williams_1Duke began his legal career in 1984 as a judicial law clerk to the Honorable Veronica D. Wicker in the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana. He then entered private practice and became a partner at Phelps Dunbar, LLP where he remained for several years and practiced almost exclusively in admiralty and maritime law. Duke thereafter partnered with other firms in Houma and New Orleans before he began his own firm in 2009.

Since beginning his legal career, Duke has been committed to serving his community and neighbors through his pro bono work. He volunteers regularly at the Veteran’s Affairs Administration and provides legal representation to the Ozanam Inn.

Duke has earned an AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rating from Martindale-Hubbell®, the highest possible rating given to lawyers who have demonstrated superior legal ability and who have maintained high ethical standards. Duke has been selected as a Louisiana Super Lawyer for several years. In 2015, he was inducted into the International Trial Lawyers Association and was most recently honored by the New Orleans Bar Association as the Maritime Lawyer of the Year.

Admitted to Practice:

  • Admitted, Louisiana, 1984
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern, Western and Middle Districts of Louisiana
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth and Eleventh Circuits
  • U.S. Supreme Court


  • Loyola University, J.D., 1984
  • Delta Theta Phi
  • Member and Chairman, Loyola Moot Court Board
  • Loyola University, B.A., 1974

Practice Areas

  • Maritime Law
  • Offshore Injury Claims
  • FELA Claims
  • Oil and Gas Drilling Injuries
  • Catastrophic Injuries
  • Trucking Accidents
  • Transportation Litigation
  • Multi-District Litigation
  • Pharmaceutical Litigation
  • Environmental Law Claims
  • Commercial Litigation
  • Insurance Subrogation
  • Admiralty Litigation
  • Toxic Tort Litigation


  • AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell®
  • 2015 Maritime Lawyer of the Year, New Orleans Bar Association
  • Louisiana Super Lawyers, 2008–2015
  • International Trial Lawyers Association


  • Medical University of South Carolina (Board of Visitors, 2001–2004)
  • Loyola University School of Law, New Orleans, 2000
  • Member, Bayou Area Children’s Foundation
  • New Orleans, Terrebonne Parish, Louisiana State (Member, House of Delegates; Thirty-Second Judicial District; Professional Assessment Committee)
  • Federal and American Bar Associations
  • Louisiana Bar Foundation
  • American Association for Justice
  • Louisiana Association for Justice (President, 2007–2008)
  • Montana Trial Lawyers Association
  • Maritime Law Association of the United States
  • Southeastern Admiralty Law Institute
  • St. Thomas More Inns of Court (Member, Board of Directors, 2000–present)
  • A.P. Tureaud Inns of Court (Member, Board of Directors)


  • Officer/Aviator, U.S. Navy, 1975–1981

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