Family, Faith, and Service

Don Richard, J.D. '68, partner with Kinney, Ellinghausen, Richard & DeShazo.
Don Richard, J.D. '68, partner with Kinney, Ellinghausen, Richard & DeShazo.

By Ray Willhoft ’00

College of Law alumnus Don M. Richard, J.D. ’68 is a man of service to his family, his community, his clients, his alma mater, and his Catholic faith, which guides him in his life.

Having grown up in a Catholic family where everyone said the rosary together and attended Mass together, the idea of service was impressed upon Richard at an early age, prompting him to eventually enroll in St. Joseph Seminary College.

“My parents encouraged me and my brothers to pursue a vocation if we felt that was what we were called to do,” Richard says.

Though all four brothers attended the seminary, only one eventually became a priest. Richard enjoyed studying for the priesthood, but he ultimately left the seminary because he felt called to the married life.

Having received his undergraduate degree in philosophy from St. Joseph’s, Richard decided to attend law school at Loyola, heavily influenced by its Jesuit traditions and values.

"I loved coming to Loyola because I could attend Mass at Holy Name of Jesus every day," he notes.

At Loyola, Richard served an associate editor of the Loyola Law Review. After graduation, he was law clerk to U.S. District Chief Judge Frederick J.R. Heebe from 1968 to 1970. Thereafter, he served as an assistant U.S. attorney in the criminal division from 1970 to 1977. In 1977, he entered private law practice as a partner with Lemle Kelleher and subsequently at two other firms.

Richard currently is a partner with Kinney, Ellinghausen, Richard & DeShazo in New Orleans. He is primarily a litigator with experience in antitrust, commercial litigation, personal injury, sexual abuse, sexual harassment, criminal law, and appellate practice, and he has been lead counsel in more than 180 jury trials.

Richard has extensive trial and appellate experience in all of Louisiana’s courts, including the Louisiana Supreme Court and the U.S. Court of Appeal for the Fifth Circuit as well as the Supreme Court of the U.S. He is a charter member of the Bar Association of the Fifth Federal Circuit and frequently lectures at the Appellate Advocacy Seminar. He is also the recipient of the highest ranking awarded by the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory (AV).

In addition to his work, Richard has been a permanent deacon for St. Catherine of Siena Parish in Metairie, La., for the past 35 years, always maintaining his devotion to service and his faith. He assists with Mass, marriage preparation, funerals, preaching, and baptisms, as well as leads Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA) classes. He also has been an active fundraiser for the parish.

It was also his dedication to service that led Richard to become more involved with the Loyola Law Alumni Association, moving up through the ranks and eventually becoming president this past summer. His main goals are to reengage alumni through personal contact and increase alumni giving, but more than that, he wants alumni to remember the Jesuit education they received.

"I would like to see alumni reconnect with the Jesuit mission of the college, being aware of how they can improve society as a whole and being open to any call that God gives them to help people," Richard says.

For Richard, giving back to his community comes easy since he feels he has been given so much. In addition to his successful career, he is married to the former Patricia Tessitore and is the father of five grown children—four daughters and one son. He also has eight grandchildren.

"I’ve been blessed," he says.

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