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Forest Products and Paper

Kean Miller LLP represents regional, national and international clients involved in the forest products industry in Louisiana.  We have experience in timber sales, timber deeds, timber cutting disputes, logging, road easements, pipeline easements, surface leases, real estate issues, title work, timber trespass litigation, legislative matters, commercial litigation, environmental, and regulatory matters.  Our Forest Products Industry Team works with private land owners, manufacturers, paper producers, and timber concerns throughout the state.

Representative Experience:
  • Representation of the Louisiana Pulp & Paper Association (LPPA) as legislative counsel.  The LPPA represents all major paper mills in the state of Louisiana.   
Admiralty and Maritime:
  • Representation of a major forest products company in a claim under the Carriage of Goods by the Sea Act.
Business, Corporate and Real Estate:
  • Representation of a purchaser in a $50 million asset sale and acquisition of an Alabama sawmill by a Louisiana company.
  • Representation of a debtor in the multimillion dollar bond financing of a lumber facility construction project.
  • Representation of a major Louisiana lumber company regarding timber rights by virtue of sale and the constitutionality of Timber Statute involved. 
  • Assisted a national forest products company in the drafting of road easements, pipeline easements, surface leases, and salt water disposal agreements.
  • Representation of timber purchasers and timber sellers in the drafting of contracts.
  • Representation of  alarge timber company based in Mississippi in connection with their Louisiana timber holdings. 
  • Representation of a timber company in the drafting of timber sale contracts.
  • Representation of a St. Francisville forest products company in various commercial transactions, including operating lines of credit with senior lenders, supply agreements, and real estate matters.
  • Representation of a major paper carton manufacturer  in negotiations with state of Louisiana and local government concerning a grant by the state of Louisiana of funds for public intermodal infrastructure improvements that benefited the company and other local businesses by expanding local transportation options.
  • Representation of various forest products companies in bidding activities, timber sales, and in the litigation of timber contracts representing both the purchaser and the logger.
Class Action Litigation:
  • Representation of a major forest products company in a 1,000,000 member class action involving a claim for $160,000,000 arising out of a discharge into the Mississippi River.  This suit alleged fear of cancer, cancer, and inconvenience. 
  • Representation of a global paper and wood company in a suit by neighborhood plaintiffs alleging exposure to various chemicals from a former facility in Plaquemine, Louisiana.  The chemicals involved included VC, AN, and other toxic substances.  The claims centered on fear of cancer from air contaminant exposure. 
Commercial Litigation:
  • Representation of a major Louisiana lumber company with respect to timber deeds and the applicability of Louisiana Revised Statutes 3:4278.1, et seq. concerning the 80% rule for sale of timber by co-owners of property.  Specifically, we successfully defended a constitutional challenge to this provision.
  • Representation of a manufacturer regarding product requirements and other similar litigation matters.
  • Representation of a major forest landowner in connection with land owner issues.
  • Representation of a timber mill in timber trespass litigation.  The suits involve the wrongful cutting of timber wherein the plaintiff can recover triple the value of the cut timber and reforestation costs.
  • Defense of a national forest products company in timber cutting disputes and adverse possession (acquisitive prescription) issues.
  • Successful defense of a national timber company in a lawsuit involving the protection of the largest bald cypress tree in the United States, located in St. Francisville, Louisiana.
  • Representation of a Lake Charles forest products company in the recovery of damages to pre-merchantable timber from a chemical overspray.
  • Representation of manufacturer in claim of defective product resulting in property damage to apartment complex. 
Energy Regulation:
  • Represented a major timber industry employer in the negotiation of a favorable site-specific contract with a Louisiana power company for electric service to their DeRidder mill, and in the contract approval process before the Louisiana Public Service Commission.
  • Represented a national forest products company in the Louisiana Public Service Commission’s investigation of electric power fuel charges in which our client was awarded significant refunds. 
  • Representation of a major forest products company in the negotiation of electric supply contracts and with respect to regulatory issues associated with on-site cogeneration projects. 
Environmental Litigation:
  • Representation of an international forest products manufacturer in toxic tort litigation involving emissions during their manufacturing process.
  • Representation of a global forest products company in an alleged underground contamination class action case at a former distribution facility in Lafayette, Louisiana. 
Environmental Regulation:
  • Representation of a major Louisiana paper mill with respect to air permit and water permit issuance and modification in East Baton Rouge Parish. 
  • Representation of a major Louisiana paper mill in new source review enforcement action/settlement proceedings with the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality.
  • Representation of a large forest products company concerning environmental regulatory matters, including multimedia enforcement actions by the United States Environmental Protection Agency.
  • Representation of manufacturer with respect to air regulatory matters at plywood/particle board facilities throughout Louisiana. 
  • Successfully obtained air permits for an expansion of a Louisiana mill.   This matter involved significant opposition from the North Baton Rouge Environmental Association and the Louisiana Environmental Action Network (“LEAN”) both of whom were represented by the Tulane Environmental Law Clinic.  After issuance, the permit was challenged in the 19th Judicial District Court.  The permit was upheld by the district court after a hearing and rehearing.  Kean Miller LLP provided legal assistance in acquiring the permits and defending the litigation.
  • Representation of wood products industry in wide variety of environmental matters including, but not limited to, environment litigation, environmental contracting,  rulemaking, enforcement and compliance , federal and state remediation, RECAP assessments, hazardous and solid waste disposal, NPDS permitting and discharges, spill reporting, Title V air permitting, general environmental regulatory advice, environmental audits, and environmental indemnity agreements.
Intellectual Property:
  • Representation of a large wood products and forestry concern in a patent infringement lawsuit.
Legislative and Governmental Affairs:
  • Drafting of legislation regarding timber purchases and the litigation of suits for purchasers and loggers regarding logging practices and policies.
  • Representation of a timber purchaser regarding parish requirements on logging and use of parish roads and other facilities.
State and Local Tax:
  • Representation of a timber company regarding the imposition of property taxes on Louisiana timber land.
  • Representation of a forest products manufacturer concerning the taxation of a co-generation facility.
  • Representation of a major forest products company in various state and local taxation matters in Louisiana.
Trucking and Transportation:
  • Representation of a major forest products company for over 20 years in all manner of trucking related issues including loading, operations, tanker trucks, discharges, and limits on drivers.
Workers' Compensation:
  • Representation of a global forest products company in a variety of workers compensation claims.