STEPHEN M. CHOUEST was born in New Orleans in 1955. When he received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of New Orleans “UNO” in 1977, Mr. Chouest was working full time in the family clothing business and working as a part time musician in local jazz and rock bands. Chouest left the family business and his musical aspirations behind and worked as a legal clerk at a New Orleans law firm while attending Loyola Law School (1978-81), and thereafter as an associate attorney with the same firm following his admission the the Bar (1981-84). In 1981 he received a Juris Doctorate (JD) degree from Loyola University School of Law, New Orleans. In 1983 Chouest received his masters of laws (LLM, Admiralty) from Tulane University School of Law.
Since his admission to the Louisiana State Bar in 1981 Mr. Chouest has enjoyed nearly 27 years of general civil law experience including State and Federal litigation, contract negotiation, representation of individuals, private businesses, public and quasi-public agencies. Much of Mr. Chouest’s primary concentration involves areas of insurance law, including personal injury claims, real estate development, entertainment and intellectual property law, governmental work, and general civil law. He also oversees other aspects of the firm’s business including domestic matters, successions, general corporate work, trusts and estates.
Mr. Chouest has enjoyed serving as Cub Scout CubMaster and WebMaster for St. Martin’s Episcopal School’s Cub Scout Pack 434. He currently serves on Board of Visitors for UNO’s College of Liberal Arts. Mr. Chouest is the driving force behind the firm’s sponsorship of metairie.com. He enjoys working on the site and planning its future.
Personal Injury and General Civil Matters:
Since starting his own firm in 1984 Mr. Chouest has handled well over one thousand plaintiff personal injury claims for injured individuals, including maritime, automobile, medical malpractice and product liability claims. Mr. Chouest also gives legal assistance with various types of general civil matters, including drafting or interpretation on contracts, and he continues to represent defendants or claimants in civil and commercial litigation.
Mr. Chouest has negotiated recording and publishing contracts, production agreements, agency and management contracts, partnership agreements, and other entertainment industry contracts since 1981. He has worked with and represented many local artists and companies including Zebra, Crowbar, Lillian Axe, Kyper, Down, Cowboy Mouth, Bernie Cyrus, Big J Productions and International Entertainment Agency. He has organized and moderated the entertainment law continuing legal education (CLE) seminars for the Music Business Institute, Cutting Edge Music Conferences in 1995 and 1996 and participated again in 1997. He has also been a guest speaker for the Business Music Institute, Tulane Law School, and the New Orleans Arts Council.
Public and Government Work:
• Works with the New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation, an economic development corporation he helped organize and implement to advertise the City of New Orleans for tourism purposes. Present work includes matters that relate to the development and operation of NOTMC’s web site. His past work included the preparation of applications for approval, corporate documents and City of New Orleans Ordinances.
• Mr. Chouest worked with the Canal Street Development Corporation, a public benefit corporation of the City of New Orleans that accomplished the development of the former D.H. Holmes department store and annex on Canal Street into the Chateau Sonesta Hotel and related apartments. He has also counseled assisted numerous other public agencies with various projects over the years with claims, contracts and negotiations.
• Past areas of primary practice have included serving as General Counsel to the Ernest N. Morial New Orleans Exhibition Hall Authority from 1989 through 1991, serving as associate general counsel to the Authority during its organizational stages, and for the planning, organization and formation of New Orleans Public Facility Management, Inc., a nonprofit corporation which operates the Morial Convention Center. Mr. Chouest also serves as special counsel to the Authority for riverfront development matters.support