H. Alston Johnson, III

Alston is a managing partner in the Baton Rouge office of Phelps Dunbar. He concentrates his practice primarily in litigation, particularly at the appellate level and with particular emphasis in the areas of tort litigation, insurance coverage and litigation, and administrative law. He has extensive experience in legislative, regulatory and governmental matters and has represented numerous public entities in both counseling and litigation capacities. Prior to joining Phelps Dunbar in 1984, Alston was a full-time member of the law faculty at Louisiana State University for twelve years. He continues to teach as an adjunct member of the faculty, teaching primarily conflict of laws, federal courts and insurance.

Alternative Dispute Resolution Experience

  • Member of three-arbitrator panel to resolve economic dispute between two railroads
  • Service as a mediator at request of parties, in about a dozen instances over past six years, in matters involving employment disputes, commercial disputes, failed buy-out agreements and insurance coverage disputes
  • Association of Arbitrators and Mediators Panelist

Professional Licenses

Admitted to Bar: Louisiana, 1970

Memberships, Honors, Professional Associations

  • American Bar Association
  • Louisiana State Bar Association
  • Baton Rouge Bar Association
  • Shreveport Bar Association
  • Louisiana Association of Defense Counsel (past President)
  • Fellow, American Academy of Appellate Lawyers (2005)
  • Boisfontaine Trial Advocacy Award, Louisiana State Bar Association (2005)
  • Distinguished Attorney Award for Year 2005, Louisiana Bar Foundation
  • Legislative Task Force on Workload of Louisiana Appellate Courts (2001-03)
  • Chairman, Governor's Advisory Committee on Tort, Worker's Compensation and Insurance Reform (1988)
  • Louisiana State Bar Association Board of Governors (1975-76)
  • Louisiana State Bar Association Bar Admission Advisory Committee (1973-74 and 1981-82)
  • Recipient, French Government Scholarship for Graduate Law Study in France (1971-72)
  • Senior Associate Editor, Louisiana Law Review (1969-70)
  • Distinguished Military Graduate
  • American Law Institute
  • Order of the Coif
  • Omicron Delta Kappa
  • Phi Kappa Phi


Georgetown University (AB – 1967); Louisiana State University (JD – 1970)


Office located in Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Areas of Concentration

Business Disputes, Class Action, Corporate Disputes, Commercial Disputes, Contract, Health Care, Insurance, Lease, Malpractice, Personal Injury, Premises Liability, Property Damage, Successions, Toxic Tort, Defective Products, Products Liability, Employee Disputes, Retaliation, Workers' Compensation/LHWCA

CLE and Teaching

  • Frequent lecturer at seminars for a wide range of sponsors including the Louisiana State Bar Association, the Louisiana Trial Lawyers' Association, the Louisiana Association of Defense Counsel, the Louisiana Judicial College, and the Center for Continuing Professional Development at the Hebert Law Center of Louisiana State University; member since 1987 of faculty for annual Summer School for Judges and Summer School for Lawyers.
  • Louisiana Insurance Law and Practice (with William Shelby McKenzie), West Publishing Company, 3rd Edition, (2006) (with annual pocket parts).
  • Louisiana Workers' Compensation Law and Practice (with the late Wex S. Malone), Volumes 1 and 2, West Publishing Company, 4th Edition (2002) (with annual pocket parts).
  • Louisiana Civil Jury Instructions, West Publishing Company, 2nd Edition (2001) (with annual pocket parts).
  • “Bound in Shallows and Miseries: The 1983 Amendments to the Workers' Compensation Statute,” 44 Louisiana Law Review 669 (1984).
  • “The Louisiana Direct Action Statute,” 43 Louisiana Law Review 1455 (1983).
  • “Comparative Negligence and the Duty/Risk Analysis,” 40 Louisiana Law Review 319 (1980).
  • Various Faculty Symposia Articles, Louisiana Law Review, Vols. 34 through 54 (1974-1994), on the subjects of insurance, workers' compensation, obligations, successions, and legislative procedure.

Client Matters

  • Briefing and oral argument in more than 150 appellate matters before the Supreme Court of Louisiana, all five intermediate appellate courts of the State of Louisiana, and the United States Fifth Circuit Court of Appeal, involving a wide range of subject matters such as commercial disputes, personal injury matters, insurance coverage issues, insurance policy interpretations, procedural issues, constitutional law, workers' compensation, allocation of fault issues, conflicts of law, punitive damages, and others.
  • Appointment and service as Special Master, 19th Judicial District Court, State of Louisiana, relative to issues in large succession under administration.
  • Writ and appeal preparation in breast implant class action litigation, ultimately resulting in decertification of class after trial of portion of case to verdict in district court.
  • Handling class action suits in both state and federal trial courts, involving claims related to post-hurricane insurance coverage, vanishing-premium life insurance policies, installment fees as premium payments in casualty policies, treatment of insurance agents as independent contractors rather than employees, and payment of membership dues to organizations in order to be permitted to purchase insurance products.
  • Representation of insurers in administrative and receivership proceedings before the Louisiana Department of Insurance.
  • Representation of certain Louisiana appellate courts in judicial redistricting case under Voter Rights Act.
  • Representation of certain Louisiana judges in dispute with judges' retirement system and in dispute with former law partners.
  • Representation of Governor and Commissioner of Administration, State of Louisiana, in putative class action seeking certain levels of funding in state employees' group insurance program.