"If I meet with someone and they're not certain about me, I always insist they take a night to decide if I'm the right lawyer for them," Galante says. "Ultimately, it's all about you, rather than me."
This shared client dedication and a love of New Orleans is what brought these two former Tulane law school classmates together to form their law practice. After graduating in 2000, the two gained invaluable knowledge in the areas of criminal law, environmental law and business litigation by working for established law firms. Galante left New Orleans in 2004, but he was back a year later after deciding New Orleans was home. He started his own practice soon after.
Bivalacqua knew he wanted to join Galante, but Katrina proved the final impetus for his decision.
"After the storm hit, I was interested in doing something to rebuild my hometown," Bivalacqua says. "Starting a new business is my way of saying I'm in it for the long haul."
With an office in the CBD and a Tulane Law School student clerking for them, they are working long hours in order to ensure they earn their clients' trust and business. They stress that they will always be the kind of lawyers you can get on the phone, not hiding behind a secretary. Bivalacqua adds that although he and Galante can offer abundant legal experience, their greatest specialty is a fundamental one: winning. A Toast to First Responders The Red Maple Restaurant (1036 Lafayette St., Gretna, 367-0935; www. theredmaple.com) is holding a special event to raise money for local first responders Aug. 29. On that day, customers who buy a commemorative glass will receive free refills of beer, wine or hurricanes, and will be treated to food and entertainment. They also can purchase tickets for a chance to win prizes in a raffle. All proceeds will go to support first responders.