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James E.A. Slaton concentrates his practice on commercial real estate, construction, and finance law as well as land use and zoning matters.  He counsels businesses of all sizes and individuals through transactions ranging from the highly complex financing and development of large commercial campuses to the leasing of retail space or acquisition of property for a small business owner.  His real estate practice allows James to positively impact the community around him, whether it’s through the development of historic properties in the center of the city or office parks and manufacturing facilities on the outskirts.

Representative Matters

  • Represented a developer in the multi-phase development of a 72-acre mixed use site, including an office park and retail uses. Assisted the client in acquiring and assembling parcels, drafting the CCR's governing the site, negotiating a complex build-to-suit lease with a major international tenant and the sale of portions of the site to third-party developers.
  • Advised an international chemical company on zoning and land use matters in connection with the development of a large chemical manufacturing campus in south Louisiana.
  • Represented a heavy construction company in the purchase of a 60-acre industrial site for the development of a materials plant for a major market expansion.
  • Represented an automobile dealer in the purchase and development of two auto dealerships on 12 acres, which anchor a new phase of an adjacent shopping center development.
  • Represented a Canadian energy company with the development of proposed natural gas storage projects, including the acquisition of the main storage sites and corresponding pipeline and related easements, due diligence, permitting, and financing.
  • Represented an international oil and gas services company in the reorganization of its Louisiana facilities, including the sale and acquisition of various sites and negotiation of a lease for a 17-acre primary operations site.
  • Acted as local counsel to a Chicago-based hotel developer in the acquisition and $10 million redevelopment of a historic hotel property in New Orleans.
  • Represented a municipality in the acquisition of a large, privately-owned sewerage and water system, including numerous fee-owned parcels, servitude agreements, water wells, sewer treatment plants, and platted rights and facilities in roughly 135 subdivisions and service areas, in addition to facilities serving commercial customers.

Professional & Civic Activities

Professional and Civic Activities

  • American College of Real Estate Lawyers (ACREL) fellow.
  • American College of Mortgage Attorneys fellow.
  • American Bar Association's Real Property, Trust and Estate Law (RPTE) Section Council member, Chair of the Real Property Governmental Submissions Committee, member of the Continuing Legal Education Committee; former Chair of the Land Use and Zoning Group and former Chair of the Purchase and Sale Committee.
  • Louisiana State Bar Association member.
  • Baton Rouge Bar Association member.
  • Center for Planning Excellence Board of Directors former member.

Honors & Awards

Honors & Awards

  • Best Lawyers in America 2014 – 2024.
    • "Lawyer of the Year" Baton Rouge for Real Estate Law 2017.
  • Chambers and Partners 2021 – 2023.
  • Louisiana Super Lawyers 2020 – 2023.
  • New Orleans Magazine "Top Lawyer" 2012 and 2013.

News & Events


"Lay of the Land Webinar Series:  Purchase and Sale Agreements," panelist, American Bar Association Section of Real Property, Trusts & Estate Law CLE, May 4, 2022.

"Don't be Casual about Casualty Provisions," panelist, American Bar Association Section of Real Property, Trusts & Estate Law National CLE Conference, April 27, 2022.

Saturday Roundtable:  "The Court of Public Opinion:  Legal Opinion Battleground Topics," panelist, American College of Real Estate Lawyers March 2022 Mid-Year Meeting.

"Ignorance is Not Bliss:  Exploring Environmental Risks in Lease Transactions," panelist, American College of Real Estate Lawyers Fall 2020 Meeting.

"Lawyers, Guns and Money - Firearms and Other Premises Liability Concerns in a Turbulent Time," American College of Real Estate Lawyers and American Bar Association Section of Real Property, Trust & Estate Law eCLE webinar, February 13, 2019.

"How to Get the Government Approvals You Need and the Incentives You Want," American Bar Association Section of Real Property, Trusts & Estate Law eCLE webinar, January 16, 2019.

"Ethics in Planning," Louisiana Smart Growth Summit, November 13, 2018.

"Premises Liability Implications of Mass Shooting Events," Association of Corporate Counsel, Louisiana Chapter, October 31, 2018.

"Beyond Slip and Fall: Premises Liability in an Age of Mass Shootings," American College of Real Estate Lawyers 2018 Spring Meeting, March 24, 2018.

"Zoning Considerations," National Business Institute Attorneys' Guide to Local Government Law seminar, November 9, 2015.

"Fundamentals of Commercial Real Estate:  Zoning and Land Use," American Bar Association (ABA) eCLE series, May 27, 2015.

"Land Use Law," Legal Issues for Louisiana Civil Engineers and Surveyors, May 6, 2015.

"Fundamentals of Commercial Real Estate: Commercial Real Estate Development," panelist, American Bar Association (ABA) eCLE series, May 21, 2013.

“Master the Message,” panelist, Smart Growth Summit, November 27, 2012, Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

“Balancing the Scales of Justice and Your Life,” panelist, New Orleans Bar Association (NOBA) Big Easy Bootcamp, October 19, 2012, and October 15, 2010, New Orleans, Louisiana.

“On the Waterfront and Other Shooting Locales -- What to Know About Site Selection Agreements,” panelist, NOBA Real Property Committee meeting, April 24, 2012, New Orleans, Louisiana.

"Property Rights, Political Drama and Smart Growth: The Challenge of Sustainable Development in 2011,” moderator, American Bar Association (ABA) 2011 Annual Meeting, August 5, 2011, Toronto, Ontario and live webcast and teleconference ABA eCLE program on December 7, 2011.

"Financing the Deal 101," moderator, Urban Land Institute program, July 19, 2011, New Orleans.

"Liquor License Issues in Real Property Transactions," speaker, NOBA Real Property Committee Meeting, February 25, 2010, New Orleans, Louisiana.


  • “Navigating the Political Challenges to Sustainable Development,” author, ABA Probate & Property magazine, July/August 2012.
  • Louisiana Civil Practice Forms, Real Estate, 2005-present. Annually review, update and edit the real estate legal forms chapter of the West Publishing practice forms series for Louisiana.
  • "Storming the Castle: Surrendering the Sanctity of the Home to the Will of the Masses -- Amending Building Restrictions Under 1999 La. Acts 309," Louisiana Law Review, Vol. 60, No. 3, Spring 2000.

Practice Areas

Bar Admissions

  • Louisiana


Paul M. Hebert Law Center at Louisiana State University, J.D., 2001

  • Order of the Coif
  • Member, Louisiana Law Review

Louisiana State University, B.A. in Mass Communications, 1994

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