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Kerry J. Miller

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Kerry J. Miller, a shareholder in Baker Donelson's New Orleans office, has extensive experience in commercial litigation, energy, environmental, product liability and mass tort, and class action matters.

Featured Experience

Represented an international drilling contractor in connection with its compliance obligations to the EPA pursuant to a consent decree, which included preparing and submitting quarterly reports to the EPA summarizing various compliance metrics.
Represented an international manufacturer of building products in multi-district litigation and in state court product liability cases throughout the Gulf South.
Represented an engineering and construction firm in a RCRA matter brought by a citizen group.

Professional Biography

Overview

Mr. Miller has the distinction of trying both the longest civil and criminal trials in the history of the New Orleans Federal District Court.  In 2017, he tried a six-week criminal trial involving a sprawling ten-defendant, 47-count RICO Indictment. Additionally, in 2013, Mr. Miller spent four months in a complex civil trial involving multiple parties and claims. He was lead attorney for several high-profile and high-impact cases, including litigation stemming from the BP oil spill and the importation of Chinese manufactured drywall into the United States.

Mr. Miller's practice also includes representing businesses and executives in a wide range of domestic and international investigations and prosecutions. His experience includes high profile federal and state white collar criminal matters and regulatory enforcement, corporate internal investigations, RICO, conspiracy, fraud and public/official corruption related matters.

Before entering private practice, Mr. Miller clerked for the Honorable James L. Dennis of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

Representative Matters
  • Represented an international drilling contractor in connection with its compliance obligations to the EPA pursuant to a consent decree, which included preparing and submitting quarterly reports to the EPA summarizing various compliance metrics.
  • Represented an international manufacturer of building products in multi-district litigation and in state court product liability cases throughout the Gulf South.
  • Represented an engineering and construction firm in a RCRA matter brought by a citizen group.
  • Represented a publicly traded metals company in mass tort actions involving facility air emissions.
  • Represented a barge operator in superfund litigation.
  • Represented the blender of registered particles in an EPA Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act enforcement matter.
  • Represented a publicly traded medical testing laboratory in Louisiana cases involving drug, blood and tissue testing.
  • Represented defendants in criminal cases involving RICO and other federal conspiracy and racketeering charges.
  • Represented an international driller in a four month trial involving one of our nation's largest environmental disasters, in which thousands of plaintiffs, federal, state and local governments were seeking damages under the Clean Water Act and Oil Pollution Act, with the result that the driller was found not grossly negligent under the Clean Water Act, and that the operator of the well was obligated to indemnify the driller for all Oil Pollution Act Damages.

  • Represented an international oil drilling contractor in a criminal action on multiple charges arising from our nation's largest environmental disaster, with the result that the contractor only pled guilty to one misdemeanor violation of the Clean Water Act.
  • Defended a paper mill operator in 17 consolidated, environmental class action cases in connection with a large release into the Pearl River, with the matter settling prior to trial.
  • Represented a refinery operator following a release of 25,000 barrels of oil into a residential area. Successfully restricted the geographic area of the certified class. Following this, created and developed an aggressive settlement plan which resulted in a global settlement. After settlement, was refinery operator's lead witness in an arbitration proceeding in London against several excess level insurers. Client was ultimately indemnified for all settlement payments and defense expenses. Also represented operator in this matter in connection with remediation of the contaminated properties. Remediation was supervised by EPA and Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality.

  • Represented the operator of oil and gas platforms in a criminal plea agreement involving charges brought under the Clean Water Act.
  • Represented a barge operator in a series of class actions involving discharges into the Mississippi River and Benzene exposure claims from the surrounding community. After winning several motions limiting the size of the class and recoverable damages, the consolidated actions were settled.
  • Represented refinery operators and contractors in environmental citizen suits under the Clean Air Act.
  • Represented a publicly traded life sciences company in a product liability class action and single plaintiff cases.
  • Represented an international manufacturer of video game systems in class actions seeking changes in warnings.
  • Represented the manufacturer of treated lumber products in product liability class actions and single plaintiff personal injury cases.
  • Represented policy holders in coverage disputes in U.S. litigation and London and New York arbitration matters.
  • Represented manufacturers of consumer appliances in nation-wide product defect and breach of warranty class actions.
  • Represented a retail gas operator in a class action involving ethanol warning labels.
  • Represented refinery operators in consent decrees with the Department of Justice regarding the New Source Review under the Clean Air Act.
  • Represented a refinery operator and contractors in climate change litigation. Plaintiffs alleged that defendants were liable in tort for allegedly contributing to global warming through excessive greenhouse gas emissions, which damaged the plaintiffs' property. Following substantial litigation, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi dismissed plaintiffs' case, which the 5th Circuit ultimately affirmed.
  • Represented a landfill operator in a RCRA mass tort action, with the result that after two Bellwether trials, the plaintiffs dismissed the landfill operator from the suit.
  • Counseled a contractor regarding the disposal of many tons of potentially hazardous construction debris.
  • Represented the operator of a gas terminal in connection with a pipeline rupture and enforcement action brought by the Alabama Department of Environmental Management, and crafted a remediation plan which was successful in preventing future litigation.  
Professional Honors & Activities
  • Listed since 2010 in The Best Lawyers in America® in Mass Torts Litigation - Defendants
  • Named to the Lawdragon 500 Leading Lawyers in America (2017)
  • Recognized as a 2015 "Top Lawyer" by New Orleans Magazine
  • Listed in Leadership in Law Top 50 Attorneys in New Orleans (2013)
  • Member – Louisiana State Bar Association
  • Member – American Bar Association
  • Member – Bar Association of the Fifth Federal Circuit
  • Fellow – International Academy of Trial Lawyers (IATL)
Publications
Speaking Engagements
  • "Professionalism in Settlement Negotiations," New Orleans Bar Association (December 2016)
  • "Managing Complex Litigation: A Case Study from the Deepwater Horizon MDL," New Orleans Bar Association (December 2016)
  • "The Deepwater Horizon Litigation: Civil, Criminal and Administrative," New Orleans Bar Association (October 2016)
  • "Common Issues With Foreign Manufacturers in Products Liability Litigation," New Orleans Bar Association (October 2016)
  • "Emerging Issues in the Oilfield: Coping with the Criminalization of Oil & Gas Operations," 2016 LSBA Energy & Environmental Law Summit, New Orleans, Louisiana (October 2016)
  • "Emerging Ethics and Compliance Issues in the Oilfield: Coping with the Criminalization of Oil and Gas Operations" (April 2016)
  • "Recent Developments in the Deepwater Horizon Case," 13th Annual Judge Alvin B. Rubin Conference, Maritime Personal Injury Law Seminar, New Orleans, Louisiana (2015)
  • "Walkin' to New Orleans - BP Litigation: How it Brought MDL to New Orleans and How it was Managed," Louisiana State Bar Association 2014 Jazz Fest CLE - The Rhythm of Commercial Litigation, New Orleans, Louisiana (2014)
  • "Settlement Dynamics and Considerations in Multi-Party Cases," Organization, Louisiana State Bar Association 2014 Complex Litigation Conference, New Orleans, Louisiana (2014)
  • "Mass Tort Seminar," Tulane Law School Guest Lecturer, New Orleans, Louisiana (2013 – 2014)
  • "Lessons Learned from BP," New Orleans Bar Association's 2014 Bench Bar Conference, New Orleans, Louisiana (2014)
  • "Issues in the Wake of the Macondo Spill," IADC Contracts & Risk Management Conference, Houston, Texas (2014)
  • "Expert Cross Examination," New Orleans Bar Association, Masters of the Courtroom Seminar, New Orleans, Louisiana (2014)
  • Co-author – "BP Oil Spill Lessons Learned: The Operator's Responsibilities for Work Performed by Contractors," presented at IADC Contracts & Risk Management Conference, Houston, Texas (2014)
  • "Motion Practice," New Orleans Bar Association, Masters of the Courtroom Seminar, New Orleans, Louisiana (2013)
  • "Mass Torts and Construction Law," CLM Construction Defect Conference, Anaheim, California (2013)
  • "Trends and Developments in Class Action, Mass Tort and Multidistrict Litigation," Manufacturers Alliance/MAPI Law Council Meeting, New Orleans , Louisiana (2011)

Awards

Best Lawyers Award Badge

Education

  • Tulane Law School, J.D., 1996, magna cum laude
    • Order of the Coif
    • Tulane Law Review
  • Louisiana State University, B.A., 1992

Admissions

  • Louisiana

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