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New Orleans Employment, Business, healthcare, real estate And Family Law Attorneys

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Areas of Practice


Employment Law

We have represented both employees and employers in a wide variety of workplace matters for more than thirty years.  We advise our clients concerning their rights and obligations as employees and employers.  We have represented clients in matters related to discrimination on the basis of race, gender, age, disability, religion and national origin. While much of our work takes place in federal and state courtrooms, where we litigate claims for wrongful discharge, discrimination, whistleblowing, and contract disputes, we also prepare policy manuals and employee handbooks, and negotiate and prepare employment contracts, noncompetition agreements, and severance agreements.  When it is in our client’s best interest to do so, we work hard to negotiate the settlement of difficult claims, and we have often been able to reach resolution through the mediation process. 



Business Law

We serve as corporate counsel to business entities, including corporations, limited liability companies, partnerships, joint ventures, and sole proprietors.  We prepare our clients’ legal documents such as entity formations, shareholder and operating agreements, board minutes and resolutions.  Because of our broad knowledge and experience in the area of employment law, we can advise businesses on all aspects of employee issues, and we prepare policy manuals and employee handbooks, as well as negotiate, draft and review contracts. 

We have represented companies and their owners in stock sales, asset sales and mergers.  We also have litigated many business disputes through the years, such as disputes relating to confidentiality and competition issues, and contract interpretation and enforcement.  We have professional relationships with certified public accountants who can assist us in valuing companies for stock sales and post-divorce property settlements.



Healthcare Law

Resolving healthcare litigation as efficiently and effectively as possible is critical to a healthcare provider’s ability do what is most important to them: providing patient care. With the assistance of a skilled and experienced health care attorney, physicians, nursing homes, hospitals and other providers can extract themselves from costly and time-consuming litigation.         

Our attorneys have 20 years of experience representing healthcare providers in medical malpractice litigation as well as in front of disciplinary boards, and have extensive trial experience. We realize taking every case to trial may not be appropriate and when appropriate, we mediate or negotiate settlement matters which allows our clients to cost-effectively free themselves from time-consuming litigation. We work closely with our healthcare clients to develop a strategy that works best for them.


Real Estate Law

We represent individuals and business who own, buy and sell real estate.  We have litigated many cases through the years related to defects in property that were not discovered by the buyer until after the sale. Lawsuits arising from these claims can often involve multiple parties, such as the home inspectors, contractors, and real estate agents. We have represented both buyers and sellers in these matters, and we have developed professional relationships with architects, engineers and contractors to assist us as consultants or trial experts.

We also represent condominium associations and individual condominium owners in connection with the interpretation and enforcements of regulations, rules and bylaws.  On occasion, we have represented property owners in boundary and use disputes with their neighbors.

Family Law

We have over thirty-five years of experience in the practice of family law.  We understand the emotional and financial toll that divorce and custody disputes can have on our clients, and we seek to provide compassionate and highly individualized representation in these matters.  We have litigated numerous custody, visitation, support and property cases through the years, although we always strive to resolve these matters without the necessity of litigation.  Our experience in business law is an added benefit in the negotiation of post-divorce property settlements.

We also negotiate and prepare marriage contracts, wills, medical consents, powers of attorney, and living wills for our clients.  We represent families and individuals in succession proceedings, and have litigated matters relating to successions, such as the validity of particular wills and bequests.


The Right team for your case

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Our Team


Douglas Kraus

Doug Kraus has almost 20 years of civil litigation experience in a number of practice areas including health care and medical malpractice, employment law, premises liability, personal injury, toxic torts, occupational injury, natural resource damages, and environmental law.  Doug has previously represented hospitals, nursing homes, physicians, governmental entities, and individuals throughout Louisiana and Illinois. Doug has extensive trial experience, including first chair experience in courts throughout Louisiana, Illinois and New Jersey.

Doug built his practice in civil litigation.  He has represented a wide variety of clients, from national hospital management companies to private individuals throughout the State of Louisiana.  Doug previously had the opportunity to serve as Special Counsel to the Louisiana Attorney General and member of the litigation team representing the State of Louisiana in its claim related to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.  He served as co-trial counsel for Phases I & II of the trials of that litigation.  In addition, Doug served as Special Counsel to the State of New Jersey and member of litigation team representing the State of New Jersey to recover damage to its natural resources against ExxonMobil.  He served as co-trial counsel for an eight-month trial in 2014 in that matter which culminated in a settlement of $225,000,000 for the people of the State of New Jersey.

Mr. Kraus is skilled in all aspects of litigation, including case management, court room appearances, and regular communication with clients, as well as consulting with expert witnesses, taking and defending depositions, navigating difficult legal issues, preparing and trying cases, and reaching favorable solutions. He is licensed to practice law in both Louisiana and Illinois. Doug has obtained a Martindale Hubble AV Peer Review Rating, a significant rating accomplishment, and a testament to the fact that Doug's peers rank him at the highest level of professional excellence.

In his time away from the office, Doug enjoys sporting events of almost every type, especially his Chicago Cubs.  He is also an avid runner and member of the New Orleans Track Club, participating in multiple races and half-marathons throughout the year.

Email Doug: dkraus@brenerlawfirm.com


Tracy Keller

Mrs. Keller is the office manager and legal assistant for the firm.  She had over 15 years of experience as a legal assistant before joining Lisa Brener. She has now worked for Brener & Kraus for several years, and she helped set up the procedures and workspace for the firm’s Magazine Street office. 

Mrs. Keller takes pride in being part of a team that helps so many people. She enjoys daily meditation and a simple lifestyle, as well as spending time with her husband and two children, all of whom she considers a blessing. 

Please feel free to email Mrs. Keller with any general inquiries, or to request a consultation. 

Email Tracy: tkeller@brenerlawfirm.com


Charlene Landry

Charlene Landry has over 12 years of experience as a Legal Assistant specializing in medical malpractice and healthcare.  Ms. Landry enjoys working at Brener & Kraus Firm because has given her the opportunity to work in many different areas of law which Ms. Landry finds very fulfilling.  In Ms. Landry’s free time she enjoys cooking and spending time with her family, friends, and her Maltese. 

Email Charlene: clandry@brenerlawfirm.com


Chelsea Brener Cusimano

Chelsea Brener Cusimano graduated from Loyola University New Orleans College of Law in 2012. In 2013, Chelsea moved to Washington D.C. to receive an LL.M. from the George Washington University in the area of National Security and U.S. Foreign Relations.

While in law school, Chelsea clerked for the United States Attorneys Office for the Eastern District of Louisiana, and the Jefferson Parish District Attorney's Office. In 2013, prior to joining Brener & Kraus, Chelsea worked to pass a bill through the Louisiana legislature, and has experience with legislative drafting and lobbying.

From 2016 to 2018, Chelsea served as In-House Counsel for the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff, primarily focusing on employment law, government purchasing, government contracting, and litigation management of 1983 actions and insurance defense cases. She has recently re-joined Brener & Kraus to further her litigation career and employment law practice.  

Chelsea has considerable experience in the areas of employment law, real estate litigation, business law, medical malpractice defense, 1983 actions, governmental contracts and purchasing, and insurance defense.

In 2017, Chelsea was named by City Business as a "Leader in Law," where she was recognized for her role as In-House Counsel and love of community service. Chelsea has been involved with Hogs for the Cause for over seven years as a gala co-chair, and has continued her efforts to raise money for cancer as the 2018 chair for Gray Matters and the Kelsey Bradley Favrot Memorial Foundation. Additionally, Chelsea has litigated several Pro Bono cases to completion.

In her time away from the practice of law, Chelsea enjoys exploring the culture of New Orleans, event planning, travel, and spending time with her friends, family, and family labradors. 

Email Chelsea: cbcusimano@brenerlawfirm.comSusannah McKinney


Susannah McKinney

Susannah McKinney has more than twenty years of civil litigation experience in the areas of medical malpractice, healthcare law, premises liability, personal injury, insurance, and environmental law.  She is a member of both the Mississippi and Louisiana bars and has tried cases throughout Louisiana and Mississippi.  

Over the course of her career, Susannah has represented a diverse array of clients including private individuals, hospitals, physicians, and governmental entities.  Prior to joining Brener & Kraus Firm, she was part of the litigation team representing the State of Louisiana in its claim arising from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. 

Susannah attended the University of the South – Sewanee, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in History. She obtained her Juris Doctor degree from Tulane University Law School. While at Tulane, she practiced as a student attorney in the Environmental Law Clinic.

Email Susannah: smckinney@brenerlawfirm.com



Lily takes great pleasure in greeting clients, and she provides comfort to both the clients and attorneys in periods of stress.  She takes her responsibilities very seriously, and rarely misses a day of work.

Contact Us for a Consultation



Brener & Kraus Law Firm, LLC 
3640 Magazine Street
New Orleans, LA 70115

Phone: 504-302-7802
Email: tkeller@brenerlawfirm.com

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