American Cancer Society Black and White Gala has announced Frank X. Neuner, Jr., Jr. as a 2017 Spirit of Hope Honoree!
Frank X. Neuner, Jr. is a founder and managing partner of NeunerPate, a local corporate defense firm. Neuner has shown an unwavering commitment to leadership and service to his community and profession. As current chairman of One Acadiana, he’s leading the charge to grow the Acadiana region’s business climate which in turn creates economic opportunities for all. He is co-chair of Opus Christi Magnum, the primary annual fundraiser for Catholic Services of Acadiana. He served as chairman of Our Lady of Lourdes from 2001-2014. Neuner was also president of United Way of Acadiana, the Lafayette Bar Association, and the Lafayette Bar Foundation and continues to remain involved in these organizations. Through his example of encouragement, NeunerPate has developed a culture of dedication to community service and providing pro bono legal services and was most recently awarded the State Bar Association’s Pro Bono Publico Award.
Neuner’s leadership roles and volunteerism extend beyond Acadiana to the state, national, and international stage. As President of the Louisiana Client Assistance Foundation since 2001, he oversees reimbursement of funds to clients who lose money due to lawyer misconduct. To date, almost $2.5 million has been paid to claimants. He served as president of the Louisiana State Bar Association during the tumultuous Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. In 2013, Neuner was invited to present at The World Justice Forum in the Hague, Netherlands and share his experience in restoring the legal system after a natural disaster. During his six-year tenure as Chair of the Louisiana Public Defender Board, he spearheaded the drive for legislation to provide legal protection and access to the law for the indigent.
Neuner received a Juris Doctor in 1976 from Louisiana State University. In 2008, he was named the LSU Law School’s Distinguished Alumnus, and in 2013, he was honored as the Louisiana Bar Foundation’s Distinguished Lawyer. He is a member of Louisiana, Texas and American Bar Associations; the Louisiana Association of Defense Counsel; the Defense Research Institute; the Maritime Law Association of the United States; and the Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel. He is also a Fellow of the International Society of Barristers and of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers and serves as the ABA State Delegate for Louisiana.
Cancer has been a looming figure in his life having been a caregiver to both of his parents. His mother is now a stage 4 colon cancer survivor at the age of 90 and his father was a survivor of prostate and bladder cancer. These personal experiences were important when his loving wife of over 45 years, Tracey Ownes Neuner's father was diagnosed with lung cancer and in coping with the devastating loss of a dear friend to Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Frank and Tracy are thankful for their own health as well as that of their four children and four grandchildren.