Photo of Catherine Fornias Giarrusso

Catherine Fornias Giarrusso



  • Law Clerk to Chief Justice Pascal F. Calogero, Jr., Louisiana Supreme Court


Tulane University Law School, J.D., Summa Cum Laude, 2002

University of Texas at Austin, B.A., Plan II Honors Program, Highest Honors, 1998


Louisiana Super Lawyers, 2017

Order of the Coif

Tulane Law Review, Member and Editor

Phi Beta Kappa, University of Texas

Faculty Medal, Tulane University Law School

Bar Admissions

  • Louisiana
  • Texas

Catherine Fornias Giarrusso practices commercial litigation with an emphasis on insurance coverage and bad faith disputes. She also has experience counseling employers, responding to charges of discrimination, and litigating employment discrimination matters.

Notable Representations
  • Defense of various homeowners insurers against hundreds of claims involving wind and flood damage and bad faith allegations following Hurricane Katrina.
  • Defense of excess insurers against insured corporate entity seeking hundreds of millions in lost business development claims following Hurricane Katrina.
  • Successful defense of commercial general liability insurer in a coverage dispute arising out of FEMA trailer explosion and involving millions of dollars in claims.
  • Drafted successful motions to dismiss claims against homeowners insurers in Chinese Drywall multi-district litigation based on various policy defenses.
  • Defense of commercial general liability insurer against claims arising out of insured’s distribution of allegedly defective Chinese Drywall.
  • Defense of excess insurer against a bad faith claim arising out of a coverage dispute in multi-district litigation related to a large oil spill.
  • Successful defense of commercial auto insurer resulting in summary dismissal of excess insurer’s claim to recover $2 million settlement.
Professional and Civic Activities

Catherine is a member of the American, Louisiana, Texas and New Orleans Bar Associations. She also is a member of the Louisiana Association of Defense Counsel. She is a member of the Lakeview Civic Improvement Association.

Publications and Presentations


  • “The Fifth Circuit Reconsiders Application of the Work Product Doctrine and the Privilege of Self-Evaluation: In Re Kaiser Aluminum & Chemical Co.,” 76 Tulane Law Review 247 (2001)


  • “Recognizing an Unreasonable Third Party Demand,” National Business Institute’s Seminar on Insurance Bad Faith "Set-Up" in Louisiana (December 2015)

  • "Case Law and Legislative Update," Speaker, National Business Institute's Handling Complex Auto Insurance Coverage Disputes Seminar (2012)
  • “Federal Civil Procedure—Navigating the Mine Fields and Avoiding the Pitfalls,” Speaker, Loyola University College of Law (2010)
  • "Legal Tips for Today's Workplace," Panelist, J.P. Morgan Chase Human Resources Conference (2004)
Past Experience
  • Vinson & Elkins, L.L.P., Houston, Texas