The 2022 CityBusiness “Leadership in Law” publication recognizes SMD founding member Susan Dinneen and associate Alex Lauricella. The firm is proud of our attorneys that are recognized in this year’s publication.
The 18th edition of “Leadership in Law” identifies local professionals who have distinguished themselves within the legal industry as well as the community. Each honoree was asked to make a statement on their most challenging, memorable and rewarding cases as well as how and why they entered the legal profession.
Susan Dinneen’s statement, page 9: “As a child, Susan Dinneen was “persistently opinionated,” which she said laid the foundation for a career in law. “From a young age, I had a notion in my head that I would be a lawyer,” she said.
The Tulane Law School graduate began her career at King & Jurgens in New Orleans before co-founding a boutique firm with partners David Strauss and Adam Massey.
“We wanted to provide big law services in a boutique and collaborative environment,” Dinneen said.
In addition to co-managing the firm of 14 lawyers and 15 staff members, Dinneen oversees a large docket of cases, reviewing files, developing litigation strategies, assigning staff resources, and working to achieve successful outcomes through settlement, motion practice, trial, and appellate work.
“It’s my belief that an attorney can be a zealous advocate for her client while also having kindness and respect toward opponents,” Dinneen said. “Most of my clients are beset with stress and anxiety. The most rewarding aspect of my job is taking that off their shoulders by either solving their problem or giving them the confidence to know it will be solved.”
Dinneen has served on the board of directors of several non-profits, including the Junior League of New Orleans, Girls on the Run New Orleans, and the Travelers Aid Society. Dinneen is also a Louisiana Bar Foundation fellow, and New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell recently appointed her to the board of commissioners for the Lakeview Crime Prevention District.”
Alex Lauricella’s statement, page 19: “Alex Lauricella’s first exposure to law came not as an attorney, but as a plaintiff in a class-action suit against EA Sports’ NCAA Football video game.
Lauricella had played football for Tulane University and was featured, along with other college athletes, as a player on the video game – but never received compensation.
A few years later, in addition to becoming a NFL-certified sports agent, Lauricella clerked for a law firm that represented class-action lawsuits. And it became clear that he may have had a case against the gaming company.
“They had us all on the video game, but they didn’t pay us, so we formed a class action,” Lauricella said. “Everyone who was on the video game eventually got paid. And that was before I even was in law school.”
Lauricella has practiced law since 2017 and joined Strauss Massey Dinneen in 2021. He focuses on hurricane property damage claims and insurance law.
“I want to treat people fairly and reasonably. What drives me is to give our insured what they’re entitled to. And if it is a fraudulent case then they’re not entitled to anything,” he said.
Lauricella’s professional drive grew out of lessons learned from football.
“If you’re prepared and you have attention to detail, then you’re not going to be surprised by much and you will find the good facts and the bad facts of your case,” he said.
Lauricella continues to pass on those skills by coaching youth football teams, including the New Orleans Panthers.”
New Orleans CityBusiness is a weekly business newspaper launched in 1980, CityBusiness covers the metropolitan New Orleans area, including the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain. CityBusiness has won numerous awards over the years and has been labeled the most widely read publication among metropolitan area business journals in the United States by The Media Audit, both in 2007 and 2008. In 2010, the Alliance of Area Business Publications presented CityBusiness with its Silver Award for being the Best Newspaper in the Large Tabloids division. The honor ranks CityBusiness as the nation’s No. 2 business publication, behind the Los Angeles Business Journal and right ahead of Crain’s New York.
About Strauss Massey Dinneen
At Strauss Massey Dinneen, LLC we provide big law services in a boutique environment that allows us to be nimble and responsive. Our firm, located in New Orleans, serves the Gulf South with lawyers licensed in Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. We focus our practice on the representation of the insurance industry and businesses. Our lawyers have a deep well of experience handling insurance “bad faith,” insurance fraud, insurance class action, trucking and transportation, transportation network carrier, significant personal injury, first party property, catastrophe and commercial litigation.