Matt J. Farley
Matt’s practice currently focuses on resolving claims arising out of specialty lines of insurance, including financial institution bonds, commercial crime policies, directors and officers liability policies, and professional liability policies.
Matt also has significant experience in litigating claims under surety bonds, in the defense of extra-contractual claims, and in the representation of creditors and asset purchasers in corporate bankruptcies.
Seibert v. Travelers Cas. & Sur. Co. of Am., No. 2018 WL 2770659 (S.D. Miss. 2018). The plaintiff asserted state and federal claims against her employer, a sheriff, for sexual harassment and hostile work environment. She also sued the surety who issued a public official bond for the sheriff. The district court granted the surety’s Motion to Dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, finding the bond did not cover the employee’s claims.
Renasant Bank v. St. Paul Mercury Ins. Co., 2017 WL 698382 (N.D. Miss. 2017). The firm obtained the dismissal on summary judgment of a $10 million claim on a financial institution bond arising out of the alleged misconduct of a bank’s loan officer.
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 represented a major insurer in complex litigation arising out of the misconduct of Andrew Fastow and other former officers of Enron. The litigation generated several reported opinions, of which an example is Enron Creditors Recovery Corp. v. St. Paul Fire & Marine Insurance Company, 2008 WL 11389459 (2008).
Thompson v. Avondale, 2003 WL 359932 (E.D. La. 2003). The firm represented the chairman of the ESOP administrative committee of a publicly held company at trial. The plaintiffs argued that two stock transactions authorized by the Committee violated ERISA and resulted in an alleged $57 million loss to the ESOP. After an eight-day trial, the Court found that the administrative committee including its chairman had acted prudently to diversify the ESOP’s assets. Plaintiffs took nothing.
In re Friede Goldman Halter, Inc., Bankruptcy Case No. 01-52173-SEG (S.D. Miss. 2001). Represented a surety in both the bankruptcy court and federal district court for the Southern District of Mississippi in connection with a cluster of disputes arising out of a $70 million ship construction bond.
In re Cajun Elec. Power Coop., Inc., Bankruptcy Case No. 94-11474; Civil Action No. 94-2763-B2 (Bankr. M.D. La. 1999). Served as trial counsel for a consortium of bidders who were successful in acquiring power generating assets of Cajun Electric for $1.026 billion. The trial in bankruptcy court lasted 80 days, during which Mr. Farley conducted every witness examination on behalf of the bidding consortium. The litigation generated several reported opinions, including In re Cajun Elec. Power Co-op, Inc., 230 B.R. 693 (M.D. La. 1999, and is discussed in detail at Matt J. Farley, The Regulatory Approval Issue in Cajun Electric Power Coop., Inc., Loyola Law Review (2000).
First Nat. Bank of Louisville v. Lustig, 961 F.2d 1162 (5th Cir. 1992), on remand, 96 F.3d 1554 (5th Cir. 1996). Litigated a financial institution bond claim that shaped the law of coverage for acts by dishonest employees and the claims-handling obligations of insurers.
Federal Ins. Co. v. Cmty. State Bank, 905 F.2d 112 (5th Cir. 1990). Successfully represented a surety in a dispute with a secured lender over priority to construction contract funds.
Lambert v. Maryland Cas. Co., 418 So.2d 553 (La. 1982). Assisted the legendary Marian Mayer Berkett in her successful representation of a surety in litigation over the surety’s right to stop financing a contract and to assert its right to the contract balances.
Building the Claims File (with Dolores Parr and Richard Baudouin), Fall Meeting of the Fidelity & Surety Law Committee of the Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section, American Bar Association: Managing and Litigating the Complex Fidelity Claim (2017)
Farley, M., Baudouin, R., Exclusions in the Commercial Crime Policy, Chapter XI of COMMERCIAL CRIME INSURANCE COVERAGE, Randall I. Marmor & Susan K. Sullivan eds. (2015)
The Impact of Stern v. Marshall on Fidelity and Surety Litigation, Annual Meeting of the Surety and Fidelity Claims Institute (2012)
POST-PETITION FINANCING AND EXTENSIONS OF SURETY CREDIT, Wilcox, et al, The Surety and Bankruptcy, American Bar Association (2010)
THE CHAPTER 11 PLAN, Wilcox, et al., The Surety and Bankruptcy, American Bar Association (2010)
On Dealing with Dishonest Employees, Skyradio's "America's Premier Lawyers" Series (2006)
Why the Constitution Matters to Fidelity Insurers: State Farm Insurance Company v. Campbell, XII Fidelity Law Journal (2006)
Exclusions in the Commercial Crime Policy, Marmor and Tomaine, COMMERCIAL CRIME INSURANCE POLICY, 2d Ed., American Bar Association (2005)
What Is Employee Dishonesty?, COMMERCIAL CRIME INSURANCE POLICY, American Bar Association (1997)
EVENTS & SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS
Presenter and mock trial advocate, Litigating the Ponzi Scheme Case, Mid-Winter Meeting of the Fidelity & Surety Law Committee of the Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section, American Bar Association (2019)
Advocate, Mock Trial of a Computer Theft Claim, Mid-Winter Meeting of the Fidelity & Surety Law Committee of the Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section, American Bar Association (2014)
Presenter, Fidelity and Financial Institution Bond Program, Mid-Winter Meeting of the Fidelity & Surety Law Committee of the Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section, American Bar Association (2012)
Presenter, Litigating the Employee Dishonesty Claim, Mid-Winter Meeting of the Fidelity & Surety Law Committee of the Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section, American Bar Association (2011)
Presenter, Examination of Damages Experts from Both the Plaintiff and Defense Perspective, Ship of Fools: Fidelity Claims Made by Corrupt Insureds, Fall Meeting of the Fidelity & Surety Law Committee of the Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section, American Bar Association (2009)
Presenter, Trial Techniques for Fidelity Cases, The Butterfly Effect: How Surety and Fidelity Claims Handlers’ Responses Shape Perceptions, Mid-Winter Meeting of the Fidelity & Surety Law Committee of the Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section, American Bar Association (2008)
Presenter, The Nuts and Bolts of Lustig, Southern Surety & Fidelity Claims Conference (2002)
Presenter, Computer Technology and Litigation of Fidelity Cases, Annual Meeting of the Surety and Fidelity Claims Institute (1998)
Lecturer in Construction Industry Law, Loyola University School of Law (1990 – 1996)
PROFESSIONAL AND CIVIC ACTIVITIES
American Bankruptcy Institute
American Bar Association, Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section and Fidelity and Surety Law Committee
Federal Bar Association
Louisiana Bar Foundation
Louisiana State Bar Association
Professional Liability Underwriting Society (PLUS)
New Orleans Office
400 Poydras Street
New Orleans, LA 70130
Complex Commercial Litigation
Directors & Officers
Professional Liability Litigation
AV Preeminent Peer Review Rating by Martindale-Hubbell
Selected for inclusion in “Best Lawyers in America,” in the areas of Commercial Litigation and Bankruptcy Litigation since 2007
Selected for inclusion in “Superlawyers,” in the area of Business Litigation in 2020 and for several preceding years
J.D., cum laude, Tulane University Law School (1977); Order of the Coif
B.A., summa cum laude, Tulane University (1974)
BAR AND COURT ADMISSIONS
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
U.S. District Courts for the Eastern, Middle and Western Districts of Louisiana