Michael deBarros is a partner 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 first-party commercial property insurance policies for losses arising from hurricanes, floods, and rain. He has also represented clients in obtaining coverage under commercial general liability ("CGL"), directors and officers liability ("D&O"), employment practices liability ("EPLI"), fiduciary liability, environmental impairment liability/pollution liability ("PLL", "PARL", or "EIL"), 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.
Michael is listed as a Rising Star by Louisiana Super Lawyers 2018 - 2019.Representative Experience
- Obtained over $1.5 million in defense and indemnity payments from insurer under D&O policy for allegations that former CEO committed various wrongful acts
- Obtained a favorable settlement from the insurer of a real estate closing company on behalf of two real estate businesses that were defrauded into sending electronic funds transfers to cybercriminals during the purchase of real estate
- Represented one of the largest outdoor advertising companies in the world in obtaining insurance coverage for hurricane-related property damage and business interruption claims
- Obtained over $5.5 million in insurance proceeds for one of the world's largest outdoor advertising companies for hurricane-related losses
- Obtained a favorable settlement for a Fortune 500 company after filing suit against insurer for hurricane-related losses and bad faith
- Obtained a favorable settlement for a local port commission after defeating an insurer's motion for summary judgment on meaning of "additional insured" provision in CGL policy
- Obtained a favorable settlement for one of the nation's largest agricultural formulators and distributors after defeating an insurer's motion for summary judgement on meaning of "property damage" in CGL policy
- 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.
- Represented one of the nation’s top insurance brokers against an insurer’s claims for defense and indemnity.
- 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
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
- Baton Rouge, Louisiana State, and Federal Bar Associations; Wex S. Malone American Inn of Court; Constitutional Court Clerks' Alumni Association
- Texas Supreme Court: Appraisal Awards Not a Bar to TPPCA Delay Damages, Louisiana Law Blog, July 25, 2019
- Louisiana Court Rejects Insurers' Arguments that Act 312 Requires Settlement Funds of All Oilfiled Legacy Lawsuits to be Placed in the Court's Registry, Louisiana Law Blog, July 24, 2018
- New Jersey Maintains "Unavailability" Exception to Allocation of General Liability Coverage in Asbestos Cases - Could Impact Coverage for Asbestos Claims in Louisiana, Louisiana Law Blog, July 11, 2018
- A Breach from Within, Around the Bar magazine, No. 320, October 2017
- Duty to Defend, Baton Rouge Business Report, July 4, 2017
- Author, Reasonable Expectations: Interpreting Insurance Policies in Common Law Jurisdictions, Louisiana and Florida Chapters, American Bar Association
- Louisiana Supreme Court Clarifies Bad Faith Insurance Law, Around the Bar Magazine, No. 299, September 2015
- Acting on a Reservation of Rights Letter from Your Insurance Company, Louisiana Law Blog, April 21, 2014.
- Co-Author, The Reference Handbook on the Commercial General Liability Policy, 2nd Ed., Chapter 7 (“Trigger”), I Tort Trial and Insurance Coverage Litigation Committee, American Bar Association
- A Luta Continua, Around the Bar Magazine, No. 283, January 2014.
- Unpaid interns put employers at legal risk, New Orleans City Business, December 4, 2013.
- Sexual Harassment, Discrimination, and You...Individual and Institutional Liability, Kean Miller Employment Law Seminar, October 2013.
- Defending Employment Discrimination Claims on the Front End, LMGMA Meeting, New Orleans, Louisiana, August 2013.
- Spotlight Shines on Liability for Unpaid Internships, Louisiana Law Blog, July 21, 2013
- Thorny Roses: Interns and Potential Wage Liability, Louisiana Law Blog, July 5, 2013
- Past Board of Directors, Big Buddy Program