August 17, 2018

John W. Houghtaling Opens Home to Charity – Again

John W. Houghtaling

John W. Houghtaling

Recently John W. Houghtaling opened his home for charity, again.  “The Culture Arts Association (CAA) of Walton County does a tour of what they call ‘residential gems’,” explains John W. Houghtaling.  “I am always glad to support good causes, as we often do at the firm, and this cause is great one,” adds John W. Houghtaling.  Those interested purchased tickets for a self-tour of several residential addresses, continues John W. Houghtaling.  John W. Houghtaling is managing partner of Gauthier, Houghtaling and Williams.

“The ticket sales contribute to the provision of $20,000 annually from the CAA in educational giving,” notes John W. Houghtaling.  The CAA giving comes in the form of grants to teachers and need-based college scholarships for students, according to John W. Houghtaling.  “I’m glad to be part, to open my home for such a worthwhile cause,” says John W. Houghtaling.

The “Chatham House” owned by John W. Houghtaling has a rich history. The house, originally built in the late eighties, “received a lot of attention because of its architectural departure from the other Seaside homes,” explains John W. Houghtaling.  The home, designed originally as two separate pavilions was purchased by John W. Houghtaling because “it is beautiful.”  After a few years living in and enjoying the home, John W. Houghtaling decided it was time to renovate.

Hiring Braulio Casas as the architect and driving force behind the renovations, John W. Houghtaling added a 2500 square foot addition.  In addition, states John W. Houghtaling, Casas did the landscape design.  John W. Houghtaling hired John Fernandez to design the entire home’s interior.  “I think the renovations gave this home a new feel,” adds John W. Houghtaling.  “While the total renovations were costly, the final product is worth the price tag,” comments John W. Houghtaling.  Describing the work of Casas and Fernandez, John W. Houghtaling observes that their “creative genius brought my home to a new level.”  Adding that “I absolutely love my home, my oasis”, John W. Houghtaling often hosts friends and socials.  According to John W. Houghtaling, the ability to open “home to a charitable cause” adds another benefit to the recent renovations.

About John W. Houghtaling

Loving the drama of the courtroom would lead John W. Houghtaling from modest means and background to managing partner and ownership of the prestigious Gauthier firm in New Orleans, now renamed Gauthier, Houghtaling and Williams.

It was at Emory where John W. Houghtaling had first heard the name Wendell Gauthier.  While at College his mother sent him a newspaper article about pending big tobacco litigation and the famed attorney, John W. Houghtaling would remember the name some time later.  A fellow Loyola law school student was bragging about his work with the nationally known Gauthier firm.  John W. Houghtaling pressed for details only to find that the classmate had done manual labor, not legal work.  Yet the enterprising John W. Houghtaling saw a door of opportunity where most would have not, and took the next step.

Wearing a suit and tie and carrying his laptop, John W. Houghtaling reported to work at the Gauthier firm, moving boxes for $8.00 an hour.  And though he was told he looked “silly” and that he should dress more appropriately for the job, John W. Houghtaling dressed for success – every day – to move boxes.  One day, that dress-for-success mentality paid off when the legendary Wendell Gauthier was unsuccessfully looking for a lawyer to write a letter.  John W. Houghtaling stepped up and offered his writing services.  The rest is history.

Starting at 6 AM everyday and ending his day after everyone else had left the office, John W. Houghtaling, in the next step of his life as an attorney for the Gauthier firm, was a tireless worker.  Passionate about his work and able to choose the cases in which he was interested, John W. Houghtaling began showing Wendell Gauthier and the other partners his value and keen legal mind.  Yet something would happen that would devastate both the Gauthier firm – and John.

In 2001, after a brief battle with liver cancer, Wendell Gauthier died at the age of 58.  The loss of his mentor precipitated the unseen next step for John W. Houghtaling.  While the other partners of the Gauthier firm bickered over leadership roles, John W. Houghtaling continued his tireless work.  Bringing in new clients, hiring his own staff from people who had been laid off by the stagnating Gauthier firm and even tapping the partnership of James Williams, John W. Houghtaling saw his next opportunity.  With the blessing of the Gauthier family and enough money, clients and staff, John W. Houghtaling purchased the law firm in which just ten years earlier, he had carried books.

In 2005, at the age of 33, John W. Houghtaling became managing partner of Gauthier, Houghtaling and Williams.


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