Walter J. Leger, Jr.
Walter J. Leger, Jr. is a partner in the law firm of Leger & Shaw and Vice-President and former President of the New Orleans Zephyrs Triple A Baseball Team. He is the Past President of the New Orleans Bar Association and has served as Chairman of the Board of the New Orleans regional Chamber of Commerce and the MetroVision Economic Development Partnership.
The Louisiana Bar Journal named Leger one of only twelve "Louisiana Legal Legends," along with Louisiana Chief Justice Bernette Johnson, former U.S. Chief Justice Edward Douglas White, Jr., William C.C. Claiborne and eight others.
Leger has spoken widely on legal issues at Harvard Law School, Tulane, LSU, Loyola and others. Leger was a finalist for the "National Lawyer of the Year" Award, has been named to Louisiana's "Superlawyers" and Citybusiness Newspaper's "Leaders in Law Hall of Fame." He received the "President's Award" for leadership and public service from the New Orleans Bar Association, the Federal Bar Association and the Louisiana Association of Justice. He has been named "Volunteer of the Year" by the Southern Economic Development Council and the Louisiana Industrial Development Executives Association. The Louisiana State Bar Association has given him its Prestigious "Lawyer Citizen" Award.
He is a past Chairman of the Board of the New Orleans Regional Chamber of Commerce and Co Chairman of the MetroVision Regional Economic Development Partnership. He served for 15 years as Chairman of the St. Bernard Economic Development Foundation/Commission and is a member of the Southeast Louisiana Business Council Coalition, the New Orleans/Baton Rouge Super Region Committee, and the Board of Trustees of the Greater New Orleans Foundation.
He represents Tulane on the Board of Trustees of the Louisiana Cancer Research Center. He has served on the Boards of GNO, Inc., the New Orleans Bar Association, Greater New Orleans Foundation, LSU Health Science Center Foundation, Delgado Community College Foundation, Nunez Community College Foundation, Tulane Cancer Center, LSU Cancer Center, and the Director's Council of the Louisiana Cancer Research Consortium. He is Past President of the New Orleans Bar Association and current President of the New Orleans Bar Foundation.
After Hurricane Katrina, Leger was appointed by Governor Kathleen Blanco to the Louisiana Recovery Authority where he was one of the LRA's most active members. Governor Bobby Jindal re appointed Leger and he served as Vice Chairman. He was also appointed by both Governors to serve as Chairman of the Louisiana Land Trust and by Mayor Mitch Landrieu to the New Orleans Redevelopment Authority (NORA). Leger became well known as the co host with Garland Robinette of a weekly WWL radio show on hurricane recovery issues.
He has testified before the U.S. Senate Sub Committee on Disaster Recovery whose participants included Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu, Senator Joseph Lieberman, and then Senator Barack Obama. Leger has appeared on behalf of the homeowners of Louisiana before five Congressional and Senate committees and sub committees and met numerous times with Senate and House of Representatives staff and committee staffs, including the Appropriations and Finance committees, and with U.S. Senators, Congressmen, and editorial and news staff of the New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today, Boston Globe, Los Angeles Times, and Associated Press. He has also made appearances on ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX, CNN, PBS, LPB and numerous local and national television and radio stations.
Leger is a two-time cancer survivor and has received lifesaving commendations from the U.S. Coast Guard and the U.S. Sailing Association for life saving rescue at sea.
Current Public Service
- Louisiana Land Trust, Chairman (originally appointed by Governor Kathleen Blanco and re-appointed by Governor Bobby Jindal)
- New Orleans Redevelopment Authority Commissioner (NORA)(appointed by the Mayor)
Areas of Practice
- Maritime and Admiralty Law
- Class Actions and Complex Litigation
- Louisiana, 1976
- U.S. District Court Middle District of Louisiana, 1978
- U.S. District Court Western District of Louisiana, 1977
- U.S. District Court Eastern District of Louisiana, 1976
- U.S. Court of Appeals 5th Circuit, 1976
- U.S. Court of Appeals 11th Circuit, 1981
- U.S. Supreme Court, 1980
- Tulane Law School, New Orleans, Louisiana, 1976, J.D.
- Honors: Tulane Moot Court Competition
- Honors: American Admiralty Institute Award
- Law Journal: The Tulane Maritime Law Journal, Managing Editor, 1975 - 1976
- Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, 1973, B.A.
- Honors: Phi Gamma Delta National Leadership Award
- Honors: Senior Scholar's National Award
- Honors: Phi Beta Sigma
- Honors: Omicron Delta Kappa
- Honors: Who's Who in America's Colleges and Universities
- Honors: Mu Sigma Rho
- Honors: Freshmen Honor Award Scholarship
- Honors: Centennial Honor Award Scholarship
- Major: Political Science
- Minor: Economics
Cases of Note
- Special Counsel, In Re: Oil Spill by the Oil Rig “Deepwater Horizon” in the Gulf of Mexico on April 20, 2010
- Appointed by U.S. District Judge Lance Africk to Claimants’ Steering Committee in Gabarick Mississippi River Oil Spill Case, C.A. 08-4007, U.S.D.C., E.D. La.
- Appointed by Judge Peter Beer as Chairman of the Plaintiff’s Committee and served as Lead Appellate Counsel in the case of The State of Louisiana, ex rel. v. M/V TESTBANK, et al., C.A. No. 80-2738, U.S.D.C., E.D. La.
- Appointed by U.S. District Judge Morey Sear as Co-Lead Counsel in the M/V BRIGHT FIELD/Riverwalk Disaster.
- M/V INCA TUPAC collision, U.S.D.C., E.D. La.
- M/V POET, U.S.D.C., E.D.Pa.
- M/V TEXACO NORTH DAKOTA, U.S.D.C., E.D.La.
- M/V MISS CHRIS/Claiborne Ave. Bridge allision and collapse
- M/V LEE III/M/V ZIM MEXICO III
- Nationwide Opioid Litigation
- Castano Tobacco Litigation
- Nationwide State Attorneys General Tobacco Litigation
- Scott Louisiana Class Action Tobacco Litigation
- Bhopal, India/Union Carbide Gas Leak Litigation
- Nationwide Breast Implant Litigation
- Billeson Lead Paint Class Action
- Murphy Oil Refinery Spill Litigation
- Educational Testing Service Class Action/MDL
Honors and Awards
- Louisiana Bar Journal, "Louisiana legal Legend," 2018
- Louisiana State Bar Association “Citizen Lawyer” Award 2018
- Cancer Crusaders, Survivor of the Year, 2017
- Co-Chairman, The Whitney Zoo-To-Do, 2014
- Co-Chairman, Key to the Cure /Louisiana Cancer Research Center Drive, 2011
- 10-12 Magazine, Players in the Region 2009
- New Orleans CityBusiness “Leadership in Law Hall of Fame,” 2009 to present
- New Orleans CityBusiness “Leadership in Law,” 2007, 2008, 2009
- “Louisiana's Super Lawyers,” 2007, 2008,2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016,2017
- S. Coast Guard Commendation for Rescue and Lifesaving, 2008
- Arthur B. Hanson Rescue Award - U.S. Sailing Association,2008
- New Orleans Bar Association President's Award, 2009
- Louisiana Association of Justice President's Award, 2008
- Federal Bar Association President's Award, 2007
- “Ten Outstanding People,” Family Services Foundation, 2007
- “Man of the Year,” St. Bernard's Business & Professional Women's Club, 2006
- “Role Model” Young Leadership Counsel, 2005
- “Trial Lawyer of the Year” Award, Finalist - Lawyer's for Public Justice Foundation, 2005
- “Breath of Life Award” American Cancer Society, 2003
- “Kingfish of the Month”- Kingfish Magazine 2000
- New Orleans Magazine, “People to Watch in 2006"
- New Orleans Magazine, “People to Watch in 2000"
- New Orleans Magazine, “82 People to Watch in '82"
- "Volunteer of the Year," The Southern Economic Development Council, 1999
- "Volunteer of the Year," The Louisiana Industrial Development Executives Association (LIDEA), 1999
- Boy Scouts of America, Southeast Louisiana Council, “The Walter J. Leger, Jr. 1999 Class of Young Americans”
- "Citizen of the Year" St. Bernard Parish Chamber of Commerce, 1986
- Distinguished Community Service Award, Alliance for Good Government, 1994
- Who's Who in America since 1992
- Who's Who in American Law since 1987
- Who’s Who in the Southwest U.S. and Who’s Who in American Society
Professional Associations and Memberships
- Maritime Law Association of America
- Southeast Maritime Law Institute
- New Orleans Bar Foundation, Fellow, President
- New Orleans Bar Association, Past President
- American Bar Foundation, Distinguished Fellow
- Louisiana Bar Foundation, Fellow
- American Bar Association
- Louisiana Bar Association
- Bernard Bar Association
- Jefferson Bar Association
- Tammany Bar Association
- Federal Bar Association
- Bar Association if the U. S. Fifth Circuit
- American Association of Justice
- Louisiana Association of Justice
- New Orleans City Park Board of Commissioners, 2017-
- Greater New Orleans Foundation, 2014 – Present, Board of Trustees
- Committee of 100 Louisiana, Member, 2012- Present
- Southeast Louisiana Business Council Coalition
- New Orleans/Baton Rouge Super Region Committee, representing GNO. Inc.
- New Orleans Regional Chamber of Commerce, 2000, Chairman of the Board
- World Trade Center, New Orleans, Board
- Business Council, New Orleans & the River Region
- Bernard Economic Development Commission/Foundation, 1996 - 2013, Chairman
- Metrovision Economic Development Partnership Foundation, 1998 - 2000, Co-Chairman, Executive Committee
- College of Arts & Sciences, Louisiana State University, Member, Advisory Council
- Delgaldo Community College Foundation, 1998 - Present, Member, Board of Directors
- The New Orleans Regional Chamber of Commerce, 1988 - 1998, Vice-Chairman
- Bernard Council, The Chamber/New Orleans and the River Region St. Bernard Chamber of Commerce), Chairman 5times between 1984 and 2008
- Bernard Community College Foundation, 1986 - 1993, Vice Chairman, Board of Directors
- Nunez Community College Foundation, 1986 - Present; Board
- Louisiana Cancer Research Consortium, 2004 - Present; Directors Council
- Greater New Orleans, Inc., 2004 - 2011; Board and Executive Committee
- LSU Health Science Center Foundation, 2001 - Present; Board and Executive Committee
- Tulane Cancer Center Advisory Council, 2001 - Present
- LSUHSC Stanley Scott Cancer Center, Board
- March of Dimes of Greater New Orleans and Southeast Louisiana, 1981 - 1985, Chairman
- Business Higher Education Council, University of New Orleans
Past Employment Positions
- Phelps & Dunbar, Associate Attorney, 1976 - 1979
- George & George, Attorney, 1979 - 1980
- Phi Gamma Delta
- Phi Alpha Delta
- Omicron Delta Kappa
- Associated Branch Pilots
- ECL Marine Company
- New Orleans Zephyrs AAA Professional Baseball Club
- The Louisiana Charter Boat Association