Christopher R. Teske
(504) 322-7070
cteske@pipesmiles.com
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Christopher R. Teske spends his time in the courtroom representing insurance carriers, public entities, and contractors in trials and appeals.  Chris has handled coverage disputes arising out of allegedly defective construction of commercial buildings and multi-family apartment and condominium complexes across the Southeastern United States through trial and alternative dispute resolution proceedings.  He also regularly assists insurance companies in the pre-suit investigation and handling of first-party claims including suspicious losses such as arsons, staged thefts, and suspicious water damage events, as well as Business Interruption and Contingent Business Interruption claims.  Chris has also represented carriers in coverage actions seeking defense and indemnity for claims resulting from toxic and environmental exposures.

Chris also has a wealth of experience in cases involving school boards, sheriff’s offices, and other municipal government agencies.  He has represented those clients in cases involving liability and coverage for alleged misconduct by their employees ranging from simple negligence in operations to intentional or criminal acts such as sexual abuse, wrongful arrest, wrongful termination of employment, and employee on employee harassment.

Chris’ trial and appellate practice has taken him to courts across Louisiana, Texas, and the Gulf South.   His clients regularly called upon him to step in and present both liability and coverage defenses when there are concerns about existing counsel or after an underlying primary or excess carrier has settled their obligations under a policy without obtaining a dismissal of the entire law suit.  In addition to his practice, Chris has taught Trial Advocacy as an adjunct professor of law at Tulane University since 2006.  He is also a founding director of Tulane’s nationally recognized Civil Litigation Intersession Program, which teaches second- and third-year law students the art of preparing cases for trial.

Practice Areas

Insurance Coverage and Bad Faith

First-Party Insurance Claims Investigation
– Arson
– Staged Theft
– Business Interruption/Contingent BI
– Intentional Water Damage

Public Entity Coverage and Liability

Notable Representations

Represented an insurer under an Owner Controlled Insurance Program (“OCIP”) in multiple suits involving the allegedly defective construction and subsequent failed repairs of a series of multi-family residential projects in Texas, Florida, South Carolina, Arizona, Oregon, and Massachusetts.

Assisted a homeowners insurer in the investigation of a suspected arson claim and coordinated the insurer and adjusters’ response to subpoenas for information from local authorities.  Materials developed in the investigation and provided to authorities under an arson immunity letter were eventually used to support criminal charges for arson and insurance fraud against the insured.

Represented an excess insurer of the general contractor in a direct action trial and appeal arising out of the allegedly defective construction of a multi-family residential property in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  The jury returned a verdict against the insured that was within the limits of the primary insurer’s policy. That verdict was upheld on appeal.

Represented a local school board in a liability action arising out of a former employee’s alleged sexual abuse of several elementary school students.  The court dismissed the plaintiff’s claims for past medical expenses for lack of evidence at the close of the plaintiff’s case in chief and awarded total damages that were substantially less than the plaintiff’s demand.

Successfully defended a school board at trial and on appeal in a wrongful death and survival action arising out of a fatal collision between a school bus and an elementary school student.

Education

Tulane University Law School, J.D., cum laude, 2000

Macalester College, B.A., cum laude, 1997

Honors and Achievements

New Orleans CityBusiness, Leadership in Law, 2014

Louisiana Super Lawyers, Rising Star 2010—2014, Honoree 2020

Tulane Law School Moot Court—Administrative Justice for Invitational Competitions 1999-2000.