Walters, Papillion, Thomas, Cullens, LLC
12345 Perkins Rd
Baton Rouge , LA 70810
Monday to Friday 7:30am – 5:00pm
Saturday – Sunday Closed
Michelle Sorrells Personal Injury Lawyer
Walters, Papillion, Thomas, Cullens, LLC
Michelle McCune Sorrells is of counsel to Walters, Thomas, Cullens, and concentrates her practice in the area of workers’ compensation law. She has represented injured workers since 1995, and is often consulted by attorneys across the state and country in complex workers’ compensation matters. She is very knowledgeable regarding the interplay of workers’ compensation claims with third party tort claims. Tort attorneys frequently consult her regarding workers’ compensation interventions in an effort to maximize the recovery of the claimant. She is also highly skilled in protecting injured workers rights and minimizing Social Security Disability offsets when both workers’ compensation benefits and SSDI are being received, or potentially could be received. Additionally, she is one of first attorneys in Louisiana to implement Medicare Set Asides in workers’ compensation settlements, and she has been a leader in the legal community educating attorneys on Medicare Set Asides and their importance when settling most workers’ compensation claims.
In addition to her skills representing injured workers, Ms. Sorrells is active in the legal community. She is a member of Louisiana Association for Justice, and is very involved in the workers’ compensation Section of this organization. She is also a member of several other local, statewide and national legal groups including the Louisiana State Bar Association, the Louisiana Bar Foundation, Wex Malone American Inn of Court, and the Baton Rouge Bar Association. She is currently serving her second term as the co–chairman of the workers’ compensation Section of the Baton Rouge Bar Association. She was a founding member and served as the treasurer and membership chairman for the Louisiana Disabled Workers Network (DAWN). This group of select attorneys persevered to protect injured workers rights through the drafting of legislation and actively lobbying and testifying in committee hearings to defeat proposals by big business to reduce employees rights. As a member of DAWN, Ms. Sorrells drafted legislation and argued before the Senate hearing committee to pass a law that increased the burial expenses for workers who died as a result of work–related accidents. She is a member WILG, or Workers Injury Law & Advocacy Group, which is a national non–profit membership organization dedicated to representing the interests of millions of workers and their families who, each year, suffer the consequences of workplace injuries and illnesses. She is also a founding member of the state affiliate of WILG, Louisiana Workers Advocates, and presently services as a co–chairman of its membership committee.
Ms. Sorrells spends considerable time lecturing on workers’ compensation issues, particularly the interaction of Social Security Disability and Medicare in workers’ compensation claims. At the request of the Director of the Office of workers’ compensation and the Chief Judge, she presented a seminar to all of the workers’ compensation judges and statewide mediators concerning the correlation between workers’ compensation benefits and Social Security Disability Benefits as well as the importance and necessity of Medicare Set Asides and when they are applicable. She was also asked to educate the Second Injury Board of Medicares interests in workers’ compensation claims, and the role Medicare Set Asides play in workers’ compensation settlements. She was also appointed by the Director of the Office of workers’ compensation as the injured worker representative to convert the present filing system of the OWC to electronic filing. Ms. Sorrells has also taught continuing education courses to new attorneys, helping them learn how to represent injured workers.
Michelle McCune Sorrells was born in Baton Rouge, LA in 1970, and earned an undergraduate degree in journalism from Louisiana State University in 1991 where she was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa and numerous other honorary societies. She was on the executive committee of Delta Zeta Sorority, and still remains active as their legal advisor.
Ms. Sorrells attended LSU Law School on scholarship and earned her degree in 1995 where she was the recipient of the American Bar Association Section of Labor & Employment Law and the Bureau of National Affairs, Inc.’s Award for excellence in the Study of Labor and Employment Law. Upon graduation, Ms. Sorrells immediately began practicing in the area of workers’ compensation, primarily focusing on the rights of the injured worker. She aggressively litigates her claims, and she has even reversed the trial court and appellate court after arguing before the Louisiana Supreme Court in the landmark decision of Wise v. J.E. Merit. This important case law corrected a split in the circuits concerning the interpretation of La. R.S. 23:1208.1 which employers often use to try to deny employees workers’ compensation claims. Following the Wise decision, the statute is now strictly construed and makes it much more difficult for the employer to prevail using this defense.
J.D., Louisiana State University Law Center, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, 1995
Honors: LSU Board of Supervisor’s Scholarship, Fall 1992-August, 1994
Honors: Chancellor’s List, Fall 1994, Spring, 1995
Honors: American Bar Association Section of Labor & Employment Law and the Bureau of National Affairs, Inc.’s Award for the excellence in the Study of Labor and Employment Law
Honors: Rank 1/76, Louisiana Civil Procedure II
B.A., Louisiana State University, 1991
Honors: LSU Honor Scholarship
Honors: GPA: 3.6 of 4.0
Honors: Phi Beta Kappa
Honors: Omicron Delta Kappa Honor and Leadership Society
Honors: Kappa Alpha Tau, Honor Society for top 10% of Journalism School
Honors: Mu Sigma Rho, Honorary Scholastic Society
Honors: Alpha Lambda Delta, Honorary Scholastic Society
Honors: Delta Zeta Sorority, Executive Council, 2 years
Honors: Order of Omega, Honor Society for Greek Leaders
Honors: Rho Lambda, Panhellenic Honor Society
Bar AdmissionsLouisiana, 1995
U.S. District Court Eastern District of Louisiana, 1995
U.S. District Court Western District of Louisiana, 1995
U.S. District Court Middle District of Louisiana, 1995
U.S. Court of Appeals 5th Circuit, 1995