Attorney Profile Picture

Michael R. Phillips

Michael Phillips is a partner in the New Orleans office of Kean Miller.  He maintains a diverse trial practice, representing local, regional and multinational corporate clients in the numerous areas of litigation, including energy and petrochemical, oil field legacy sites, complex commercial agreements, antitrust, trade regulation and consumer protection, construction and public works, as well as complex litigation and class action.  Michael's extensive trial resume includes high profile defense matters as well as multi-million dollar verdicts on behalf of plaintiffs in commercial litigation matters. 

As part of his practice, Michael has integrated the use of state-of-the art litigation software to maximize efficiency and the presentation of evidence and trial.  His experience in this area has resulted in authoring articles in national publications and speaking on the subject.

Michael is listed in Best Lawyers in America (2017) in the area of Mass Tort Litigation/Class Actions - Defense.

Representative Experience

  • Representation of a global energy client adverse to a significant landowner in coastal Vermilion Parish.  The plaintiffs sought more than $119 million in compensatory damages, plus punitive damages, for alleged negligence, unreasonable and excessive use of mineral lease rights, strict liability, and willful and wanton conduct in connection with handling and storage of wastes.  Plaintiffs claimed that our client had violated environmental regulations, which they claimed resulted in widespread contamination of soil, groundwater, and sediment that required hundreds of acres of wetlands to be excavated, among other remedies.  Plaintiffs also claimed that the alleged environmental contamination had infiltrated crabs and other seafood, making these products unsafe for human consumption.  After a three-week trial in 2015, the jury adopted the environmental remediation plan presented by our client and found that our client had not engaged in any negligent or willful conduct and had not exceeded any of its rights under the applicable mineral and surface leases.
  • Representation of a major international oil and gas company in first ever trial and proceeding under Louisiana Act 312 dealing with oil field contamination sites.  This included a successful jury trial in Concordia Parish, Louisiana and a subsequent trial before the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources where the plaintiffs' proposed $120 million remediation plan was defeated.
  • Representation of major international oil and gas companies in defense of suits alleging environmental contamination and personal injuries from historic exploration and production activities. Damages sought by plaintiff in a single case exceed $5 billion.
  • Representation of a global oil and gas company in class action and mass joinder litigation involving personal injury and property damage claims allegedly resulting from exposure to Naturally Occurring Radioactive Waste ("NORM").
  • Representation of chemical and petroleum industry clients in "global warming" cases where plaintiffs alleged that damages from Hurricane Katrina were the result of defendants' contribution to global warming.
  • Representation of a major international oil and gas refinery in multi-week trial of a claim for alleged environmental damage to wetlands.
  • Representation of clients in defense of multiple suits alleging damage to oyster beds by oil and gas exploration in the marshes of south Louisiana: This representation included defenses of individual suits as well as defeating attempts by plaintiffs to certify a class action in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana.
  • Representation of a major waste disposal company in a mass toxic tort exposure case involving over 2,000 plaintiffs: Plaintiffs alleged illness resulting from exposure to dioxins and other contaminants from the client's waste treatment and disposal facilities. Plaintiffs ultimately ceased prosecution of the claims against the waste disposal company.
  • Representation of water heater industry clients in defense of state civil and criminal lawsuits relating to product failure as well as trial counsel against supplier of defective component part: This representation concluded in a multi-month trial in Civil District Court for Parish of Orleans.
  • Representation of a gasoline refiner against civil and criminal antitrust violations and below cost sales: Following a trial on the issue of relevant market and the scope of the below cost sales definition for manufacturers in Louisiana, the court found in favor of the defendant.
  • Representation of clients in a variety of state and federal antitrust matters dealing with alleged conspiracies, tying, monopolization, and price discounting, including seminars to major retail sales department on Robinson-Patman Act Compliance.
  • Representation of a gasoline distribution company in petroleum dealer termination cases in multiple states.
  • Representation of commercial client as a plaintiff in major construction litigation involving damage by a public entity that resulted in a multi-million dollar recovery by the client after a multi-week jury trial.


Michael earned his B.S. from the University of Southern Mississippi in 1988. He earned his J.D. in 1991 from the LSU Law Center where he was a member of the Louisiana Law Review.


  • Admitted, Louisiana, 1991; United States District Court for the Eastern, Middle and Western Districts of Louisiana; United States Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit; United States Supreme Court


  • Louisiana State (Officer, Antitrust and Trade Regulation Section) and American Bar Associations

Articles, Publications, Presentations

  • 10 Years After Katrina, Legal Fallout Continues, Law 360, August 28, 2015.
  • Act 312 Update, 57th Annual Louisiana Mineral Law Institute, LSU Law Center, March 26, 2010.
  • Co-Author, Louisiana Chapter of American Bar Association, Antitrust Practices and Statutes, 2nd, 3rd and 4th Ed.
  • Organization Sans Binders, Law Technology News, December 2006
  • Featured in Forbes Magazine, May 2008
  • Louisiana Superlawyer 
  • Antitrust Ethics (CLE seminar materials)
  • Robinson-Patman Act Compliance (seminar materials)
  • American Conference Institute's 3rd National Forum on Chemical Products Liability and Environmental Litigation