Kanner & Whiteley, L.L.C. is a litigation boutique headquartered in New Orleans, Louisiana. Since its founding in 1981, K&W has been dedicated to representing consumers, governmental entities, businesses, and individual clients in cases protecting the environment, promoting fair business practices, serving insurance policyholders, and safeguarding consumer rights.
K&W’s skillful management of class action, complex, and multi-district litigation has earned our firm a national reputation for success. Our leadership in these areas results from the ability to form strategic partnerships with firms of varying size and specialty across the nation. Having practiced throughout the United States, and with a strong presence in the Gulf Coast area, K&W’s attorneys currently hold licenses in Alabama, California, the District of Columbia, Florida, Illinois, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico (Federal), Texas, and Virginia.
K&W’s aggressive leadership has put it at the helm of some of today’s most important civil cases, including:
- Representing the State of Louisiana against British Petroleum and co-Defendants for natural resource damages and economic losses from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill;
- Leading the multi-district litigation against generic drug manufacturers for their version of Wellbutrin XL, the first “inferior generic” case of its kind;
- Representing the State of Louisiana against GlaxoSmithKline for its violations of Louisiana’s Medical Assistance Programs Integrity Laws and Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Laws regarding its drug Avandia;
- Representing the State of Louisiana against Abbott Laboratories, et al. for violations of Louisiana’s Medical Assistance Programs Integrity Laws and Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Laws regarding its drug Depakote®;
- Leading the multi-district antitrust class action against Cox Communications for its illegal tying actions, as associated with its lease of set-top boxes; and
- Representing the State of New Jersey against Exxon for decades of natural resource damages to the State’s wetlands and waterways by refining activities.
These are just today’s accomplishments. To learn more about our recent victories, visit the Practice Areas section.
Judicial Recognition of Good Work
- New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection v. Exxon Mobil, No. UNN-L- 3026-04 (consolidated with HUD-4415-04) (August 25, 2015, Hogan, J.) (“The Firm has labored in the high weeds of this litigation for eleven years,…The Firm was up against a determined adversary who created a daunting ten year defense that a less experienced, less determined, or less skilled effort would not have been able to timely, professionally, and, for the most part, successfully meet the challenge…Litigating natural resource damages is a complex and time intensive undertaking, involving a close and confident relationship between the Attorney General, the DEP and the Firm. The court was able to observe that this was true during the trial. The Kanner Firm is, under any definition, a small law firm. It is dwarfed by the firms that it opposed in this case. Yet by having the focus of those attorneys assigned to the case devote the majority of their time to their client’s efforts, they undoubtedly were precluded from taking on numerous new clients particularly because of their limited size. The Attorney General’s Office, having worked with the firm for over a year on a non-compensation basis before formally retaining the firm, was most certainly well aware of the limitations their retainer agreement and subsequent litigation would place on the economics of the firm and it is no doubt a reason for their support of the Firm’s application.”)
- In re: SCBA Liquidation, Inc. f/k/a Second Chance Body Armor, Inc. No. 04-12515 (W.D. Mich. November 11, 2013) (“But for the Class and the efforts of Class Counsel, the interests of many of these individual vest purchasers would not have been adequately represented in this bankruptcy case and these individuals would not have received any compensation for their valid vast claims. As the bankruptcy court noted, “Class Counsel has protected the ‘little guys.’”)
- Ralph Shaffer v. Continental Casualty Company, CV 06-2235-PSG (June 12, 2008) (Final Approval of national class action for seniors against long term care insurer) (“The Court finds Class Counsel have achieved a substantial benefit for the Class in the face of formidable defenses to liability and difficult damages issues. Class Counsel’s skill and experience enhanced the Settlement, and Class Counsel took on a substantial risk by taking this case on a contingency basis and advancing all of the necessary litigation expenses. Class Counsel fought numerous motions, took or defended several depositions in various locations throughout the Country, analyzed thousands of documents and several expert reports, extensively prepared for trial, and after nearly two years of litigation and effort to build a compelling case against an aggressive opponent, engaged in difficult settlement negotiations.”)
- Lemmings, et al., v. Second Chance Body Armor, Inc., et al., CJ-2004-62 (District Court, Mayes County, Oklahoma) (Final Approval Hearing for a national class action for police departments against makers of faulty bulletproof vest, 9/23/05, Judge James D. Goodpaster) (“Having been in this business some 40 years and having been through some litigation right here from this bench and personally I think that the lawyers for the claimants and for Toyobo have done an outstanding job and I really do thank you all for the hard work that all of you have done in putting this settlement together.”); (2/9/05 Order Certifying Class Action with Findings of Fact and Conclusion of Law) (“Plaintiffs’ lawyers are qualified, experienced and generally able to conduct the proposed litigation and there are no antagonistic interests between the representative party and the class. Plaintiffs have retained attorneys that are qualified and skilled in complex and consumer class litigation.”)
- Wallace v. American Agrinsurance, Inc., No LR-C-99-669 (E.D.Ark. 2005) (“I have nothing but admiration for you and your associates for the outstanding manner in which you at all time represented the [national rice grower] class plaintiffs in this case.”)
- Samples v. Conoco, Inc., No. 2001-CA-000631, Div. J (Escambia County, First Judicial Circuit Court, Florida, 2003) (Class Counsel were “shown to be qualified, adequately financed and possessed sufficient experience…[and] have demonstrated both their commitment to vigorously pursue this matter on behalf of the class [for pollution property damages] as well as their qualifications to do so.”)
- Janes v. CIBA-GEIGY Corporation, Docket No. L-1669-01 Mass Tort 248 (Law Div. Middlesex Cty.) (5/16/03 Opinion and Order Certifying Litigation Class for pollution property damages) (Plaintiffs’ “attorneys are qualified and experienced to conduct this litigation. Class counsel has the requisite experience, skill, and competency in dealing with class actions and complex litigation.”)
- Hanson v. Acceleration Life Ins. Co., Civ. No. A3:97-152 (D.N.D. Mar. 18, 1999) (certifying class of senior long term care insurance purchasers, rejecting filed rate doctrine and denying summary judgment): Order of December 11, 1999 (approving final settlement of $14.7 million), pp. 8-9: (“This litigation was hard fought throughout its two year pendency and required thousands of hours of counsel’s time and hundreds of thousands of dollars advanced for expenses, with significant risk of no compensation. Both local counsel and national class counsel are commended for their willingness to take on this cause when there were virtually no precedents to assure them of likely success. They are all highly skilled and well-experienced attorneys who appreciate the risky nature of this litigation, yet their desire to correct a perceived injustice suffered by a vulnerable group of people led them to take this risk. Counsel’s considerable skill, both in the substantive areas of this case as well as in discovery and class action procedure, together with their degrees of preparation were primary factors leading to the favorable settlement for the class. Of equal note is the fact that counsel unquestionably put the interests of the class far ahead of their own interest.”) (emphasis added). This case involved a North Dakota class action certified against Acceleration Life Insurance and Commonwealth Life Insurance Company for fraud in connection with multiple premium increases of up to 700% between 1989 and 1997 on “guaranteed renewable” Long-Term Care insurance policies. Shortly before trial a national class action settlement, supervised and approved by the federal magistrate, was entered into which brought over $7.7 million in cash payouts to numerous elderly policyholders and their families and an additional $4 million in insurance benefits tailored to the specific needs of each class member.
- Talalai v. Cooper Tire & Rubber Co., MID-L-8839-00MT, Mass Tort 249, (Law Div. Middlesex Cty.) (11/1/01 Opinion and Order Certifying National Class and Preliminarily Approving Settlement) (“The attorneys of Kanner & Whiteley, L.L.C. have substantial jury trial experience with a number of multi-million-dollar verdicts, including a number of successful class action trials. The firm is known for its willingness to try class actions to verdicts and has done so on at least three occasions, winning every time”); Opinion of September 13, 2002 (Approving Certification and Final Settlement of National Class), p. 5: (“The Stipulation was the result of extensive and intensive arm’s length negotiations among highly experienced counsel, with the benefit of extensive discovery and full knowledge of the risks inherent in this litigation.”)
- Milkman v. American Travellers Life Insurance Co., No. 3775, (Ct. Cm. Pleas, First Judicial District, June Term 2000) (Preliminary Approval of National Class: 11/26/01) (“As demonstrated by the credentials set forth in the Motion, the Plaintiff’s attorneys are more than capable of representing the interests of the Class and there do not appear to be any conflicts of interest between the Plaintiff and the Class.”). (Final Approval of National Class: 4/1/02), p. 47 (“Again, the quality of the legal representation provided by Class Counsel is exceptional. The extensive experience of each of the firms and individual attorneys serving the Class is set forth in Kanner Affidavit Paragraphs 54 through 68. Moreover, the Court can attest to Class Counsel’s professionalism and skill, as demonstrated by the extensive memoranda of law and the first-class oral arguments delivered on behalf of the Class.”)
- Bonilla, et al. v. Trebol Motors Corporation, et al., No. 92-1795 (JP) (D.P.R.) ($129,000,000 jury verdict in civil RICO class action against Volvo and local distributor) (describing the firm’s abilities on March 27, 1997, as follows: “We have no trouble concluding that the experience and resources of Kanner & Whiteley was a major reason that the plaintiffs’ class was able to so successfully present its case to the jury and achieve such an estimable result. Mr. Kanner, who served as lead counsel at trial, has perhaps as much experience litigating complex class action suits as any attorney in the United States. He has authored, chaired, consulted on, contributed to, and given articles, symposiums, classes, books, practice guides, etc. More importantly, his resume is replete with instances in which he served as counsel in complex class action suits. His experience was essential to the success realized by the plaintiffs in this action.”) (emphasis added).
- Glass, Molders, Pottery Plastics, and Allied Workers International Union, et al. v. Wickes Companies, Inc., No. L-06023-88 (Sup.Ct., Camden Cty., February 24, 1992) (certifying national class of workers who lost jobs as a result of tortious conduct occurring in the context of hostile corporate raid) (describing the firm’s abilities to represent the class as follows: “Plaintiffs’ attorneys have extensive professional experience representing plaintiffs in class actions. Additionally, the attorneys representing the plaintiffs are equipped with the staff and resources to adequately handle a technical and complex class action. In short, I am satisfied that plaintiffs’ attorneys are committed to the class and competent to advocate its interest.”); (emphasis added). Order Approving Counsel Fees of December 16, 1993 (“This Court finds that the Kanner firm, [and co-counsel] have all provided outstanding service to the class and faithfully executed their fiduciary duties in connection with this litigation.”) (emphasis added).
- Local 7-515, Oil Chemical and Atomic Workers International Union (OCAWIU), et al v. American Home Products, et al., Civ. No. 92-1238 (JP) (D.P.R.) (Order of April 13, 1992, certifying national class of workers who lost jobs as a result of fraudulent job transfers to Puerto Rico under civil RICO theory), Oil Chemical and Atomic Workers International Union v. American Home Products, et al., Civil No. 91-1093 consol. with Civil No. 92-1238 (Order of September 17, 1992, approving $24 million settlement); (p. 38 of transcript: “Indeed, the Court affirmatively finds that Mr. Kanner and [co-counsel] have in all matters handled this case and conducted themselves, in relation to their co-counsel, with the highest degree of professionalism, integrity and ability. There is no doubt in the Court’s mind, based on his intimate familiarity with the record, that but for the outstanding efforts of Mr. Kanner and [co-counsel] there would not have been such a significant and landmark result in this case, and I have been telling you all this long before this moment.”) (emphasis added).
- The Board of Commissioners of the New Orleans Exhibition Hall Authority v. Missouri Pacific Railroad Company, et al., No. 92-4155 (Judgment of February 15, 1996) (“It must be said that both firms and all attorneys involved in this protracted litigation exemplified the highest standard of trial experience and skill which was brought to bear on this novel and difficult matter in a specialized area of the law.”) (emphasis added).