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Chris Ralston enjoys the challenge of standing before a court to advocate for his clients, but his favorite part of being a lawyer is when he calls them to deliver the good news about a court decision. He never gets tired of that. As a former business owner, Chris can relate to his clients when they call on him for help with commercial litigation matters. He develops a perspective that is broader than the case. Instead of focusing on how an issue might affect the case at hand, he asks how might this detail affect the company’s future and the big picture. That connection to clients makes delivering the news of a successful decision meaningful to Chris.

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Chris Ralston enjoys the challenge of standing before a court to advocate for his clients, but his favorite part of being a lawyer is when he calls them to deliver the good news about a court decision. He never gets tired of that. As a former business owner, Chris can relate to his clients when they call on him for help with commercial litigation matters. He develops a perspective that is broader than the case. Instead of focusing on how an issue might affect the case at hand, he asks how might this detail affect the company’s future and the big picture. That connection to clients makes delivering the news of a successful decision meaningful to Chris.

Chris regularly advises multinational corporations as well as emerging businesses, serving as the main litigation contact for several of the firm’s institutional clients. For over 20 years, Chris has focused his practice in the areas of

  • Antitrust law
  • Business torts
  • Trade secret litigation and contract disputes
  • Tax litigation
  • Securities litigation and arbitration
  • Direct Selling disputes
  • Intellectual property litigation

In addition to his commercial litigation practice, Chris is a member of the firm’s appellate practice and serves as a practice coordinator for the firm’s litigation group in New Orleans.

Chris regularly litigates in both state and federal courts. Through his appellate practice, he 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.

Experience

  • Obtained multiple federal court injunctions in favor of firm client and against multiple defendants violating non-compete and non-solicitation agreements and obtained multimillion dollar settlements in favor of firm client
  • Defeated ad valorem taxes in excess of $3 million issued against firm client, a publicly traded company
  • Secured a dismissal of a $35 million claim by a former food supplier against a national company owning multiple restaurant brands. The federal court ruling was affirmed on appeal and court costs were awarded to his 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.
  • After full trial, won dismissal of all claims asserted against global corporation by independent contractor seeking multimillion-dollar damage award and declaratory relief in federal court and AAA arbitration proceedings.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Won dismissal of federal court lawsuit seeking one-half of proceeds from firm client's $157 million sale of company.

Insights

Speaking Engagements
  • "Reputation Management: Social media – Tips, Tricks and Pitfalls," New Orleans Bar Association Seminar (June 2019) 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) Speaker
  • "Cybersecurity for the C-Suite - Examining Best Practices from Prevention to Crisis Response," 39th Annual Tulane Business Forum (September 2018) Co-Presenter
  • “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) Speaker
  • "Federal Court Motion Practice," New Orleans Bar Association Masters of the Courtroom CLE Program (December 2017) Co-Presenter
  • "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) Speaker
  • "E-Discovery," Louisiana Judicial Council/National Bar Association Annual Meeting and Continuing Education Program (February 2016) Co-Presenter
  • "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) Moderator
  • "Ethics: Technology, Social Media and Ethics," New Orleans Bar Association CLE Program: Ethics & Professionalism in the New Year (January 2015) Speaker
  • "The Risks and Dangers of Social Media," New Orleans Bar Association's Inn of Court CLE Program (August 2014) Speaker
News

Memberships & Affiliations

Professional

  • Louisiana State Bar Association, Client Assistance Fund Committee (2014-Present), Crystal Gavel Award Committee -Chair, House of Delegates (2013-Present), Access to Justice Policy Committee (2012-Present), Bench and Bar Section - Vice Chair (2015-Present) and Secretary-Treasurer (2014-2015)
  • Louisiana Bar Foundation - Vice President (2019-Present), Treasurer (2018-Present), Board of Directors (2014-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 - Past Chair, Young Lawyers Section - Past Chair
  • Southeast Louisiana Legal Services - Vice President (2015-Present), First Vice President (2011-2012), Board of Directors & Member (2009-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

Civic

  • The Pro Bono Project - Board Chair (2019-2020); Board of Directors (2009-Present)
  • American Diabetes Association - Secretary/Treasurer-Elect (Present), Board Member (2009-Present), National Board of Directors (2018 - Present), New Orleans Community Leadership Board - Board Chair (2014-Present)
  • Tulane University Law School Alumni Association - President (2014-Present)
  • Tulane University Alumni Association - President (Present), President-Elect (2019-2020), Board of Directors (2016-Present)
  • Civil Litigation Bootcamp Course, Tulane University Law School - Faculty Member (2012-Present)
  • Executive Leadership Program Graduate, Harvard Law School (2015)

Recognition

  • AV Preeminent Peer Review Rated, Martindale-Hubbell
  • Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business (2017-2020)
  • Appellate Practice (2019-2021), Commercial Litigation (2013-2021), The Best Lawyers in America
  • Louisiana Super Lawyers: Top 50 – Louisiana and New Orleans, Super Lawyers (2014 – 2020)
  • Fellow, Louisiana Bar Foundation
  • Who's Who in America, Marquis Who's Who (2020)
  • President's Award, Louisiana State Bar Association (2016)
  • President's Award, Louisiana Bar Foundation (2013, 2016)
  • President's Award, Federal Bar Association's New Orleans Chapter (2016)
  • Leadership in Law Award, New Orleans CityBusiness (2009, 2010, 2012); Hall of Fame Inductee (2012)
  • The Pro Bono Project's Distinguished Service Award (2002, 2007, 2008, 2011)
  • National Chairman’s Citation Award, American Diabetes Association (2011)
  • Century Club Award, Louisiana State Bar Association (2014)
  • Top Lawyers, New Orleans Magazine (2014)
  • Friend of Pro Bono Award, Louisiana State Bar Association (2009)
  • Pro Bono Publico Award, Louisiana State Bar Association (2008)
  • Outstanding Young Lawyer of Louisiana, Louisiana State Bar Association (2006)
  • Outstanding Young Lawyer, New Orleans Bar Association (2004)
  • Client Choice Award, Lexology (2016)

Education

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

Admissions

  • Louisiana
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
  • 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

Clerkships

  • Hon. Eldon E. Fallon, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana
  • Obtained multiple federal court injunctions in favor of firm client and against multiple defendants violating non-compete and non-solicitation agreements and obtained multimillion dollar settlements in favor of firm client
  • Defeated ad valorem taxes in excess of $3 million issued against firm client, a publicly traded company
  • Secured a dismissal of a $35 million claim by a former food supplier against a national company owning multiple restaurant brands. The federal court ruling was affirmed on appeal and court costs were awarded to his 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.
  • After full trial, won dismissal of all claims asserted against global corporation by independent contractor seeking multimillion-dollar damage award and declaratory relief in federal court and AAA arbitration proceedings.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Won dismissal of federal court lawsuit seeking one-half of proceeds from firm client's $157 million sale of company.
Speaking Engagements
  • "Reputation Management: Social media – Tips, Tricks and Pitfalls," New Orleans Bar Association Seminar (June 2019) 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) Speaker
  • "Cybersecurity for the C-Suite - Examining Best Practices from Prevention to Crisis Response," 39th Annual Tulane Business Forum (September 2018) Co-Presenter
  • “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) Speaker
  • "Federal Court Motion Practice," New Orleans Bar Association Masters of the Courtroom CLE Program (December 2017) Co-Presenter
  • "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) Speaker
  • "E-Discovery," Louisiana Judicial Council/National Bar Association Annual Meeting and Continuing Education Program (February 2016) Co-Presenter
  • "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) Moderator
  • "Ethics: Technology, Social Media and Ethics," New Orleans Bar Association CLE Program: Ethics & Professionalism in the New Year (January 2015) Speaker
  • "The Risks and Dangers of Social Media," New Orleans Bar Association's Inn of Court CLE Program (August 2014) Speaker
News

Professional

  • Louisiana State Bar Association, Client Assistance Fund Committee (2014-Present), Crystal Gavel Award Committee -Chair, House of Delegates (2013-Present), Access to Justice Policy Committee (2012-Present), Bench and Bar Section - Vice Chair (2015-Present) and Secretary-Treasurer (2014-2015)
  • Louisiana Bar Foundation - Vice President (2019-Present), Treasurer (2018-Present), Board of Directors (2014-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 - Past Chair, Young Lawyers Section - Past Chair
  • Southeast Louisiana Legal Services - Vice President (2015-Present), First Vice President (2011-2012), Board of Directors & Member (2009-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

Civic

  • The Pro Bono Project - Board Chair (2019-2020); Board of Directors (2009-Present)
  • American Diabetes Association - Secretary/Treasurer-Elect (Present), Board Member (2009-Present), National Board of Directors (2018 - Present), New Orleans Community Leadership Board - Board Chair (2014-Present)
  • Tulane University Law School Alumni Association - President (2014-Present)
  • Tulane University Alumni Association - President (Present), President-Elect (2019-2020), Board of Directors (2016-Present)
  • Civil Litigation Bootcamp Course, Tulane University Law School - Faculty Member (2012-Present)
  • Executive Leadership Program Graduate, Harvard Law School (2015)
  • AV Preeminent Peer Review Rated, Martindale-Hubbell
  • Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business (2017-2020)
  • Appellate Practice (2019-2021), Commercial Litigation (2013-2021), The Best Lawyers in America
  • Louisiana Super Lawyers: Top 50 – Louisiana and New Orleans, Super Lawyers (2014 – 2020)
  • Fellow, Louisiana Bar Foundation
  • Who's Who in America, Marquis Who's Who (2020)
  • President's Award, Louisiana State Bar Association (2016)
  • President's Award, Louisiana Bar Foundation (2013, 2016)
  • President's Award, Federal Bar Association's New Orleans Chapter (2016)
  • Leadership in Law Award, New Orleans CityBusiness (2009, 2010, 2012); Hall of Fame Inductee (2012)
  • The Pro Bono Project's Distinguished Service Award (2002, 2007, 2008, 2011)
  • National Chairman’s Citation Award, American Diabetes Association (2011)
  • Century Club Award, Louisiana State Bar Association (2014)
  • Top Lawyers, New Orleans Magazine (2014)
  • Friend of Pro Bono Award, Louisiana State Bar Association (2009)
  • Pro Bono Publico Award, Louisiana State Bar Association (2008)
  • Outstanding Young Lawyer of Louisiana, Louisiana State Bar Association (2006)
  • Outstanding Young Lawyer, New Orleans Bar Association (2004)
  • Client Choice Award, Lexology (2016)