Attorney Profile Picture

Michael J. deBarros

Michael deBarros is an associate attorney in the Baton Rouge office of Kean Miller. Michael assists policyholders in maximizing their available insurance coverage in wide variety of coverage disputes. He has represented clients in obtaining coverage under commercial general liability ("CGL"), directors and officers liability ("D&O"), employment practices liability ("EPLI"), fiduciary liability, pollution and remediation legal liability ("PLL" or "PARL"), crime, and builder's risk insurance policies. Michael is a member of the ABA Tort Trial and Insurance Coverage Litigation Committee, the author of the Louisiana and Florida chapters of the ABA's "Reasonable Expectations: Interpreting Insurance Policies in Common Law Jurisdictions", and a co-author of the ABA’s “The Reference Handbook on the Commercial General Liability Policy.”

Michael also represents businesses, owners, directors, and officers in a variety of commercial disputes, including antitrust, RICO, and shareholder derivative lawsuits.

Prior to joining the firm, Michael clerked for Judge Ralph E. Tyson at the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana and Justice Nkabinde at South Africa’s highest Court. Michael also externed for Justice John L. Weimer at the Louisiana Supreme Court

Representative Experience

  • Briefed, argued, and obtained a landmark ruling at the Louisiana Supreme Court expanding an insured's bad faith causes of action against its insurer. See Kelly v. State Farm Fire & Cas. Co., 14-1921 (La. 5/5/15); 2015 WL 2082540. A summary of the case can be found here.
  • Obtained over $30 million under CGL and pollution liability policies for sinkhole-related losses
  • Obtained a defense for a national seasoning manufacturer under Directors and Officers Liability (“D&O”) and Employment Practices Liability (EPL”) policies
  • Obtained a favorable settlement under CGL and PLL polices for releases of untreated wastewater from a wastewater treatment facility
  • Obtained a defense for a global Fortune 500 company under an Employment Practices Liability (“EPL”) insurance policy. See PCS Nitrogen Fertilizer, LP v. Am. Home Assur. Co., 18 F. Supp. 3d 763 (M.D. La. 2014).
  • Represented one of the nation’s top insurance brokers against an insurer’s claims for defense and indemnity. See Regions Ins., Inc. v. Ace Prop. & Cas. Ins. Co., 80 F. Supp. 3d 730 (M.D. La. 2015).
  • Persuaded a court to reject the (nearly always applied) manifestation trigger theory in construction defect claims under CGL policies
    Argued and obtained dismissal of a civil RICO suit alleging over $300,000 in damages

Education

Michael received his B.S. in Business Administration from Louisiana State University in 2005. He received his J.D., cum laude, in 2009 from the LSU Law Center where he served as secretary of the Intellectual Property Law Association and was a member of the Black American Law Students Association.

Admissions

  • Admitted, Louisiana, 2009 and Texas, 2011; All United States District Courts in Louisiana; United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas; United States Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit

Memberships

  • Baton Rouge, Louisiana State, and Federal Bar Associations; Wex S. Malone American Inn of Court; Constitutional Court Clerks' Alumni Association

Articles, Publications and Presentations

Community Service

  • Board of Directors, Big Buddy Program