About Us

History

The firm was founded in Lake Charles in 1921, by Charles R. Cline and S.W. Plauché, Sr. as Cline & Plauché. S.W.

Plauché was joined by his sons, S.W. Plauché, Jr. in 1935, and A. Lane Plauché in 1966. Lane Plauché was joined by Allen L. Smith, Jr. in 1964, and by James R. Nieset in 1970. Since then, the firm has steadily increased in size with continued growth in business due to successful representation of clients and a stellar reputation in the legal community.

Since its founding, the firm has specialized in insurance defense in the fourteen parishes (counties) contiguous to Calcasieu Parish which make up Southwest Louisiana and throughout the entire State of Louisiana when called upon to do so.

Objective

The firm’s objective is to provide its insurance and corporate clients with legal representation of the highest professional quality at reasonable cost. The firm’s continuing and growing client base attests to its belief that this goal has always been and continues to be achieved.

Practice

The firm handles all areas of insurance practice. The members of the firm are capable and experienced in the following insurance practice areas:

• Admiralty/Maritime
• Arson
• Automobile
• Aviation
• Class Action Defense
• Corporate Health Care
• Environmental (Toxic Tort)
• ERISA
• Excess/Umbrella
• General Liability
• Governmental Bodies
• Insurance Coverage
• LHWCA
• Maritime Litigation
• Maritime Personal Injury Defense
• Medical Malpractice
• Nursing Home Malpractice
• Oil Field Litigation (Onshore and Offshore)
• Oil Field Remediation
• Premises Liability Defense
• Products Liability Defense
• Professional Liability Defense
• Workers’ Compensation

Services

The law firm of Plauché, Smith & Nieset, LLC (“PSN”) strives to provide exceptional and cost effective representation to all of its clients, including all insurers the firm represents. In doing so, new assignments are immediately assigned to a partner who will evaluate the resources needed to appropriately handle the matter. To the extent that additional resources are needed for any particular case or in a certain specialty, the attorneys responsible for that work or specialty will obtain those resources. The primary factor guiding all decisions encompassing staffing, work flow and necessary resources is the best interest of the clients.

All attorneys at PSN are engaged in litigation and insurance defense. Within that broad category, certain attorneys focus on specific practice areas. As the firm receives assignments, the reviewing partner will determine the client’s need and assign the matter to the attorney best suited to address those needs. The reviewing partner will also consider the file loads maintained by the attorneys in the firm at that time to be certain that the client’s needs can be appropriately addressed. PSN constantly reviews file loads maintained by all attorneys to ensure that its client’s needs are addressed in an efficient and cost effective manner. To these ends, clerical and para-professional support is utilized where appropriate.

Since 1921, we have maintained the reputation as the premier insurance defense firm in Southwest Louisiana. Each attorney in the law firm has an active litigation practice and has successfully tried cases in the fifteen parishes comprising Southwest Louisiana. In addition, every partner of the firm is actively involved in the legal and general community and the relationships established with the court system, local bar and prospective jurors are unrivaled. Our members include five past presidents of the Southwest Louisiana Bar Association, four past presidents and current directors of the Louisiana Association of Defense Counsel, a Treasurer of the Louisiana State Bar Association, multiple Delegates to the Louisiana State Bar Association, an American Bar Association Member Delegate in the Admiralty Section, and Members of the Board of Governors. Our firm is invited annually to provide continuing legal education to the City Court, District Court and Appellate Court judges at the Louisiana Third Circuit Court of Appeal Judicial Conference in the areas of ethics and professionalism. Members of the firm are routinely asked to present seminars to clients in the areas of workers’ compensation, construction defect and general liability. We generally service the fifteen parish area that comprises Southwest Louisiana, but clients routinely request our services statewide.

Hourly Fees

An hourly fee schedule will be furnished upon request. It should be noted, however, that the firm’s hourly rates are not inflexible and are subject to adjustment with consent of the client, either downward or upward, as indicated by the circumstances. A cardinal rule of the firm is that any question about a fee is never left unresolved. If a question is raised about the propriety of a fee, the firm welcomes discussion so that the mutual interests of both the client and the firm are served. The firm still believes in the old fashioned distinction between a profession and a business: In a profession, the rendering of high quality professional service is primary and the fee is secondary.