Kanner & Whiteley Named Finalist For Elite Trial Lawyers Award

NEW ORLEANS – Kanner & Whiteley was named a finalist in the Special Litigation category for the National Law Journal 2015 Elite Trial Lawyers awards, which recognizes exemplary and cutting-edge work on behalf of plaintiffs.

         A New Orleans based firm, Kanner & Whiteley was one of five firms across the nation selected as an honoree in the special litigation category this year. Other category honorees included Cotchett Pitre & McCarthy; Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein; Neufeld Scheck & Brustin; and Robins Kaplan. Of the five honorees, Kanner & Whiteley and Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein were named finalists with Neufeld Scheck & Brustin being awarded top honors for the category. Elite Trial Lawyers also honored plaintiff work in the following categories – products liability, mortgage-backed securities, motor vehicles, employment, securities law and medical malpractice.

         The nomination criteria included that a firm must score at least one significant plaintiff win between July 1, 2014, and June 30, 2015, and possess an impressive track record of wins within the past three to five years. A "significant win" is considered a successful bench or jury trial verdict or a major settlement in which the stakes are high. The firm’s submission highlighted the environmental litigation by Allan Kanner, Elizabeth Petersen, and Allison Shipp in the New Jersey Dept. of Environmental Protection v. ExxonMobil Corp. case and on behalf of the State of Louisiana in the Deepwater Horizon oil spill litigation.

         Since 2002, Kanner & Whiteley has been representing the State of New Jersey in every aspect of its natural resource damage claims. In January of 2014, the firm commenced an eight month bench trial against ExxonMobil for natural resource damages claims at two of ExxonMobil’s former refinery sites. In the months following the trial and after post trial briefing had concluded, the company, which had consistently maintained that it had no liability to the State of New Jersey for any damage to natural resources, agreed to a settlement of $225 million covering the former refinery sites as well as additional liabilities within New Jersey. In his opinion approving the settlement, Judge Hogan (retired, on recall) stated that “[o]nly after this marathon of a trial…did the efforts of the State through the representation by [Kanner & Whiteley] cause Exxon to change course and negotiate a settlement that has been determined to be in the best interest of the public.” 8/25/15 Letter Opinion at p. 6. (Hogan, J)

         Contemporaneously, Kanner & Whiteley represents the State of Louisiana as Special Counsel in connection with all the aspects of economic and environmental claims against British Petroleum and the many additional parties with culpability in the 2010 Deepwater Horizon Spill. Most recently, the firm negotiated for Louisiana in the $18.7 billion global settlement agreement with British Petroleum, which, if confirmed by the Court, resolves all remaining claims against BP by the United States, Louisiana and the rest of the Gulf States. Louisiana will receive at least $6.7 billion from that global settlement, bringing the State’s total recovery to more than $8.8 billion.

         Since its founding in 1981, Kanner & Whiteley, L.L.C. has represented consumers, governmental entities, businesses and individual clients in cases protecting the environment, promoting fair business practices, serving insurance policyholders and safeguarding consumer rights. Kanner & Whiteley's attorneys practice throughout the United States and currently hold licenses in Alabama, California, the District of Columbia, Florida, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico (Federal) and Texas.

         View the complete list of 2015 Elite Trial Lawyer honorees here.


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