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Ben Slater, III

Office Managing Partner 
601 Poydras Street
Suite 2200
New Orleans, LA 70130
 
Tel:
504.586.1241
Fax:
504.584.9142
 
 

Ben Slater serves as managing partner of Akerman's New Orleans office. An experienced trial lawyer, Ben has decades of experience serving clients in the transportation, energy, restaurant, and consumer products sectors. His practice covers a range of litigation, including commercial, class action defense, product liability, mass tort, environmental, trade secret, insurance coverage, and real property title disputes in state and federal courts.

Named a Lawyer of the Year for Railroad Law by The Best Lawyers in America, Ben represents several of the nation's largest railroads in all manner of litigation as well as counseling on a range of matters including contract and real estate issues. Post Katrina, Ben represented the railroads in its dealings with the Corps of Engineers and in numerous landlord/tenant matters. He has also represented railroads and other property owners in expropriation matters initiated by the State of Louisiana. He has served as Louisiana division counsel to Norfolk Southern and its affiliates for over 20 years. Ben also maintains a substantial environmental law practice, obtaining both bench and jury verdicts in numerous cases against both U.S.-based and international insurers involving pre-1990 commercial general liability policies covering clean-up cost reimbursement.

Ben has been involved in numerous civic and community organizations in Louisiana, including serving as a member of the State Mineral Board, commissioner and chairman of the Greater New Orleans Expressway Commission and as an elected representative of the Louisiana State Republican Central Committee. He is a past member of the DRI Executive Committee and is active in the National Association of Railroad Trial Counsel.
 
Representative Experience
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Intellectual Property: Represented the founder of an international food retailer in litigation over misappropriation of trade secret recipes.
 
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Intellectual Property: Represented the founder of an international food retailer in bankruptcy litigation concerning ownership of trade secrets.
 
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Toxic Tort: Represented a shipping and transportation company in defeating a class action in Tennessee involving the alleged release of hazardous chemicals from derailed rail cars near a highly populated residential area.
 
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Insurance Coverage: Represented a transportation company in the recovery of multi-million dollars in costs associated with the remediation of multiple fuel and chemical plants throughout the United States, ultimately trying numerous jury and bench trials to verdict and establishing precedent on coverage issues under Louisiana law.
 
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Toxic Tort: Represented a shipping and transportation company in defeating a class action in Louisiana regarding the alleged release of hazardous chemicals from a railcar. Established law denying class action status where individual damage issues predominated over class wide issues.
 
Awards & Recognition
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The Best Lawyers in America, 1995-2018, Listed for Commercial Litigation, Litigation – Environmental, Mass Tort Litigation/Class Actions – Plaintiffs, Personal Injury Litigation – Defendants, Product Liability Litigation – Defendants, Railroad Law, Transportation Law
 
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The Best Lawyers in America 2017, Named "Lawyer of the Year" in Railroad Law in New Orleans
 
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Super Lawyers Magazine, Listed in Louisiana for Transportation/Maritime, 2009-2017
 
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New Orleans Magazine, 2016, Listed as one of the Top Lawyers in New Orleans
 
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Bar Examiner for Constitutional Law
 
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Division Counsel, Norfolk Southern Corporation
 
Published Works & Lectures
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Westlaw Journal, Co-Author, "Analysis of Alexander v. Norfolk Southern Corporation," Vol. 30, Issue 9, June, 2012
 
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Defense Research Institute's Defense Library Series, Co-Author, "Trade Secrets and Non-Competes, a Compendium of State Law," 2012
 
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Louisiana State Bar Association Speaker, "Jury Selection in Environmental Litigation" and "Nuts & Bolts of Environmental Litigation," September 2003
 
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National Association of Railroad Trial Counsel, Special Litigation Conference, "Removal - Possibilities and Pitfalls," February, 2003
 
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NARTC Special Litigation Conference "Responding to the 30(b)(6) Corporation Deposition," 2012
 
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NARTC Special Litigation Conference, "Future of Punitive Damages in National Litigation," 1991
 
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National Association of Railroad Trial Counsel Annual Meeting, "How to make Lloyd's Cry Uncle," July 2001
 
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American Bar Association, Insurance Coverage Section - Section of Litigation, "Obtaining Testimony and Documents from Non-Party Sources," May 2001
 
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New Orleans Bar Association, Master of the Court Series, "Direct and Cross Examination," December 1998
 
Professional Memberships & Activities
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New Orleans Bar Association
 
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Louisiana State Bar Association
 
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Louisiana State Bar Admissions Committee
 
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American Bar Association
 
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National Association of Railroad Trial Counsel
 
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Louisiana Association of Defense Counsel
 
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Louisiana Bar Foundation
 
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Defense Research Institute, Chairman of the Railroad Law Committee
 
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Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel
 
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Greater New Orleans Expressway Commission, Commissioner and Chairman
 
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Member, Louisiana State Mineral Board
 
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Elected Representative of Louisiana State Republican Central Committee
 
Public Decisions
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Kieta Alexander, et al v. Norfolk Southern Corporation, et al, 82 So.3d 1234 (La. May 9, 2012).
 
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Bret Freeman v. Norfolk Southern Corporation, et al, 130 S.Ct. 203, 175 L.Ed.2d 125, 78 USLW 3144, 78 USLW 3175.
 
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John Riley, et al. v. Alabama Great Southern Railroad Company, Civil District Court, No. 2002-08256 (Denial of Class Certification).
 
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Cynthia Turnage, et al. v. Norfolk Southern Corporation, USDC, E.D.TENN, No. 03-341; affirmed 307 Fed. Appx. 918 (6th Cir. 2009), 72 Fed.R.Serv.3d 774 (6th Cir. 2009); writs denied 2009 WL 140479 (C.A.6. (Tenn.)) 130 S.Ct. 203.
 
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Beaty Chevrolet Company v. Norfolk Southern Railway Company, 214 Fed.Appx.563 (Tenn. App. 6th Cir. 2007).
 
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In re: Al Copeland Enterprises, Inc., Chapter 11 Case No. 91-12575, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Western District of Texas, Austin Division (3 month adversary proceeding trial).
 
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Alvin C. Copeland, et al. v. Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc., et al., USDC, EDLA, No. 92-0570 "S".
 
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Galjour v. General American Tank Car Corp., 769 F. Supp. 953 (E.D. La. 1991).
 
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Galjour v. General American Tank Car Corp., 764 F. Supp. 1093 (E.D. La. 1991).
 
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Adams v. CSX, 615 So.2d 476 (La. App. 4th Cir. 1993).
 
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In re: New Orleans Train Car Leakage Fire Litigation, 97-2547 (La. 10/31/97), 702 So.2d 677 (La., Oct. 31, 1997)(No. 97-CC-2547).
 
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In re: New Orleans Train Car Leakage Fire Litigation, 97-1150 (La. 6/27/97), 697 So.2d 239 (La., June 27, 1997)(No. 97-CC-1150, 97-CC-1161).
 
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In re: New Orleans Train Car Leakage Fire Litigation, 96-1677 (La. App. 4 Cir. 3/5/97), 690 So.2d 255 (La. App. 4Cir., March 5, 1997) (No. 96-C-1677).
 
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In re: New Orleans Train Car Leakage Fire Litigation, 95-2710 (La. App. 4 Cir. 3/20/96), 671 So.2d 540 (La. App. 4 Cir, March 20,1996) (No. 95-C-2710, 95-C-2721, 96-C-0016, 95-C-2734, 95-C-2811, 96-C-0017, 95-C-2797, 96-C-0015).
 
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Norfolk Southern Corporation, et al. v. CIGNA Specialty Insurance Company, et al., 19th JDC, Parish of East Baton Rouge, No. 410025 “D”-(environmental insurance coverage action). (Multiple trials resulting in declaration of twenty million insurance coverage for multiple environmental sites.)
 
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Thomas Albarado, et al. v. Southern Pacific Transportation Company, et al., CDC, No. 98-1473 Division "B" (nationwide railroad employee class action).
 
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Tenneco v. Chicago Bridge & Iron Co., 95 So.2d 1317 (La. App. 4th Cir. 1986).
 
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Perry v. Mercedes Benz of North America, Inc., 957 F. 2d 1257, 60 USLW 2676, Prod. Liab. Rep. (CCH) p. 13, 147 (5th Cir. 1992).
 
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Todd Shipyards v. Hercules, Inc., 859 F.2d 1224, Prod. Liab. Rep. (CCH) p. 11, 971 (5th Cir. 1988).
 
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Nevils v. Singer Co., 535 So.2d 948 (La. App. 5th Cir. 1988).
 
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Presidential Fire and Gas Co. v. New Orleans Terminal Co., 557 So2d 975 (La. App. 4th Cir. 1990).
 



Ben  Slater, III

Practice
Litigation
Education
J.D., Tulane University School of Law, 1975
B.A., Tulane University, 1972
Bar Admissions
Louisiana
 
 
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