Admiralty & Maritime
Energy & Environmental
Labor & Employment
Casualty & Insurance Defense
Tulane Law School, New Orleans, Louisiana, 1979, J.D.
Tulane University, New Orleans, Louisiana, 1976, B.A.
BAR & COURT ADMISSIONS
Louisiana Supreme Court, 1979
United States Supreme Court, 1982
U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
U.S. Court of Claims
U.S. District Courts for the Eastern, Middle and Western Districts of Louisiana
Pro Hac Vice, 20 states
AWARDS & HONORS
Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers
Highest Possible Rating in Both Legal Ability & Ethical Standards - AV Preeminent Peer Rating, Martindale-Hubbell
Best Lawyers in America ,Energy Law and Environmental Law, 2011-2016
Leadership In Law Award, Top 50 Lawyers in New Orleans, 2006
Louisiana Super Lawyer, 2007-2014
PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATIONS & MEMBERSHIPS
American Bar Association
Bar Association of the Fifth Federal Circuit Court
Federal Bar Association
Louisiana Association of Defense Counsel
Louisiana State Bar Association
New Orleans Bar Association
The Maritime Law Association of the United States
U.S. Court of Appeals Eleventh Circuit Bar Association
Defense Research Institute
Phi Alpha Delta
SEMINARS / SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS
Tulane Law School Twentieth Annual Maritime Law Seminar
- Presented paper and spoke on handling a major maritime collision case
Louisiana Bar Association - Seminar on Litigation
- Presented paper on spoliation of evidence and spoke on related evidentiary issues
Masters of the Law Seminar
- Presentation on effective courtroom techniques in jury trials
Frilot partner Miles P. Clements is the senior jury trial and complex case litigator at the firm. He serves on the firm's Management Committee and as Chairman of the Finance Committee. Mr. Clements founded the firm with George A. Frilot III in January 1995. In over 30 years of practice, he has successfully litigated business and commercial matters, admiralty and maritime cases, products cases, construction litigation, patent litigation, employment litigation, and energy and environmental litigation. He has tried cases in a number of states from California to New York, and one in Europe.
Mr. Clements is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, and was inducted at its 60th Anniversary Meeting in Washington, D.C. The College is composed of the best from the trial bar from the United States and Canada. He has been the lead trial attorney in 90 cases which went to verdict/judgment, and hundreds of others which were resolved prior to judgment. He has appeared and argued before the intermediate appellate courts of Louisiana and the Louisiana Supreme Court, the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.
Since 1984, Mr. Clements has been a member of the Allstate Sugar Bowl. He represented the Sugar Bowl as an Officer through the five formative years which led to the creation of the Bowl Championship Series, and the Sugar Bowl's prominence as one of only four BCS bowls. He served as President of the Sugar Bowl the year of its first BCS National Championship (2000), and was Chairman of the Executive Committee from 2001-2002. He followed this with 10 years of service on the Board, during which time he chaired the Sugar Bowl's Membership Committee and several other committees. Mr. Clements has also led Frilot's Community Outreach Committee, including its endeavors for Habitat for Humanity.
Mr. Clements was chosen for Best Lawyers in America for Energy Law as well as Environmental Law in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015. Best Lawyers is regarded as the definitive guide to legal excellence and selection is based on a rigorous peer-review survey. He was named a 'Local Litigation Star' in 2013 and 2014 by Benchmark Litigation, the definitive guide to America's leading litigation firms and attorneys. In 2006, Mr. Clements received the Leadership in Law Award given to the Top 50 attorneys in New Orleans. He has been recognized as a Louisiana Super Lawyer in 2007-2014, and he is listed in Martindale-Hubbell's Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers (rated highest in legal ability and ethical standards).
Mr. Clements recently tried an environmental matter in the 25th Judicial District Court, Parish of Plaquemines in which he represented a company seeking a Coastal Use Permit opposed by the Tulane Environmental Law Clinic, the Plaquemines Parish Council and several community organizations. Mr. Clements obtained a judgment in his client's favor granting all relief sought.
Mr. Clements tried a case in arbitration for former General Manager and Head Basketball Coach Michael J. Dunleavy against the Los Angeles Clippers for breach of his employment agreement. The case was arbitrated to a conclusion in Los Angeles before the JAMS Arbitration Society. Mr. Dunleavy prevailed on all claims asserted.
Mr. Clements recently obtained a dismissal of environmental and exposure claims filed against Tidewater Inc. involving personal injury and death of a third party maritime worker. The case was litigated in the 32nd Judicial District Court, Parish of Terrebonne.
Mr. Clements served as co-counsel for Transocean Ltd. before the U.S. Coast Guard and Bureau of Ocean Energy Management in Joint Investigation Team hearings following the BP Macondo well blowout and oil spill
Mr. Clements successfully defended W&T Offshore, Inc. against litigation filed in the aftermath of five deaths resulting from a vessel allision near Houma, Louisiana, and obtained a dismissal.
Mr. Clements successfully defended a maritime client and obtained a jury defense verdict against claims brought under the Louisiana Environmental Whistleblower Act.
Mr. Clements served as lead trial counsel in the following matters.
Mr. Clements recently secured a favorable verdict defending maritime clients, International Offshore Services, L.L.C. and International Marine, L.L.C. (“International”), in litigation arising from a deep water archaeological survey conducted in the Gulf of Mexico from a vessel owned and operated by International. Eastern District of Louisiana Judge Lance M. Africk oversaw the comprehensive two week jury trial. The dispute arose out of the November 2, 2012 surveying operation in which International’s customer Tesla Offshore, L.L.C. chartered it to pull a sonar fish in deep water. The sonar fish struck one of the mooring lines securing the mobile offshore drilling unit, DEEPWATER NAUTILUS, and caused the operator, Shell Offshore Inc., to cease drilling operations for twelve days. Shell alleged that it was owed millions of dollars for the downtime and sued International and Tesla. Notwithstanding unfavorable pre-trial rulings, Frilot attorneys successfully convinced the jury that International was liable for only 25% of Shell’s damages.
Mr. Clements represented ION Geophysical Corp., and its corporate predecessors, against a battery manufacturer in a commercial dispute arising out of the misappropriation of ION's design for high-capacity power sources for its survey positioning devices in the oil and gas exploration industry. After a two-week jury trial ending in October 2009 in Gretna, Louisiana, the jury rendered a verdict for ION, for fraud, violation of the Louisiana Unfair Trade Practices Act and breach of contract, and awarded damages of $21,733,411 (growing to over $33,000,000 with accrued legal interest and attorneys fees). Mr. Clements was first retained by ION in 2007, shortly after ION's case had been dismissed summarily by the District Judge. Mr. Clements successfully handled the appeal, obtained a reversal and reinstatement of the case, and after remand tried the case to a conclusion. Input/Output, Inc., et al v. Wilson Greatbatch Technologies, Inc., et al, (24th JDC, Parish of Jefferson).
In 2009, Mr. Clements represented Monsanto Company in claims for patent infringement and seed piracy against a grower who misappropriated patented technology over a three-year period. The case was tried in Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Iowa, where the debtor sought protection. The Court entered Judgment in favor of Monsanto, found the grower guilty of intentional infringement and awarded compensatory damages, exemplary damages, attorneys'fees, costs and injunctive relief. The Court sustained Monsanto's position that the Judgment for infringement was non-dischargeable. Monsanto Company, et al v. Ronald John Roeder, (U.S. Bankruptcy Court, N.D. Iowa).
Mr. Clements has represented Monsanto Company in patent infringement and seed piracy jury trials in Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Iowa, Tennessee, and North Carolina, and in bench trials in Indiana and Alabama. Mr. Clements was trial counsel in the first such case brought by Monsanto in a jury trial in Monroe, Louisiana in 1999. In a case of first impression, Mr. Clements successfully established Monsanto's patented transgenic cotton seed technology. The jury awarded damages in the form of a reasonable royalty twenty times the normal royalty, and the Court awarded all costs, attorneys'fees, and exemplary (double) damages. Monsanto Company v. Thomason, et al., U.S.D.C., W.D. La. (Monroe) 2000 WL 34504930, Sept. 11, 2000.
Mr. Clements formulated the litigation model subsequently used in trials throughout the country in which Monsanto's patent rights in a number of its transgenic seed products were successfully enforced. Reported decisions include Monsanto Company v. Thomason, USDC W.D. La., 2000 W.L. 34504930, 9/11/2000; In Re: Wood, 309 B.R. 745 (Bankr. W.D. Tenn. 4/14/2004); Monsanto Company v. Trantham, 156 F.Supp. 2d 855 (W.D. Tenn. 2001), In Re: Trantham, 304 B.R. 298 ((6th Cir. BAP (Tenn.) 1/30/2004)); Monsanto Company v. Parr, 542 F.Supp. 2d 836 (N.D. Ind. 2008); Monsanto Company v. Roeder, 2009 W.L. 4907014 (U.S. Bankruptcy Ct., N.D. Iowa).
Mr. Clements has successfully handled numerous commercial litigation matters. He has represented a large commercial bank in loan default cases in several states involving mortgage brokers, escrow agents, appraisers, closing agents, and borrowers. Mr. Clements has also handled matters for property owners, joint venturers, developers and businesses. The range of claims he has litigated also include commercial leases, construction matters, insurance coverage, and numerous other commercial issues.
Mr. Clements represented Chevron U.S.A. Inc. in a complex jury trial matter against four domestic contractors and a foreign manufacturer in a matter involving construction, products liability, contracting and jurisdictional issues. After a ten-day trial, the jury returned a multi-million dollar verdict for plaintiff, Chevron. Attorneys' fees were also awarded Chevron against two defendants. Chevron USA Inc. v. Aker Maritime, Inc., et al., No. 03-2027, 2008 WL 594650 (E.D. La. Jan. 2, 2008).
Mr. Clements has handled numerous refinery claims, personal injuries and construction disputes in state and federal courts in New Orleans, for two major oil refineries located in Meraux and Chalmette, Louisiana.
Mr. Clements represented the world's largest maritime company operating in the offshore oil industry, in a major maritime catastrophe in which a manned derrick barge struck a fixed production platform during a storm in the Gulf of Mexico, catching both on fire. Mr. Clements established a concursus in Federal Court resulting in the consolidation of dozens of claims for personal injury, property damage and loss of production. The litigation was maintained on a fast track and following a series of back-to-back jury and bench trials, all claims were resolved in approximately 18 months. In Re: TT Boat Corp., et al., No. 98-494, 1999 WL 223165 (E.D. La. Apr. 14, 1999).
Mr. Clements represented Tidewater Inc. in a maritime personal injury claim brought by a crewman who suffered severe injuries and multiple surgeries. A three-week jury trial was conducted in Civil District Court, Parish of Orleans. Mr. Clements defended against a team of trial attorneys, led by the late Wendell H. Gauthier, who was featured in the New York Times during the trial in an article reporting that two mock juries during pre-trial preparations had both rendered (mock) verdicts of $20,000,000 each in favor of plaintiff. After three weeks, the actual jury returned a verdict in favor of plaintiff, but found him 75% at fault and awarded only $91,000 (net of comparative fault). Mr. Clements then successfully defended the appeal of the case. Preatto v. Tidewater Marine Service, Inc., 809 So.2d 1084 (La. App. 4th Cir. 2002).
Mr. Clements investigated and handled multiple claims arising out of the explosion of a vessel in Maracaibo, Venezuela, including multiple personal injuries and deaths. The personal injury and death claims were all resolved expeditiously in Venezuela.
In a complex construction and commercial lease dispute, Mr. Clements successfully defended the tenant/developer of a major club facility in the French Quarter. The matter was tried to a conclusion to a three-judge construction arbitration panel. Beni Toledano, et al. v. House of Blues Corp.
Mr. Clements filed suit for the owners of an automobile dealership in connection with claims arising out of the expansion of a nearby drainage pumping station. Mr. Clements' client suffered catastrophic structural damage to its facility from deep well de-watering, business interruption and loss of profits from construction delays, and environmental remediation. The suit involved complex issues of construction, environmental, inverse condemnation and eminent domain, and consequential damages. After a six-week jury trial in Civil District Court, a multi-million verdict was rendered in favor of Mr. Clements' clients. The case made two trips to the Louisiana Supreme Court. Damages exceeding ten figures were collected. Mossy Motors, Inc. v. Sewerage & Water Board of New Orleans, C. R. Pitman Construction Co., Inc. and Pepper & Associates, Inc., 1998-0495 (La.App. 4 Cir. 5/12/99), 753 So.2d 269, writ denied, No. 1999-2102 (La. 10/29/99), 749 So.2d 638.
Mr. Clements served as co-trial counsel in the re-trial of a high profile employment matter for Texaco Inc., in Los Angeles, California, after a $20,000,000 award of punitive damages was set aside. The case was re-tried in Los Angeles State Court with a very favorable result. Jane Doe v. Texaco, Inc., California State Court, Los Angeles.
Mr. Clements defended the J.I. Case Company and International Harvester Corp. in commercial litigation brought by former agricultural equipment dealers displaced in a major business merger. Mr. Clements defended a dozen claims filed in Louisiana. He enrolled in the first case while on appeal and convinced the Louisiana Supreme Court to set aside an award of punitive damages. He then successfully tried the claims of other dealers in courts throughout Louisiana. Delta Truck & Tractor, Inc. v. Navistar Intern. Transp. Corp., 833 F.Supp. 87 (W.D. La., 1993); Delta Truck & Tractor, Inc. v. J.I. Case Co., 1990 W.L. 294415 (W.D. La. 7/12/90); Delta Truck & Tractor, Inc. v. J.I. Case Company, 975 F.2d 1192 (5th Cir. 1992).
Mr. Clements represented a professional (NBA) basketball player whose career ended prematurely after suffering injury on a commercial airline. Mr. Clements filed suit and tried the case to a jury in Milwaukee, Wisconsin for three weeks. He obtained a seven-figure recovery for his client. Michael J. Dunleavy v. American Airlines, Inc., State Court, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Mr. Clements defended a towing vessel owner/operator in defense of claims brought for the loss of an offshore construction barge during a storm off the coast of Brazil. The case was tried against multiple parties in Federal Court in New Orleans. At the conclusion of a lengthy trial, the presiding judge ruled from the bench in favor of Mr. Clements' client, dismissing all claims.
Mr. Clements defended a Louisiana manufacturing company against contract, tort and statutory claims brought by a distributor and sales representative located in Switzerland. Suit was filed in Oslo, Norway and proceeded to trial, in which Mr. Clements participated as co-trial attorney with local counsel. The Court ruled for Mr. Clements' client after a ten-day trial, dismissing plaintiff's claims. PanTrade and John F. Hale v. Laitram Machinery, Inc., Oslo, Norway.
Mr. Clements defended the owner and operator of an offshore towing vessel, which sank in the Gulf of Mexico, resulting in multiple lawsuits brought by the captain and crew. Mr. Clements invoked a concursus and tried limitation of liability to the bench, followed by a series of jury trials covering issues of vessel construction, engineering, medical causation and damages. All claims were satisfactorily resolved. Louisiana Supreme Court, 1979 M/V GULF GALE, U.S.D.C., E.D. La.
Mr. Clements defended Texaco Inc. in a lawsuit brought by the family of an offshore worker who was burned to death on a Texaco fixed platform in the Gulf of Mexico. The owner of an offshore supply vessel which had been pumping fuel to the platform when the fire erupted, was also sued. After a lengthy jury trial, a large verdict was entered on behalf of plaintiff, with a finding of fault of 20% against Texaco. Mr. Clements successfully appealed to the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, which reversed the verdict as to Texaco. Mr. Clements subsequently obtained full reimbursement of all attorneys' fees and costs from the owner of the vessel. Lois Taylor v. Texaco, Inc., 814 F.2d 231 (5th Cir. 1987).
The first matter tried solely by Mr. Clements was on behalf of the SS PRESIDENT and Streckfus Steamers, Inc., in a Jones Act and General Maritime Law case. The jury returned a defense (zero) verdict in favor of Mr. Clements' client. Kent McKnight v. Streckfus Steamers, Inc., U.S.D.C., E.D. La. 1980.