Benjamin R Slater III

Partner

Ben Slater enjoys working with clients to spot issues before they become problems and providing practical solutions when issues do arise.  Ben is an experienced trial lawyer with a highly successful record of serving clients in the transportation, energy, restaurant, and consumer products industries.  His practice covers a range of litigation, including civil, 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 representes 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 Hurricane 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.

RECENT PRACTICE HIGHLIGHTS

PUBLICATIONS

 Best Lawyers: Legal Insights, “Strategies for Deposing Lay Expert Witnesses When Defending Railroad Companies,” November 20, 2017

  • Best Lawyers: Legal Insights, “The Importance of Trial Preparation,” July 20, 2017
  • Westlaw Journal, Co-Author, “Analysis of Alexander v. Norfolk Southern Corporation,” Vol. 30, Issue 9, June, 2012
  • Defense Research Institute’s Defense Library Series, Co-Author, “Trade Secrets and Non-Competes, a Compendium of State Law,” 2012

PRESENTATIONS
  • Speaker, National Association of Railroad Trial Counsel (NARTC) Fall Conference, “Defending Mass Tort Cases, 2018
  • Speaker, NARTC Special Litigation Conference, “Responding to the 30(b)(6) Corporation Deposition,” 2012
  • Speaker, Louisiana State Bar Association “Jury Selection in Environmental Litigation” and “Nuts & Bolts of Environmental Litigation,” September 2003
  • Speaker, National Association of Railroad Trial Counsel, Special Litigation Conference, “Removal – Possibilities and Pitfalls,” February, 2003
  • Speaker, National Association of Railroad Trial Counsel Annual Meeting, “How to make Lloyd’s Cry Uncle,” July 2001
  • American Bar Association, Insurance Coverage Section – Section of Litigation, “Obtaining Testimony and Documents from Non-Party Sources,” May 2001

HONORS AND AWARDS

  • Selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America for over 25 years for Commercial Litigation, Litigation – Environmental, Mass Tort Litigation/Class Actions – Plaintiffs, Personal Injury Litigation – Defendants, Product Liability Litigation – Defendants, Railroad Law, and Transportation Law
  • Named “Lawyer of the Year” in New Orleans for Transportation Law by The Best Lawyers in America, 2019
  • Named as City Business Leadership in Law Honoree, 2015 and 2019
  • Selected for inclusion in Louisiana Super Lawyers Magazine for Transportation/Maritime, 2009-2019
  • Named “Lawyer of the Year” in Railroad Law in New Orleans by The Best Lawyers in America, 2017
  • Named as a Top Lawyer by New Orleans Magazine, 2017

COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT

  • Member, Defense Research Institute, Chairman of the Railroad Law Committee
  • Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel
  • Greater New Orleans Expressway Commission, Commissioner and Chairman
  • Member, Louisiana State Mineral Board
  • Elected Representative of Louisiana State Republican Central Committee



  • Intellectual Property: Represented the founder of an international food retailer in litigation over misappropriation of trade secret recipes.
  • Intellectual Property: Represented the founder of an international food retailer in bankruptcy litigation concerning ownership of trade secrets.
  • 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.
  • Insurance Coverage: Represented a transportation company in the recovery of multimillion 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.

Key Matters

  • Intellectual Property: Represented the founder of an international food retailer in litigation over misappropriation of trade secret recipes.
  • Intellectual Property: Represented the founder of an international food retailer in bankruptcy litigation concerning ownership of trade secrets.
  • 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.
  • Insurance Coverage: Represented a transportation company in the recovery of multimillion 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.