Christopher K. Ralston Partner

For more than 15 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.

MORE

For more than 15 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 dismissing $35 million claim by former food supplier against client, a national company owning multiple restaurant brands.
  • 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 upheld 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
News

Memberships & Affiliations

  • Louisiana State Bar Association, Client Assistance Fund Committee, 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 (Treasurer, 2018-present; Board of Directors, 2014-present; Fellow, 2010-present)
  • New Orleans Bar Association (President, 2016-present; President-elect, 2015-2016; Vice President, 2013-2015; Board of Directors, 2008-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 (Vice President, 2015-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 (Vice President, 2018-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
  • Selected to the Top 50 Louisiana Lawyers - Louisiana Super Lawyers  (2017, 2018)
  • Selected to the Top 50 New Orleans Lawyers - Louisiana Super Lawyers (2017, 2018)
  • Louisiana Super Lawyers (2013-present)
  • 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 - Commercial Litigation

Education

  • Tulane University Law School
  • College of William and Mary

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. 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 dismissing $35 million claim by former food supplier against client, a national company owning multiple restaurant brands.
  • 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 upheld 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
News
  • Louisiana State Bar Association, Client Assistance Fund Committee, 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 (Treasurer, 2018-present; Board of Directors, 2014-present; Fellow, 2010-present)
  • New Orleans Bar Association (President, 2016-present; President-elect, 2015-2016; Vice President, 2013-2015; Board of Directors, 2008-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 (Vice President, 2015-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 (Vice President, 2018-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
  • Selected to the Top 50 Louisiana Lawyers - Louisiana Super Lawyers  (2017, 2018)
  • Selected to the Top 50 New Orleans Lawyers - Louisiana Super Lawyers (2017, 2018)
  • Louisiana Super Lawyers (2013-present)
  • 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 - Commercial Litigation