate the best attorneys who are 40 or under, or who have been practicing for ten years or less. The survey results are analyzed along with other evaluation criteria. The lawyers are ranked by point totals and those with the highest point totals are named to the Rising Stars list, with no more than 2.5% of the lawyers in Louisiana named to the list annually.
- Michele Hale DeShazo’s follow-up efforts and positive relationship with opposing counsel resulted in the voluntary dismissals of a trial-set, terminally ill Plaintiff’s claims against three different clients of the Firm. These suit assignments were received by the Firm at various points in this products liability litigation. The clients were not similarly situated Defendants.
- After determining that a Plaintiff’s survival action was untimely in a products liability suit, Michele Hale DeShazo engaged in discussions with opposing counsel to obtain a voluntary dismissal of the entire suit against the Firm’s client early in the discovery process.
- Following the receipt of an expedited, four-month trial setting, Michele Hale DeShazo obtained voluntary dismissals based on lack of evidence for multiple clients of the Firm in a products liability suit asserted by a terminally ill Plaintiff.
- Michele Hale DeShazo prepared the successful briefing for a prescription trial in Louisiana state court involving claims of exposure to Naturally Occurring Radioactive Material (NORM). The claims were dismissed with prejudice by the Court at the close of the trial.
- Michele Hale DeShazo argued several Motions for Summary Judgment which were granted by the trial courts in trial-set, products liability matters.
- After the issuance of an expedited trial setting, Michele Hale DeShazo obtained voluntary dismissals based on lack of evidence for three different clients of the Firm who were named as Defendants at various stages of the products liability case.
- Michele Hale DeShazo secured a voluntary dismissal of a Plaintiff’s entire suit against the Firm’s client in a motor vehicle accident case filed against an employer Defendant, and its direct employee who was alleged to have caused the accident. This dismissal was made possible through repeated efforts to obtain outstanding discovery responses from opposing counsel.
- Michele Hale DeShazo served as second-chair trial counsel, and later, as lead trial counsel in two prescription (akin to statute of limitations) trials in Louisiana state court involving claims of exposure to Naturally Occurring Radioactive Material (NORM). The claims were dismissed with prejudice by the Court at the close of the trial.
- As a result of ongoing discussions and early case evaluation, Michele Hale DeShazo obtained the voluntary dismissals of multiple claims asserted by a Third-Party Defendant against several Firm clients in Naturally Occurring Radioactive Material (NORM) suits. This allowed for one of the clients to be completely dismissed from a mass tort action.
- Michele Hale DeShazo was named as a panelist at HB Litigation’s Chinese Drywall Symposium with respect to the analysis of the Economic Loss Rule’s application to Chinese Drywall litigation.
- After determining that a Plaintiff’s survival action was untimely in a products liability suit, Michele Hale DeShazo engaged in discussions with opposing counsel to ultimately obtain a voluntary dismissal of a Plaintiff’s entire suit against the Firm’s client prior to discovery being conducted.
- Following early case assessment and dialogue with opposing counsel, Michele Hale DeShazo obtained the voluntary dismissal of a new Defendant in Naturally Occurring Radioactive Material (NORM) litigation prior to discovery being conducted. As a result, this client is no longer named as a Defendant in any NORM litigation in Louisiana.
- Subsequent to locating and obtaining critical evidence not previously produced in the litigation, Michele Hale DeShazo obtained a voluntary dismissal of the Firm’s client in a products liability suit by a terminally ill Plaintiff who asserted claims as to his work onshore and offshore with drilling material. The case was set for an expedited trial setting to occur a few months after the case’s initial assignment to the Firm.