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Katherine L. Swartout

Katherine is an associate in the New Orleans office and practices in the areas of appellate, construction litigation, including zoning and permitting disputes, insurance coverage and bad faith, professional liability, products liability, including products liability in the maritime industry, and public entity liability.


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

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, 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 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, international logistics, compliance, and documentation.

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. 

  • 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.


  • 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


  • 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

  • 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.


  • Louisiana

Memberships & Affiliations

  • Louisiana State Bar Association

  • New Orleans Bar Association 

    • Young Lawyers Section

    • Secretary, 2022

    • Treasurer, 2021

    • Executive Council Member, 2018 to present

  • New Orleans Bar Foundation

    • Board of Directors, 2018-2020 

  • Women’s International Shipping and Trading Association

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