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Katherine L. Swartout

Katie is a civil litigation and trial attorney with a wide array of experience representing national insurers, international product manufacturers, interstate carriers, national grocery chains, public entities, and construction and development companies.

About

Prior to joining the firm, she worked for a well-established local defense firm, as well as a national insurance coverage and defense firm. She has practiced in matters involving interstate carrier defense, Louisiana Public Works Act, maritime law, commercial litigation, construction defect, professional liability, contract disputes,“last mile” delivery issues, and workers’ compensation, handling all aspects of claims from pre-litigation through settlement, jury trial, and/or appeal.

Katie also brings over a decade of maritime and transportation industry experience and business acumen to her practice. Prior to joining the practice of law, she worked closely with carriers, shippers, terminals and government authorities on contract negotiations, labor issues, compliance, and documentation, while working on the commercial side of transportation and logistics.


Katie earned her law degree from Tulane University, graduating cum laude with a Maritime Law Certificate in 2015. While in law school, she received the M. Dreux Van Horn, Lucille Kinney Van Horn and Marian Dreux Van Horn II Scholarship, Honors in Trial Advocacy, and was awarded membership into the Order of the Barristers for          her oral advocacy. Katie was heavily involved in Tulane’s Moot Court program, earning Moot Court Coach                 of the Year and bringing home numerous national and international mediation and negotiation awards                with her Alternative Dispute Resolution Team.  Additionally, Katie served as a student practitioner in            Tulane’s Domestic Violence Clinic. She graduated magna cum laude with a double major in Mathematics and Psychology from Wake Forest University in 2007.

Practice Areas

Notable representations

  • Successfully obtained summary dismissals in a product liability case stemming from maritime death case; respondeat superior case stemming from alleged sexual misconduct culminating in a motor vehicle accident with a now paraplegic state trooper; and personal injury cases under merchant liability

  • Awarded numerous dismissals under the exceptions of no cause of action, no right of action, prescription, and improper service under the Hague Convention. 

  • Assisted trial team in obtaining full defense verdict in jury trial of a professional liability suit against a psychologist in Lafayette Parish. 

  • Reduced client’s liability by over $1 million by getting a prior firm’s jury verdict vacated, in matter of professional liability in Terrebonne Parish.

  • Effectively reduced client’s liability over $27 million in a jury trial on claims of negligent entrustment against an employer in Bossier Parish relative to its employee driver. 

  • Reduced client’s liability over $1 million by defeating allegations of a causal relationship between claimant’s injury and subsequent rheumatoid arthritis in a bench trial and subsequent appeal in Terrebonne Parish.

Education

  • Tulane University Law School, J.D., cum laude, May 2015 

    • Certificate of Specialization in Maritime Law

    • Certificate of Advanced Study and Training in Mediation (Berlin summer program)

    • Certificate of Advanced Study and Training in Dispute Resolution (Berlin summer program)

    • Certificate in International Arbitration (Berlin summer program)

    • Order of the Barristers

    • Honors in Trial Advocacy

    • Moot Court Coach of the Year

    • M. Dreux Van Horn, Lucille Kinney Van Horn and Marian Dreux Van Horn II Scholarship

  • Wake Forest University, B.A., magna cum laude, May 2007 

    • B.A. Mathematics; B.A. Psychology

    • Delta Zeta

Experience

  • McCranie Sistrunk Anzelmo Hardy McDaniel & Welch LLC

  • Thompson Coe Cousins and Irons, LLP

  • Tulane Domestic Violence Law Clinic

  • SMW, PLC

  • Spliethoff Group

  • Cleveland Port Authority

  • Port of New Orleans

  • BaltiCarrier, Division of Spliethoff Group

Publications & Speaking Engagements

  • Opening Statements: Winning from the Beginning; New Orleans Bar Association, New Orleans, LA, December 14, 2023

  • Hurricanes and Related Claims; New Orleans Bar Association, New Orleans, LA, December 13, 2023

  • Mastering Mediation; New Orleans Bar Association, New Orleans, LA, December 14, 2021

  • Tips I Wish I Knew as a First Year Lawyer; New Orleans Bar Association, New Orleans, LA, December 15, 2020, and December 15, 2021.

  • Expanding Your Practice; New Orleans Bar Association, New Orleans, LA, December 11, 2019. 

  • The Basics for Giving Back; New Orleans Bar Association, New Orleans, LA, December 11, 2018. 

  • Billing, Costs, and Fees; New Orleans Bar Association, New Orleans, LA, December 13, 2017, and December 11, 2018. 

  • Strategies for Defending Against Traumatic Brain Injury Cases; National Webinar, January 2017 

  • Behind the Scenes with Law Clerks; New Orleans Bar Association, New Orleans, LA, December 14, 2016.

Admissions

  • Louisiana

Memberships & Affiliations

  • Louisiana State Bar Association

  • New Orleans Bar Association 

    • Young Lawyers Section

    • Chair Elect, 2024

    • Vice Chair, 2023

    • Secretary, 2022

    • Treasurer, 2021

    • Executive Council Member, 2018 to present

  • New Orleans Bar Foundation

    • Board of Directors, 2018-2020 

  • American Bar Association

  • Federal Bar Association

  • Women’s International Shipping and Trading Association
    Association for Women Attorneys

Honors and achievements

  • Louisiana Super Lawyers, Rising Stars, 2024

  • 2024 Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch

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