Personal Attention And Less Stress With Chouest & Smith

Attorney Stephen M. Chouest, Sr.

Practice Areas

  • Personal Injury
  • Maritime Law
  • Auto Torts (including insurance issues)
  • Louisiana Public Governmental Law (including public contracts)
  • Whistle Blower
  • Contracts (advice, drafting, interpretation, and enforcement)
  • General Civil Litigation


Stephen M. Chouest was born in New Orleans in 1955. When he received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of New Orleans UNO “ in 1977, Mr. Chouest was working full time in the family clothing business and working as a part time musician in local jazz and rock bands. Chouest left the family business and his musical aspirations behind and worked as a legal clerk at a New Orleans law firm while attending Loyola Law School (1978-81), and thereafter as an associate attorney with the same firm following his admission to the Bar (1981-84). In 1981 he received a Juris Doctorate (JD) degree from Loyola University School of Law, New Orleans, In 1984 Chouest received his maters of laws (LLM, Admiralty) from Tulane University School of Law.

Since his admission to the Louisiana State Bar in 1981, Mr. Chouest has enjoyed over 40 years of general civil law experience including State and Federal litigation, contract negotiation, representation of individuals, private businesses, public and quasi-public agencies. In the past, Mr. Chouest’s focus has included real estate development, entertainment and intellectual property law, and governmental work. Today, much of Mr. Chouest’s primary concentration involves areas of insurance law, including personal injury claims, maritime claims, and general civil law. He also oversees other aspects of the firm’s business including successions, general corporate work, trusts and estates.

Mr. Chouest is the driving force behind the firm’s sponsorship of He enjoys working on the site and planning its future.

Personal Injury and General Civil Matters:
Since starting his own firm in 1984, Mr. Chouest has handled many plaintiff personal injury claims for injured individuals, including maritime, automobile, medical malpractice and product liability claims. Mr. Chouest also gives legal assistance with various types of general civil matters, including drafting or interpretation on contracts, and he continues to represent defendants or claimants in civil and commercial litigation.

Entertainment Law:
Previously, Mr. Chouest has negotiated recording and publishing contracts, production agreements, agency and management contracts, partnership agreements, and other entertainment industry contracts since 1981. He has worked with and represented many local artists and companies including Zebra, Crowbar, Lillian Axe, Kyper, Down, Cowboy Mouth, Bernie Cyrus, Big J Productions and International Entertainment Agency. He has organized and moderated the entertainment law continuing legal education (CLE) seminars for the Music Business Institute, Cutting Edge Music Conferences in 1995 and 1996 and participated again in 1997. He has also been a guest speaker for the Business Music Institute, Tulane Law School, and the New Orleans Arts Council.

Public and Government Work:

  • Worked with the New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation, an economic development corporation he helped organize and implement to advertise the City of New Orleans for tourism purposes. Past work includes matters that related to the development and operation of NOTMC’s web site, the preparation of applications for approval, corporate documents, and City of New Orleans Ordinances.
  • Mr. Chouest worked with the Canal Street Development Corporation, a public benefit corporation of the City of New Orleans that accomplished the development of the former D.H. Holmes department store and annex on Canal Street into the Chateau Sonesta Hotel and related apartments. He has also counseled and assisted numerous other public agencies with various projects over the years with claims, contracts and negotiations.
  • Past areas of primary practice have included serving as General Counsel to the Ernest N. Morial New Orleans Exhibition Hall Authority from 1989 through 1991, serving as associate general counsel to the Authority during its organizational stages, and for the planning, organization and formation of New Orleans Public Facility Management, Inc., a nonprofit corporation which operates the Morial Convention Center. Mr. Chouest also serves as special counsel to the Authority for riverfront development matters.
  • Drafted Plan of Development for Phase II Expansion of the Ernest N. Morial New Orleans Convention Center, drafted ancillary documents and participated in initial planning of ongoing Phase III Expansion Project.
  • Drafted lease and other documents for development of residual 1984 World’s Fair site including extensive agreements with the Rouse Company for the Riverwalk development project and related documents regarding easements, access, and planned development of adjacent riverfront areas


  • Tulane Law School, New Orleans, Louisiana
    • L.L.M. - 1984
    • Major: Admiralty
  • Loyola University New Orleans School of Law, New Orleans, Louisiana
    • J.D. - 1981
  • University of New Orleans, Metairie, LA
    • B.A. - 1977
    • Major: Communications
    • Minor: Music

Bar Admissions

  • Supreme Court of the United States of America
  • The Supreme Court of Louisiana – Including all Courts of Appeal and District Courts, 1981
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 5th Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 11th Circuit
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of Louisiana
  • U.S. District Court Middle District of Louisiana
  • The United States Department of Labor – Office of Administrative Law Judges

Professional Associations

  • Louisiana State Bar Association
  • Louisiana Association for Justice (including Maritime, Automobile Torts, and Insurance sections)
  • New Orleans Bar Association
  • Federal Bar Association
  • Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity

Pro-Bono Activities

  • UNO College of Liberal Arts, 1996 to Present