Elliot Scharfenberg

Partner

Elliot is a partner in the firm’s New Orleans office. He represents sureties in all manner of disputes and regularly negotiates and litigates performance bond claims, payment bond claims, bad faith claims, and claims against indemnitors. He often gets involved in matters before a lawsuit is filed and takes a business approach to resolve matters early on and in creative ways. Elliot thinks the best solutions to a client’s problems are not always the most obvious and that in order to resolve a matter most favorably for his client, it is often necessary to think outside of the box.
 

On the transactional side of his practice, he has negotiated takeovers, tenders, completion agreements, subcontractor ratifications, construction contracts, financing agreements, and collateral agreements. He has also litigated numerous cases through appeal. He has handled litigation in state and federal courts, including bankruptcy courts, as well as arbitration proceedings. Although most of his work is in Louisiana, he has also handled matters in Texas, Mississippi, and Alabama.

In addition to his contract surety work, he also assists sureties in handling plug and abandonment bond claims and insurers in handling claims against subcontract default insurance policies. In his free time, he likes to relax with his dog, glass of wine in hand, on the balcony of his French Quarter apartment.

 

REPRESENTATIVE CASES
 

RLI Ins. Co. v. Roberts, 2019 WL 1979931 (S.D. Tex. 2019). The firm represented a surety that issued decommissioning bonds on several oil and gas properties in the Gulf of Mexico. The firm brought a lawsuit against an individual indemnitor for payment of outstanding premiums, indemnity for the surety’s losses and expenses, and specific performance of the indemnitor’s collateral security obligations. The court granted the surety’s summary judgment as to liability on all counts and denied the indemnitor’s motion summary judgment and motion to dismiss. The court later granted the surety all damages requested by the surety and ordered the indemnitor to deposit $1.25 million in collateral security.

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.
 

Plaquemines Parish Gov’t v. Byrd Bros. Emergency Servs., LLC, 2016 La. App. LEXIS 864 (La. App. 4 Cir. 2016). The surety and a bank with a UCC security interest in the principal’s accounts receivable both sought the remaining contract funds on a Louisiana public works project. The Court of Appeal affirmed a summary judgment in favor of the firm’s client, the surety, holding that the surety’s rights in the remaining contract funds were superior to the rights of the bank.

 

EVENTS & SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS
 

Presenter, Takeovers, Tenders & Completion Agreements: Key Provisions To Mitigate the Surety’s Risk, Midwest Surety and Construction Claims Conference (2019)
 

Presenter, Handling Plug & Abandonment Bond Claims, Zurich CE Seminar (2019)
 

Presenter, Evolution of the Surety’s Rights Under the General Indemnity Agreement, Atlanta Surety Claims Association (2019)
 

Panel Leader, Blockchain and Cryptocurrency, Legal Netlink Alliance Global Meeting (2019)
 

Presenter, Case Law Update: An Historical Perspective, Southern Surety & Fidelity Claims Conference (2019)
 

Presenter, Handling Performance Bond Claims: Dealing With Difficult Obligees, Zurich CE Seminar (2018)
 

Presenter, Pollution Insurance, Mid-Winter Meeting of the Fidelity & Surety Law Committee of the Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section, American Bar Association (2018)

PROFESSIONAL AND CIVIC ACTIVITIES
 

American Bar Association, Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section and Fidelity and Surety Law Committee


Louisiana State Bar Association
 

New Orleans Bar Association

New Orleans Office

400 Poydras Street

Suite 2500

New Orleans, LA 70130

escharfenberg@krebsfarley.com

PRACTICE AREAS
 

Bankruptcy

Complex Commercial Litigation

Construction Litigation

Surety Law

 

HONORS
 

Junior Honorary Member, Louisiana State Law Institute (2014)
 

Senior Fellow, Legal Research & Writing

 

EDUCATION
 

J.D., magna cum laude, Tulane University Law School (2013); Order of the Coif; Articles Editor, Tulane Law Review
 

B.A., Baylor University (2007)

 

BAR AND COURT ADMISSIONS
 

Louisiana, 2013
 

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
 

U.S. District Courts for the Eastern, Middle and Western Districts of Louisiana

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