Kerry J. Miller

Contact Information

t: 504-556-5549

m: 504-495-2393

f: 504-310-0275

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Kerry Miller is a partner in the firm’s litigation section.  Kerry has the distinction of trying both the longest civil and criminal trials in the history of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana.  In 2017, he tried a 47 count RICO case. In 2013, Kerry spent four months in a complex civil trial involving multiple parties and claims which ultimately resulted in a finding of no responsibility for his client.

Kerry  has tried a variety of cases involving a broad spectrum of claims including products liability, breach of contract, redhibition, unfair trade practices, Jones Act, civil and criminal RICO and civil and criminal provisions of the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act and the Oil Pollution Act.

Kerry has tried cases for plaintiffs and defendants, companies and individuals, judge and jury trials, state and federal trials, bellwether and limited issue trials in multi-district litigation (MDL) proceedings and for policyholders in domestic and international arbitrations.

In addition to his trial experience, Kerry has gained unique complex litigation experience as the appointed lead counsel in the BP oil spill MDL, Chinese Drywall MDL and Hurricane Katrina related environmental litigation. In these sprawling cases, Kerry has litigated all types of jurisdictional, discovery and evidentiary issues, which are reflected in more than a hundred reported decisions.  While Kerry enjoys a broad civil and criminal defense practice, he has developed expertise in environmental, industrial failure, construction, commercial litigation, insurance coverage and construction matters.

As one of Fishman Haygood’s newest partners, Kerry joined in the firm in February of 2019.  He is thrilled to be part of a team of excellent and efficient attorneys. Kerry is particularly excited to work within Fishman Haygood’s litigation niche of taking on high-stakes cases where objectives, risks and rewards are shared with clients, which is a unique model in the Louisiana market.

Before entering private practice, Kerry clerked for the Honorable James L. Dennis of the United States Court of Appeals for the  Fifth Circuit. Kerry is a native of Thibodaux, Louisiana, where he graduated from the local public high school and was captain of his football and track teams. He remains a die-hard fan of Louisiana State University, where he earned his undergraduate degree in economics. Kerry then attended Tulane Law School where he graduated magna cum laude and was inducted into the Order of the Coif.

Education

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

Clerkship

  • James L. Dennis of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, 1996-1997

Publications / Presentations

Publications

  • “Fifth Circuit’s Reversal in Hip Implant Bellwether Appeal Underscores Risk of Overemphasizing Bellwether Trials in MDL ” (May 2018)
  • Co-author – “Best Practices for Assessing and Enhancing Compliance Prior to an Incident,” Corporate Compliance Insights (August 2016)
  • Co-author – “The Safe Drilling Margin: Lessons Learned from the Macondo Blowout™,” LOGA Industry Report (Summer 2015)
  • “The Macondo Litigation in a Nutshell™,” LOGA Industry Report (Summer 2015)
  • Co-author – “BP Oil Spill Lessons Learned,” Energy Executive (Spring 2015)
  • BP Oil Spill Lessons Learned: The Operator’s Responsibilities for Work Performed by Contractors, presented at IADC Contracts & Risk Management Conference, Houston, Texas, 2014.  Authors Kerry J. Miller, Paul Thibodeaux and James Parish.
  • Class Action Litigation Crisis: Proactive Management Strategies for Corporate Counsel, BNA, Inc., Vol. 5, No. 22, p. 819, November 26, 2004.
  • Class Action Statute of Limitation and Tolling Issues: Practitioners Better Beware, Class Action & Derivative Suits, Vol. 14, No. 3, Summer, 2004.
  • Inferiority Complex: Is Regulatory Action Superior to Class Action Litigation,” ABA Class Action & Derivative Suits Newsletter, Vol. 13, No. 4 (Fall 2003).  Authors Scott S. Partridge and Kerry J. Miller.
  • Class Litigation Gone Wild: The ‘No-Injury’ Phenomenon, Vol. 4, Class Action Litigation, No. 5, p. 390, May 23, 2003.
  • The Use of the Class Action Device in Agricultural Products Litigation, 6 Drake Agricultural Law Journal 175, 2001.
  • The Rigorous Analysis Test at Work, Class Action Report, p. 391, Sept. 22, 2000.
  • The Use of Class Actions in Genetically Modified Agricultural Products Cases and Other User-Specific Products Cases, Vol. 15, Legal Backgrounder, No. 40, Washington Legal Foundation, July 28, 2000.
  • Some Practical Considerations for Defending and Settling Products Liability and Consumer Class Actions, 74 Tul.L.Rev. 2125, 2000.
  • Interpreting the Term ‘Created’ in Policy Exclusion 3(a). (Co-Author). Practicing Law Institute, Real Estate Law and Practice Court Handbook Series, November, 1998.

Presentations

  • “The Admissibility of Prior Conduct Evidence in Civil and Criminal Trials”, Louisiana State Bar Association, New Orleans (December 2018)
  • “Stand Out Before Standing Up: A Guide to Written and Oral Arguments from the Benches and Trenches”, New Orleans (December 2018)
  • “Anatomy of a Jury Trial”, Louisiana State Bar Association (October 2017)
  • “The Status of Class Certification in the Fifth Circuit in Non-Negative Value Cases”, New Orleans Bar Association (May 2017)
  • “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)
  • Mass Torts, Class Actions & Rule 23 Changes, New Orleans Bench Bar Conference, Point Clear, AL – March 2016
  • The Future of the MDL Paradigm, Part 1: Making the Choice – MDL or State Strategy, Mass Torts Made Perfect, Las Vegas, Nevada – October 2015
  • “Recent Developments in the Deepwater Horizon Case,” 13th Annual Judge Alvin B. Rubin Conference, Maritime Personal Injury Law Seminar, New Orleans, Louisiana (March 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)
  • “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, CLM Construction Defect Conference, Anaheim, California, 2013.
  • Trends and Developments in Class Action, Mass Tort and Multidistrict Litigation, Tulane Law School Guest Lecturer, New Orleans, Louisiana, 2013.
  • Trends and Developments in Class Action, Mass Tort and Multidistrict Litigation, Manufacturers Alliance/MAPI Law Council Meeting, New Orleans, Louisiana, 2011.
  • Chinese Drywall Litigation“, Louisiana State Bar Association 22nd Annual Summer School Revisited Seminar, New Orleans, Louisiana, 2010.
  • Chinese Drywall Litigation, Higher Ground”: The LJC & LSBA Joint Summer School Seminar, Sandestin, Florida, 2010.
  • “Globalization and Litigation: Challenges Presented in Domestic Litigation Involving Foreign Products”, American Bar Association Toxic Torts and Environmental Law Committee Meeting, Phoenix, Arizona, 2010.
  • “Professionalism Issues Arising From Applications for Recovery of Attorneys’ Fees”, New Orleans Bar Association Bench Bar Conference, Biloxi, Mississippi, 2009.
  • “Anatomy of a Disaster: Murphy Oil’s Response to Hurricane Katrina Oil Spill”, CLE presentation in New York, New York, 2008.
  • “A.O. Smith’s Experience Defending & Settling Consumer Class Action Suits”, MAPI Law Council, Tucson, Arizona, 2006.
  • “Living and Litigating in Katrina’s Aftermath”, Practicing Law Institute Seminar, New Orleans, Louisiana, 2006.
  • Class Action Fairness Act of 2005.  National Business Institute Seminar, A Critical Update on the Class Action Fairness Act, New Orleans, Louisiana, March 20, 2005.
  • “Defending and Resolving Toxic Tort and Products Liability Class Actions; Ethical Pitfalls in Defending Class Actions.” National Business Institute Seminar, Litigating the Class Action Lawsuit in Louisiana, New Orleans, Louisiana, January 7, 2005.
  • Mass Tort Class Actions in LA: Past, Present and Future.  Tulane Law School’s CLE by the Hour, New Orleans, Louisiana, December 28, 2004.
  • Class Action – 2003 Developments – Legislative Amendments Federal and State Jurisprudence. Tulane Law School’s CLE by the Hour, New Orleans, Louisiana, December 30, 2003.

Representative Matters

  • Represents an international manufacturer of building products in multi-district litigation and in state court product liability cases throughout the Gulf South. Tried several bellwether cases and settled thousands of property damage claims. In Re Chinese Drywall MDL (MDL 09-MD-2047).
  • 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 in the Deepwater Horizon MDL (MDL 10-M-2179).
  • Represents a publicly traded metals company in mass tort actions involving facility air emissions.
  • Represents an international chemical manufacturer in connection with personal injury and commercial claims arising from a $9 Billion plant expansion project.
  • Represents a large energy industry contractor in personal injury and business dispute matters throughout Louisiana.
  • Represents facility owner in a solid waste landfill matter involving prior owners, EPA and state agencies.
  • Represents international buyer in a dispute over ownership of escrowed funds in an asset purchase agreement dispute.
  • Represents building products manufacturer in litigation involving roofing materials on high profile public arena.
  • Represents manufacturer of seatbelt and air bag restraint systems in products liability and personal injury matters throughout Louisiana.
  • Represents water heater manufacturer in fire and water damage cases throughout Louisiana.
  • Represents a publicly traded medical testing laboratory involving drug, blood and tissue testing and premises liability claims throughout Louisiana.
  • Represented international technology company in attorney general unfair trade practices act investigation.
  • Represented a large agribusiness company in products defect cases throughout the South.
  • Represented a refinery operator following a release of 25,000 barrels of oil into a residential area. Turner v Murphy Oil USA, Inc., Civil Action No. 2:05-cv-04206-EEF-JCW. 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 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 refinery operators and contractors in environmental citizen suits under the Clean Air Act.
  • 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 manufacturers of consumer appliances in nation-wide product defect and breach of warranty class actions.
  • Represented retail gas station owners in a class action involving ethanol warning labels.
  • Represented businesses in economic loss claims resulting from the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
  • Represented plaintiffs in case against manufacturer of recalled infant stroller. Case settled favorably at the beginning of trial.
  • Represented policy holder in large loss of production claim against domestic insurer in arbitration. Arbitration panel awarded 100% of damages to client.
  • Represented owner of medical facilities against insurers for property damage and business loss claims. Case settled favorable at beginning of trial.
  • Represented local public officials in criminal cases where malfeasance in office and wire fraud were alleged.
  • 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.
  • Represented defendants in criminal cases involving RICO and other federal conspiracy and racketeering charges.
  • Represented the operator of oil and gas platforms in a criminal plea agreement involving charges brought under the Clean Water Act and Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act.

RECOGNITION

  • Fellow, International Academy of Trial Lawyers
  • Listed in Best Lawyers, Mass Torts Litigation, The Best Lawyers in America, (Since 2010)
  • Listed in Best Lawyer, Environmental Litigation, The Best Lawyers in America, (2019)
  • Named in 500 Leading Lawyers in America, Lawdragon, (2017)
  • Named as Top Lawyer, New Orleans Magazine, (2015)
  • Recognized in Leadership in Law Top 50 Attorneys, New Orleans CityBusiness, (2013)

BAR ADMISSIONS

  • Louisiana