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Michelle McCune Sorrells

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Phone: 225-236-3646
Toll Free: 866-257-6070
Fax: 225-236-3650

12345 Perkins Rd
Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70810

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Michelle McCune Sorrells is of counsel to Walters, Papillion, Thomas, Cullens, and concentrates her practice in the area of workers' compensation law. She has represented injured workers since 1995, and is often consulted by attorneys across the state and country in complex workers' compensation matters. She is very knowledgeable regarding the interplay of workers' compensation claims with third party tort claims. Tort attorneys frequently consult her regarding workers' compensation interventions in an effort to maximize the recovery of the claimant. She is also highly skilled in protecting injured workers rights and minimizing Social Security Disability offsets when both workers' compensation benefits and SSDI are being received, or potentially could be received. Additionally, she is one of first attorneys in Louisiana to implement Medicare Set Asides in workers' compensation settlements, and she has been a leader in the legal community educating attorneys on Medicare Set Asides and their importance when settling most workers' compensation claims.

In addition to her skills representing injured workers, Ms. Sorrells is active in the legal community. She is a member of Louisiana Association for Justice, and is very involved in the workers' compensation Section of this organization. She is also a member of several other local, statewide and national legal groups including the Louisiana State Bar Association, the Louisiana Bar Foundation, Wex Malone American Inn of Court, and the Baton Rouge Bar Association. She is currently serving her second term as the co–chairman of the workers' compensation Section of the Baton Rouge Bar Association. She was a founding member and served as the treasurer and membership chairman for the Louisiana Disabled Workers Network (DAWN). This group of select attorneys persevered to protect injured workers rights through the drafting of legislation and actively lobbying and testifying in committee hearings to defeat proposals by big business to reduce employees rights. As a member of DAWN, Ms. Sorrells drafted legislation and argued before the Senate hearing committee to pass a law that increased the burial expenses for workers who died as a result of work–related accidents. She is a member WILG, or Workers Injury Law & Advocacy Group, which is a national non–profit membership organization dedicated to representing the interests of millions of workers and their families who, each year, suffer the consequences of workplace injuries and illnesses. She is also a founding member of the state affiliate of WILG, Louisiana Workers Advocates, and presently services as a co–chairman of its membership committee.

Ms. Sorrells spends considerable time lecturing on workers' compensation issues, particularly the interaction of Social Security Disability and Medicare in workers' compensation claims. At the request of the Director of the Office of workers' compensation and the Chief Judge, she presented a seminar to all of the workers' compensation judges and statewide mediators concerning the correlation between workers' compensation benefits and Social Security Disability Benefits as well as the importance and necessity of Medicare Set Asides and when they are applicable. She was also asked to educate the Second Injury Board of Medicares interests in workers' compensation claims, and the role Medicare Set Asides play in workers' compensation settlements. She was also appointed by the Director of the Office of workers' compensation as the injured worker representative to convert the present filing system of the OWC to electronic filing. Ms. Sorrells has also taught continuing education courses to new attorneys, helping them learn how to represent injured workers.

Michelle McCune Sorrells was born in Baton Rouge, LA in 1970, and earned an undergraduate degree in journalism from Louisiana State University in 1991 where she was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa and numerous other honorary societies. She was on the executive committee of Delta Zeta Sorority, and still remains active as their legal advisor.

Ms. Sorrells attended LSU Law School on scholarship and earned her degree in 1995 where she was the recipient of the American Bar Association Section of Labor & Employment Law and the Bureau of National Affairs, Inc.s Award for excellence in the Study of Labor and Employment Law. Upon graduation, Ms. Sorrells immediately began practicing in the area of workers' compensation, primarily focusing on the rights of the injured worker. She aggressively litigates her claims, and she has even reversed the trial court and appellate court after arguing before the Louisiana Supreme Court in the landmark decision of Wise v. J.E. Merit. This important case law corrected a split in the circuits concerning the interpretation of La. R.S. 23:1208.1 which employers often use to try to deny employees workers' compensation claims. Following the Wise decision, the statute is now strictly construed and makes it much more difficult for the employer to prevail using this defense.

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Education

J.D., Louisiana State University Law Center, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, 1995
Honors: LSU Board of Supervisor's Scholarship, Fall 1992-August, 1994
Honors: Chancellor's List, Fall 1994, Spring, 1995
Honors: American Bar Association Section of Labor & Employment Law and the Bureau of National Affairs, Inc.'s Award for the excellence in the Study of Labor and Employment Law
Honors: Rank 1/76, Louisiana Civil Procedure II

B.A., Louisiana State University, 1991
Honors: LSU Honor Scholarship
Honors: GPA: 3.6 of 4.0
Honors: Phi Beta Kappa
Honors: Omicron Delta Kappa Honor and Leadership Society
Honors: Kappa Alpha Tau, Honor Society for top 10% of Journalism School
Honors: Mu Sigma Rho, Honorary Scholastic Society
Honors: Alpha Lambda Delta, Honorary Scholastic Society
Honors: Delta Zeta Sorority, Executive Council, 2 years
Honors: Order of Omega, Honor Society for Greek Leaders
Honors: Rho Lambda, Panhellenic Honor Society
Major: Journalism

Bar Admissions Louisiana, 1995
U.S. District Court Eastern District of Louisiana, 1995
U.S. District Court Western District of Louisiana, 1995
U.S. District Court Middle District of Louisiana, 1995
U.S. Court of Appeals 5th Circuit, 1995
Professional & Bar Association Memberships

Louisiana State Bar Association
Member Since: 1995 - 2013

Louisiana State Bar Association
Workers' Compensation Section

Louisiana Association for Justice (formerly LTLA)
Member Since: 1995 - 2013

Louisiana Association for Justice (formerly LTLA)
Workers' Compensation Section

Baton Rouge Bar Association
Member Since: 1995 - 2013

Disabled Workers' Network (DAWN)
Member Since: 1996 - 2013

Disabled Workers' Network (DAWN)
Founding Member

Disabled Workers' Network (DAWN)
Treasurer

Disabled Workers' Network (DAWN)
Membership Chairman

Workers' Injury Law Advocacy Group (WILG)
Member Since: 2009 - 2013

Louisiana Workers' Advocates
Member Since: 2009 - 2013

Louisiana Workers' Advocates
Co-Chairman, Membership Committee

Louisiana Bar Foundation
Committee Member for 2010 Gala

Dean Henry George McMahon American Inn of Court
Member Since: 1995 - 2001

Wex Malone American Inn of Court
Member Since: 2002 - 2013

Baton Rouge Bar Association
Member Since: 1996 - 1998
Workers' Compensation Section, Co-Chairman

Baton Rouge Bar Association
Member Since: 2007 - Present
Workers' Compensation Section

Past Employment Positions

Moore, Walters, Thompson, Thomas Papillion & Cullens, APLC, Of Counsel as Davoli & Sorrells, 1999 - 2009

Dyess Law Firm, Associate, 1996 - 1999

Cobb & Cobb, Associate, 1995 - 1996

Cobb & Cobb, Law Clerk, 1993 - 1996

Louisiana Senate - Legislative Bureau, 1993

Louisiana Senate - Public Information Office, 1991 - 1992

Michelle M. Sorrells, LLC, Member/Owner, 1999 - 2013

Pro Bono Activities

Member and Volunteer, St. George Catholic Church

Volunteer, St. George Catholic School

Member, Delta Zeta, Sigma Chapter, Alumni Association

Legal Advisor, Delta Zeta, Sigma Chapter

Member, Krewe of Romany

Judge, Mock Trial Practice for LSU Law Student

Judge, Mock Appellate Court Arguments for LSU Law Students

Representative Cases

Alexander v. Sanderson Farms, Inc.,, 17 So.3d 5, 2009 WL 1270212, 2008-2225 (La. App. 1 Cir. 2009)

Louisiana Ins. Guar. Ass'n v. Weller, 977 So.2d 29, 2007 WL 3246239, 2007-0571 (La. App. 1 Cir. 2007)

Warren v. Action Oil Recovery, 944 So.2d 615, 2006 WL 2692582, 2005-1755 (La. App. 1 Cir. 2006)

Burns v. Guarantee Service Team of Professionals, 934 So.2d 733, 2006 WL 739787, 2005-0506 (La. App. 1 Cir. 2006)

Miller v. Fidelity Associates, Inc.,, 927 So.2d 393, 2005 WL 2898161, 2004-2218 (La. App. 1 Cir. 2005)

Veal v. American Maintenance and Repair, Inc.,, 923 So.2d 668, 2005 WL 2322443, 2004-1785 (La. App. 1 Cir. 2005)

Truitt v. Temp Staffers, 915 So.2d 786, 2005 WL 768453, 2004-0590 (La. App. 1 Cir. 2005)

Martinez v. Boh Bros. Const, 879 So.2d 850, 2004 WL 1417502, 2003-1718 (La. App. 1 Cir. 2004)

Champagne v. State, Louisiana State University, 819 So.2d 1059, 2002 WL 467918, 2001-0242 (La. App. 1 Cir. 2002)

Dawson v. City of Slidell, 804 So.2d 902, 2001 WL 1659238, 2000-2265 (La. App. 1 Cir. 2001)

Johnson v. EnviroBlast, 804 So.2d 924, 2001 WL 1659434, 2001-0200 (La. App. 1 Cir. 2001)

White v. Fresenius Medical Care, 801 So.2d 1239, 2001 WL 1580168, 2001-1023 (La. App. 3 Cir. 2001)

Haws v. Professional Sewer Rehabilitation, Inc.,, 763 So.2d 683, 2000 WL 201602, 1998-2846 (La. App. 1 Cir, 2000)

Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center v. Helms, 754 So.2d 1049, 1999 WL 744114, 1998-1931 (La. App. 1 Cir.)

Sept v. City of Baker, 733 So.2d 748, 1999 WL 321110, 1998-1190 (La. App. 1 Cir. 1999)

Bishop v. Lakeland Medical Center, 715 So.2d 541, 1998 WL 310732, 1997-2849 (La. App. 4 Cir. 1998)

Ross v. Remediation Services of Louisiana, 714 So.2d 218, 1998 WL 248308, 1997-2102 (La. App. 1 Cir.)

Wise v. J.E. Merit Constructor, Inc.,, 707 So.2d 1214, 1998 WL 17908, 1997-0684 (La. 1998)

Classes/Seminars

"Lien on Me", American Inn of Court, Dean Henry George McMahon Chapter, Group Presentation, December, 1997

"Update on Vocational Rehabilitation in Workers' Compensation", Baton Rouge Bar Association, Workers' Compensation Section, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, August, 1999

Baton Rouge Bar Workers' Compensation Committee, Michelle Sorrells, Baton Rouge Bar Association, April, 2000

"Workers' Compensation Liens and Moody Fees", Louisiana Trial Lawyers Association, New Orleans, Louisiana, October, 2000

"On The Job - Litigation Workplace Injuries from Start to Finish,", Faculty Speaker Louisiana Trial Lawyers Association Baton Rouge, Louisiana, March, 2001

"Hearings - When Voluntary Settlement Cannot be Reached - Plaintiff's Perspective"

"Workers' Compensation in Louisiana", National Business Institute, with Michael Hymen Baton Rouge, Louisiana, April, 2002

"Workers' Compensation and Social Security Offsets", Peter Lemoine Baton Rouge Bar Association, Workers' Compensation Section Baton Rouge, Louisiana, August, 2002

"Social Security Consideration and Implication Relating to Workers' Compensation", Peter Lemoine Louisiana State Bar Association Baton Rouge, Louisiana, November, 2002

"Medicare Set Asides", Baton Rouge Bar Association, Workers' Compensation Section, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, December, 2002

"Settlement Strategies in Workers' Compensation Cases", Charles Davoli and Peter Lemoine Louisiana State Bar Association, Disability Law Seminar Baton Rouge, Louisiana, January, 2003

"Social Security Considerations and Implications Relating to Workers' Compensation" with Peter Lemoine, Louisiana Trial Lawyers Association, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, March, 2003

Jellyfish...How to Avoid the Sting of Penalties and Attorney Fees in Workers' Compensation Cases, Louisiana Association of Business and Industry (LABI), New Orleans, Louisiana, March, 2003

"Medicare and Social Security Offsets", Department of Labor, State of Louisiana Presentation to Office of Workers' Compensation Judges in Louisiana Baton Rouge, Louisiana, March, 2003

"Workers' Compensation", Baton Rouge Bar Association, Bench Bar Conference Point Clear, Alabama, April, 2003

CLE by the Hour, "Workers' Compensation", Baton Rouge Bar Association, Baton Rouge, Louisiana December, 2003

"Medicare Secondary Payor and the Workers' Compensation Settlement", Louisiana State Bar Association, New Orleans, Louisiana, November, 2004

"Medicare Set-Asides", Department of Labor, State of Louisiana Presentation to Statewide Mediators Meeting Baton Rouge, Louisiana, December, 2004

"In Your Client's Best Interests - Ethical Considerations"

"Don't Get Burned - How to Protect Your Client's Medicare Entitlement," with Charles Davoli, Louisiana State Bar Association, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, February, 2005

"Medicare Secondary Payer Act and the Workers' Compensation Settlement"

"Medicare Set-Asides" with Peter Lemoine and Tommy Ruli, Louisiana Association of Business and Industry (LABI), New Orleans, Louisiana, April, 2007

"Making Sense of Medicare Set-Asides", Louisiana Association of Business and Industry (LABI), New Orleans, Louisiana, April, 2008

"Making Sense of Medicare Set-Asides", Baton Rouge Bar Association, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, July, 2008

"Medicare Set Asides", Baton Rouge Bar Association, CLE by the Hour Baton Rouge, Louisiana, December, 2008

"Nuts & Bolts Practice Seminar - Workers' Compensation for the Beginning Attorney," with Matthew Tierney, Charles Davoli, and Judge Pamela Moses-Laramore, Baton Rouge Bar Association, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, August, 2009

"Professionalism: Ways to Use Your Law License to Help Others", Moderator Baton Rouge Bar Association, Workers' Compensation Section, February, 2010

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