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Kenneth Klemm

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Kenneth M. Klemm is an experienced litigator who primarily defends clients in marine, energy, oil and gas, and commercial motor carrier related litigation.

Featured Experience

Represented an energy corporation in a suit for the recovery of more than $20 million in damages resulting from defective coiled tubing and check valves in equipment supplied and manufactured by other entities, after the client incurred significant expense in remedial operations and lost profits due to production delays arising from the equipments' malfunction.

2017

Defended an energy corporation in a suit for the recovery of more than $15 million in damages and expenses resulting from a natural gas well blowout, involving claims for negligence, breach of warranty and products liability arising from a defective gate valve and casing.

2016

Obtained a favorable ruling on behalf of an energy corporation from the Louisiana Court of Appeal, Second Circuit, affirming the state court's holding that depth limitation language in a $260 million mineral purchase agreement was unambiguous and that the corporation was the rightful owner of the oil, gas and minerals at issue, with the case demanding a detailed analysis of contract law, as well as an understanding of the complexities of geologic formations and correlative oil and gas well markers.

2016

Professional Biography

Overview

Mr. Klemm is a shareholder in the Firm's New Orleans office and is co-chair of the Firm's Oil and Gas Industry Service Team.  Mr. Klemm's clients range from local businesses and individuals to oil and pollution clean-up companies, to the U.S.'s second largest independent natural gas producer, one of the world's largest oil field services companies, regional and national transporters and national insurance companies.

Mr. Klemm's litigation career is just as varied as his clients. His marine, energy, oil and gas, and commercial motor carrier experience typically concerns personal injury and property damage defense, breach of contract issues, blowouts and down-hole well damage, and related insurance issues. His litigation experience includes environmental and toxic tort issues, commercial disputes, intellectual property defense, white collar criminal cases and insurance litigation issues as they relate to general property claims and maritime and oil and gas litigation.

Representative Matters
  • Represented an energy corporation in a suit for the recovery of more than $20 million in damages resulting from defective coiled tubing and check valves in equipment supplied and manufactured by other entities, after the client incurred significant expense in remedial operations and lost profits due to production delays arising from the equipments' malfunction.

  • Defended an energy corporation in a suit for the recovery of more than $15 million in damages and expenses resulting from a natural gas well blowout, involving claims for negligence, breach of warranty and products liability arising from a defective gate valve and casing.

  • Obtained a favorable ruling on behalf of an energy corporation from the Louisiana Court of Appeal, Second Circuit, affirming the state court's holding that depth limitation language in a $260 million mineral purchase agreement was unambiguous and that the corporation was the rightful owner of the oil, gas and minerals at issue, with the case demanding a detailed analysis of contract law, as well as an understanding of the complexities of geologic formations and correlative oil and gas well markers.

  • Successfully defended against claims for brain-related and other personal injury damages arising from a motor carrier accident.

  • Successfully defended a natural gas pipeline company in a legacy lawsuit alleging millions of dollars in contamination to property located in south Louisiana, with the defendant arguing that none of the constituents alleged to have contaminated the property could have originated from the defendant's operations. The court dismissed the company from the suit in one of the first instances in which recent amendments to a governing statute were used to successfully dismiss a party.

  • Litigated and then negotiated a favorable settlement for an oilfield equipment manufacturer in a suit alleging more than $30 million in damages to an offshore oil and gas well resulting from the premature activation of a piece of equipment. The settlement included a significantly discounted payment to resolve all claims.

  • Defended a national insurer in multimillion dollar property damage claims resulting from hurricanes in Florida and Louisiana.

  • Defended one of the largest natural gas producers in the United States in a blowout case against claims of gross negligence to preclude enforcement of limitation of liability, indemnity and allocation of risk provisions in a Master Service Agreement, with the court awarding nearly $10 million in damages, including prejudgment interest, to the client.

  • Obtained a $2 million judgment for a natural gas transportation company in a case involving an explosion at oil and gas terminal facilities during construction.
  • Received a favorable settlement on behalf of an oil and gas producer in claims resulting from the capsizing of a lift boat, with the settlement including the payment of attorneys' fees and costs for defense and indemnity claims.

  • Represented an international metals trading firm in a maritime seizure action, obtaining an expeditious release of cargo and an award of attorneys' fees and costs against the party seizing the property.

  • Defended a major chemical company against a significant environmental enforcement action by the U.S. government and groundwater contamination claims by local residents. After several days of trial, the client concluded a favorable settlement with U.S. government.
  • Achieved a favorable settlement for a liquor distributor in an unfair trade practices and infringement of trade dress case.

  • Successfully defended a manufacturer at trial in a products liability suit arising from the malfunction of a vessel engine.
  • Defended an independent oil and natural gas producer in a well blowout case in a Natural Resources Damage Assessment (NRDA), and against claims under the Oil Pollution Act (OPA) and for gross negligence, ultimately resulting in favorable resolutions of the NRDA, a civil penalty claim by the U.S. Coast Guard under the OPA and claims against the producer's well contractors.

Professional Honors & Activities
  • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America® in Maritime Law (2010 – 2018); Product Liability Litigation - Defendants (2012 – 2018); Transportation Law (2017 – 2018) 
  • Named the Best Lawyers' 2018 New Orleans Transportation Law "Lawyer of the Year"
  • Listed in Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business as a leading lawyer in Louisiana since 2011
  • Recognized as a "Top Lawyer" in Maritime Law by New Orleans Magazine (2010) 
  • Listed in Louisiana Super Lawyers in Energy & Natural Resources (2007 – 2008, 2015 – 2017)
  • Named to CityBusiness' Leadership in Law Class of 2012 
  • Member – American and Federal Bar Associations
  • Advisory Board Member – Institute for Energy Law
  • Councilor – Dartmouth College Alumni Council (2014 – present)
  • Member – Energy Editorial Advisory Board, Law360 (2011)
  • Co-Chair – Energy Litigation Committee, American Bar Association (2012 – 2015; Programs Subcommittee, 2009 – 2010) 
  • Co-Chair – Pretrial Practice & Discovery Committee, American Bar Association (2015 – present)
  • Member – Louisiana, New Orleans, New Jersey and New York Bar Associations  
  • Proctor Member – Maritime Law Association of the United States
  • Member – Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation  
  • Executive Board and District Chairman, Southeast Louisiana Council – Boy Scouts of America (2010)
  • President and Area Enrollment Director – Dartmouth Club of the Gulf Coast 
  • Captain, Battalion Intelligence Officer, Louisiana Army National Guard (1990 – 1992; active duty in Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm)
  • Lieutenant, Tactical Intelligence Officer, New Jersey Army National Guard (1986 – 1990)
  • Lieutenant, Intelligence Production Officer, Department of the Army (1988)
Publications
  • Moderator – "Water Rights and Their Impact on Shale Gas Development," The Shale Energy Revolution: A Lawyer's Guide, Energy Litigation Committee of the American Bar Association's Section of Litigation (2015)
  • Featured – "On Site With: Q&A with Kenneth M. Klemm from Baker Donelson," Energy Executive (Summer/Fall 2014)
  • Co-author – "States Focusing On Water Usage Rights Issues," The American Oil and Gas Reporter (November 2013)
  • "Anti-fracking Suits Face Formidable Hurdles," The National Law Journal (December 2012)
  • Co-author – "A Light at the End of the Tunnel? BOEMRE Clarifies New Safety Regulations for Deepwater Drilling and Issues First Permits After Moratorium," Louisiana Oil and Gas Association Industry Report (Spring 2011)
Speaking Engagements
  • Moderator – "Views from the Bench," 14th Annual Institute for Energy Law Energy Litigation Conference (November 2015)
  • "Oilfield Contamination Litigation Update," 2015 Energy and Environmental Law Summit, Louisiana State Bar Association (October 2015)
  • "Implied Covenants: Recent Developments in Failure to Develop Cases and Other Implied Obligations Under Mineral Leases," 57th Annual Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Institute, Santa Fe, New Mexico (July 2011)
Press Releases

Education

  • Fordham University School of Law, J.D., 1990
    • Assistant Editor – Lloyd's Maritime Newsletter of North America
    • Notes & Articles Editor – International Law Journal
  • Dartmouth College, B.A., 1986
  • Distinguished Military Graduate from Reserve Officers Training Corps program at Norwich University

Admissions

  • Louisiana, 1993
  • New York, 1990
  • New Jersey, 1990
  • U.S. Supreme Court, 1994
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, 1994
  • U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Third and Fifth Circuits, 1993
  • U.S. District Courts for the Eastern, Middle and Western Districts of Louisiana, 1993
  • U.S. District Courts for the Northern, Southern, Eastern and Western Districts of New York, 1993
  • U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey, 1990
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern and Eastern Districts of Texas, 2010

Ken brings such a unique skillset to the team and is viewed as much more than a litigator to us. He knows this industry better than most lawyers and he is truly an extension of our operations and legal team. He knows all of the industry 'lingo' such as equipment, operational procedures, acronyms and measurements and he approaches matters with a business sense, not just litigation. Ken is often the first person we send out when we receive notice of an emergency, explosion or disaster. His knowledge of our equipment combined with his discovery and litigation experience often make him the best person to lead the cleanup process. He fills a role most of our other outside lawyers cannot, and we often send him directly to a site to assess and minimize the risk management aspects of a problem. He also understands the operations of our business and the terminology of the industry.

Senior attorney at one of the largest producers of natural gas in the U.S.

Kenneth Klemm specializes in litigation matters for a wide variety of energy clients. He handles toxic tort matters, blowouts, personal injury and oil and gas exploration disputes.

Kenneth Klemm is an 'excellent litigator' in the oil and gas space whose broad practice includes disputes arising from transactions, injury and property damage claims and defective product suits.

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