Pickering & Cotogno
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A Message from Kenneth E. Pickering

APPELLATE PRACTICE

Pickering & Cotogno has experienced appellate advocates who have handled numerous applications for supervisory relief in the various appellate courts and in the Supreme Court of Louisiana. Appellate advocates are licensed to practice before all appellate courts in Louisiana, as well as before the United States Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals and the United States Supreme Court.

BANKING

Pickering & Cotogno has the most experienced banking practice in the state. The firm represents a wide variety of financial institutions in complying with federal and state banking laws and regulations. Pickering & Cotogno often serves as a liaison with bank regulatory agencies, and assists institutions in preparing loan and deposit account agreements, in perfecting and enforcing security interests, and in handling administrative enforcement proceedings and general litigation. Experienced banking attorneys provide counsel in both bank chartering and bank holding company formations, as well as mergers and acquisitions. Pickering & Cotogno provides innovative advice as to the permissible activities of financial institutions, including investment and securities activities.

BANKRUPTCY

Pickering & Cotogno is experienced in handling complex bankruptcy and creditors' rights issues. The firm has represented individual and business debtors, as well as individual and business creditors, in bankruptcy cases, and in the enforcement of rights under real estate mortgages, deeds of trust and security agreements under the Uniform Commercial Code.

BUSINESS LITIGATION

Pickering & Cotogno represents business clients in a broad spectrum of commercial litigation in state and federal court, including complex litigation in the antitrust, securities, and business fraud areas, as well as breach of contract and general business disputes. The firm also represents business clients in administrative proceedings before federal and state regulatory agencies, as well as before banking, insurance, securities, utility commissions. The attorneys of Pickering & Cotogno are experienced in alternative dispute resolution, including arbitration and mediation.

COLLECTIONS

Pickering & Cotogno is experienced in commercial and consumer collection and foreclosure practice, representing various financial institutions, consumer finance companies, and other creditor clients, as well as consumers, which often complements the financial services practice of the firm.

COMMERCIAL FINANCE

Pickering & Cotogno is experienced in the commercial finance area, including asset-based lending. Financial institutions, finance companies, and others are represented in connection with secured loan transactions involving borrowers and collateral. The firm can handle negotiating and documenting loans secured by all types of Uniform Commercial Code Collateral, as well as acquisition and leveraged buy-out financings, letters of credit and other credit enhancement vehicles. The firm also represents lenders in foreclosure and enforcement of security rights, bankruptcies and other creditor rights controversies, as well as the defense of lender liability related claims.

CONSUMER LAW

Pickering & Cotogno is experienced in consumer financial services law. Advice as to compliance under federal and state consumer laws and regulations is rendered to financial institutions, consumer finance companies, and other consumer lenders. The firm also assists clients with drafting consumer credit agreements, legal compliance training and audits, as well as defense of regulatory enforcement actions. Pickering & Cotogno is general counsel to the Louisiana Finance Association.

DIRECTOR AND OFFICER LIABILITY

Pickering & Cotogno has extensive experience in representing officers and directors of banks and thrift institutions and their insurers in defense of professional liability claims and in defense of actions brought by the FDIC and the RTC. The firm regularly counsels and advises directors and officers as to their legal, regulatory and fiduciary obligations.

EXECUTIVE COMPENSATION AND EMPLOYEE BENEFITS

Pickering & Cotogno provides advice in the structuring and implementation of qualified retirement plans, welfare benefit plans and qualified and non-qualified executive compensation agreements. The firm is also knowledgeable and experienced in executive compensation law.

ESTATE PLANNING

Pickering & Cotogno regularly provides advice and counsel to individuals, families and fiduciaries on a wide range of issues involving estate and gift planning as well as estate and trust administration. The firm has vast experience in drafting wills and donations, establishing charitable and children's trusts and counseling and advising closely held businesses on estate planning. The firm also counsels executors and trustees in connection with administration and preparation of estate tax returns.

GAMING

Pickering & Cotogno has experience in gaming law, including riverboat gaming, land-based casino gaming, video poker and Indian gaming. The firm's gaming attorneys have represented riverboat projects, casino companies, casino operators, investors in gaming projects and lenders and suppliers to casino projects. Pickering & Cotogno has been involved in several substantial financing transactions for casino interests both from the casino standpoint and the lender standpoint. The firm's attorneys have also represented local governments in their dealings with casino interests. Pickering & Cotogno's gaming attorneys have substantial experience in working with all regulatory agencies involved in the gaming industry and have appeared before most gaming regulatory commissions and agencies in the state of Louisiana, including the Riverboat Gaming Commission and the Enforcement Division of the Louisiana State Police, and the firm's attorneys have assisted in drafting legislation dealing with the industry.

GENERAL BUSINESS AND CORPORATE LAW

Pickering & Cotogno has over 75 years of combined experience in counseling clients on the formation and maintenance of corporations, limited liability companies, partnerships and other forms of business associations, as well as matters pertaining to corporate governance, responsibilities of officers and directors, and shareholders’ rights. The firm's business lawyers are knowledgeable on compliance and disclosure obligations of public companies, mergers, acquisitions and divestitures of existing businesses, asset sales and purchases, as well as corporate takeovers, tender offers and proxy fights. The firm’s attorneys also advise businesses on general commercial law matters, negotiate and prepare contracts, purchase and sales agreements and financing documents, as well as counsel on general issues relating to sales of goods, distribution, marketing, advertising and employment.

INSURANCE LAW

Pickering & Cotogno represents domestic insurance companies including the defense of cases involving death, personal injury and property damage of all types.

LEGISLATION AND GOVERNMENT RELATIONS

Pickering & Cotogno has a long-standing and well established governmental relations and legislative practice. The firm regularly represents clients in obtaining approvals before governmental bodies and agencies as well as in drafting and testifying on bills before the committees and subcommittees of the state legislature. Firm attorneys were instrumental in drafting many of the Louisiana laws and recodifications relative to banking and consumer finance.

PUBLIC FINANCE

Pickering & Cotogno has a growing public finance practice. The firm has experience as counsel in all areas of public finance, with expertise in the disclosure area. The firm has assisted state and local governments in financing projects such as levees, sewerage systems and economic and community development. The firm has expertise in related areas as well, particularly legislation.

PUBLIC LAW

Pickering & Cotogno represents state agencies and other public bodies in a broad range of matters, including contract negotiations, employment and employee issues, expropriation and legislative issues. The firm has represented the State of Louisiana and other state agencies in connection with constitutional, civil rights and due process litigation. The firm has represented governmental agencies on a number of occasions and currently serves as general counsel to the Crescent City Connection Division of the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development in New Orleans, Louisiana.

PUBLIC UTILITIES LAW

Pickering & Cotogno has a growing public utilities practice and is experienced in counseling clients on issues relating to regulation of public utility companies. The firm has represented clients before utility regulatory agencies, including the Louisiana Public Service Commission. Pickering & Cotogno is general counsel to the Louisiana Payphone Association.

REAL ESTATE

Pickering & Cotogno is experienced in representing developers, landlords, tenants, lenders and individual and corporate landowners in a wide variety of real estate transactions. Firm attorneys also advise and represent banks, savings and loan associations, insurance and mortgage companies and institutional investors in connection with real estate secured loans. The firm assists clients in the negotiation and document preparation on numerous complex real estate transactions. Firm attorneys are experienced in all phases of negotiation and documentation of commercial real estate leases, sales, and developments.

SECURITIES LAW

Pickering & Cotogno has extensive experience in representing issuers, underwriters and trustees in connection with public and private equity and debt financings. The firm regularly counsels numerous clients regarding other aspects of securities law, including mergers and acquisitions, the reporting and compliance requirements of public companies and their affiliates, broker-dealer compliance and NASD registrations.

STRUCTURED FINANCE

Pickering & Cotogno assists clients in handling complex project and structured financing transactions, including the securitization of assets, leveraged leasing, sales and purchases of loan pools and credit enhancements. The firm represents commercial banks, institutional investors and governmental agencies in a wide variety of financings.

Pickering & Cotogno
301 Magazine Street - New Orleans, Louisiana 70130
Telephone: (504) 581-1222    Facsimile: (504) 581-3912