Patrick J. Babin, President, is a member attorney with Mouledoux, Bland, Legrand & Brackett. Mr. Babin attended Tulane University where he earned his Bachelor’s degree majoring in Political Economy & Philosophy and his Juris Doctor from Loyola University College of Law in 2008. Mr. Babin’s areas of practice include Workers’ Compensation, Maritime Liability and defense and representation of employers and insurance carriers under Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act, Section 905 (b), Defense Base Act, War Hazards Compensation Act, Jones Act, Louisiana State Workers’ Compensation claims and hearing loss matters.
Mr. Babin is a Member of the New Orleans Bar Association, Louisiana State Bar Association, RIMS, the Risk Management Society, which is a not-for-profit organization representing more than 3,500 corporate, industrial, service, nonprofit, charitable and government entities throughout the world dedicated to educating, engaging and advocating for the global risk community. He is also a member of the Louisiana Association of Defense Counsel.
Jon B. Robinson, Vice President and former Secretary, is the owner of Strongpoint Law Firm in Mandeville, LA. Mr. Robinson represents injured employees in their Defense Base Act and the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act claims. Mr. Robinson has been honored as a Super Lawyer “Rising Star,” a Top Attorney of New Orleans, and, for the past five years, as one of the Top Injured Workers’ Attorneys by the Workers’ Injury Law & Advocacy Group. He earned his B.A. from Louisiana State University and his J.D. from Loyola University New Orleans College of Law.
Frank Torres, Secretary, is a partner of Blue Williams LLC, and has been with the firm since 2004. His practice consists primarily of admiralty and maritime, federal and state workers’ compensation and insurance law. He has been a member of the Louisiana State Bar Association since 2001. Mr. Torres is a native of New York, NY. In 1998, he entered Loyola University School of Law in New Orleans where he served on the Moot Court Board and as Legal Research and Writing teaching assistant. In 2019 he was named to the Jefferson Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors.
Mr. Torres is admitted to practice before all state courts in Louisiana. He is also admitted to practice before the United States District Court of the Eastern District of Louisiana. He is a member of the National Bar Association, the New Orleans Bar Association and the Louisiana State Bar Association, and the Hispanic National Bar Association. He also serves on the board of directors for the Jefferson Chamber of Commerce and the DOL-Joint Bar Association.
He has won the following awards: Louisiana Super Lawyers Rising Star, 2013 (Workers’ Compensation), Inside New Orleans “Elite Lawyers”, 2021, and Bar, Courts & Professional Affiliations. Mr Torres also serves on the Board of Directors of the Jefferson Chamber of Commerce and of the Mariners Club of Port of New Orleans.
Eric Gotwalt, Treasurer, is a partner with Zipperer, Lorberbaum, Beauvais & Gotwalt in Savannah, Georgia. He represents injured workers in Georgia workers’ compensation cases and claims arising under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act and its extensions.
Mr. Gotwalt received his B.A. in geography, economics, and international relationships from Bucknell University in 1988 and his J.D. from the University of Georgia in 1992. He served as a law clerk to United States Magistrate Judge G. R. Smith from 1992 to 1993 and as a staff attorney to the United States Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit from 1993 to 1995. He is admitted to practice before the Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit and the United States Supreme Court.
He has successfully represented injured workers before the Department of Labor’s administrative law judges. the Benefits Review Board, and in appellate proceedings in United States district and appellate courts.
Monica Markovich, Past President 2014, practices law as a Shareholder and Director of Brown Sims, P.C. in its Houston, Texas location. Brown Sims, P.C. was established in 1968 as an admiralty firm with the purpose of serving its clients in the Gulf Coast area and abroad. Since that time, the firm’s practice has expanded to include a broad range of legal services throughout the general scope of civil litigation. Ms. Markovich’s current practice focuses on the defense of claims brought under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (and its extensions including the Defense Base Act) and the Texas Workers’ Compensation Act, “non-subscriber” litigation, and other death and personal injury defense. Ms. Markovich is a member of the State Bar of Texas, and has been Board Certified in Workers’ Compensation Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization since 2004. Ms. Markovich serves on the Board of Directors and previously served as a President of the DOL-Joint Bar Association, Inc. She has been serving on the Benefits Review Board Service Advisory Board since 2008. Ms. Markovich has lectured on legal subjects including at seminars presented by The University of Texas, Louisiana State University, Loyola Law School, URIMA, The State Bar of Texas and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Ms. Markovich received her Bachelor of Arts )1990) and Doctor of Jurisprudence (1993) from the University of Texas in Austin.
James (“Jim”) McCready III is a partner with substantial experience in product liability, trucking litigation, Admiralty, Longshore and Harbor Workers’ compensation matters, personal injury defense and civil rights litigation. With a practice spanning over air, land and sea, he represents a diverse range of clients in several industries including automotive manufacturers, industrial manufacturers, insurance providers, shipping and logistics companies, shipbuilding and ship repair entities and other maritime companies.
James represents many different entities involved in the transportation of containerized cargo in claims involving personal injury, wrongful death, premises liability and occupational exposure. From cargo claims at sea involving the Carriage of Goods by Sea Act, to ground transportation claims involving damaged cargo and personal injury, James has a thorough understanding of the laws and issues regarding this concentrated area of law.
James has also dealt extensively with employment litigation. He is well-versed in handling claims involving federal workers’ compensation acts including the Jones Act and Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act. Additionally, James has defended his clients in OSHA matters, where he works to reduce or set aside penalties and helps his clients avoid serious citations.
John Austin Diamond is the founder and principal of Diamond Law Practice, PLLC, where he focuses his efforts on helping injured workers under the Defense Base Act. He is currently licensed to practice law in the State of New York, the State of New Jersey, The United States District Court for the District of New Jersey, and The United States Supreme Court after being duly sworn in by Chief Justice John Roberts.
Immediately after receiving his license to practice law, Mr. Diamond began representing defense contractors and insurance carriers under the Defense Base Act, and War Hazards Compensation Act. As an insurance defense attorney, he had the unique opportunity to litigate claims before the Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs, Division of Federal Employee’s Compensation, Office of Administrative Law Judges, the Benefits Review Board, and federal courts. During his time as insurance defense counsel, he trained and lectured insurance adjusters on emerging issues under the Defense Base Act, War Hazards Compensation Act, and proper claims management practices. In addition, Mr. Diamond obtained tens of millions of dollars in recovery under the War Hazards Compensation Act during his representation of every major Defense Base Act insurance company in the industry. Mr. Diamond has also represented every major defense contractor in the world – and now fights for the rights of injured military contractors from around the globe.
Additionally, Mr. Diamond was named 10 Best Workers Compensation Attorneys by the AILC and was awarded Top Injured Workers’ Attorneys by The Workers’ Injury Law and Advocacy Group, for noteworthy contributions to the Longshore and Defense Base Act legal communities. Mr. Diamond has also lectured at the WICL Workers’ Compensation seminar on emerging issues in Defense Base Act litigation, alongside Judges, attorneys, and other industry leaders, presented at the WILG Longshore Conference on emerging litigation issues in New Orleans, LA in March 2018 & 2019, presented at the Loyola University Longshore Conference in New Orleans, LA in March 2019, and the WILG Annual Convention in Santa Barbara, CA in October 2019.
Mr. Diamond is an active member of the New York State Bar Association’s Tort, Insurance and Compensation Law Division, the DOL – Joint Bar Association, New York County Lawyers’ Association, The Irish American Bar Association of New York, and a member of the Board of Directors of The Workers’ Injury Law and Advocacy Group. In 2017, he co-founded The Private Patriots Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation aimed at helping injured military, intelligence and defense contractors worldwide (www.PrivatePatriots.org). In 2017, Mr. Diamond was hired as a Strategic Advisor by the startup, Blockchain for Change, Inc., due to his contributions to, and knowledge of the defense industry.
Lara Duerig Merrigan runs Merrigan Legal, a San Francisco Bay Area firm that represents injured workers in their claims brought under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act and its extensions. Ms. Merrigan is admitted to practice before the California State Supreme Court, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, the Central District Court of California, the Northern District Court of California, the Eastern District Court of California, and the Southern District of Texas. She has been practicing for about fifteen years and is a frequent national speaker. In addition to her role with the DOL Joint Bar, she is a chair of the Longshore Section of the Workers’ Injury and Law Group, a dedicated claimant-side organization.
Jonathan Beiser, Vice President and former President, is the Principal of Beiser Law Firm. Mr. Beiser attended the University of Maryland, where he received a Bachelor of Science degree from the College of Business and Management, and attended the University of Baltimore, where he received his Juris Doctor degree. He is licensed in the State of Maryland and the District of Columbia, where he has tried thousands of cases before juries, judges and workers’ compensation commissioners. He has built a successful reputation over the last 26 years for representing the rights of those injured in workplace accidents in Maryland, on docks nationally, and as defense contractors overseas. Mr. Beiser advises clients and provides insights about workers’ compensation which has earned him industry awards and accolades, such as an AV rating from Martindale Hubbell and being voted a Maryland and District of Columbia Super Lawyer Since 2007. In addition, Mr. Beiser is frequently asked by organizations such as Labor Unions, Lawyers Associations and vocational rehabilitation groups to speak at their events concerning workers’ rights as they relate to workers’ compensation. Mr. Beiser is a Board Member of the Workers’ Injury law and Advocacy Group, Department of Labor Joint Bar Association and Kid’s Chance of Maryland.
Brian Karsen, Esquire, Vice President and former Treasurer, is a partner in Barnett, Lerner, Karsen & Frankel, P.A., having joined the firm in 2010. Mr. Karsen attended the University of Florida where he earned his Bachelors degree in Political Science, a Juris Doctor and a Masters degree in Business Administration. He began practicing in 1998and has significant litigation experience in handling both civil and criminal matters, having served as lead counsel in numerous jury and non-jury trials and evidentiary hearings. Mr. Karsen has tried cases before County and Circuit Court Judges and Judges of Compensation Claims throughout the State of Florida and before Federal Administrative Law Judges across the Untied States.
Mr. Karsen began his career with the Public Defender’s Office for the Ninth Judicial Circuit in Florida. In that capacity he represented hundreds of indigent clients in criminal matters, including first degree felony cases punishable by up to life in prison. While serving in the Public Defender’s Office, Mr. Karsen was twice recognized for outstanding performance at trial. Additionally, during this time Mr. Karsen represented a client featured on the national television program “America’s Most Wanted” and the trial was featured on an episode which aired in 2001.
Beginning in 2001, Mr. Karsen began representing employers and insurance carriers in defending workers’ compensation claims throughout the South Florida region. In 2004 his practice shifted to dedicated counsel for large, self-insured companies in defending workers’ compensation claims throughout the State of Florida. In this capacity he dealt directly with corporate risk managers, adjusters and case managers in directing and coordinating the defending of claims across all aspect of the litigation process.
Mr. Karsen sits on the Board of Directors and is the Chief Legal Officer for Patriot Placements, a non-profit organization serving military veterans by working with business to provide job placement and economic independence to aid in the transition from military service to civilian employment. Mr. Karsen has an extensive speaking resume, providing educational lectures on workers’ compensation, Defense Base Act, Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act and other maritime claims. He also currently serves on the Planning Committee for the Florida Workers’ Compensation Institute’s Education Conference for the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation and Defense Base Act Breakout.
Paul B. Howell was born in Jackson, Mississippi in 1957. He attended undergraduate school at the University of Mississippi where he served as editor of the Daily Mississippian. Paul graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism and political science in 1979. Subsequently, he attended the University of Mississippi Law School where he served as a member of the Moot Court Board. He graduated in 1981. Paul moved to Gulfport, Mississippi and joined Franke & Salloum in 1982. He is a partner in the firm and practices mainly in the areas of workers’ compensation defense under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act and the Mississippi Workers’ Compensation Act. He is a member of the Harrison County Bar Association, the American Bar Association, the Fifth Circuit Bar Association, the Mississippi State Bar, the United States Supreme Court Bar, the Mississippi Defense Lawyers Association and the Defense Research Institute. He is on the Benefits Review Board Service Advisory Board and lectures on Federal and State Workers’ Compensation issues.
Kristina Alexander is a founding member and Shareholder with Sioli Alexander Pino. Ms. Alexander is a skilled litigation attorney representing and defending some of the largest and most respected insurance companies in the world and their insureds, including many of Florida’s home and condo owners’ associations and property management companies.
Ms. Alexander focuses her practice in the following areas: Longshore Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act, Defense Base Act, Admiralty/Maritime in both Federal and State Courts, Property/Casualty, General Litigation and Florida State Workers’ Compensation.
Ms. Alexander is responsible for the defense of claims which can sometimes expose her clients to millions of dollars. She zealously and tirelessly works to obtain the absolute best results for her clients which usually occurs by negotiating favorable settlements. However, she also played an integral role in obtaining many defense verdicts for cases that have proceeded to trial. Ms. Alexander was born and raised in upstate New York and has recently learned to balance her demanding career with the joys of motherhood.
Ms. Alexander is a member of the Florida Bar, United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida, the District of Columbia Bar, State Bar of Texas, and the New York State Bar. She is also a member of the Miami Dade County Bar Association, the Association of Professional Insurance Women, the Ft. Lauderdale Mariners Club, the Fla. Bar Admiralty Law Committee, and the Miami Marine Council.