David J. Krebs
David is the managing partner of the firm and located in the New Orleans office. David entered Tulane Law School after earning an MA in History and Economics at the Karl Eberhards Universität in Tübingen, Germany. While at Tulane, David was a member of Tulane Law Review, and graduated magna cum laude in 1982, at which point he started as an associate at Phelps Dunbar, where he remained until 1991, having become a partner in the interim. In 1991, he started his own firm, and has practiced in that capacity ever since.
David’s practice has focused on commercial litigation with a strong emphasis on trial work. He has tried approximately 100 cases in his career, many of them jury trials, which he prefers. Most of these cases were complex, high-dollar and long, and distributed roughly evenly between state and federal court. David’s trial experience includes proceedings in Louisiana, Texas, Mississippi, Alabama, and California.
On a substantive level, David is recognized as an expert on construction law, with a heavy emphasis on surety law. He has been listed by Chambers and Partners every year since 2011 in the “first band” of construction lawyers in Louisiana. He also has deep experience in fidelity law, including crime policies and financial institution bonds, and in complex insurance coverage. On a transactional level, David specializes in the resurrection of defaulted construction projects across the entire Southeast United States.
Active in the community, David served as the Chair of the New Orleans Pro Bono project in 2005 when Hurricane Katrina devastated the City of New Orleans, and the following year. As Chair, he led the Project during a time of massive effort to address the extraordinary legal needs of the displaced poor of New Orleans. He also personally led the legal team that created the framework for the Qatar Treme Project to finance the restoration of 100 residences in the historic Treme neighborhood to stabilize that traditionally African-American neighborhood, which has been a center of culture and music in New Orleans for 200 years. David currently serves on the Board of Directors of Covenant House, a refuge for homeless youth in New Orleans and elsewhere.
When not working, David likes to travel, read, cook, and spend time with his family and friends.
David is licensed in Louisiana and Texas.
Fucich Contracting, Inc. v. Shread-Kuykendall and Assocs., Inc., 2018 WL 7198176 (E.D. La. 2019). In this case, following a trial on the merits, the district court granted a preliminary injunction to the firm’s client, ordering its indemnitors to post collateral to secure it from loss.
Factory Sales & Eng., Inc. v. Chubb European Group, Ltd., 2019 WL 1226098 (E.D. La. 2019). This case involved a dispute over competing rights to substantial cash collateral posted by a now bankrupt contractor, and the interpretation of the contracts pursuant to which it was given. Following a three-day trial in bankruptcy court, the court ruled in favor of the firm’s client, which then was affirmed by the district court.
Parkcrest Builders, LLC v. Housing Auth. of New Orleans, 2018 WL 2766067 (E.D. La. 2018). Following a two-week trial in this complicated construction case, the firm obtained a complete exoneration of the surety and its bonded contractor, defeating the performance bond claim, rebutting the default termination of the contractor and the surety, and recovering contract balances for the surety.
A.B.S. Servs., Inc. v. James Constr. Group, LLC, 269 So. 3d 723 (La. App. 1 Cir. 2018) (en banc). Following a two-week jury trial in state court in Baton Rouge in 2015, the jury completely exonerated the firm’s client, a major surety company, from all contractual and extracontractual claims and ordered its reimbursement in the amount of $477,569 for sums previously paid under a reservation of rights. The judgment was affirmed by an en banc Court of Appeal.
84 Lumber Co. v. F.H. Paschen, S.N. Nielsen & Assocs., LLC, 2017 WL 467679 (E.D. La. 2017). The firm defended a surety that issued subcontractor performance bonds with dual obligee riders on two construction projects in the New Orleans area. The trial court granted the surety’s motion for summary judgment and motion to dismiss, discharging the dual obligee’s multi-million dollar claims against the performance bonds.
Law Enforcement Dist. of Jefferson Parish v. MAPP Constr., LLC., 196 So. 3d 896 (La. App. 5 Cir. 2016). On an interlocutory appeal, the Court of Appeal reversed the trial court’s denial of a motion for summary judgment. The surety was fully discharged due to a time-limitation defense.
JSI Commc’ns v. Travelers Cas. & Sur. Co. of Am., 807 F.3d 725 (5th Cir. 2015). In this legally complicated case relating to the interplay of traditional surety law with statutory interpretation, the firm obtained a summary judgment in favor of its client from the district court, which then was reversed on appeal. On a second round of motions, the court of appeal ruled that the initial denial was in good faith based on unsettled law. 717 Fed. Appx. 382 (5th Cir. 2017).
Thos. S. Byrne, Ltd. v. Seal Craft Corp., 17th Judicial District Court of Tarrant County, Texas, No. 017-233504-08 (2012). Following a two-week jury trial in Fort Worth, Texas, in connection with the construction of a mixed-use commercial and residential project, the firm obtained a jury verdict exonerating the window manufacturer and installer and its surety. The judgment was affirmed in Thos. S. Byrne, Ltd. v. Seal Craft Corp., 2013 WL 4506584 (Tex. App. 2013).
Travelers Cas. & Sur. Co. of Am. v. Univ. Facilities, Inc., 2011 WL 197897 (E.D. La. 2011). In this case, the firm obtained a favorable ruling for its client on the interpretation of a contractual limitation period in a performance bond.
Hitachi Am., Ltd. v. Steadfast Ins. Co., 2011 WL 1465766 (S.D. N.Y. 2011). The firm successfully defended an insurer against an action brought in a New York federal court under two policies involving claimed damages of $300 million arising from an alleged default on a major Midwest industrial construction project.
Lambeth House, Inc. v. Liberty Restoration Group, LLC, 2010 WL 3791777 (E.D. La. 2010). In this three-day federal trial, the firm obtained a verdict on behalf of its client, Lambeth House, a residential and assisted living facility in New Orleans, Louisiana, in the amount of $2,712,967 and, after post-trial briefing, an award of attorneys' fees and costs of $414,647.63.
Fid. & Deposit Co. of Md. vs. Ralph McKnight & Sons Constr., 28 So. 3d 1282 (Miss. 2010). In this case, which reached the Mississippi Supreme Court, the firm successfully reversed a Chancery court decision, and obtained a favorable ruling from the high court on an issue of statutory interpretation important to the surety industry.
Am. Elec. Power Co. v. Affiliated FM Ins. Co., 556 F.3d 282 (5th Cir. 2009). The firm successfully represented an insurer in connection with coverage litigation brought by American Electric Power Company, defeating a $20 million claim for employee theft coverage.
Enron Creditors Recovery Corp. v. St. Paul Fire & Marine Ins. Co., U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, No. H-06-3905. The firm successfully defended a major insurer in complex litigation against a $20 million claim arising out of the misconduct of Andrew Fastow and other former officers of Enron. The litigation, which settled the morning of trial, generated several reported decisions, of which an example is Enron Creditors Recovery Corp. v. St. Paul Fire & Marine Ins. Co., 2008 WL 11389459 (S.D. Tex. 2008).
Shores of Panama v. Safeco Ins. Co., 2008 WL 4417558 (S.D. Ala. 2008). In this performance bond litigation turning on the arbitrability of claims against the surety, the firm successfully represented the surety based on several defenses, including wrongful termination and failure to follow the terms of the bond.
Snyder Langston, L.P. v. Balboa Bay Club, Inc., Superior Court of California for the County of Orange, Consolidated Cases: 03CC14023. In this coverage action, the firm successfully defended a major insurer against competing claims arising from the construction of the Balboa Bay Club & Resort in Newport Beach, California.
OTHER REPRESENTATIVE CASES
Hanover Ins. Co. v. Atlantis Drywall & Framing LLC, 611 Fed. Appx. 585 (11th Cir. 2015).
The Gray Ins. Co. v. Terry, 606 Fed. Appx. 188 (5th Cir. 2015).
Banks v. First Guar. Bank of Hammond, 2014 WL 766846 (La. App. 1 Cir. 2014).
The Gray Cas. & Sur. Co. v. Lebas, 2013 WL 74351 (E.D. La. 2013).
U.S. ex rel. JEMS Fabrication, Inc. v. Benetech, LLC, 2013 WL 3984006 (E.D. La. 2013).
Seals v. Herzing, Inc., 482 Fed. Appx. 893 (5th Cir. 2012).
Gross v. RSJ Int’l, LLC, 2012 WL 729955 (E.D. La. 2012).
U.S. ex rel. Capital Computer Group, LLC v. The Gray Ins. Co., 453 Fed. Appx. 905 (11th Cir. 2011).
Nova Cas. Co. v. Turner Constr. Co., 335 S.W.3d 698 (Tex. App. 2011).
Mendoza v. Essential Quality Constr., Inc., 691 F. Supp. 2d 680 (E.D. La. 2010).
Copeland’s Cheesecake Bistro of Bossier City, LLC v. Great American Ins. Co., 2010 WL 4810840 (W.D. La. 2010).
Gad v. Granberry, 958 So. 2d 125 (La. App. 3 Cir. 2010).
3901 Ridgelake Drive, LLC v. Fid. & Deposit Co. of Md., 2009 WL 1402231 (E.D. La. 2009).
Bernhard Mech. Contractors, Inc. v. St. Paul Cos., 2008 WL 3244145 (5th Cir. 2008).
Broadmoor Anderson v. XL Reinsurance Am., Inc., 264 Fed. Appx. 390 (5th Cir. 2008).
St. Stephen’s Missionary Baptist Church v. Taylor, 2008 WL 4057162 (E.D. La. 2008).
U.S. Fid. & Guar. Co. v. E.L. Habetz Builders, Inc., 642 F. Supp. 2d 560 (W.D. La. 2008).
Great Am. Ins. Co. v. Eugene McLain Constr. Co., 2008 WL 516394 (W.D. La. 2008).
United Disaster Response, LLC v. Omni Pinnacle, LLC, 511 F.3d 476 (5th Cir. 2007).
First Guar. Bank v. BancInsure, Inc., No. 06-3497, 2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 39150 (E.D. La. 2007).
Victor P. Bonura Enters., Inc. v. Ceres Envtl. Servs., Inc., 2007 WL 54818 (E.D. La. 2007).
Nat’l Am. Ins. Co. v. Win-Con Enters., Inc., 2006 WL 3733790 (E.D. La. 2006).
In re Jazzland, Inc., 161 Fed. Appx. 436 (5th Cir. 2006).
Nat’l Am. Ins. Co. v. Win-Con Enters., Inc., 2006 WL 3733790 (E.D. La. 2006).
Broadmoor/Roy Anderson Corp. v. XL Reinsurance Am., Inc., 2006 WL 2873473 (W.D. La. 2006).
Fid. & Deposit Co. of Md. v. F.D. Shay Contractor, Inc., 2006 WL 149035 (W.D. La. 2006).
Martin Marietta Materials of La., Inc. v. U.S. Fid. & Guar. Co., 940 So. 2d 152 (La. App. 2 Cir. 2006).
LaCour’s Drapery Co. v. Brunt Constr., Inc., 939 so. 2d 424 (La. App. 1 Cir. 2006).
Lopez v. Ceres Envtl. Servs., Inc., 2006 WL 851403 (E.D. La. 2006).
Craig v. City of New Orleans Board of Zoning Adjustments, 903 So. 2d 530 (La. App. 4 Cir. 2005).
Botanica Prop. Partners, LLC. v. Hodges Constr. Co., 897 So. 2d 756 (La. App. 5 Cir. 2005).
Pine Bluff Sand & Gravel Co. v. La. Cowboy Town, LLC, 2004 WL 3203610 (La. App. 3 Cir. 2004).
Koerner v. Garden District Ass’n, 78 Fed. Appx. 960 (5th Cir. 2003).
United Rentals Highway Techs., Inc. v. St. Paul Sur., 852 So. 2d 1200 (La. App. 2 Cir. 2003).
Belleville Historic Dev., L.L.C. v. GCI Constr., Inc., 2002 WL 91568 (La. App. 4 Cir. 2002).
Gootee Const., Inc. v. Amwest Sur. Ins. Co., Inc., 2001 WL 253905 (La. App. 5 Cir. 2001).
Barlett Const. Co., Inc. v. St. Bernard Parish Council, 2000 WL 722259 (La. App. 4 Cir. 2000).
Resolution Trust Corp. v. Gaudet, 1996 WL 125953 (E.D. La. 1996).
Mahayna, Inc. v. Poydras Ctr. Assocs., 1995 WL 746940 (La. App. 4 Cir. 1995).
Zivalich v. Int’l Broth. of Teamsters, Chauffeurs, Warehousemen & Helpers of Am., 1995 WL 573760 (La. App. 4 Cir. 1995).
M.S. Rau, Inc. v. Gibson Roofers, Inc., 1995 WL 239413 (La. App. 4 Cir. 1995).
Doucette v. Barthelemy, 1992 WL 73779 (La. App. 4 Cir. 1992).
Adler v. Parkerson, 1991 WL 101465 (La. App. 5 Cir. 1991).
Jefferson Parish School Bd. v. Rittiner Eng’g Co., Inc., 1990 WL 180783 (La. App. 5 Cir. 1990).
Joseph C. Canizaro–901 Ltd. P’ship v. State, Dept. of Pub. Safety, Office of State Fire Marshall, 1990 WL 162379 (La. App. 4 Cir. 1990).
Z. Ellis Roofing Co., Inc. v. McDonnel Enters, Inc., 1990 WL 79836 (La. App. 5 Cir. 1990).
Whitney Nat. Bank of New Orleans v. Poydras Ctr. Assocs., 557 So. 2d 422 (La. App. 4 Cir. 1990).
Jensen Constr. Co. v. Dep’t of Transp. and Dev., 1989 WL 35350 (La. App. 1 Cir. 1989).
Hageman v. Foreman, 1989 WL 10648 (La. App. 3 Cir. 1989).
Choy v. Gatlin, 1988 WL 60123 (La. App. 5 Cir. 1988).
Hageman v. Foreman, 525 So. 2d 73 (La. App. 3 Cir. 1988).
Gitschlag v. U.S. Home Corp., 506 So. 2d 1236 (La. App. 1 Cir. 1987).
Sams v. Kendall Constr. Co., 499 So. 2d 370 (La. App. 4 Cir. 1986).
Wedge v. Anderson, 487 So. 2d 628 (La. App. 4 Cir. 1986).
Whitney Nat. Bank of New Orleans v. Poydras Ctr. Assocs., 487 So. 2d 120 (La. App. 4 Cir. 1986).
Whitney Nat. Bank of New Orleans v. Poydras Ctr. Assocs., 468 So. 2d 1246 (La. App. 4 Cir. 1985).
Peoples Water Ser. Co. of La. v. Menge Pump and Mach. Co., Inc., 452 So. 2d 752 (La. App. 5 Cir. 1984).
Prods. Eng’g Co. v. OKC Corp., 590 F. Supp. 547 (E.D. La. 1984).
David J. Krebs, Investigation and Management of Claims, in MANAGING AND LITIGATING THE COMPLEX SURETY CASE, (Tracey L. Haley and Christopher R. Ward, eds., 2018)
David J. Krebs and Shannah J. Morris, The Surety’s Obligations Under the Performance Bond: To Perform or Not To Perform, in BOND DEFAULT MANUAL (Mike F. Pipkin, Carol Z. Smith, Thomas J. Vollbrecht and J. Blake Wilcox, eds., 2015)
Omar J. Harb, David J. Krebs and Cynthia Rodgers-Waire, The Surety’s Subrogation Rights and Claims Against the Federal Government, in THE CONTRACT BOND SURETY'S SUBROGATION RIGHTS (George J. Bachrach, James D. Ferrucci and Dennis J. Bartlett, eds., 2013)
David J. Krebs, Louisiana, in PERFORMANCE BOND MANUAL, American Bar Association (2006)
David J. Krebs and Diane L. Matthews, Annotated Financial Institution Bond, Ch. 5 Sec. 5 – General Agreement (E) – Joint Insured, and Ch. 6 Sec. 4 – Limit of Liability, American Bar Association (2004)
David J. Krebs and Diane L. Matthews, Judicial Rescission of Fidelity Coverage, The Fidelity Law Journal, Vol. VII (2001)
David J. Krebs, Recent Developments in Fidelity and Surety Law, Tort & Insurance Law Journal, Vol. 33, No. 2 (1998)
David J. Krebs, Does a Surety Have to Issue a Performance Bond for a Contractor After Furnishing a Bid Bond? (Steven Strawbridge & Larry Lerner, Editors), American Bar Association Monograph (1998)
EVENTS & SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS
Presenter, The Surety’s Security Agreements Under the GAI, Annual Meeting of the National Association of Independent Sureties (2019)
Presenter, Investigation and Management of Claims, Spring Meeting of the Fidelity & Surety Law Committee of the Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section, American Bar Association (2018)
Presenter, A View from the Inside: Managing and Reviewing Outside Counsel and How to Thrive in the Current Legal Market, Moneyball for Lawyers: Ruminations on the Changing of Business of Law, Section Conference of the Fidelity & Surety Law Committee of the Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section, American Bar Association (2017)
Presenter, The Challenges of Bonding American Projects on Foreign Soil and of Bonding American Contractors Engaged in Construction Overseas, Mid-Winter Meeting of the Fidelity & Surety Law Committee of the Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section, American Bar Association (2017)
Co-Presenter with Patrick Toulouse and Dennis O’Neill, Trying Times – Techniques and Tips for Dealing with Claims, Litigation and Dispute Resolution; Trying Performance Bond Cases, Pearlman Conference (2016)
Panel Discussion, Ethical Conflicts in Surety Cases, National Bond Claims Association (2015)
Presenter, Why Manuscript?, Panel Discussion on Fidelity Underwriting, Mid-Winter Meeting of the Fidelity & Surety Law Committee of the Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section, American Bar Association (2015)
Presenter, Quia Timet? Fear Not: Collateral Deposit Under the GAI, Atlanta Surety Claims Conference (2014)
Presenter, Professionalism and Dealing with the Unprofessional AKA “Rambo” Opposing Counsel, Southern CLE of Louisiana (2014)
Presenter, Closing Arguments in Complex Cases, Southern CLE of Louisiana (2012)
Presenter, The Incredible Shrinking Pay if Paid Clause, podcast for the American Bar Association (2012)
Presenter, Construction Contracts and Bankruptcy, podcast for the American Bar Association (2011)
Presenter, Overview of Construction Law, Southern CLE of Louisiana (2011)
Presenter, Opening Statements in Complex Fidelity Cases: Enron Creditors Recovery Corp. v. Federal Insurance Company, Fall Meeting of the Fidelity & Surety Law Committee of the Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section, American Bar Association (2008)
Co-Presenter with Alona R. Croteau, Representing the Surety in a Construction Defect Case, Louisiana State Bar Association (2008)
Co-Presenter with Harvey S. Bartlett, Continuing Contracts Clause in Federal Projects, Southern Surety & Fidelity Claims Conference (2008)
Presenter, Representing the Surety, Litigating the Multi-party Construction Defect Case, sponsored by the LSU Law Center and the LSBA Section on Fidelity, Surety and Construction Law (2007)
Presenter, Troubling Aspects of Recent Decision Interpreting Paragraph 6 of the A312 Payment Bond, Gulfcoast Fidelity & Surety Institute (2007)
Presenter, Protection of Contract Balances in the Hands of Federal Owners, Gulfcoast Fidelity & Surety Institute (2006)
Presenter, Construction Delay Claims in Mississippi, Lorman Education Services Seminar (2006)
Presenter, Unique Aspects of Toxic Mold Litigation Involving Public Building, Mealey's Construction Defect Mold Litigation Conference (2005)
Presenter, A Primer on the Surety's Role on Private Construction Projects in Louisiana, Louisiana State Bar Association Annual Meeting (2004)
Presenter, Fidelity Law Update, Gulfcoast Fidelity & Surety Institute (2004)
Presenter, Surety Defenses: Failure to Disclose, Misrepresentation and Material Changes, Mid-Winter Meeting of the Fidelity & Surety Law Committee of the Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section, American Bar Association (2004)
Presenter, How to Make Overpayment, Impairment and Modification of Contract Terms Work for You in a Construction Default, Mid-Winter Meeting of the Fidelity & Surety Law Committee of the Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section, American Bar Association (2004)
Presenter, Recent Developments in Surety Law, Southern Surety & Fidelity Claims Conference (2003)
Presenter, Investigation of Fidelity Claims and Development of Relevant Facts, Mid-Winter Meeting of the Fidelity & Surety Law Committee of the Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section, American Bar Association (2002)
Presenter, Good Experts, Bad Experts, No Experts at All, Fidelity and Surety Trial Practice Seminar, International Association of Defense Counsel (2001)
Presenter, Judicial Rescission of Fidelity Coverage, Annual Meeting of the Fidelity Law Association (2001)
Presenter, Recent Developments in Fidelity Law, Southern Surety & Fidelity Claims Conference (2000)
Presenter, Sureties' Equitable Remedies: The Writ of Quia Timet and Injunctive Relief, Southern Surety & Fidelity Claims Conference (1998)
Presenter, Sureties' Equitable Remedies: The Writs of Exoneration and Quia Timet, Midyear Meeting of the International Association of Defense Counsel (1998)
Presenter, Surety Law Update, Southern Surety & Fidelity Claims Conference (1997)
Presenter, Enforceability of General Lien Waivers, Southern Surety & Fidelity Claims Conference (1996)
Presenter, A Primer of the Surety's Rights Against Its Principal's CGL Carrier, Southern Surety & Fidelity Claims Conference (1995)
Presenter, Recent Developments in Surety Law, Annual Meeting of the Surety and Fidelity Claims Institute (1994)
Presenter, Fidelity Law Update, Southern Surety & Fidelity Claims Conference (1994)
Presenter, Recent Developments in Surety Law, Annual Meeting of the Surety and Fidelity Claims Institute (1992)
Presenter, A Primer on the Surety's Rights Against Its Principal's CGL Carrier, Southern Surety & Fidelity Claims Conference (1992)
Presenter, Acceleration, Delays, and Other Contract Interferences, Louisiana State Bar Association, Construction Law for Louisiana Attorneys Seminar (1984)
PROFESSIONAL AND CIVIC ACTIVITIES
American Bar Association, Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section and Fidelity and Surety Law Committee (Section Chair, 2009-2010)
Federal Bar Association
American Bar Association, Forum Committee on Construction Law
Louisiana Association of Defense Counsel
Louisiana State Bar Association
New Orleans Bar Association
Texas State Bar Association
The Pro Bono Project (First Vice Chair, Board of Directors; Chairman, 2005-2006)
Qatar's Treme/Laffitte Corridor Revitalization Project
New Orleans Office
400 Poydras Street
New Orleans, LA 70130
Complex Commercial Litigation
Martin J. Andrews Award for Lifetime Achievement in Fidelity and Surety Law from Fidelity and Surety Law Committee (2020)
Ranked by Chambers and Partners USA in Band 1 of Construction Law
Best Lawyers in America in construction law
Andrew C. Hecker Memorial Award from American Bar Association (2017)
Best Lawyers - Lawyer of the Year in litigation and construction law (2014)
Distinguished Service Award for The Pro Bono Project (2002 and 2004)
J.D., magna cum laude, Order of the Coif, Tulane University Law School (1982); Tulane Law Review
Master of Arts, University of Tübingen, Germany (1979)
B.A., cum laude, Tulane University (1976)
BAR AND COURT ADMISSIONS
Federal Court of Claims
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
U.S. District Courts for the Eastern, Middle and Western Districts of Louisiana
U.S. District Courts for the Southern and Western Districts of Texas