Rachael Catalanotto, Partner

Rachael P. Catalanotto earned her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Louisiana State University in 2003. She earned her Juris Doctor from Loyola College of Law, New Orleans in 2007.

During her law school career, she was a member of the Loyola Moot Court Executive Board and a Moot Court Teaching Assistant. She was also selected as a member of The Order of Barristers, the St. Thomas More Inn of Court and Phi Delta Phi. Rachael is currently a member of the Louisiana State Bar Association, the Covington Bar Association, the Federal Bar Association, and the American Bar Association. 

She is authorized to practice in the United States District Court for the Eastern, Middle and Western Districts of Louisiana and the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

She is the current President of the 22nd JDC Bar Association. She is also a founding member of the Safe Haven Foundation. Rachael is currently a member of the Louisiana State Bar Association, the 22nd JDC  Bar Association, and the 22nd JDC Inn of Court. In 2014, she was a board member of the Young Lawyer’s Section of the 22nd JDC Bar Association. She was the Community Outreach Chair for the 22nd JDC Bar Association in 2017. She served as Vice President of the 22nd JDC Bar Association in 2019. She has been selected as a Rising Star by SuperLawyer’s Magazine for 2014-2020. 

Rachael’s main areas of practice include family law, defense of public entities, insurance defense and general casualty defense. She has served in multiple roles on political campaigns and is currently serving as a member on the St. Tammany Chamber PAC. She resides in Covington with her husband and two children.

Significant Cases:

Murtagh v. America’s Insurance Company, 19-1762 (E.D.La 4/16/2020), Talley Anthony partner, Craig Robichaux and Rachael Catalanotto successfully set aside an appraisal award demanded by insurance company concerning an underpaid and undervalued property damage claim.

Mack Energy Co., et al. v. Expert Oil and Gas, L.L.C., 2014-1127 (La. 1/28/15), 159 So.3d 437. Talley Anthony secured the confirmation of an arbitration award resulting from a two week arbitration of an oil and gas dispute involving exceptions to a Joint Operating Account. This confirmation of a 1.6 million dollar award was upheld by the Louisiana First Circuit Court of Appeals and reviewed by the Louisiana Supreme Court due to their concerns that Louisiana’s arbitration laws may have been significantly violated by the arbitrator. However, after review of the record and holding oral arguments, the Louisiana Supreme Court ultimately held that arbitrator had contractual authority to award owners approximately $1.6 million for expenditures that were not reasonable and proprietary, and arbitrator had authority under statute and procedural agreement to order operator to produce employment records.

Louisiana High School Athletic Ass’n, Inc., v. State, 2012-1471 (La. 1/29/13), 107 So.3d 583. Talley Anthony represented the Louisiana High School Athletic Association on a petition for declaratory judgment and injunctive relief against the State of Louisiana, Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE), Legislative Auditor, and Attorney General, challenging the applicability and constitutionality of statutes affecting its bylaws and subjecting it to legislative auditing. The Nineteenth Judicial District Court, East Baton Rouge Parish, , granted in part and denied in part association’s motion for summary judgment, and entered a partial final judgment. State and BESE filed motion for suspensive appeal, and association answered the appeal. The Louisiana Supreme Court affirmed the partial grant of summary judgment, reversed the partial denial of summary judgment and retendered a complete victory for the LHSAA and found that the association was a private entity, the statutes were unconstitutional as applied to the LHSAA.

Doucette v. Louisiana Citizens Coastal Plan, 12-52 (La. App. 5 Cir. 5/22/12), 96 So. 3d 1236. Talley Anthony successfully defended an insurance company against an action brought by an insured under a homeowners insurer for failure to pay claim after home was damaged in a fire. Ms. Catalanotto secured a dismissal through a summary judgment based upon the defense that  the insured premises house was unoccupied for more than 60 days when it was damaged by fire, and, thus, exclusion for when the home was unoccupied for more than 60 days applied, although the owner did regular maintenance and had her mother visit the property, where no one was living there on any regular basis. The Firth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the summary judgment, relied upon LSA R.S. 22:1314(A) and  specifically found that the fact that insured’s house was unoccupied increased the hazard of fire, and, thus, statutory condition for an insurer to avoid liability for insured’s breach of insurance contract that the breach increased the physical hazard under the policy was satisfied, and homeowner’s insurer was absolved of liability under exclusion, where house was burglarized two months before the fire, during that burglary the electrical system was damaged in a way that prevented power from coming into the building from the meter, had the house been occupied, and this condition would no doubt have been remedied immediately, but, the owner resorted instead to lighting an open flamed Tiki lamp to provide light to the interior of the house.

Williams v. Louisiana Citizens Fair Plan, 2011-1471 (La. App. 4 Cir. 5/2/12), 91 So. 3d 497. Talley Anthony successfully secured a zero verdict in Civil District Court for the Parish of Orleans on behalf of an insurance company in an action involving  breach of contract and bad faith penalties resulting from Hurricane Katrina. The plaintiff had received payment for  immovable property, living expenses, and flood claims for damage four-plex. The firm defending the suit on the grounds that it did not act arbitrarily and capriciously in denying the remainder of the claims.  The trial court agreed and entered judgment in favor of the company. The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals agreed and affirmed the judgment of the district court.

Areas of Practice:
  • Family Law
  • General Civil Litigations
  • Defense of Public Entities
  • Insurance Defense
  • Personal Injury Law
Education:
  • B.A. (2003) Louisiana State University
  • J.D. (2007) Loyola College of Law, New Orleans
Phone:
  • Work: (985) 624-5010
  • Fax: (985) 624-5306
Email:
    rpc@talleyanthony.com