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For nearly 20 years, Chris Ralston has represented clients on a broad range of commercial litigation matters. He focuses his practice in the areas of antitrust law, business torts, trade secret litigation and contract disputes, tax litigation, securities litigation and arbitration, direct selling and intellectual property litigation. Chris regularly advises multinational corporations as well as emerging businesses, serving as the main litigation contact for a number of the firm’s institutional clients. In addition to his commercial litigation practice, Chris is a member of the firm’s appellate practice and has been appointed as a practice coordinator for the firm’s litigation group in New Orleans.

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For nearly 20 years, Chris Ralston has represented clients on a broad range of commercial litigation matters. He focuses his practice in the areas of antitrust law, business torts, trade secret litigation and contract disputes, tax litigation, securities litigation and arbitration, direct selling and intellectual property litigation. Chris regularly advises multinational corporations as well as emerging businesses, serving as the main litigation contact for a number of the firm’s institutional clients. In addition to his commercial litigation practice, Chris is a member of the firm’s appellate practice and has been appointed as a practice coordinator for the firm’s litigation group in New Orleans.

Chris regularly litigates breach of contract disputes and enforcement of non-competition, licensing and distributor agreements in both state and federal courts. He has tried antitrust, securities fraud, federal qui tam/False Claims Act cases, large real estate suits and a variety of commercial disputes on behalf of his clients. Through his appellate practice, Chris has successfully handled appeals at each of the five Louisiana Circuit Courts of Appeal, the Supreme Court of Louisiana, the Fifth Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

In addition to his legal practice, Chris frequently serves as a guest lecturer for several bar associations and has presented on topics including E-Discovery, social media issues, cybersecurity, data breaches and trade secret litigation to judicial colleges, in-house counsel and private practitioners. Chris has also contributed to the development of Phelps Dunbar’s eDiscovery Team, which serves to ensure that the firm's lawyers are on the cutting edge of evolving legislative and jurisprudential rules that govern electronic discovery, using the best tools available to efficiently collect, review and produce electronic data for the firm’s clients.

Practice Focus

Experience

  • Obtained federal court ruling, affirmed on appeal, dismissing $35 million claim by former food supplier against client, a national company owning multiple restaurant brands and awarding court costs to client.
  • Obtained federal court ruling in favor of firm client, including injunction against corporation claiming patent infringement by client and final judgment invalidating corporation's patents, which was upheld on appeal.
  • Obtained dismissal, after full trial, of all claims asserted against global corporation by independent contractor seeking multi-million dollar damage award and declaratory relief in federal court and AAA arbitration proceedings.
  • Obtained multi-million dollar federal court judgment for client after breach of agreement in connection with the sale of a company.
  • Defended multi-national corporation through trial of False Claims Act/Qui Tam suit in federal court, obtaining a defense verdict that was affirmed on appeal.
  • Obtained dismissal of federal court lawsuit seeking one-half of proceeds from firm client's $157 million sale of company.
  • Successfully represented international corporation in antitrust suit filed by distributor of client's products.
  • Successfully defended client in trade secrets case, including obtaining dismissal of claims against client and payment of client's attorneys' fees by company that filed suit.
  • Obtained ruling enforcing all provisions of commercial license agreement used in Louisiana and in multiple other states, including injunctive relief and award of substantial monetary relief after trial.
  • Achieved involuntary dismissal of claims made by state taxing authority against firm client for allegedly underpaid sales and use taxes.
  • Successfully handled request for injunctive relief in favor of client and against company seeking to thwart sale and marketing of client's real estate development.
  • Obtained favorable rulings in federal court resulting in payment to firm client of nearly all of amount owed for pipeline construction project.
  • Obtained preliminary and permanent injunction in favor of client, a public entity, regarding property tax assessments and attempted tax sale of entity's properties.
  • Achieved dismissal of federal antitrust and other claims asserted against national company by its licensee.

Insights

Speaking Engagements
  • Speaker, "Technology, Social Media and Ethics," Louisiana Judicial College's City, Family and Juvenile Judges Seminar (January 2019)
  • Speaker, “Digital Data Retention and Destruction - Policies and Related Considerations,” MIE National Conference for Legal Services (January 2019)
  • Speaker, "The Nerd Deposition: A 30(b) (6) to Discover the Location and Availability of ESI," New Orleans Bar Association Procrastinators' CLE Programs (December 2018)
  • Speaker, "Social Media, Technology and Ethics," LSBA CLE Wrap-Up CLE Program (December 2018)
  • Speaker, "Nuts and Bolts: Final Judgments, Decretal Language and More," Advanced Appellate Practice Seminar LSBA CLE Program (November 2018)
  • Co-Presenter, "Cybersecurity for the C-Suite - Examining Best Practices from Prevention to Crisis Response" 39th Annual Tulane Business Forum (September 2018)
  • Speaker, “Reputation Management: Social Media – Tips, Tricks and Pitfalls,” LSBA CLE Presentation (August 2018)
  • Speaker, Appellate Advocacy Program, Louisiana State Bar Association Annual Meeting and LSBA/Louisiana Judicial College Joint Summer School (June 2018)
  • Speaker, "The History and Achievements of SLLS," SLLS's 50th Anniversary & Tulane Law's 30 Years of Pro Bono (February 2018)
  • Co-Presenter, "Federal Court Motion Practice," New Orleans Bar Association Masters of the Courtroom CLE Program (December 2017)
  • Speaker, "Ethics and Social Media: Lawyering in 140 Characters or Less," New Orleans Bar Association (November 2017)
  • Speaker, "Doing Business in Cuba," 38th Annual Tulane Business Forum (September 2017)
  • Speaker, "Cybersecurity, Laws and Litigation Trends," New Orleans Bar Association CLE Luncheon (August 2017)
  • Speaker, "Cyber Incidents: Protecting Your Future in an Ever-Changing Landscape," ACC Louisiana Chapter and Phelps Dunbar CLE Luncheon (June 2017)
  • Speaker, "Technology, Social Media and Ethics: How to Avoid Pitfalls," 22nd Judicial District Court Bar Association (November 2016)
  • Co-Presenter, "E-Discovery," Louisiana Judicial Council/National Bar Association Annual Meeting and Continuing Education Program (February 2016)
  • Moderator, "E-Discovery: It's Not Just For Big Civil Suits in Federal Court Anymore," New Orleans Bar Association Bench Bar Conference, Point Clear, AL (April 2015)
  • Speaker, "Ethics: Technology, Social Media and Ethics," New Orleans Bar Association CLE Program: Ethics & Professionalism in the New Year (January 2015)
  • Speaker, New Orleans Bar Association's Inn of Court CLE Program: The Risks and Dangers of Social Media (August 2014)
News

Memberships & Affiliations

  • Louisiana State Bar Association, Client Assistance Fund Committee, (2014-Present), Crystal Gavel Award Committee (Chair), House of Delegates (Member, 2013-Present), Access to Justice Policy Committee (2012-Present), Bench and Bar Section (Vice Chair, 2015-Present; Secretary-Treasurer, 2014-2015)
  • Louisiana Bar Foundation (Vice President, Present; Treasurer, 2018-Present; Board of Directors, 2014-Present; Fellow, 2010-Present)
  • New Orleans Bar Association (President, 2016-2017; President-elect, 2015-2016; Vice President, 2013-2015; Board of Directors, 2008-present); Tax Law Committee (Chair, 2018-Present); Public Service Committee (Chair); Young Lawyers Section (Past Chair)
  • Southeast Louisiana Legal Services (Vice President, 2015-Present; First Vice President, 2011-2012; Officer, Member, Board of Directors, 2009-Present)
  • Tulane University Law School Alumni Association (President, 2014-Present)
  • American Diabetes Association, National Board of Directors (2018 - Present), New Orleans Community Leadership Board (Board Chair, 2014-Present; Board Member, 2009-Present)
  • The Pro Bono Project (Board Chair, Present; Board of Directors, 2009-Present)
  • Faculty Member, Civil Litigation Bootcamp Course, Tulane University Law School (2012-Present)
  • Executive Leadership Program Graduate, Harvard Law School (2015)
  • Tulane University Alumni Association (President-Elect, Present; Board of Directors, 2016-Present)
  • Louisiana Access to Justice Commission (Appointed Member, 2015-Present)
  • Fifth Federal Circuit Bar Association
  • Federal Bar Association
  • American Bar Association
  • Former Federal Law Clerks Association

Recognition

  • Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business (2017-2019)
  • Selected to the Louisiana Super Lawyers list, Super Lawyers (Thomson Reuters), 2014-2019
  • Selected to the Louisiana Super Lawyers list - Top 50, Super Lawyers (Thomson Reuters), 2016-2019
  • Selected  to the Louisiana Super Lawyers list - Top 50 New Orleans Lawyers list, Super Lawyers (Thomson Reuters), 2016-2019
  • Louisiana State Bar Association's President's Award (2016)
  • Louisiana Bar Foundation's President's Award (2016, 2013)
  • Federal Bar Association's New Orleans Chapter President's Award (2016)
  • New Orleans CityBusiness - Leadership in Law Award (2012, 2010, 2009); Hall of Fame (2012)
  • The Pro Bono Project's Distinguished Service Award (2011, 2008, 2007, 2002)
  • American Diabetes Association's National Chairman’s Citation Award (2011)
  • Louisiana State Bar Association's Century Club Award (2014)
  • Louisiana State Bar Association's Friend of Pro Bono Award (2009)
  • Louisiana State Bar Association's Pro Bono Publico Award (2008)
  • Louisiana State Bar Association's The Outstanding Young Lawyer of Louisiana (2006)
  • New Orleans Bar Association's Outstanding Young Lawyer (2004)
  • Lexology Client Choice Award (2016)
  • New Orleans Magazine - Top Lawyers
  • AV® Preeminent Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell
  • The Best Lawyers in America© (Woodward/White, Inc.), Appellate Practice in New Orleans, 2019
  • The Best Lawyers in America© (Woodward/White, Inc.), Commercial Litigation in New Orleans, 2013-2019

Education

  • Tulane University Law School
    J.D., 1999
  • College of William and Mary
    B.A. in International Relations, 1992

Admissions

  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana
  • U.S. District Court, Middle District of Louisiana
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Louisiana
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Texas
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Texas
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Tennessee
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
  • Louisiana
  • U.S. Supreme Court

Clerkships

  • Judicial Law Clerk to The Hon. Eldon E. Fallon, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana
  • Obtained federal court ruling, affirmed on appeal, dismissing $35 million claim by former food supplier against client, a national company owning multiple restaurant brands and awarding court costs to client.
  • Obtained federal court ruling in favor of firm client, including injunction against corporation claiming patent infringement by client and final judgment invalidating corporation's patents, which was upheld on appeal.
  • Obtained dismissal, after full trial, of all claims asserted against global corporation by independent contractor seeking multi-million dollar damage award and declaratory relief in federal court and AAA arbitration proceedings.
  • Obtained multi-million dollar federal court judgment for client after breach of agreement in connection with the sale of a company.
  • Defended multi-national corporation through trial of False Claims Act/Qui Tam suit in federal court, obtaining a defense verdict that was affirmed on appeal.
  • Obtained dismissal of federal court lawsuit seeking one-half of proceeds from firm client's $157 million sale of company.
  • Successfully represented international corporation in antitrust suit filed by distributor of client's products.
  • Successfully defended client in trade secrets case, including obtaining dismissal of claims against client and payment of client's attorneys' fees by company that filed suit.
  • Obtained ruling enforcing all provisions of commercial license agreement used in Louisiana and in multiple other states, including injunctive relief and award of substantial monetary relief after trial.
  • Achieved involuntary dismissal of claims made by state taxing authority against firm client for allegedly underpaid sales and use taxes.
  • Successfully handled request for injunctive relief in favor of client and against company seeking to thwart sale and marketing of client's real estate development.
  • Obtained favorable rulings in federal court resulting in payment to firm client of nearly all of amount owed for pipeline construction project.
  • Obtained preliminary and permanent injunction in favor of client, a public entity, regarding property tax assessments and attempted tax sale of entity's properties.
  • Achieved dismissal of federal antitrust and other claims asserted against national company by its licensee.
Speaking Engagements
  • Speaker, "Technology, Social Media and Ethics," Louisiana Judicial College's City, Family and Juvenile Judges Seminar (January 2019)
  • Speaker, “Digital Data Retention and Destruction - Policies and Related Considerations,” MIE National Conference for Legal Services (January 2019)
  • Speaker, "The Nerd Deposition: A 30(b) (6) to Discover the Location and Availability of ESI," New Orleans Bar Association Procrastinators' CLE Programs (December 2018)
  • Speaker, "Social Media, Technology and Ethics," LSBA CLE Wrap-Up CLE Program (December 2018)
  • Speaker, "Nuts and Bolts: Final Judgments, Decretal Language and More," Advanced Appellate Practice Seminar LSBA CLE Program (November 2018)
  • Co-Presenter, "Cybersecurity for the C-Suite - Examining Best Practices from Prevention to Crisis Response" 39th Annual Tulane Business Forum (September 2018)
  • Speaker, “Reputation Management: Social Media – Tips, Tricks and Pitfalls,” LSBA CLE Presentation (August 2018)
  • Speaker, Appellate Advocacy Program, Louisiana State Bar Association Annual Meeting and LSBA/Louisiana Judicial College Joint Summer School (June 2018)
  • Speaker, "The History and Achievements of SLLS," SLLS's 50th Anniversary & Tulane Law's 30 Years of Pro Bono (February 2018)
  • Co-Presenter, "Federal Court Motion Practice," New Orleans Bar Association Masters of the Courtroom CLE Program (December 2017)
  • Speaker, "Ethics and Social Media: Lawyering in 140 Characters or Less," New Orleans Bar Association (November 2017)
  • Speaker, "Doing Business in Cuba," 38th Annual Tulane Business Forum (September 2017)
  • Speaker, "Cybersecurity, Laws and Litigation Trends," New Orleans Bar Association CLE Luncheon (August 2017)
  • Speaker, "Cyber Incidents: Protecting Your Future in an Ever-Changing Landscape," ACC Louisiana Chapter and Phelps Dunbar CLE Luncheon (June 2017)
  • Speaker, "Technology, Social Media and Ethics: How to Avoid Pitfalls," 22nd Judicial District Court Bar Association (November 2016)
  • Co-Presenter, "E-Discovery," Louisiana Judicial Council/National Bar Association Annual Meeting and Continuing Education Program (February 2016)
  • Moderator, "E-Discovery: It's Not Just For Big Civil Suits in Federal Court Anymore," New Orleans Bar Association Bench Bar Conference, Point Clear, AL (April 2015)
  • Speaker, "Ethics: Technology, Social Media and Ethics," New Orleans Bar Association CLE Program: Ethics & Professionalism in the New Year (January 2015)
  • Speaker, New Orleans Bar Association's Inn of Court CLE Program: The Risks and Dangers of Social Media (August 2014)
News
  • Louisiana State Bar Association, Client Assistance Fund Committee, (2014-Present), Crystal Gavel Award Committee (Chair), House of Delegates (Member, 2013-Present), Access to Justice Policy Committee (2012-Present), Bench and Bar Section (Vice Chair, 2015-Present; Secretary-Treasurer, 2014-2015)
  • Louisiana Bar Foundation (Vice President, Present; Treasurer, 2018-Present; Board of Directors, 2014-Present; Fellow, 2010-Present)
  • New Orleans Bar Association (President, 2016-2017; President-elect, 2015-2016; Vice President, 2013-2015; Board of Directors, 2008-present); Tax Law Committee (Chair, 2018-Present); Public Service Committee (Chair); Young Lawyers Section (Past Chair)
  • Southeast Louisiana Legal Services (Vice President, 2015-Present; First Vice President, 2011-2012; Officer, Member, Board of Directors, 2009-Present)
  • Tulane University Law School Alumni Association (President, 2014-Present)
  • American Diabetes Association, National Board of Directors (2018 - Present), New Orleans Community Leadership Board (Board Chair, 2014-Present; Board Member, 2009-Present)
  • The Pro Bono Project (Board Chair, Present; Board of Directors, 2009-Present)
  • Faculty Member, Civil Litigation Bootcamp Course, Tulane University Law School (2012-Present)
  • Executive Leadership Program Graduate, Harvard Law School (2015)
  • Tulane University Alumni Association (President-Elect, Present; Board of Directors, 2016-Present)
  • Louisiana Access to Justice Commission (Appointed Member, 2015-Present)
  • Fifth Federal Circuit Bar Association
  • Federal Bar Association
  • American Bar Association
  • Former Federal Law Clerks Association
  • Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business (2017-2019)
  • Selected to the Louisiana Super Lawyers list, Super Lawyers (Thomson Reuters), 2014-2019
  • Selected to the Louisiana Super Lawyers list - Top 50, Super Lawyers (Thomson Reuters), 2016-2019
  • Selected  to the Louisiana Super Lawyers list - Top 50 New Orleans Lawyers list, Super Lawyers (Thomson Reuters), 2016-2019
  • Louisiana State Bar Association's President's Award (2016)
  • Louisiana Bar Foundation's President's Award (2016, 2013)
  • Federal Bar Association's New Orleans Chapter President's Award (2016)
  • New Orleans CityBusiness - Leadership in Law Award (2012, 2010, 2009); Hall of Fame (2012)
  • The Pro Bono Project's Distinguished Service Award (2011, 2008, 2007, 2002)
  • American Diabetes Association's National Chairman’s Citation Award (2011)
  • Louisiana State Bar Association's Century Club Award (2014)
  • Louisiana State Bar Association's Friend of Pro Bono Award (2009)
  • Louisiana State Bar Association's Pro Bono Publico Award (2008)
  • Louisiana State Bar Association's The Outstanding Young Lawyer of Louisiana (2006)
  • New Orleans Bar Association's Outstanding Young Lawyer (2004)
  • Lexology Client Choice Award (2016)
  • New Orleans Magazine - Top Lawyers
  • AV® Preeminent Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell
  • The Best Lawyers in America© (Woodward/White, Inc.), Appellate Practice in New Orleans, 2019
  • The Best Lawyers in America© (Woodward/White, Inc.), Commercial Litigation in New Orleans, 2013-2019