Gene W. Lafitte, the 2010 LSU Law Center Distinguished Alumnus of the Year, will be honored at an event planned for Thursday, October 7 at the Audubon Tea Room in New Orleans. Lafitte is a 1952 Order of the Coif graduate of LSU Law. The award is given annually to an alumnus who exemplifies the highest quality and ethical standards of the legal profession. It also recognizes personal and professional achievements, as well as loyalty to the LSU Law Center.
“This is the highest professional honor awarded by the LSU Law Center, and Gene is an extremely deserving recipient,” announced Chancellor Jack M. Weiss in April. Practicing primarily as a trial and appellate lawyer, Lafitte began his career in the military, where he served the U. S. Air Force Judge Advocate General Corps as a first lieutenant. After joining Liskow & Lewis in 1956, where he founded the litigation department, Lafitte served for almost 10 years as the firm’s president and managing partner before being named chairman. The primary concentration of Lafitte’s successful legal career has been in the fields of oil and gas, business contracts and torts, anti-trust, securities, intellectual property and environmental law.
Lafitte has also held key leadership roles in the legal profession, having served on the ABA committee that evaluated the appointments of Supreme Court Justices Scalia and Chief Justice Rehnquist. In addition to his service on the American Bar Association Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary, he served as a member of the U.S. Judicial Conference Standing Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure.
Additionally, he is a member of the American, Louisiana, and New Orleans Bar Associations; a fellow with the American Bar Foundation, the Louisiana Bar Foundation, the American College of Trial Lawyers, and the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers.
Actively involved with the American College of Trial Lawyers, Lafitte has served its Board of Regents, and was president in 1984-85; he continues to serve as an ex-officio board member. Lafitte also served as the chairman of the LSU Foundation Board from 2001–2002.
In addition to his organization and committee work, Lafitte also enjoys golf, hunting and fishing and many spectator sports. He enjoys oil painting, reading, music and travel. He continues to be active in his church and social clubs. He and his wife Jackie have three children (two lawyers and a paralegal) and six grandchildren.
Lafitte was nominated for the award by long-time friend, John P. Laborde (’49), also a Distinguished Alumnus of the Year from 1993. He joins a distinguished group of LSU Law alums who have received the award, including most recently, Judge Ralph Tyson, Frank X. Neuner, Jr., Michael H. Rubin, Patrick A. Juneau, Jr., and W. Shelby McKenzie.
Friends of Lafitte and LSU Law are invited to attend the event on the evening of October 7, but pre-registration is required. For registration information contact the LSU Law Office of Alumni Relations at 225/578-8705.