Richard K. Leefe is a founder of the firm that now exists as Leefe, Gibbs, Sullivan & Dupré. He has been practicing law for forty-five (45) years. Prior to attending law school, Mr. Leefe graduated from Louisiana State University with a bachelor’s degree in engineering in 1969. Upon graduation, he passed the licensing test for professional engineers and worked as an engineer. Mr. Leefe then entered the United States Army receiving a commission as a Combat Engineer Officer. After attending US Army Engineer Officer School, he served in the Viet Nam war and commanded an engineer company in the Mekong Delta during 1970-1. Upon returning from Viet Nam, he attended Loyola College of Law where he attained honors as an Editor of the Loyola Law Review and graduated with a Juris Doctor degree as one of the top graduates in his class in 1974. He was admitted to the Louisiana Bar in that year. A few years after his graduation, the law school asked him to join the adjunct faculty and he taught at the law school for twenty-six years as a professor teaching junior and senior law students. He has taught the law school courses in Evidence, Negotiable Instruments and Legal Research and Writing. Mr. Leefe is also a graduate of Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen, Scotland, where he obtained a LLM (Master of Laws) in International Commercial Law. In 2002, Mr. Leefe taught at Huazhong University Law School in Wuhan, China, teaching Chinese law students American law and returned to China in 2009 to teach English to Chinese engineer PhD candidates at the same university.
In October 2011, Mr. Leefe was elected President of the Louisiana State Bar Association (LSBA) for the term 2013-14. He served as President-Elect for the 2012-13 and Immediate Past President for the 2014-15 terms. Mr. Leefe was elected in 2007 to serve on the Board of Governors to the Louisiana State Bar Association, as well as serving on numerous committees of the bar association. In 2010 he had been elected by the LSBA to the position of Secretary of that Bar for the term of 2011-13 and to serve as Editor of the Louisiana Bar Journal. Mr Leefe serves on numerous LSBA committees including being the first Vice-Chair of the Senior Lawyers Committee, former Chair of the Bar Governance Committee, Chair of the Lawyers in Transition Committee, as well as serving on the Rules of Professional Conduct Committee, Access to Justice Committee, and Committee on the Profession. Mr. Leefe was appointed by the Louisiana Supreme Court as Chair of the Louisiana Supreme Court Attorney Intern Program (LaSCAIP). In 2011, Mr. Leefe was awarded the LSBA President’s Award for his service to the bar, particularly for his work in creating the Senior Lawyer Section of the LSBA. He has served as a member of the Louisiana Law Institute Council, a member of the Board of Directors of the Louisiana Bar Foundation, and a Delegate to the American Bar Association House of Delegates. He was re-elected in 2015 to serve as the Louisiana Bar Association Delegate to the ABA House of Delegates and still serves in that position. He was nominated to and served on the ABA Committee on Legal Access of Military Personnel.
Mr. Leefe is the author of several legal treatises including: Louisiana Code of Evidence, Practice Guide, 1st Edition 1990, 2nd Edition 1998 and 3rd Edition 2005 (Lexis Law Publishers) which he updates every year with published pocket parts; Cases and Materials on Louisiana Negotiable Instrument Law, three editions, Loyola University Publisher; and Cases and Materials in Evidence, two editions published by Loyola University. These respectively address the Rules of Evidence covering the presentation of evidence at trial, and the Uniform Commercial Code sections dealing with commercial paper, bank deposits and collections, and related matters. His evidence book is widely used by judges and practicing lawyers in Louisiana, and his book relative to commercial paper was used as his course book in that area at Loyola College of Law. In addition to teaching law school, he annually teaches sections of mandatory continuing legal education for Louisiana lawyers dealing with the rules of evidence, ethics and courtroom matters. In 2011 he taught in the Loyola University Executive MBA program teaching Courtroom Evidence to Executive MBA students. He has been a speaker on numerous occasions for Loyola College of Law relative to National Institute for Trial Advocacy (NITA) based programs on the state and federal rules of evidence, LSBA CLE for Professionalism, Professional Education Systems and others. He has received various awards for his teaching, including from PESI and Loyola College of Law.
As an engineer/attorney, early in his career, Mr. Leefe was asked to provide representation in many matters which dealt with engineering questions; many, if not most, of these matters were maritime related cases involving vessel, cargo, oil patch, international sales and transactions, and personal injury claims. He has years of experience representing numerous businesses, manufacturers, merchants, ship owners, stevedores, shipping agents, surveyors, insurance, exploration companies, oil field service businesses and maritime suppliers. He has been counsel for Gulf Oil Company, Getty Oil Company, Texaco, Century Exploration and others. In addition, he has spent many years dealing with international transactions, and has traveled virtually all over the world. He has personally handled matters in England, Germany, France, Singapore, Brazil, Chile, China, Scotland, Cayman Islands, Bahamas, South Africa, Canada, Mexico, as well as most of the United States.
Mr. Leefe has over forty-four (44) years of extensive experience as a trial and business attorney and has tried cases in many of the states of the United States, having handled matters in New York, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Texas, Tennessee, Louisiana, Minnesota, Washington, California, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Missouri. He has appeared in both federal and state courts. Mr. Leefe has received special honors from the Loyola College of Law, the Louisiana State Bar Association and the Republican Party.
Mr. Leefe has completed the course for and is certified as a commercial mediator.
Mr. Leefe has an “AV” rating under the Martindale-Hubbell attorney rating system, which is the highest possible rating and is listed in SuperLawyers. He is admitted for all courts in Louisiana, is also admitted in the Texas federal court, United States Fifth Circuit Court of Appeal, United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, United States Court of Federal Claims, United States Tax Court, and the United States Supreme Court.
Mr. Leefe is married with four children, seven grandchildren. His wife is Barat P. Leefe and they live in the Greater New Orleans area, having their residence in Metairie, La.