Dee Penner is the Founder of Penner Law. The daughter and granddaughter of small farmers, Dee is passionate about providing quality legal representation to landowners who have been wrongly deprived of their rights. She has litigated a wide variety of property rights claims in both state and federal court, and has briefed appellate matters before the Louisiana Supreme Court, Louisiana Courts of Appeals, and the U.S. Fifth Circuit. Dee represents clients in a variety of civil litigation matters, including unfair trade practices claims, pipeline trespass cases, property damage cases, land-loss cases, and toxic torts. She has represented several landowners sued by pipeline companies which were trying to seize their land for pennies on the dollar. Dee works for small and large landowners facing companies seeking pipeline right-of-ways or leases. She helps draft wills and organize small succession affidavits so that small landowners can cure any problems they might have proving that they own the land that was passed down to them by their kin. Finally, Dee also fights for justice for victims of railgrade crossing collisions.
Dee handles all aspects of litigation from client intake through trial. She is ranked as one of the top 100 civil trial lawyers in Louisiana by the National Trial Lawyers. Since 2018, Dee has been selected as a Super Lawyers Louisiana Rising Star, an honor given to no more than 2.5 percent of the lawyers in Louisiana.
Prior to founding Penner Law, Dee worked as an associate at two of Louisiana's best plaintiffs' firms handling land contamination cases, commercial litigation, maritime cases, and personal injury lawsuits. During that time period, she represented over 150 clients and handled trials, mediations, hearings, and depositions.
Dee earned her JD at Loyola University New Orleans College of Law and her LLM in Environmental Law from Tulane University. She is working to get an Executive LLM in Litigation Management at Baylor University.. Dee earned a Ph.D. in history from the University of California at Berkeley. She was a tenured history professor at the University of Memphis and the Director of the Benjamin L. Hooks Institute for Social Change before she traded academia for the law. The author of two books, Dee has also written two law review articles and regularly publishes blogs on issues important to landowners.
Raised on a farm near a small town – population 200 -- Dee grew up working in her father's soybean fields and driving tractors from an early age.
She lives in Lafayette, Louisiana, a stone's throw away from the Atchafalaya Basin, and enjoys hiking, cooking, reading, and traveling.
Dee has published two books, including a book on the forced famine of 1932-1933 in Communist Russia and its impact on oppressed farming people and a book about New Orleanians who triumphed over the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina through hard work, faith, creativity, and perseverance.
In 2020, Dee secured a settlement for a family group LLC, a family trust, and an individual family member against a global fortune 500 company for two trespassing oxygen and nitrogen pipelines in Calcasieu Parish.
In 2019, Dee was second chair in a jury trial on a side-swipe collision that resulted in an award of 1.5 million dollars.
In 2019, Dee secured a settlement for 125 plaintiffs against Azimuth Energy, Aspect Energy, and Gulf South Pipeline Company for a trespassing flow line and above-ground valve operator on the Dufrene family's marsh land.
From 2016-2018, Dee orchestrated the electronic discovery process in a complicated unfair trade practices case that provided the evidence that proved that the departing general manager of Lake Charles Rubber and Gasket and his associates left with no less than 14,532 business files, which were used to start and run a competing business.
In 2017, Dee successfully defended the seller of property in Calcasieu Parish, who properly disclosed the presence of wetlands on the property to her realtor, prevailing on summary judgment against the buyer.
In 2017, Dee also negotiated a favorable settlement with Enterprise Products that rebuffed the unfair terms Enterprise had attempted to bully the Miller family into accepting, thereby protecting the family's honor.
In 2016, Dee secured a settlement for the same Miller family in a lawsuit over a 500-foot pipeline placed by Shell Oil Company on the family's property without its permission and operated for approximately ten years.
In 2016, she won asylum for Karla Herrera, an 18-year-old abuse victim from Honduras.
B.A. – California State University, Fresno, 1989
M.A. – University of California at Berkeley, 1991
Ph.D. – University of California at Berkeley 1995
J.D. – Loyola New Orleans, 2012
LLM – Tulane University, 2015
Executive LLM – Baylor University (expected December 2021)
Admissions and Certifications
State Bar of Louisiana
United States District Court for the Western District of Louisiana
United States District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana
United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana
United States Court of Appeal for the Fifth Circuit
United States Supreme Court
Member, National Trial Lawyers Top 100 (2020)
Rising Star Super Lawyers (2018-2021)
State Bar of Louisiana
Louisiana Association for Justice
American Association for Justice
The Christian Trial Lawyers Association