Catherine Giarrusso, Partner
(504) 322-7141
cgiarrusso@pipesmiles.com
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Catherine (“Cassie”) Fornias Giarrusso is a founding member of the firm. She represents insurers in state and federal courts in the Gulf South in coverage and bad faith litigation. Her insurance coverage experience includes first-party and third-party claims involving both commercial and personal lines. She also has advised clients on appeals and handled matters in the Louisiana appellate courts and the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. Cassie has been recognized as a leading lawyer in the state for insurance coverage by Louisiana Super Lawyers, a Top Lawyer in Appellate Law by New Orleans Magazine, and a Leader in Law by New Orleans City Business.

Cassie is licensed in Louisiana and Texas and practiced labor and employment law for two years with an international law firm in Houston before moving home to Louisiana in 2004. Before beginning her practice in Louisiana, Cassie served as a law clerk for Chief Justice Pascal F. Calogero, Jr., of the Louisiana Supreme Court. Cassie graduated first in her class from Tulane Law School, where she received the prestigious Faculty Medal and was a member of the Tulane Law Review.

Practice Areas

Appellate

Insurance Coverage and Bad Faith

Labor and Employment

Notable Representations

Successfully defended primary insurer, through trial and appeal, against excess insurer’s claim to recover a multi-million dollar excess judgment based on allegation that primary insurer failed to properly defend insured.

Defended insurer in coverage trial and appeal involving claims in excess of $12 million arising from a FEMA trailer explosion.Prevailed on summary judgment in representation of homeowners insurers in connection with claims alleging coverage for damage caused by defective Chinese drywall.

Represented CGL insurer through successful summary judgment and appeal on claim arising from construction project and involving application of professional liability exclusion.

Represented insurers in homeowners and commercial claims arising from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

Represented insurer in multi-million dollar coverage claim arising from BP oil spill.

Education

Tulane University School of Law, summa cum laude, 2002

University of Texas, highest honors, B.A., Plan II Honors Program, 1998

Experience

Barrasso Usdin Kupperman Freeman & Sarver, L.L.C.

Law Clerk to Chief Justice Pascal F. Calogero, Jr., Louisiana Supreme Court

Vinson & Elkins, LLP, Houston, Texas

Honors & Achievements

Louisiana Super Lawyers, Leading Lawyer, Insurance Coverage

New Orleans Magazine, Top Lawyer, Appellate

New Orleans CityBusiness, Leadership in Law

Assistant Examiner, Code I, Louisiana Bar Examination

Order of the Coif

Tulane Law Review, Articles Editor