Origins of the Firm
For over a quarter century, the Derbes Law Firm, LLC’s many attorneys have drawn upon their broad backgrounds in business law to represent clients. The Derbes Law Firm was founded at its present location by the father son duo of Albert J. Derbes, III and Albert J. Derbes, IV in 1995. Later in 1995, the firm was joined by Albert J. Derbes, III’s second son, Eric Derbes, after his serving as a Judge Advocate in the US Army. Mr. Derbes, III, who retired in early 2015, practiced as an attorney/CPAs throughout his career. “Derbes Law is Business Law” is more than just a mantra, it is the foundation of the firm.
Growth of the Firm
Thereafter, the firm grew. Beau Sagona joined the firm after many years as a solo practitioner. Bill Babin served as a Chapter 7 bankruptcy Trustee for the US Bankruptcy Court of the Eastern District of Louisiana prior to joining the firm and he continues to serve as one of three Chapter 7 bankruptcy Trustees for the district. Frederick Bunol graduated in finance and began his legal career at the Derbes Law Firm. Mark Goldstein had over 30 years of bankruptcy experience prior to joining the firm. Pat Garrity had over 25 years of bankruptcy experience prior to joining the firm and is Board Certified in Business Bankruptcy Law. The firm’s three associates, Bryan O’Neill, Jared Scheinuk, and David Serio, each with their own unique background and experience, contribute to the firm’s many practice areas. No matter the stage of life of you or your business, the Derbes Law Firm’s attorneys have the experience upon which you can rely for your legal needs.
The Derbes Law Firm recognized the need to operate digitally early -- with Hurricane Georges in 1998. When Hurricane Katrina hit in August of 2005, the firm had most of its data in digital format and was able to set up shop temporarily in Houma with its evacuated servers. In March 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic did not stop the Derbes Law Firm. The firm’s attorneys were able to effectively work remotely, meet with their clients, and attend hearings via videoconferencing technology.
Derbes in the Legal Community
Effective advocacy and negotiation skills require cordial and effective relationships with other members of the bar. The firm boasts two past presidents of the Jefferson Bar Association – – Beau P. Sagona (2008) and Eric J. Derbes (2014), and a Vice-President, Frederick L. Bunol (2020). Albert J. Derbes, IV is currently the chair of the CLE Committee of the Jefferson Bar Association.
Moreover, Albert J. Derbes, IV served on the New Orleans Bar Association’s Board of Directors from 2016-2019 and acted as chair of its bankruptcy committee. Eric Derbes is currently the Vice-President of the St. Thomas More Catholic Lawyers’ Association. The firm has several attorneys who are active members in local chapters of the American Inns of Court, a national organization promoting civility and professionalism in the bar. Bryan O’Neill is a member of and serves as the Outreach and Reporting Chair for the Thomas More Loyola Law School American Inn of Court. Fred Bunol is a member of and on the social committee for the Judge Jerry A. Brown Bankruptcy Inn of Court, in which Albert and Eric Derbes are Masters.
Derbes in the Community at Large
Not only is the Derbes Law Firm active in the legal community, but it is also active in and for the community at large. Beau Sagona is and has been active with the Pro Bono Project (New Orleans) for 31 years and has recently received its Distinguished Service Award. Eric Derbes was a leader in the Boy Scouts of America for approximately 20 years and currently serves as a Eucharistic Minister at St. Philip Neri and is the chairman of St. Philip’s pastoral council. Bill Babin was named the 2014 Jesuit High School (New Orleans) Alumnus of the Year, receiving the annual F. Edward Hebert Award, for his achievements and distinguished service to Jesuit and the community-at-large.
Community participation is, on occasion, culinarily competitive. The Firm competes successfully in the New Orleans Bar Association’s New Orleans Bar & Grille Cook-Off, which raises funds for legal aid. Fred Bunol annually competes in Hogs for the Cause with his team, Swine Spectators, raising money for children with cancer, and the Buddy Walk (Jambalaya Cook-off), raising money for the New Orleans Down Syndrome Association of Greater New Orleans.