Everybody has a story, and the 2018 Justice For All Ball Honorary Chair, Calvin C. Fayard, Jr., is no exception.
“My legal career began in a rural area which, at that time, had no formal pro bono service for individuals in need of legal representation, either civil and criminal. Instead, the District Court appointed practicing attorneys to provide such services. My experience as a ‘court-appointed pro bono attorney' in defending poor individuals, from charges ranging from traffic citations to capital crimes, was ‘life-changing.’ It reinforced my belief in the need and requirement that justice for all is available," explains Mr. Fayard, who founded (1972) and heads up the firm Fayard & Honeycutt with offices in New Orleans and Denham Springs.
Born in Springfield, LA in Livingston Parish, Mr. Fayard is a graduate of Southeastern Louisiana University and the Louisiana State University Law Center. Growing up in an area adjacent to one of the nation’s largest petrochemical, chemical and industrial corridors, it’s no surprise that Mr. Fayard chose to focus his legal career on environmental litigation. Nationally recognized as a skillful and innovative negotiator of complex litigation cases, he most recently served as a lead negotiator on the MDL Plaintiffs Steering Committee for the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill. In this role, Mr. Fayard was one of the architects of the largest civil class action settlements to date in the United States.
In celebrating the 30th Anniversary of the Justice For All Ball, Ball Committee Co-Chairs Sharonda Williams and Kevin Colomb wanted to choose someone whose commitment to pro bono and community service was borne throughout their legal career.
“My personal experience with the significant contribution by The Pro Bono Project and the Justice for All Ball to ensure that civil legal services are provided for those unable to pay is of utmost importance to the communities served and to me. I cannot overstate that we must provide those in need with pro bono legal services and The Pro Bono Project does just that,” Mr. Fayard responded when asked to serve as Honorary Chair.
And, so much of Calvin Fayard’s professional and personal life shows his care for the communities where he has studied and, eventually, practiced as an attorney. His home community of Livingston Parish in conjunction with his alma mater, Southeastern Louisiana University, and the Livingston Parish School Board benefitted directly from his work on In Re: Combustion, Inc. with a cy pres award of several millions of dollars, used to fund the Livingston Parish Literacy and Technology Center.
“We are delighted to have Calvin Fayard serve as the Honorary Chair of the 2018 Justice For All Ball. He has worked tirelessly for individuals and communities throughout Louisiana to make certain that the many whose voices often go unheard had their day in court. Whether it has been through direct pro bono work or by using his skills to protect our environment and the people most affected by the degradation of that environment, Mr. Fayard’s work represents the mission of The Pro Bono Project honorably,” explained The Project’s Executive Director, C. C. Kahr.
Funding Pro Bono
“I learned early on in my career to support the principle of ‘justice for all’ through both personal efforts of one-on-one representation, and assisting in the development of creative ways to fund pro bono services,” says Mr. Fayard.
His article, “The Cy Pres Doctrine: A Settling Concept,” co-authored with Charles S. McGowan, lays out the case for cy pres as a means to bring complete settlement to class action awards. By equitably allocating these undistributed residual funds to communities and organizations connected to the issues of the case or members of the class, cy pres awards are a creative way to provide long-term benefits that flow to current and, often, future generations.
The article highlights several cy pres cases on which Mr. Fayard worked that have helped cities, parishes and, ultimately, their residents, throughout Louisiana. The Pro Bono Project has received cy pres awards in the past, and these continue to be a viable and creative means for attorneys to secure funds for The Project to provide pro bono civil legal services.
Serving The Law
Mr. Fayard’s dedication to using his skills as an attorney to do good stretches far beyond those near and dear to him. In fact, they reach around the world in his capacity as a member of the prestigious International Academy of Trial Lawyers, which tackles issues of worldwide concern such as human trafficking and restorative justice. The organization also undertakes projects in developing countries that improve the quality of life for underprivileged populations.
Mr. Fayard has served on the Louisiana Supreme Court Committee on Complex Litigation. He has published numerous articles and compilations on complex and class action litigation. Mr. Fayard was an elected delegate to the 1973 Louisiana Constitutional Convention and is a member of various State bars, including Louisiana, Colorado, and Wyoming. He served as a member of the Board of the Louisiana Bar Foundation.
Beyond The Law
In addition to his legal practice, Mr. Fayard currently serves as Chairman of the Ochsner Health Foundation Board, as a member of the LSU Laborde Energy Law Center Advisory Board, Tulane University President’s Council, Tulane Law School Dean’s Advisory Board, the Isidore Newman School Board of Governors and is a Fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America.
Mr. Fayard is an Emeritus Member of the Ogden Museum of Southern Art Board of Trustees. In September 2012, he was appointed by H.S.H. Prince Albert II to represent the Principality of Monaco as Honorary Consul of Monaco (New Orleans) with jurisdiction over the States of Louisiana, Alabama, and Mississippi.
Mr. Fayard and his wife, Frances, are active in the community and have made significant contributions to Tulane, Southeastern, LSU, and other educational institutions. They are co-chairs of the International Engagement Committee for the New Orleans 2018 Tricentennial Commission, and they reside in New Orleans with their son, Carter.
The 30th Anniversary Justice For All Ball is on Friday, October 5, 2018, from 8:00 pm until midnight at the Audubon Tea Room. The Patron Party held at a location within the Audubon Zoo precedes the Ball.
For information and to purchase tickets and sponsorship packages: JFAB 2018.