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Representative Matters

Representing ConocoPhillips in a toxic tort class action alleging personal injuries resulting from refinery emissions in Lake Charles, Louisiana.

Representing Dole Food Company in litigation pending in state court filed by banana workers alleging personal injuries resulting from application of pesticides on banana plantations.

Representing Merck & Co., Inc. as Defendants' Liaison Counsel in multi-district litigation in the Vioxx Litigation.

Representing ExxonMobil Corporation in litigation alleging damage to coastal marshes and claims relating to Hurricane Katrina.

Defended Papa John's® Pizza slogan in a false advertisement suit alleging that Papa John's advertising slogan violated the false advertising laws.

Represented R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company in defending nationwide class action against the tobacco industry. The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals decertified the class.

Represented New York Life Insurance Company in a state-wide class action asserting claims for damages resulting from the sale of so-called "vanishing premium" life insurance policies. The case was decertified by the Louisiana First Circuit Court of Appeal and affirmed on appeal by the Louisiana Supreme Court. This is one of the leading Louisiana cases on class certification.

Represented International Paper Company and Masonite Corporation in defense of a nation-wide class action asserting product defects in Masonite hardboard siding. The case was tried to verdict and resulted in a split decision and was settled pending appeal.

Represented VISA International Service Association, Inc. in defense of a class action on behalf of a class of internet gamblers asserting liability against VISA for extending credit on their VISA cards. The trial court dismissed the case on Rule 12 motions.

Obtained a favorable settlement for Waste Management in a class action suit alleging personal injuries resulting from exposure to a permitted hazardous waste disposal facility in Grand Bois, Louisiana.

Represented Phillips Petroleum Company in a toxic tort class action filed on behalf of approximately 8,000 residents residing in eastern New Orleans alleging personal injuries resulting from a tank car fire and explosion. The case, tried to verdict for 20 bellwether plaintiffs, resulted in several zero awards and generally favorable defense verdicts.

Professional & Civic Activities

Professional and Civic Activities

Mr. Wittmann is a Past President of the New Orleans Bar Association.  He has served as a member of the Civil Rules Advisory Committee of the Judicial Conference of the United States and as a member of the House of Delegates of the American Bar Association.  He has chaired the Louisiana State Board of Legal Specialization and is a member of the House of Delegates, the Continuing Legal Education Committee and the Antitrust Section of the Louisiana State Bar Association.  He is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers and the International Society of Barristers.  

Honors & Awards

Honors & Awards

Mr. Wittmann is the 2015 recipient of the New Orleans Bar Association Presidents' Award, the 2011 recipient of the Federal Bar Association New Orleans Chapter's John R. "Jack" Martzell Professionalism Award, the 2010 recipient of the Louisiana Bar Foundation's Distinguished Attorney Award, the 2008 recipient of the Louisiana Bar Foundation's Curtis Boisfontaine Trial Advocacy Award, the 2005 recipient of the American Inns of Court Professionalism Award in the Fifth Circuit, and the 2000 recipient of the G. Duffield Smith Outstanding Publication Award from the Defense Research Institute.  He has been named to The Best Lawyers in America, Chambers USA, Louisiana Super Lawyers and Who's Who Legal--The International Who's Who of Business Lawyers-Product Liability Defense.  Mr. Wittmann has also been recognized as a Louisiana litigation star by Benchmark Litigation and as a Top Lawyer by New Orleans magazine.  He was elected to the 2015 Tulane Law School Alumni Hall of Fame.

News & Events

Publications

Co-authored an article for the Defense Research Institute with Al Cortese on the subject of Class Action and Mass Tort Litigation: Recent Developments, Legislation and Jurisprudence.

Practice areas

Bar Admissions

  • United States Supreme Court
  • United States Fifth, Sixth and Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals
  • Louisiana Federal and State Courts

Education

Tulane University Law School, J.D., 1961

  • Order of the Coif
  • Phi Beta Kappa
  • Omicron Delta Kappa
  • Served on the Tulane Law Review Board of Editors

Tulane University, 1956

Phil Wittmann Best Lawyers

Phil Wittmann Chambers USA 2016

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