Michael G. Durand graduated from Louisiana State University and attended the prestigious University of Vermont Environmental Law Center in 1989 for a concentrated course of study in Environmental Law, studying such topics as CERCLA, RCRA and Risk Assessment. Mike was admitted to the Louisiana bar in 1979. He is also admitted to practice before all the Louisiana U.S. District Courts (Western, Middle, and Eastern Districts of Louisiana) and before the U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth and Eleventh Circuits. He is a member of the honor fraternity of Phi Kappa Phi and graduated from the Louisiana State University Law Center as a member of the Order of the Coif. He was also a member of the LSU Law Center Moot Court Board. He is a member of the Lafayette Parish, Louisiana State, and American Bar Associations as well as the Louisiana Association of Defense Counsel.
Mike began his legal career with Onebane Law Firm in 1979 and has been in practice with the firm since that time. His current area of practice has concentrated on what has become known as “legacy lawsuits”. He represents both oil companies and operators in suits filed for restoration and money damages allegedly arising from contamination by the release of hydrocarbons, produced water, naturally occurring radioactive materials (NORM) and other harmful substances in conjunction with historic oil and gas operations. Mike has presented seminars on legacy lawsuits in numerous forums. (“Legacy Lawsuits and the Valuation of Property Damages in Louisiana”; “The Sermon on the Amount: Legacy Lawsuits – Past, Present, and Future”). Mike also heads the Appellate Practice group in the firm and has significant experience in appeals and writ applications in a variety of areas.
The following is a sampling of cases of significance in which Mike has been involved: Diamond Crystal Salt Company v. Texaco, Inc. (damage claim for loss of salt mine due to collapse of drilling rig; represented Diamond Crystal Salt Company); Meredith v. Ieyoub (action challenging constitutionality of Louisiana Attorney General hiring private attorneys to sue oil and gas companies for environmental damages on contingency fee basis; represented Robert Meredith, et al, and the Louisiana Independent Oil & Gas Producers); American Waste and Pollution Control, Inc. v. Parish of St. Martinville (action challenging constitutionality of parish zoning ordinance prohibiting waste disposal facility within the Parish; represented American Waste and Pollution Control, Inc.); Motorola, Inc. v. Associated Indemnity Company.
Mike has lived in Lafayette since he joined the firm. He is married to Cynthia Brasselle, and they have 5 children and 4 grandchildren.