How Can I Help You Move Forward?

I am a creative problem solver, a committed advocate for my clients, and a seasoned litigator and advisor who routinely defends clients in complex toxic tort, product liability and environmental matters in state and federal courts. With more than 25 years of experience defending thousands of occupational exposure claims, my experience enables me to provide early strategic planning, a vigorous defense, and efficient representation from start to conclusion. My clients value my proactive and practical approach to minimizing their risk and reducing their overall litigation spend – which I consider critical to ensuring my clients’ long-term success.

Overview

Elia has successfully defended thousands of occupational exposure claims, including exposure to asbestos and silica-containing products before state and federal courts. She focuses on complex toxic tort, product liability and environmental defense, as well as insurance coverage litigation and counseling. Ella has significant experience representing insurers as direct action defendants in litigation throughout the State of Louisiana.

In addition to board governance, Ella focuses on several insurance coverage practice areas, including third-party insurance coverage, general liability, environmental and toxic tort liability coverage. Her knowledge and experience with property insurance coverage and bad faith claims litigation have allowed her to successfully defend insurers in commercial property insurance cases resulting from hurricanes, hailstorms and other first-party claims.

Outside the Office

When not representing clients, Elia is actively engaged in community work, bar leadership and advocacy for increasing racial/ethnic diversity, equity, inclusion and advancement in the legal profession – for which she’s often received recognition. She is passionate about community service and sits on a number of non-profit boards, where she advises on corporate governance activities to address legal and risk issues. She is also responsible for hiring, retaining and managing the CEO of a $650+ million financial institution; was instrumental in approving a $40 million annual budget; and serves as one of the main points of contact for drafting and revising preliminary credit union policy. Through her board service, she has cultivated and increased partnerships with various organizations, resulting in a meaningful impact for the inner-city youth of New Orleans.

Education

  • Loyola University School of Law, J.D., 1994
  • University of Southwestern Louisiana, M.S., cum laude, 1989
  • University of Southwestern Louisiana, B.S., cum laude, 1987
  • University of Southwestern Louisiana, B.A., cum laude, 1987

Admissions

Bar Admissions

  • Louisiana

Court Admissions

  • All Louisiana State and Federal Courts

Professional Affiliations

  • American Bar Association
  • Louisiana State Bar Association
  • New Orleans Bar Association
  • Hispanic National Bar Association:
    • Immediate Past President, 2021-2022
    • President, 2020 – 2021
    • President-Elect, 2019-2020
    • Vice President, Divisions, Sections & Committees, 2017 – 2019
    • National Secretary, 2015 – 2017
    • Deputy Region XII President
  • Hispanic National Bar Association VIA Fund
    • Past President 2021-2022
    • President 2019 -2020
    • Director, 2019-2022
  • International Association of Defense Counsel
  • Defense Research Institute

Community Affiliations

  • OnPath Federal Credit Union, Executive Committee/Board Secretary 2018 -date, Director 2012 – date.
  • BLOOM Dance Incorporated: Director 2022-present
  • The A.D. Crossman Esperanza Library Project: Founding Member, Committee Member
  • New Orleans Ballet Association: Member, The Ballet Resource and Volunteer Organization
  • The A.D. Crossman Esperanza Library Project: Founding Member, Committee Member
  • Save the Gulf Foundation
  • Taking Steps for Crohn’s and Colitis
  • Habitat for Humanity
  • Candy Girls/Life Savers of New Orleans, Charitable & Social Organization: Founding Member, Fundraising Chair

  • Best Lawyers (2018-2024)
  • Inside New Orleans Reader’s Favorite “Elite Lawyers” (2023-2023)
  • New Orleans CityBusiness, Woman of the Year, Honoree (2015, 2022)
  • Best Lawyers “Women in the Law” Business Edition (2020-2021)
  • CityBusiness “Leadership in Law” (Class of 2020)
  • Lawyers of Color’s ‘Nations Best’ Honoree (2019)
  • Recognized in Chambers USA
  • Women in Law Future Leader – Gender Diversity award winner in the private practice (2017)
  • Martindale-Hubbell: A/V Preeminent Rating
  • Recipient of the Louisiana State Bar Association Human Rights Award (2014-2015)
  • Martindale-Hubbell Bar Register of Preeminent Women Lawyers™ (2011- present)
  • Martindale-Hubbell Bar Register Judicial Edition (2015-present)
  • Association of Corporate Counsel/HNBA Executive Leadership Program

  • Hispanic National Bar Association: Board of Governors 2011-2022
  • Hispanic National Bar Association: Immediate Past President, President 2020 – 2021; President-Elect, 2019-2020, Vice President, Divisions, Sections & Committees, September 2017 – 2019; National Secretary, 2015 – 2017. Deputy Region XII President
  • BLOOM Dance Incorporated – Director 2022-present
  • Candy Girls/Life Savers of New Orleans, Charitable & Social Organization – Founding Member, Fundraising Chair
  • The A.D. Crossman Esperanza Library Project – Founding Member, Committee Member
  • ASI Credit Union – Board of Directors, Director
  • Kingsley House – Member fundraiser committee, Table Chair annual “friendraising” event
  • New Orleans Ballet Association – Member, The Ballet Resource and Volunteer Organization
  • Save the Gulf Foundation
  • Raintree Foundation
  • Habitat for Humanity

Elia 's Insights