Thousands of Lawsuits, but Few Attorneys Left to Tend Them

By Jim Sams | March 13, 2023

McClenny Moseley & Associates filed more than 2,000 hurricane-damage lawsuits in Louisiana, but now appears to have no attorneys left in the state to pursue them.

Three attorneys who once worked in MMA’s New Orleans office have posted notice on their LinkedIn pages that they are now “self-employed.” Founding partner James M. McClenny has resigned from the law firm. Several attorneys who once worked for the law firm outside of Louisiana are no longer listed on the law firm’s website.

The Louisiana Supreme Court suspended MMA’s managing Louisiana attorney, R. William Huye III, on March 3. Before then, a federal judge in Lake Charles barred Huye from practicing in the US District Court for Western Louisiana. The four lawyers together made up MMA’s entire roster in Louisiana.

La. Supreme Court Suspends Hurricane Damage Lawyer

It appears that ‘McClenny Moseley & Associates’ no longer exists,” insurance defense attorney Steve Badger, a partner with the Zelle law firm in Dallas, posted on LinkedIn. “If that is the case, I will not hesitate to say … Good Riddance. Our industry — both sides of the bar — will be better off moving forward.”

MMA drew the attention of the judiciary after it filed more than 1,600 hurricane-damage lawsuits in the Western District of Louisiana over the course of several days and then produced a promotional video boasting about the feat. The law firm also filed some 600 lawsuits in the Eastern District of Louisiana, according to court records.

US District Judge James D. Cain Jr. noted the hubris when he called Huye into his courtroom last October to explain why many of the lawsuits filed by MMA duplicated complaints filed by other attorneys, named the wrong insurer or named the wrong hurricane.

The inquiry led to a series of hearings and court orders in both the Western and Eastern Louisiana districts. Ultimately, Huye admitted that he filed 856 claims where he told insurers he represented the homeowner, but actually represented a restoration contractor. The law firm also revealed it had agreed to pay $13.9 million for “pre-screened client leads” generated by a marketing company, Velawcity, that signed up potential clients through a hurricane damage website.

Insurers’ Attorneys Demanding Reimbursement for Baseless Lawsuits

After the Louisiana Supreme Court suspended Huey last week, the bios of the three other attorneys who worked with him in the New Orleans office disappeared from MMA’s website.

Former partner Claude Favrot Reynaud III posted on LinkedIn a cheerful illustration featuring dancers and a cupcake. “I’m happy to share that I’m starting a new position as Attorney at Self-employed!” he posted. Under “experience,” the profile says Reynaud was an attorney in New Orleans from October 2021 to March 2023, but doesn’t name the firm. His name, however, is listed as one of the plaintiffs’ counsel on numerous MMA lawsuits filed against insurers.

The LinkedIn profile for Cameron Snowden, who had worked for MMA since September 2020, also states he is self-employed. Snowden first started working as an attorney in 2013, according to his profile.

Grant Gardiner, a 2021 Loyola University law school graduate who has worked for MMA since last July, now says on LinkedIn that he’s self-employed.

The ranks are also thinning at MMA’s Houston headquarters. Former Associate Attorney Calsie Boyd has a new gig with Stiff & Stout, a Houston personal injury law firm, according to LinkedIn. Elsewhere, while MMA once displayed associations with eight of counsel attorneys, now its website shows only three.

McClenny, who founded MMA with Zach Moseley in 2016, announced his resignation last month. Moseley said in a Feb. 24 inter-office memorandum obtained by the Claims Journal that McClenny intended “to be at home with his family and plan other endeavors.”

Louisiana Insurance Commissioner James Donelon had issued a cease-and-desist order against MMA a week before Moseley wrote the memo.

La. Insurance Commissioner Accuses Hurricane Claim Law Firm of Fraud

“I want to emphasize that discussion around James’ departure began at the end of 2022 and had nothing to do with the Louisiana Department of Insurance cease and desist letter,” Moseley wrote.

The Louisiana Supreme Court granted the Office of Disciplinary Counsel to appoint a trustee to look after the interests of MMA’s numerous clients while Huye remains suspended.

“I suspect over time we will see an effort by the federal district courts to ensure that all homeowners with meritorious claims are properly represented,” Badger said in an email. “It will take a lot of work, but it’s do-able. I am also confident the insurance company defendants will cooperate.”

Top photo: This screen shot of the McClenny Moseley & Associates website from an Internet archive shows founding partners James McClenny and Zach Moseley. The image has been removed from MMA’s current website.

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