Christopher J. Couch, Managing Member
Christopher J. Couch is a Founding Member and Managing Partner of Couch, Conville & Blitt, a multi-state law firm focusing upon representation of the financial services industry. CCB maintains offices in Louisiana, Texas, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Arkansas. His legal practice further focuses in the areas of Creditors’ Rights, Commercial Litigation, General Business Counseling, and Collateral Lending. He represents a wide variety of clients, including collateral lenders, national banks, finance lessors, credit grantors, debt purchasers, collection agencies, local corporations, and several publicly traded corporations.
In 2018, Chris was appointed to the Louisiana Insurance Commissioner’s Title Insurance Advisory Council.
In May 2016, Mr. Couch was selected for CityBusiness Magazine's 2016 Leadership in Law class. As a third time honoree, Chris was inducted into the Leadership in Law Hall of Fame. He was recognized as one of New Orleans’ Leaders In Law by New Orleans CityBusiness in 2009, 2010 and 2016.
He is a 2012 graduate of New Orleans Regional Leadership Institute 2012 Leadership Program.
In 2013, Mr. Couch was recognized by CityBusiness as one of the top 50 financial professionals whose fiscal work has set the pace for their company and received the Money Maker Award. That same year, he spoke at the National Association of Retail Collection Attorneys Spring Conference in Las Vegas on Preparing for the "new Normal" Compliance Environment- Keeping Ahead of the Audit Curve.
He has lectured nationally on a variety of topics, such as Compliance, Disaster Planning & Recovery, and Law Office Management. Mr. Couch served as the Co-Chairman of the Future Leadership Committee for the National Association of Retail Collection Attorneys (“NARCA”). From October 2005 through January 2008, he served as a member of the Board of Directors of NARCA. From January 2008- October 2009, he served as Parliamentarian to the President of NARCA.
Mr. Couch is also a member of the La Bar Association.
Mr. Couch is a 2000 graduate of the Paul M. Hebert Law Center at Louisiana State University. He is licensed to practice before all Courts of Louisiana.
Mr. Couch is a 1997 graduate of the University of New Orleans. He also received a Certificate for attending the summer scholar program at George Washington School of Political Management.
Mr. Couch has published a variety of articles related to the compliance, audit, lending and legal collections, law office management and disaster planning and recovery.
He is also a co-author of the Louisiana Law of Pawn, 3d. Edition, 1999. Chris is also Of Counsel with the Loeb Law Firm.
J. Ward Conville, Member
J. Ward Conville is a founding member of Couch, Conville & Blitt. He was an associate of Babovich, Spedale & Chauvin from 2004 through 2007. He is the lead litigation attorney for the States of Mississippi and Tennessee. His practice focuses upon foreclosures, replevin, and a variety of commercial and consumer legal collection matters.
Mr. Conville is a 1996 graduate of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He obtained his law degree from the University of Mississippi in 1999.
He is licensed to practice in all Courts of Mississippi and Tennessee. Mr. Conville is a member of the Commercial Law League of America (CLLA).
Fred N. Blitt, Member
Fred N. Blitt is a founding member of Couch, Conville & Blitt. While Fred’s practice is limited to the State of Illinois, he participates in marketing and executive level decision making at the Firm.
In 2011, Mr. Blitt was recognized as one of the Top 25 Most Influential People in the Credit and Collection Industry.
He currently serves as Immediate Past President of the National Association of Retail Collection Attorneys (NARCA). He was President from 2009-2011, in addition to serving as a member of the NARCA Board of Directors from 2001-2007. Mr. Blitt is also a member of Illinois Bar Association, Commercial Law League of America (CLLA) and Debt Buyer’s Association (DBA).
Mr. Blitt is a 1988 graduate of the John Marshall Law School. He is licensed to practice before all Courts of Illinois.
Bradley J. Chauvin, Partner
Bradley J Chauvin is the Lead collection counsel and Senior Louisiana Litigator with the firm. He has been with the firm and its predecessors for over 20 years. He has gained a reputation as an aggressive advocate for his clients, but Fair opponent.. He has had extensive experience in prosecuting and defending creditors' claims. His practice includes commercial and consumer legal collections for many of the Firm’s local and national clients.
Mr. Chauvin acts for the rights of his clients in the legislature as well. He co-authored and actively supported passage of the former Louisiana Collection Agency Regulation Act, the Louisiana Pawnshop Act, and has helped draft and pass revisions to various other Louisiana business and collection related statutes.
Mr. Chauvin has guest lectured at Loyola University School of Law, for Dun & Bradstreet, for the National Association of Credit Managers, and throughout the state on business and collection law issues. He co-authored the 1990, 1993, and 1999 Louisiana Law of Pawn.
Mr. Chauvin is a member of the Louisiana State Bar Association, Jefferson Bar Association and the Commercial Law League of America. He is licensed before all of the courts of Louisiana, the United States District Court for the Eastern and Middle Districts of Louisiana, and the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Mr. Chauvin was licensed in the area of property and casualty with the Louisiana Insurance Commission for 10 years and has held a solicitor's license with the Louisiana Real Estate Commission for 25 years.
Mr. Chauvin is a 1990 graduate of Loyola University School of Law. During law school, he clerked for the United States Army Corps of Engineers in New Orleans and subsequently for Babovich & Spedale, a predecessor firm. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Marketing from Loyola University of the South.
Benjamin G. Lambert, Partner
Benjamin G. Lambert's practice focuses upon consumer legal collections and creditor’s defense. He is licensed to practice in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Tennessee.
Mr. Lambert graduated from Rhodes College in Memphis, TN in 2007 with Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration and Economics. In 2010, he graduated from Loyola University of New Orleans College of Law, where he served as President of the Trial Advocacy Program.
Prior to graduating from law school, Mr. Lambert was an intern for the Honorable Eldon E. Fallon in the Eastern District of Louisiana and the Orleans Parish District Attorney’s Office. Mr. Lambert joined the Firm in August of 2010.
Kris B. Hayes, Partner
Mrs. Balekian Hayes is licensed and litigates in Texas, Georgia, Oklahoma and Missouri. In her role at CCB, she manages all litigation efforts in the states wherein she practices. She will also assist with client services and business development. Kris is supported by the New Orleans Management Team, Associate Attorneys and staff in both the Houston and Dallas offices.
Mrs. Balekian Hayes holds a JD from St. Mary’s University School of Law in San Antonio, along with a MBA from St. Mary’s University School of Business. She earned a Bachelor of Business Administration Degree from Southern Methodist University.
Mrs. Balekian Hayes is a member of the National Creditors Bar Association, Association of Trial Lawyers of America, and is involved with the National Recording Academy.
James N. Hull
James N Hull is a Senior Associate Texas Litigator. His practice focuses upon creditors' rights and commercial and consumer litigation and collections.
Mr. Hull attended undergraduate school at the University of Texas where he received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Chemical Engineering. His Doctor of Jurisprudence degree was obtained at Bates College of Law at the University of Houston in 1975 where he was a member of the Order of the Baron.
Mr. Hull is a member of the Houston Bar Association, the American Bar Association, the Commercial Law League of America and the National Association of Retail Collection Attorneys.
W. James Sears
W. James Sears is the Managing Attorney for the Alabama office of Couch, Conville, & Blitt. The Alabama office serves a variety of clients, including national banks, finance lessors, debt purchasers, local corporations, and several publically traded corporations. James litigates commercial and retail collection lawsuits throughout the State of Alabama, as well as creditor's rights lawsuits. In addition to Creditor Rights and Collection law, he has also litigated in the areas of Personal Injury, Mass Tort litigation, and Criminal Law. James is licensed to practice throughout Alabama, the U.S. Northern District Court for Alabama, and the U.S. Middle District Court for Alabama.
James received his J.D. from Samford University's Cumberland School of Law where he was a competing member of the National Trial Team, an Executive Board Member of the Trial Advocacy Board, served as the P.H. Williams Director, and was awarded a Scholar of Merit Award for Business Planning. He received his B.A. in History from Loyola University New Orleans.
James, a Birmingham native, currently serves as a Junior Patron Board Member for the Birmingham Museum of Art, is a charter member of Y.P. Civitan Birmingham Chapter, and is a member of St. Paul's Catholic Church.
Lisa L Meggs
Lisa L. Meggs is an Associate Mississippi Litigator. In her role she coordinates court appearances for our Mississippi attorneys and successfully litigates a large volume of our cases. She is licensed to practice in Mississippi and Alabama
Previously, Ms. Meggs worked as an associate for the Pegram Law Office (1994-1997) specializing in bankruptcy and Social Security disability. In 1997, she opened her own law office with a general practice, including creditors' rights in bankruptcy and domestic relations. In addition, Ms. Meggs has served as adjunct professor of business law at the University of Mississippi, and as an assistant professor of Paralegal Studies at the Mississippi University of Women. Ms. Meggs was also appointed as a Special Assistant Attorney General under Attorney General Mike Moore in 2002 for the purpose of prosecuting financially neglectful parents in the state of Mississippi.
Ms. Meggs graduated Cum Laude from Mississippi State University in 1992 with a Bachelor of Business Administration, with an emphasis in Management. In 1994, she graduated from the University of Mississippi Law School, where she served on the Moot Court Board and was selected to be a member of the Mississippi Law Journal.
Ms. Meggs has been admitted to all State and Federal courts in the State of Mississippi and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. Ms. Meggs has also been admitted to the Federal courts of Alabama, California, Florida, New York, and Texas for 2007 and 2008 in conjunction with multi-million dollar litigation involving interstate commerce and the trucking industry.
Malea Ann Higdon
Malea Ann Higdon is an Associate Litigator in the Alabama Office of Couch, Conville & Blitt, LLC. The Alabama office serves a variety of clients, including national banks, finance lessors, debt purchasers, local corporations, and several publically traded corporations. Her practice focuses upon consumer legal collections and creditor's defense. She is licensed to practice in both Alabama and Mississippi state courts.
Mrs. Higdon received her J.D. cum laude from the University Of Mississippi School Of Law with an honors certificate in criminal law. She earned her B.S. in History with a minor in Political Science from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
Prior to graduating from law school, Mrs. Higdon was an intern for the Shelby County District Attorney General's Office in Memphis, TN, and the Mississippi Department of Human Services, Child Support Enforcement Division. Mrs. Higdon also volunteered with the North MS Rural Legal Services in Oxford, MS. Mrs. Higdon joined the Firm in December of 2012.
Malea is a charter member of Y.P. Civitan Birmingham Chapter, and serves with the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Alabama.
Sarena Y. Gaylor
Sarena Y. Gaylor is an Associate Louisiana Litigator. Her practice focuses upon consumer legal collections and creditor's defense. She is licensed to practice in Louisiana.
Ms. Gaylor graduated from Paul M. Hebert Law Center at Louisiana State University with a Juris Doctor and Diploma in Comparative Law in 2013. She obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy of Law, Morality & Society and Physical Anthropology from Tulane University in 2009.
Prior to graduating from law school, Ms. Gaylor clerked at CCB, Southeast Louisiana Legal Services' Family Law Division, and interned for Judge Guy Holdridge of the 23rd Judicial District Court. Ms. Gaylor joined the firm in September 2013.
J. Scott Loeb, Of Counsel
Scott Loeb serves as Of Counsel with CCB. In his role as Of Counsel, he is the lead litigator on all defense related matters, mortgage foreclosures, and transactional matters.
Previously, Scott worked for Ernst & Young, LLP in the areas of comprehensive financial statement auditing, tax analysis and preparation of financial statements for a diverse client base in the energy, gaming, insurance and health care industries.
Mr. Loeb is a 1998 graduate of the Paul M. Hebert Law Center at Louisiana State University. He is also a graduate of Baker University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting and Business. Scott is a member of the Louisiana State Bar Association, American Bar Association, New Orleans Bar Association and Federal Bar Association. He is admitted to practice in all Louisiana state courts and the Louisiana Supreme Court, U.S. District and Bankruptcy Courts for the Eastern, Middle, and Western District of Louisiana, and the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.
Mr. Loeb is the co-author of Lifetime Business, Financial, Retirement, and Estate Planning- Plus A Will. Scott volunteers as an assistant bar examiner for the Louisiana State Bar Exam.
Jeremy L. Nusloch
Jeremy L. Nusloch is an Associate Litigator. His practice focuses on consumer legal collections and creditor’s defense. He is licensed to practice in Louisiana and Texas.
Mr. Nusloch graduated from Loyola University of New Orleans College of Law in 2009 with a Juris Doctor. He obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Communications with a Minor in English from the University of New Orleans in 2003.
Prior to graduating law school, Mr. Nusloch clerked for New Orleans Legal Assistance, Orleans Public Defenders and participated in the Loyola Law Clinic as a student prosecutor for the Orleans Parish District Attorney’s Office.
Prior to joining CCB, Mr. Nusloch worked as a staff attorney for both Acadiana Legal Service Corporation and Southeast Louisiana Legal Services, where he focused on foreclosure and consumer legal collections defense. He is licensed before all of the courts of Louisiana, Texas, and the United States District Court for the Eastern and Middle Districts of Louisiana. Mr. Nusloch joined the firm in October 2014.
Autumn Chastain is the Managing Attorney in the Tennessee Office of Couch, Conville & Blitt, LLC. Autumn graduated with her Bachelor of Arts from Rhodes College and received her Juris Doctorate from the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law.
While an undergraduate at Rhodes, she competed with their acclaimed national championship Rhodes mock trial program and won individual performance awards at the regional and national level. After graduation, she went on to serve as the Attorney Coach for the program for 10 years. In law school, she was the recipient of several CALI Excellence for the Future Awards and competed in the moot court and mock trial program. As a third year, she participated in advanced learning programs such as a death penalty externship and an intensive in human trafficking.
As a trial attorney, Autumn founded the firm in 2001. She has over 15 years of experience in the courtroom and you will rarely find her sitting at the office. Autumn has argued cases at the state, federal, and appellate levels. Autumn possesses a powerful presence in the courtroom and has tried cases ranging from first degree murder and drug conspiracy to child custody and contractual disputes. Whatever the nature of the case, Autumn approaches each with complete client care and dedication.
When not in the courtroom, Autumn travels the state lecturing for attorneys, judges, and others in areas involving trial techniques and legal issues affecting child welfare, delinquencies, and ethics. She is conversationally fluent in Spanish and puts this to use by volunteering with programs to assist the Spanish speaking community and offers Pro Bono assistance to organizations dedicated to rescuing individuals from the dark world of human trafficking.
In promoting education and experience in the field of law, Autumn serves as a mentor to new attorneys and provides opportunity for interns from the undergraduate and law school levels to participate in the daily experience of practicing law.
Blake J. Guidry
Blake J. Guidry is an Associate Louisiana Litigator. His practice focuses upon consumer legal collections and creditor’s defense. He is licensed to practice in all Louisiana state courts and the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana.
Mr. Guidry graduated from Louisiana State University in 2012 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Finance. In 2015, he graduated from Loyola University of New Orleans College of Law with a Juris Doctor and Loyola University College of Business with a Masters in Business Administration.
During law school, Mr. Guidry was an intern for the Honorable Jay C. Zainey in the Eastern District of Louisiana and the Honorable Fredericka Homberg Wicker in the Louisiana Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. Mr. Guidry also clerked for Offner & Scott, APLC as well as Babovich & Spedale, a predecessor firm. He joined the firm in September 2015.
Randall C. Roth
Randall C. Roth is an associate member of the Firm whose work is concentrated in the area of compliance. He has been with the Firm for about a year and a half. Prior to coming to the Firm Mr. Roth was an in-house counsel for Hibernia National Bank and Capital One N A; associate in-house counsel for The Resolution Trust Corporation; and in-house counsel for Oak Tree Savings Bank of New Orleans. His areas of practice were consumer and commercial collection and loan workouts. He also did work in the area of creditors rights in Banrkruptcy matters and assisted outside bank counsel in several defensive matters.
Mr. Roth is a graduate of Loyola University of New Orleans School of Law where he earned a Juris Doctorate in 1978. He earned his under graduate degree, a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology, from the University of New Orleans in 1975.
Mr. Roth also volunteers at the National World War II Museum, The Burden Rural Life Museum in Baton Rouge Louisiana and serves on the District Shooting Sports Committee for the New Orleans area Boy Scouts of America. In conjunction with his museum interests Mr. Roth is a certified Interpretive Guide and maintains membership in the National Association of Interpretation (NAI).
Jeffrey M. Toepfer
Jeffrey M. Toepfer is an Associate Louisiana Litigator. His practice focuses upon consumer legal collections and creditor’s defense. He is licensed to practice in all Louisiana state courts.
Mr. Toepfer graduated from Loyola University of New Orleans College of Law in 2016 with a Juris Doctor. He obtained a Bachelor of Science in Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Administration from the University of New Orleans in 2012.
During law school, Mr. Toepfer worked as a law clerk for a small plaintiff firm in New Orleans where he worked on personal injury matters, class actions, medical malpractice, and workers compensation. He joined the firm in November 2016.
Laura graduated with her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Memphis and received her law degree from the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphrey’s School of Law. While in law school, Laura competed with the moot court program and won individual performance awards for Best Oral Advocate. She also served on the Executive Board for the Moot Court program, and organized the Freshman Moot Court Competition. As a trial attorney, Laura joined the firm in 2017. She has over eight years of experience in the courtroom, and you will rarely find her sitting at the office. Laura has experience arguing cases at the state, federal, and appellate levels, including petitioning for Certiorari to the United States Supreme Court. Laura has a confident presence in the court room and focuses her practice on representing children in Juvenile Court. Laura is licensed in Tennessee and Arkansas.
Laura A. Guliuzo
Laura A. Guliuzo is an Associate Louisiana Litigator in the New Orleans Office. Her practice focuses on managing the multi-state docket and all contested matters, in addition to a variety of other litigation matters. She is licensed to practice in Louisiana.
Ms. Guliuzo graduated from Southern University Law Center with a Juris Doctor, where she participated in the Juvenile Law Clinic and served the community through the juvenile courts. She obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.
Prior to coming to the firm, Mrs. Guliuzo practiced immigration and personal injury law. During this time, she focused on helping the Hispanic community in the greater New Orleans area. She is an experienced litigator given her Immigration Court. Mrs. Guliuzo joined the CCB in April of 2017.
Shala S. Melonson
Shala S. Melonson is an associate litigation attorney licensed to practice law in the state of Texas. She is based in the Houston, Texas office of Couch, Conville, and Blitt. Shala represents the firm’s corporate clients, with an emphasis on financial services litigation. Shala S. Melonson is an associate litigation attorney licensed to practice law in the state of Texas. She is based in the Houston, Texas office of Couch, Conville, and Blitt. Shala represents the firm’s corporate clients, with an emphasis on financial services litigation.
Shala received her J.D. from Howard University School of Law in Washington, D.C. During her time in law school, Shala was employed as a law clerk in a bankruptcy firm and gained extensive experience in walking clients through the complex bankruptcy process. While an undergraduate at the University of Texas, Shala graduated with University Honors, earning a bachelor’s degree in Political Science.
L. Weathers Veazey
L. Weathers Veazey is an Associate Alabama Litigator. She is licensed to practice in Alabama state courts and in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Alabama. Ms. Veazey grew up in Macon, Georgia but now calls Birmingham, Alabama home.
Ms. Veazey received her J.D. from the Cumberland School of Law at Samford University, where she was named a member of the American Journal of Trial Advocacy, the Justice Richard L. Jones National Moot Court Team and the Judge James Edwin Horton Inn of Court. Furthermore, she served as the brief writer for the Duberstein Bankruptcy Moot Court competition, finished First Place in the Donworth Freshman Appellate Advocacy Competition, finished in the top four in the Gordon T. Saad Moot Court Competition and was an elite eight finalist in the Parham Williams Trial Competition. While in law school, Ms. Veazey served on the Executive Boards of the Henry Upson Sims Moot Court and the Cumberland Federalist Society; and as an officer in the Student Bar Association, the Intellectual Property Society, Phi Alpha Delta Legal fraternity and the Cumberland Republicans. Ms. Veazey received her B.A. in Political Science with an emphasis in American Politics, and a minor in Communication Studies from Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama. The Alabama Political Science Association chose her Senior Thesis, entitled “Tweet Me Your Vote”, for presentation at the 2012-2013 annual convention.
In 2016, she was the recipient of the Cumberland School of Law Spirit of Service award, for her commitment to serving our forward deployed troops in the United States Marine Corps.
Volunteering in the community, she is a Member of the Board for the Laura Crandall Brown Foundation, a non-profit organization whose research is focused on early detection of ovarian cancer.
Travis W. McBride
Travis W. McBride is an Associate Texas Litigator. His practice focuses upon commercial and consumer litigation and collections.
Mr. McBride attended undergraduate school at Texas A&M University where he received a Bachelor of Science Degree from the Dwight Look College of Engineering. His Doctor of Jurisprudence degree was obtained at St. Mary’s University School of Law in 2016. Prior to joining CCB, Mr. McBride worked as a law clerk for the Law Office of Robert Stone in San Antonio, Texas, where he focused on plaintiff’s personal injury litigation.
Linly L. Hall
Linly L. Hall is an Associate Louisiana Litigator in the New Orleans office. His practice focuses on consumer legal collections and creditor’s defense. He is licensed to practice in Louisiana.
Mr. Hall graduated from Southern University Law Center in 2015 with a Juris Doctor. He obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Louisiana State University in 2010, and is currently enrolled at the University of New Orleans completing his Master of Business Administration.
Mr. Hall has served eight years in the Louisiana Army National Guard. He completed various training requirements while pursuing his legal education, and served as the primary intelligence officer for multiple battalions in the state of Louisiana. During law school, Mr. Hall also worked as a legislative intern to the Speaker of the House in Louisiana, where he represented the Speaker’s executive counsel in multiple aspects, provided legal research, and briefed the Speaker’s aid on committees’ key actions.
Prior to joining the firm in October of 2017, Mr. Hall worked for a New Orleans law firm practicing personal injury, Jones Act, and general maritime law.
Chad Benoit graduated with his Bachelor of Arts degree from The University of Mississippi, and received his law degree from The University of Mississippi School of Law. While in law school, Chad interned with the Mississippi Attorney General’s office as well as the U.S. Attorney’s office. Chad joined the firm in 2018, bringing with him five years of experience as a trial attorney and as corporate counsel. He is currently licensed in Mississippi.
Paul Brennan graduated with his Bachelor of Science degree from Louisiana State University, and he received his law degree from the Paul M. Hebert Law Center. While in law school, Paul externed with the Honorable Judge Guy Holdridge at the Louisiana First Circuit Court of Appeal. Paul joined the firm in 2018, bringing with him experience as an Assistant District Attorney for Orleans Parish. He is currently licensed in Louisiana.