James T. Busenlener






James T. Busenlener







James T. Busenlener is an insurance trial lawyer and managing partner of Matthiesen, Wickert & Lehrer, S.C.’s New Orleans branch office. Jim is licensed to practice law in Louisiana, Texas, and Pennsylvania, as well as numerous federal district and appellate courts. Jim received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Washington & Lee University in Lexington, Virginia in 1990, his Juris Doctor degree from Tulane University School of Law in New Orleans, Louisiana in 1993. While in college, he received a scholarship to study 15th and 16th Century English Literature and History at Oxford University in England.

For many years, Jim served as MWL’s local subrogation counsel in Louisiana. Prior to joining MWL, Jim was a partner with two well-established insurance litigation firms in New Orleans. Jim has nearly three decades of experience representing insurers in coverage, professional liability, subrogation and defense litigation, and also practices in the areas of maritime and commercial litigation. He has extensive experience representing domestic and foreign insurers, including the London Market, in complex, multi-party insurance coverage, indemnity and casualty defense issues arising out of pipeline ruptures, maritime allisions, well blowouts and industrial accidents. He also has a great deal of experience litigating large loss property and casualty subrogation cases. He has represented excess insurers and re-insurers in disputes with large corporate insureds and primary insurers. Jim handles MWL’s large case load of workers’ compensation, health, Longshore (LHWCA), maritime, auto, and oilfield subrogation in Louisiana and Texas.

Jim is a native of New Orleans and is active in numerous local civic, charitable and social organizations.

Claims Litigation Management


  • Tulane University School of Law, New Orleans, Louisiana, 1993, J.D.

  • Washington & Lee University, Lexington, Virginia, 1990, B.A.

Bar Admissions

Louisiana, 1993

Pennsylvania, 1994

Texas, 1995

  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of Louisiana
  • U.S. District Court Middle District of Louisiana
  • U.S. District Court Western District of Louisiana
  • U.S. District Court Southern District of Texas
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of Texas
  • U.S. District Court Northern District of Texas
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 5th Circuit


  • National Association of Subrogation Professionals (NASP)
  • Louisiana Bar Association
  • State Bar of Texas
  • Louisiana Association of Defense Counsel
  • Claims Litigation Management (CLM)
  • Longshore Claims Association (CLA)
  • Inland Marine Underwriters Association (IMUA), Associate Member

Reported Decisions

  • Collins v. Wellcare Healthcare Plans, Inc., No. CIV.A. 13-6759, 2014 WL 7239426 (E.D. La. Dec. 16, 2014) (Court found private cause of action for Medicare Advantage Organization against enrollee within the Medicare Secondary Payer Act).

  • Espinosa v. Accor N. Am., Inc., 2014-0001 (La. App. 4 Cir. 9/24/14), 148 So. 3d 244 (La. Ct. App. 2014), reh’g denied (Oct. 23, 2014), writ denied, 2014-2446 (La. 2/13/15), 159 So.3d 466 and writ denied, 2014-2453 (La. 2/13/15), 159 So.3d 467 (insurance coverage dispute involving action to recover for robbery and shooting of patron by third parties).

  • Corey v. Deepwater Specialists, Inc., No. CIV.A. 10-3354, 2013 WL 1704920, at *1 (E.D. La. Apr. 1, 2013) report and recommendation adopted, No. CIV.A. 10-3354, 2013 WL 1704915 (E.D. La. Apr. 19, 2013) (resolving motion to deposit settlement funds with the registry of the Court pending competing claims).

  • Innovative Hospitality Sys., LLC v. Abraham, 2010-217 (La. App. 3rd Cir. 4/6/11), 61 So.3d 740 writ denied, 2011-0845 (La. 6/17/11), 63 So.3d 1036 (appeal involving insurance coverage for the fraudulent cashing of checks against businesses where checks were cashed).

  • Lambeth House, Inc. v. Liberty Restoration Grp., LLC, No. CIV.A. 07-608, 2010 WL 3791777 (E.D. La. Sept. 16, 2010) (decision regarding attorneys’ fees following jury trial over construction contract obligations).

  • Watkins v. Panco Inc., 2010-0307 (La. App. 1st Cir. 9/10/10) (La. Ct. App. Sept. 10, 2010) (defense of alleged faulty construction of home in Plaquemine, Louisiana).

  • Advanced Commercial Contracting v. Powell Ins. Agency, 09-758 (La. App. 5th Cir. 12/29/09), 30 So.3d 851 (La. Ct. App. 2009) writ denied, 2010-0230 (La. 4/9/10), 31 So.3d 392 (successful defense of insurance agency based on insured’s claims for breach of duty which alleged resulted in insufficient coverage at the time fire destroyed insured’s property).

  • Caillou Island Towing Co. v. Martin & Pellegrin, CPA’s, 2009-0795 (La. App. 1st Cir. 12/9/09) (La. Ct. App. Dec. 9, 2009) (successful defense of accounting firm from untimely lawsuit based on the three-year limitations period set forth in La. R.S. § 9:5604).

  • Kalmanson v. Ducote, 2008-1196 (La. App. 4th Cir. 2/11/09) (La. Ct. App. Feb. 11, 2009) (successful enforcement of foreign judgment over claims of due process based on res judicata).

  • Atkins v. Lexington Ins. Co., No. CIV.A.07-6977, 2008 WL 4372018 (E.D. La. Sept. 23, 2008) (defense of Hurricane Katrina and Rita claims by homeowner).

  • Whitfield v. Alpha Ins. LLC, 280 F. App’x 363 (5th Cir. 2008) (successful defense of insurance agent where court held that three-year preemption period for homeowners’ negligence claim against agent began to run when homeowners bought flood insurance policy).


Representative Cases

  • Fort Worth Community Credit Union v. Multi-Services, Inc. – Recovered $500,000 in a Texas property subrogation case wherein the property insurer (our client) had paid for repairs to a credit union after the water faucets of a sink in an upstairs janitorial closet were left on flooding two floors of the building. A waiver of subrogation clause in the janitorial contract was overcome after it was discovered a subcontractor had performed the janitorial services. Even though the janitor denied using the sink or leaving it running, and there was no direct evidence as to who had entered the closet or left the sink running, Attorney Busenlener was able to achieve a successful recovery from the janitorial company’s insurer by marshaling evidence to prove the janitor was the most likely person to have left the sink faucets flowing.

Speaking Engagements

  • The Problem With Large Workers’ Compensation Liens – March 21. 2023 – Webinar presented for National Association of Subrogation Professionals (NASP).
  • Uniquely Louisiana: Subrogating In The Bayou State – January 10, 2023 – MWL webinar presented to the public. Co-presented with Brianna M. Law.
  • Panning For Gold: How to Recognize and Pursue Valuable Subrogation Claims – May 12, 2022 – Seminar provided at Claims Education Conference in New Orleans. Co-presented with Nick Zotti.
  • Subrogation is Like Picking a Puppy: The Best Claims Don’t Always Jump on You and Lick Your Face – November 5, 2020 – Webinar to CLM 2020 Focus Cannabis, Environmental, Insurance Fraud, Property Subrogation Claims & Litigation Management Conference.

  • Government Done Me Wrong: Tort Claims Against Local, State and Federal Authority – May 13, 2020 – MWL webinar presented to public.

  • Pseudo-Subro; Alternative Facts Assignments and Recovery Actions – October 3, 2019 – Panel speaker at CLM Southeastern Claims Conference in Kissimmee, Florida.
  • Inventive and Effective Strategies For Settlement of Small Claims – May 16, 2019, Seminar to 2019 Claims Education Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana.
  • Dealing with Coverage Defenses in Large Property Loss Claims from Investigation to Trial – March 14, 2019 – Seminar presented to CLM Annual Conference in Orlando, Florida.

  • Don’t Let A Lienholder Wreck Your Settlement –  May 9, 2018 – Seminar presented to 2018 SCLA Claims Education Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana.
  • No Expert? No Evidence? No Problem! – March 22, 2018 – Seminar presented at 2018 National Association of Subrogation Professionals (NASP) Subrogation Litigation Skills and Management Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana.

  • Longshore & Harbor Workers’ Compensation – March 11, 2018 – MWL webinar presented to public.

  • Defeating The Made Whole Doctrine, May 17, 2017 – Seminar presented at the 2017 SCLA Claims Education Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana.

  • There’s Gold In Them Thar Waivers of Subrogation – March 8, 2016 – webinar presented to National Association of Subrogation Professionals (NASP).

  • Subrogating Against God: Turning Natural Disasters Into Recoveries – November 6, 2015 – Seminar presented at 2015 SCLA Claims Education Conference in Orlando, Florida. Co-Presenter: Gary Wickert.

  • 2014: Year In Review – November 11, 2014 – Seminar presented at 2014 National Association of Subrogation Professionals (NASP) Annual Conference, in Orlando, Florida.

  • Limiting Liability Risks For Engineers – September 2, 2014 – Seminar presented at Professional Engineers Seminar for Professional Development Seminars, Inc., in New Orleans, Louisiana.


Areas of Practice

  Admiralty, Maritime, and Jones Act
  Arbitration (Arb Forums, Auto, Property, Special, No-Fault, NY PIP)
  Arbitration Award Enforcement
  Automobile Collision, Med Pay and PIP
  Construction Defect and Warranty Claims
  Complex and Large Loss Property
  Defense Base Act and War Hazard Compensation
  Defense Litigation
  ERISA, Medicare Advantage, and Health Insurance Subrogation
  Explosion Cases
  Federal Tort Claims Act
  Fidelity and Surety Bonds
  Fire & Casualty Large Loss Property Subrogation
  Fleet and Dealership Losses
  Garagekeepers, Garage Coverage, Loaner Vehicle, and Test Driver
  Health Insurance Lien Filings in Workers’ Compensation Claims
  Hospital and Healthcare Provider Lien Filing
  Inland and Ocean Marine
  Insurance Contribution and Equitable Indemnity
  Insurance Coverage
  Lloyds, Syndicates, and London Market
  Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation
  Mass Tort Multi-District Litigation and Class Action
  Medical Malpractice
  Natural Disaster, Flood, and Wildfire Subrogation
  No-Fault Priority of Payment
  Occupational Accident Plans
  Premises Liability
  Product Liability and Product Recall
  SR-22 Claims
  State, County, and Municipal Government Liability
  Structural Collapses and Failures
  Toxic Tort & Environmental Disaster Cleanup
  Trucking and Downtime Claims
  Uninsured Motorist / Underinsured Motorist
  Workers’ Compensation Subrogation

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