Bios/Profiles

Robert W. Barton

Robert W. Barton

Bob Barton is the managing partner of Taylor, Porter, Brooks & Phillips, LLP in Baton Rouge and serves on the firm’s executive committee.  He received mediation training through the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School.

In addition to serving as a mediator, Bob has 27 years of experience representing plaintiffs and defendants in lawsuits, transactions, arbitrations, and mediations in areas that include casualty and insurance litigation, commercial and business litigation, medical malpractice, employment disputes, product liability, premises liability, pharmaceutical and health care litigation, and disputes arising within high school and college campuses and athletic programs.

An LSU graduate, he earned his Juris Doctor, *cum laude,*from the University of Georgia Law School and his Master of Business Administration from the Terry College of Business at the University of Georgia. He is admitted to practice in all State and Federal Courts in Louisiana, the United States Court of Appeal, Fifth Circuit, and the United States Supreme Court.

Bob has taught as an adjunct faculty member at the LSU Law School and has lectured at seminars for the LSBA, LADC, LSU, Baton Rouge Bar Association, and Lafayette Bar Association.

Click here for extended profile

Marilyn C. Castle

Marilyn C. Castle

After completing her undergraduate degree at LSU, Judge Castle received her Juris Doctorate from the LSU School of Law. She was an assistant district attorney and practiced civil law for 22 years before holding the gavel. During her years in practice, she handled over 100 cases before the Louisiana Supreme Court. On addressing her transition to the bench, she said,

“Making the transition was a process because you have to change your role from that of an advocate to that of the neutral party that’s going to decide the case, and so it takes some adjusting to do that.”

Castle was the first woman to serve as president of the Lafayette Parish Bar Association, was a founding master of the John M. Duhe chapter of the American Inns of Court and was a member of the inaugural class of the Louisiana Judicial Leadership Institute. She was elected as president of the statewide Louisiana District Judges Association for 2016.

Outside of the courtroom, Judge Castle is a community leader who in 2008 was a recipient of the “Women Who Mean Business” Award presented by The Independent Magazine. She was a founding board member for the Lafayette Community Health Care Clinic and served on the Lafayette Parish Criminal Justice Coordinating Committee.

Castle served on the Fifteenth Judicial District Court for 25 years and held the position of Chief Judge several times, including during the COVID-19 pandemic. She was first elected in 1998 and

was most recently reelected in 2020, when she ran unopposed. She retired from the bench at the end of 2023.

Reflecting on her retirement, she recalled the time her daughter saw her in the robe for the first time. “My daughter said, ‘Mom, this isn’t very flattering.’ I just said … it’s not the robe’s job to flatter me, it’s my job to flatter the robe.

Click here for extended profile

Martin E. Coady

Martin E. Coady

Martin (“Marty”) Coady served as a District Judge in the 22nd Judicial District Court, St. Tammany and Washington Parishes, Louisiana, where he served as Chief Judge.  Serving on the bench for over 29 years, he retired at the end of 2019.  Thereafter, he was appointed to serve as a judge pro tempore for the same court in the year 2020.

He graduated from the University of Southwestern Louisiana (now University of Louisiana-Lafayette) in 1971, and Tulane Law School in 1974.  After law school, he practiced in Slidell, Louisiana, until his election to the bench.

While in practice, he was active in both the Slidell Bar Association and the St. Tammany Parish Bar Association, having served as President of both associations.  His practice was general in nature, and he served as an Assistant City Prosecutor in the Slidell City Court, and as an Assistant City Attorney for the City of Slidell.

Judge Coady has attended programs and seminars sponsored by the National Judicial College.  He has presented on an array of topics at local bar associations.

While serving as a district judge, he presided over in excess of 300 jury trials, and many non-jury trials, both criminal and civil.

Representing the court, he served on the committee established by the St. Tammany Parish Government to evaluate the need, construction and presentation to public vote for a parish courthouse.

Judge Coady was appointed to serve on the Supreme Court Committee to evaluate the Judicial Canons by which judges are regulated.

Today Martin Coady offers his services for mediation and arbitration on the Northshore or throughout the State of Louisiana through the Patterson Resolution Group

Click here for extended profile

S. Guy deLaup

S. Guy deLaup

Admitted to the Bar in 1981, Guy deLaup is a sole practitioner of S. Guy deLaup, APLC in Metairie, Louisiana. After serving as an Assistant District Attorney in Jefferson Parish for seven years, he has practiced extensively in the area of family law and has also represented clients in business, insurance litigation, franchise litigation and medical malpractice matters.

As a litigator representing both plaintiffs and defendants, Guy understands the importance of alternative dispute resolution. He has earned an AV rating from Martindale Hubbard and was nominated as a “Top Lawyer” by his peers.

He is a 1978 graduate of Louisiana State University and received his juris doctorate from LSU Law School in 1981, where he served as Vice Chairman of the Moot Court Board and participated in the Jessup Cup International Law Moot Court competition. He was trained as a mediator at Pepperdine University of Law and the Mediation Institute of Oklahoma.

Guy is a past president of both the Jefferson and Louisiana State Bar Associations. He is a current member of the LSU Law School Board of Trustees and a Continuing Legal Education speaker to the Louisiana State Bar Association, Jefferson State Bar Association, Lafayette Bar Association and the New Orleans Pro Bono Project.

Click here for extended profile

Mary C. Devereux

Mary C. Devereux

Mary received her mediation training under Professor Bobby Hargis at Loyola University in both basic and advanced family law mediation. A resident of Slidell, Louisiana, Devereux was first elected in 2008 to the Division K judicial post of the 22nd Judicial District Court in Louisiana, which serves as one of the district’s family courts.

The family courts have jurisdiction over matters such as divorce, child custody, child support, paternity, partition of property in connection with a matrimonial regime, protective order hearings, and all types of adoption proceedings. Mary was reelected to a second six-year term without opposition in 2014. She retired from her judicial post in 2020.

She is a graduate of Eastern Illinois University, received her law degree from Tulane University Law School in 1986, and then entered private practice. As a certified family law attorney, Mary brought years of experience to dealing with the difficult issues that arise in family court.

During her years of practice, Mary was co-chair of the committee charged with drafting the standards and examination to establish board certification for the field of Family law. She became board certified in 1995 and maintained that certification until she retired. She has been a speaker at LSU’s annual Family Law continuing legal education seminar.

Click here for extended profile

W. Ross Foote

W. Ross Foote

Ross Foote retired from the 9th Judicial District Court in 2004 after over 13 years on the bench. He joined Smith Foote, LLP as a partner dealing exclusively with national class action antitrust cases.

He has also served on the Board of Directors for the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals, conducted ADR training programs, including presentations in Canada and England, and participated in several class action antitrust mediations.

In addition to being an AAA Certified Neutral, he has taught courses at the National Judicial College and assisted in the formation of ADR groups in Louisiana. He has served on the Executive Committee for the Louisiana District Judges Association and the Advisory Committee on Technology for the National Center for State Courts. In addition to multiple seminars and published ADR articles for the Shreveport Bar, he is teaching a course on ADR as an Adjunct for the LSU Law Center Summer School in Lyon, France in 2016.

Ross’s primary focus with The Patterson Resolution Group is commercial arbitration and mediation.

He received his B.A. degree from Duke University and his J.D. degree from the Paul M. Hebert Law Center, Louisiana State University.

Click here for extended profile

E. Phelps Gay

E. Phelps Gay

Admitted to the Bar in 1979, Phelps Gay is a Certified Neutral with the American Arbitration Association and has arbitrated numerous disputes under the AAA Commercial, Employment, Healthcare Payor Provider, and Consumer Rules. He also serves on the Louisiana State Law Institute Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee. Phelps completed his Basic Mediation Training in 2002 and subsequently received a certificate in mediating litigated cases from the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution located at Pepperdine University. Phelps is a past president of the Louisiana State Bar Association (2000-2001) and currently serves as Board Chairman of the Supreme Court of Louisiana Historical Society. He received his undergraduate degree from Princeton University in 1975 and his J.D. from Tulane University in 1979.

Before joining The Patterson Resolution Group, he was associated with the mediation/arbitration firm of ADR Inc in Metairie, LA, for ten years. In 2004, he qualified as an arbitrator with the National Association of Securities Dealers (now FINRA), and has arbitrated numerous claims involving brokerage firms and their clients. He also has arbitrated fee disputes between clients and lawyers pursuant to the Louisiana State Bar Association’s Legal Fee Dispute Resolution Program.

Click here for extended profile

Thomas M. Hayes, III

Thomas M. Hayes, III

Tom Hayes practiced law for over 45 years in Monroe, Louisiana, and recently retired from his firm.

He was trained as a mediator at the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution at Pepperdine School of Law. He is AV rated by Martindale Hubbell, a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, and a Council Member and Vice President of the Louisiana State Law Institute. In 2016, he was the recipient of The Louisiana Bar Foundation’s Distinguished Attorney award, and in 2018, the Paul M. Hebert Law Center honored him with its Distinguished Achievement Award.

Tom received a B.A. with honors from the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee in 1974 and a J.D. from Louisiana State University in 1977. He has served as Special Master by appointment in the Fourth and Eighth Judicial Districts. From 2007 through 2021, he has been designated a Louisiana SuperLawyer in civil litigation.

Click here for extended profile

Tim Kelley

Tim Kelley

Tim Kelley, former District Judge in the 19th Judicial District Court, held two separate terms as Chief Judge and was Senior Judge at the time of his retirement in December, 2022. He was first elected in 1996 and served for over 26 years. At his retirement, Judge Kelley was the longest-serving judge in Louisiana’s 19th Judicial District Court.

Prior to being elected to the bench, he served as a Certified Mediator and Arbitrator for the American Arbitration Association for many years, handling major cases in different areas of the U.S. He has been a speaker and taught courses at CLE seminars for many groups including most of the state and local bar associations throughout Louisiana.

Tim graduated from Cornell University in Ithaca, New York in 1976 with a Batchelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering.  After obtaining his Professional Engineering License and practicing as an engineer, he obtained his Juris Doctorate degree from the Paul M. Hebert Law Center, Louisiana State University, in 1983.

He served as Judicial Law Clerk to the Honorable Fred Blanche at the Louisiana Supreme Court and then joined the law firm of Phelps Dunbar as an Associate.  He became a Partner in the firm, practicing in Construction Law, Commercial Law, Anti-Trust Law, and General Civil Law as a litigator.

In 1993 he established his own law firm, Kelley & Guerry, where he continued his private practice, adding Corporate Law, Succession and Probate Law, Personal Injury Law, and Products Liability to his practice areas.

Upon his retirement as District Judge in the 19th Judicial District Court, he said, “I absolutely loved my job. I took it very seriously and always kept in mind that every case, large or small, was the most important matter in the world to the parties before me. I had the best job in the world. I got to serve and help our community for 26 years, and for that, I am deeply grateful.”

Click here for extended profile

C. A.

C. A. "Hap" Martin III

Hap Martin has been a member of the Monroe, Louisiana firm of Shotwell, Brown & Sperry, APLC since 1980. He received a BS degree in civil engineering in 1977 from Louisiana Tech University and his JD degree in 1980 from Louisiana State University Paul M. Hebert Law Center.

He was trained as a mediator by Attorney-Mediators Institute of Dallas, Texas and received advanced mediator training from the Association of Attorney Mediators. He has been mediating cases for 25 years.

Hap is also trained as an arbitrator, receiving his initial arbitrator training from Resolution Resources Corporation of Atlanta, Georgia, and additional arbitrator training from the American Arbitration Association (AAA). He has been arbitrating cases as a single arbitrator and as a member of a panel (including as panel chair) for 20 years on matters ranging from consumer cases to large, complex commercial disputes. He is a member of the AAA Commercial Panel and Construction Industry Panel.

He has served as the Secretary of the Louisiana State Bar Association (LSBA) (2021-2023) and as the Seventh District representative on the LSBA Board of Governors from 2015-2018. He currently serves on the Louisiana Bar Journal’s Editorial Board, the LSBA’s Bar Governance Committee, the Mandatory CLE Committee and on the Governing Council of the Insurance, Tort, Workers’ Compensation and Admiralty Law Section.

Hap has a broad practice in civil litigation, commercial law, personal injury law, mineral law, and construction law.

Click here for extended profile

Michael W. McKay

Michael W. McKay

Mike McKay is Of Counsel to the Long Law Firm, LLP in its Baton Rouge office.

He has been a trial lawyer since 1974. He has tried numerous judge and jury trials in both state and federal courts. He has represented plaintiffs and defendants in a wide variety of matters ranging from intellectual property to community property; wills and trusts to antitrust; RICO to ERISA; class actions to derivative actions; product liability to professional liability; and more.

In addition to his trial work, Mike has been mediating casualty and commercial disputes for over 25 years and has been associated with the mediation/arbitration firms of ADR Inc., and then MAPS, Inc. prior to joining The Patterson Resolution Group.

He received his B.A. and J.D. degrees from Louisiana State University.  He received a graduate Certificate in Dispute Resolution from the Straus Institute of Dispute Resolution at Pepperdine Law School in May, 2016 and is currently enrolled in the LLM program there.

He is the only lawyer to have served on the governing boards of the Louisiana Trial Lawyers Association, the Louisiana Association of Defense Counsel and the Louisiana State Bar Association.

He served as president of the Louisiana State Bar Association in 2004-2005.

Click here for extended profile

Patrick S. Ottinger

Patrick S. Ottinger

Admitted to the Bar in 1974, Pat Ottinger is a partner in the law firm of Ottinger Hebert, L.L.C., in Lafayette, LA.

He concentrates in the areas of corporate and commercial law, with emphasis on mediation and arbitration, oil and gas, financial transactions, real estate, eminent domain, and corporate and banking matters, as well as litigation in these areas.

He received his B.S. degree from the University of Southwestern Louisiana and his J.D. degree from Louisiana State University.

Pat has served as an arbitrator and a mediator in a wide range of cases throughout the Gulf Coast, principally in the oil and gas sector. He completed mediation training with the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution, Pepperdine University.

He served as City-Parish Attorney for the Lafayette City-Parish Consolidated Government from January 2004 through January 2011.

Since 1996, he has served as an Adjunct Professor of Law at the Paul M. Hebert Law Center, Louisiana State University, teaching the course in Mineral Rights and an Oil and Gas Seminar. He is the author of the course materials entitled “Ottinger, A Course Book on Louisiana Mineral Rights” (12th Rev. Ed., August 2011).

He served as the president of the Louisiana State Bar Association in 1998-99.

He is the author of Louisiana Mineral Leases: A Treatise, published by Claitor’s Law Books & Publishing Division, Inc., June 2016. As described by Professor Patrick H. Martin, in the Foreword to the Treatise, “[f]or any person, company, law firm or court dealing with Louisiana lease law, this Treatise is the indispensable and authoritative treatment of the subject. I am sure it will remain so for years to come.” To read a review of the Treatise, click here.

He received the 2018 Louisiana Bar Foundation’s Boisfontaine Trial Advocacy Award.  The award was presented at the Louisiana State Bar Association’s Annual Meeting on June 7, 2018, in Destin, Florida.  He received this award in recognition of his long-standing devotion to and excellence in trial practice and for upholding the standards of ethics and consideration for the court, litigants, and all counsel.

Click here for extended profile

Michael A. Patterson

Michael A. Patterson

Admitted to the Bar in 1971, Michael A. Patterson is a partner in the Long Law Firm, L.L.P., in its Baton Rouge office.

His practice focuses on business litigation, professional liability, and construction litigation. He has been mediating cases in virtually every area of the law for more than 20 years.

Mike is a panel member of the United States District Court Middle District Register of Neutrals, a panelist with the Louisiana State Bar Association Fee Dispute Resolution Program and a mediation panel member of the American Arbitration Association.

He received his B.A. and J.D. degrees from Louisiana State University and a Certificate and LLM in Dispute Resolution from Pepperdine University.

Mike is an adjunct professor of trial advocacy and evidence at LSU’s Paul M. Hebert Law Center.

He served as president of the Louisiana State Bar Association in 2010-2011.

Click here for extended profile

Larry M. Roedel

Larry M. Roedel

Larry Roedel is an attorney with Roedel, Parsons, Blache Fontana Piontek & Pisano in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and serves as managing shareholder for the firm.

He has practiced law since 1977, with a focus on the blend of general litigation and public/private partnerships for the construction of large public projects in the state of Louisiana.

Roedel served in an advisory role to three former governors of Louisiana: Buddy Roemer, Kathleen Blanco and Bobby Jindal. He also served as General Counsel for the Louisiana Stadium & Exposition District, which includes the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, Smoothie King Center, Zephyr Stadium and related facilities.

He received his mediation training at the Strauss Institute, Pepperdine University. He has served as a mediator and arbitrator on several cases with FINRA (formerly the National Association of Securities Dealers-NASD).

He is AV rated by Martindale Hubbell and has been recognized by U.S. News and World Report in their Best Lawyers in America publications (2011-2018).

Roedel earned a Business Administration degree from Louisiana State University and a Juris Doctorate from LSU Law School.

Click here for extended profile

Marta-Ann Schnabel

Marta-Ann Schnabel

Admitted to the Bar in 1981, Marta-Ann Schnabel is the managing director of O’Bryon & Schnabel, PLC of New Orleans, Louisiana. In over 30 years of practice, she has primarily represented clients in business, commercial, and insurance litigation involving a wide variety of issues including construction, products liability, professional malpractice, ethics, and employment matters.

A seasoned litigator who has represented both plaintiffs and defendants, Marta understands the importance of finding practical and affordable solutions to complex problems. She has earned an AV rating from her peers, has been honored as a SuperLawyer, and has been named one of the top 25 women attorneys in Louisiana.

She is a 1978 graduate of Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada, with a B.A. Honours in History. She received her Juris Doctorate from Loyola University College of Law in 1981, where she served as a member of Law Review and of the National Moot Court Team. Her training as a mediator includes studies at the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution, Pepperdine University.

When she was sworn into office on June 9, 2006, Marta-Ann became the first woman to serve as President of the Louisiana State Bar Association.

Click here for extended profile

Gracella Simmons

Gracella Simmons

Gracella has participated in hundreds of mediations, both as an attorney representing clients and as a mediator. She obtained mediation training in the 1990s and subsequently attended Harvard Law School Program on Negotiation. She practiced law for over 40 years before retiring from active practice to focus exclusively on mediation and arbitration.

Having practiced as both a plaintiff and defense attorney, Gracella developed a valuable perspective on the resolution of disputes. She has a depth of knowledge regarding how to mediate and arbitrate cases and disputes to resolution.

She has lectured on mediation at Louisiana State University School of Law and at the Southern University School of Law. She has served as an arbitrator for the Louisiana State Bar Association and has authored an article on mediation titled, “Mediation, a Little History.”

Click here for extended profile


Principals are admitted to practice in the following jurisdictions:

S. Guy deLaup

Admitted to practice in Louisiana and to the United States Supreme Court.

Ross Foote

Admitted to practice in Louisiana state and federal courts

Phelps Gay

Admitted to practice in Louisiana and Texas state and federal courts, United States Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit; United States Supreme Court

Tom Hayes

Admitted to the Louisiana Bar in 1977, Tom Hays practiced law for over 45 years in Monroe, Louisiana, and recently retired from his firm. His practice focused on civil litigation in Louisiana State Courts, in the United States District Courts for the Western and Middle Districts of Louisiana, in the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, and in the United States Supreme Court.

Mike McKay

Admitted to practice in Louisiana state and federal courts, United States Courts of Appeals, Fifth and Eleventh Circuits, United States Supreme Court

Pat Ottinger

Admitted to practice in Louisiana and Texas state and federal courts, United States Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit

Mike Patterson

Admitted to practice in Louisiana state and federal courts, District of Colombia, United States Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit; United States Supreme Court

Larry Roedel

Admitted to practice in all Louisiana state and federal courts, the United States Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit; United States Supreme Court

Marta-Ann Schnabel

Admitted to practice in Louisiana State Courts, in the United States District Courts for the Western and Middle Districts of Louisiana, and in the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.