Studies in physiology, anatomy, biochemistry and the related sciences have given clients of Joseph G. "Joe" Kopfler the edge in medical negligence, maritime and offshore litigation. In cases where knowledge of medicine plays such a crucial role, Joe's background in "what doctors do and how doctor's do it" has meant the difference on significant damage issues.
Born and raised in Baton Rouge, Joe learned early on the value of hard work and its effect on success, competing on the state championship track and field team at Baton Rouge High School. The unusual dichotomy of team/individual excellence that is the essence of top track and field competition parlayed smoothly into Joe's legal studies and work, where teamwork and individuality combine in the effective representation of his clients.
Joe completed his undergraduate studies at LSU in 1973 with a B.S. in arts and sciences. He obtained his law degree at Loyola University School of Law in 1977. Participation in the school's litigation clinic gave Joe the first taste of courtroom battle, and he liked what he tasted. He has been a practicing trial attorney in Houma, La., for 44 years, with clientele ranging from oyster fisherman damaged by an oil spill, residents forced to evacuate their homes because of a high-pressure gas explosion and patients whose doctors did more harm than good in rendering negligent medical care. Joe used the lesson of hard work in the handling of these and other legal matters successfully.
Critical analysis of complex industrial conditions aided Joe's client whose business was destroyed by a gasoline truck filling an above ground tank, leading a jury to penalize the fuel company for gross mishandling of its product. The same analysis in a maritime setting has led to justice for many injured deckhands, floor hands, welders and others where knowledge of the mechanical, chemical and physical causes of accidents is essential.
Joe became and remains actively involved in organizations committed to the protection of the rights of the unfortunate, downtrodden and other victims in our industrialized society. He has served on the Board of Governors of the Louisiana Trial Lawyers Association and is a fellow of the National College of Advocacy. He is a section member of the Admiralty Section of the American Association for Justice and a member of the Nursing Home Litigation Group of AAJ. He is a past member of the Terrebonne Parish Democratic Executive Committee and past chairman of the Board of Directors of the Terrebonne Parish Recreation District No. 9.
Married to Pamela, Joe is the father of three adult children. Joe enjoys fishing, physical fitness, sports and the arts, yet maintains time in his schedule to devote to community service. He has coached youth football, basketball, and track. He is chairman of the Advisory Board of the Houma-Thibodaux Unit of the Salvation Army and a lifetime member of the Coastal Conservation Association. He has served as the Treasurer of the Houma Kiwanis Club and also as a member of the Board of Directors. He has also served as a member of the board of directors of the Houma Downtown Development Corporation.
MY PRACTICE AREAS Medical Negligence Maritime and Offshore Litigation Premises Liability River Boat and Barge Accidents Auto and Trucking crash litigation Nursing Home and Community Home abuse and negligence Sexual abuse litigation Oilfield and Pipeline Explosion litigation
LITIGATION PERCENTAGE 100% of Practice Devoted to Litigation
BAR ADMISSIONS Louisiana, 1977
EDUCATION Loyola University New Orleans School of Law, New Orleans, Louisiana J.D. - 1977
Louisiana State University B.S. - 1973 Major: Arts and Sciences
PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATIONS AND MEMBERSHIPS Louisiana Association for Justice, formerly Louisiana Trial Lawyers Association, past member of Board of Governors National College of Advocacy of American Association for Justice, Fellow Admiralty Section of American Association for Justice, Section Member Nursing Home Litigation Group of American Association for Justice, Member
PRO BONO ACTIVITIES Terrebonne Parish Democratic Party Executive Committee, past member Terrebonne Parish Recreation District No. 9, Past Chairman and member of the Board of Directors Houma-Thibodaux Unit of the Salvation Army, Chairman of the local Advisory Board Coastal Conservation Association, Lifetime Member