Richard Arsenault


Neblett Beard & Arsenault

Firm Website






2220 Bonaventure Court
P.O. Box 1190
Alexandria, Louisiana 71301

With a diverse career spanning nearly 30 years, Richard J. Arsenault’s experience as a trial lawyer, author, speaker, mediator, expert witness, and teacher has provided a unique foundation for navigating complex litigation.
Complex Litigation

At a recent class action fairness hearing, Harvard Law Professor Arthur Miller testified that Arsenault is one of the “leaders in the area of complex litigation.” Likewise, Professor Edward Sherman, former dean of Tulane Law School and author of the Complex Litigation treatise, has described Arsenault as one of the “experts” in class actions.

The National Law Journal has recognized Arsenault as having one of the nation’s largest personal injury verdicts. He has Martindale Hubbell’s highest rating for legal ability and ethical standards and is listed in other peer reviewed publications including the Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers and “Best of United States”. He has appeared in the “Best Lawyers in America” publication for over 15 consecutive years. He also serves as a faculty member for LSU Law School’s Trial Advocacy Program; a faculty composed of Federal and State Court Judges, professors and prominent attorneys. He has been a part of that program since its inception nearly 20 years ago. In addition to a busy litigation practice, Arsenault has also been retained to provide expert testimony and has served as a mediator in mass tort litigation. Additionally, Trial Magazine has called upon Arsenault to peer review articles they consider for publication.
Litigation Resolution

The architect of many significant litigation recoveries, Arsenault has been appointed to negotiating teams in major multidistrict litigation. He served on the Executive Committee and as Class Counsel in environmental litigation where the defendant agreed to a substantial settlement just days before trial. He was also appointed to the Vioxx MDL Plaintiff Steering Committee, where there is likewise a substantial pending settlement. Whether through trial or creative alternative dispute resolution, Arsenault has the experience to tackle and resolve complex litigation.
Legal Excellence & Professionalism

The commitment to legal excellence is reflected in years of service which has included teaching at law schools, publishing law review articles, lecturing at Judicial Colleges and assuming leadership roles in both local, as well as national bar associations. Through an appointment by the President of the Louisiana Bar Association, Arsenault joined the Professional Assessment Committee composed of a distinguished panel including Federal and State Court Judges along with members of the Bar. He also coordinates an annual tort law presentation by several United States District Judges and the former Dean of the University of Tennessee College of Law, Thomas C. Galligan, Jr. Other examples include service as:

* President of the Alexandria Bar Association;
* President of the American Inns of Court’s Crossroads Chapter. (U.S. District Judge F.A. Little and Arsenault worked together to create the Alexandria Chapter)
* Chair of American Trial Lawyers Association Admiralty Section;
* Chair of both the Louisiana Bar Association’s Annual Admiralty Symposium and Annual Class Action Symposium since their inception;
* Speaker and guest lecturer at a variety of symposiums, including those sponsored by Tulane Law School, LSU Law School, the Louisiana Judicial College and the U.S. Fifth Circuit Judicial Conference;
* Editor of the Louisiana Bar Journal’s Recent Developments for the Section on Insurance, Negligence, Worker’s Compensation and Admiralty;
* Tulane Law School’s Continuing Legal Education Committee;
* Chair of the Louisiana Bar Association’s Section on Insurance, Negligence, Worker’s Compensation and Admiralty.

National Plaintiff Steering Committees

Selected by courts around the country to serve on Steering Committees in some of the nation’s largest litigation, Arsenault’s appointments by the federal bench include:

* U.S. District Judge Donovan W. Frank, District of Minnesota, to serve as Co-Lead Plaintiffs’ Counsel in the Guidant MDL Litigation;
* U.S. District Judge Sarah S. Vance, Eastern District of Louisiana, to serve as Liaison Counsel in the Educational Testing Service Praxis MDL Litigation;
* U.S. District Judge Eldon E. Fallon, Eastern District of Louisiana, to serve on the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee in the Vioxx MDL Litigation;
* U.S. District Judge Charles R. Breyer, Northern District of California, to serve on the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee in the Bextra/ Celebrex MDL Litigation;
* U.S. District Judge James M. Rosenbaum, District of Minnesota, to serve on the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee in the Medtronic MDL Litigation;
* U.S. District Judge Ivan L.R. Lemelle, Eastern District of Louisiana, to serve on the MDL Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee in the High Sulfur Content Gasoline Products Liability MDL Litigation (Shell);
* U.S. District Judge David A. Katz, Northern District of Ohio, to serve on the Plaintiffs’ Discovery Committee in the Ortho Evra MDL Litigation;
* U. S. District Judge Catherine D. Perry, Eastern District of Missouri, to serve as a member of the Plaintiffs’ Executive Committee in Rice Contamination MDL Litigation;
* U.S. District Judge Richard H. Kyle, District of Minnesota, to serve on the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee in the Medtronic Sprint Fidelis Leads MDL Litigation

Presentations & Publications

Arsenault has been appointed to numerous editorial boards, and has made presentations throughout the U.S. and Canada on a variety of mass tort, class action, and complex litigation related topics. He has over 200 articles and presentations to his credit. Most recently, he co-authored a Law Review article published in the Federal Courts Law Review (Knowledge is Power: A Practical Proposal to Protect Putative Class Members From Improper Pre-Certification Communication). Other recent publications include:

* “Gathering Digital Data” published in “Trial”, the Journal of the Association of Trial Lawyers of America;
* “Class Action Settlement of ‘Future Claims’” which appeared in a recent edition of the Louisiana Trial Lawyers Association publication; and
* “Daubert in Class Certification” published in the Louisiana Bar Journal.

Nationwide Networking

Arsenault has moderated national complex litigation programs with speakers that have included former President Bill Clinton, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., Eliot Spitzer, Harvard Professor Alan Dershowitz, Morris Dees, Arianna Huffington, Al Franken, Bob Woodward, Al Sharpton and Paul Begala. He has chaired dozens of symposiums with guests ranging from Ken Starr to Jan Schlichtman (lawyer portrayed by John Travolta in “A Civil Action”). Arsenault has organized numerous counsel meetings and conferences, comprising hundreds of law firms in venues across the country. These have been designed to facilitate consensus for leadership roles, consider organizational structures and promote coordinated litigation efforts. Consequently, he understands and functions well in the national complex litigation landscape.