Patrick M. "Rick" Shelby

Patrick M. "Rick" Shelby

Phelps Dunbar LLP

Recognized since 2019

New Orleans, Louisiana

Practice Areas

Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights / Insolvency and Reorganization Law

Litigation - Bankruptcy

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Rick Shelby is an experienced attorney who specializes in bankruptcy, restructuring, oil and gas litigation, commercial litigation and corporate governance. His representation includes secured and unsecured creditors, trustees, committees, and debtors. Mr. Shelby has handled virtually all aspects of bankruptcy work from complex chapter 11 cases representing debtors, creditors’ committees and secured creditors to consumer bankruptcy cases in chapter 7 and 13. He has recently represented debtors and creditors in successful reorganizations including the following proceedings where he has acted as counsel in various capacities: Port Aggregates, Inc., Harvest Oil & Gas, LLC, Pel-Tex Oil Company, LLC; FEC Lafayette, LLC; Advocate Financial, LLC; New Orleans Paddlewheels and Virgin Offshore USA.

Mr. Shelby also represents clients in all aspects of oil and gas litigation including the Louisiana Oil Well Lien Act (LOWLA), master service agreements, permitting, adjudication, lease renewals, work orders, and decommissioning offshore projects. Most recently, he represented a Chapter 11 trustee in negotiating and crafting a unique agreement with the debtor, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) and the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) to address issues on funding shortfalls and the debtor’s inability to meet federal regulations.

Mr. Shelby has also served as counsel in all areas of trial preparation including motion practice, discovery, depositions, mediations, mock trials, expert submissions and challenges, motions in limine and pre-trial planning. He has appeared before all federal and bankruptcy courts in Louisiana, and argued before the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in 2012.

Prior to practicing law, Mr. Shelby worked for 15 years as an engineer and technical sales representative for the largest producer of crushed aggregates in the United States. In 2008, he earned his J.D., summa cum laude, from Loyola University where he was a member of Loyola Law Review. In 2007, he was honored with the American Bankruptcy Institute’s Medal of Excellence in Bankruptcy. He actively volunteers with the New Orleans Pro Bono Project receiving the Century Award for pro bono representation in 2011 and named to 2015 Honor Roll. In 2014, Mr. Shelby was chosen to receive the Leadership in Law medal from the New Orleans’ CityBusiness magazine in recognition of his commitment to pro bono clients. Mr. Shelby frequently speaks in front of various organizations and professional associations on topics related to bankruptcy and oil and gas, most notably as a recent presenter for the 61st Mineral Law Institute.


  • 365 Canal Street, Suite 2000
    New Orleans, LA 70130-6534


  • Loyola University New Orleans, J.D., graduated 2008
  • Oregon State University, M.S., graduated 1995
  • Auburn University, B.C.E., graduated 1992

Bar Admissions

  • Louisiana, Louisiana
  • Florida, Florida


  • American Bar Association - Member
  • Federal Bar Association - Member
  • Louisiana State Bar Association - Member
  • New Orleans Bar Association - Member
  • Turnaround Management Association - Member

Phelps Dunbar LLP
Headquarters: New Orleans, Louisiana

156 The Best Lawyers in America® awards

43 Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch® in America awards

Best Law Firms Badge Full Firm Profile

Recognized in The Best Lawyers® in America 2023 for work in:

  • Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights / Insolvency and Reorganization Law
  • Litigation - Bankruptcy


  • Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights / Insolvency and Reorganization Law (2019-2021), Litigation - Bankruptcy (2020-2021), The Best Lawyers in America
  • Louisiana Super Lawyers list (2019-2020) & Rising Star list (2014-2018), Super Lawyers
  • Leadership in Law Honoree, New Orleans CityBusiness (2019)
  • Leadership in Law Award, New Orleans CityBusiness (2015)
  • Top Lawyer, New Orleans Magazine (2013)
  • Pro Bono Century Award, New Orleans Pro Bono Project (2011)

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The Next Chapter

by Patrick M. Shelby

Among its uncountable other disruptions, the pandemic upended U.S. bankruptcy procedures. Congressional relief, legislative changes, amended legal provisions: What lies ahead for those looking to file?


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