Don K. Haycraft Shareholder, New Orleans
Mr. Haycraft has more than 30 years of trial experience in cases ranging from Jones Act personal injury, wrongful death, and longshoremen’s injuries to major toxic tort class certification hearings and federal multi-district litigation. Mr. Haycraft has served as defense liaison counsel in two major MDLs in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana. He has handled numerous jury trials to verdict and bench trials in various state and federal courts in Louisiana, as well as in state and federal courts in Louisiana, Texas, Mississippi, and Illinois. His clients include major oil companies, global helicopter manufacturers, and the nation’s largest inland marine company.
Mr. Haycraft is a past president of the New Orleans chapter of the Federal Bar Association, which is the organization’s largest chapter in the country. He has spoken before professional organizations about attorney-client privilege, trial procedures, electronic discovery, and mass torts trial techniques. He has been honored by the Louisiana State Bar Association for his pro bono commitment, including the Century Award for contributing in excess of 100 hours in indigent representation during 2009. He has also served on the Board of Directors of the New Orleans Pro Bono Project and acts as the firm’s liaison for pro bono representation.
A graduate of the University of Virginia School of Law, winning Order of the Coif honors and serving as Managing Editor of the Virginia Law Review, Mr. Haycraft started as a federal law clerk before joining Liskow & Lewis, where he has practiced maritime law since 1984.
Recent Representative Matters:
- In 2016, served as lead counsel in federal court in Chicago and won exoneration after Limitation of Liability trial for major inland marine company whose breakaway barges allided with a dam on the Illinois River and allegedly caused flooding in the City of Marseilles, Illinois
- In 2013, served on Phase 1 liability trial team defending major oil company in claims arising out of a well blowout and the sinking of a semi-submersible drilling rig that caused 11 deaths and a catastrophic oil spill
- Currently serving as Defense Liaison Counsel in Deepwater Horizon case
- Won exoneration after Limitation of Liability trial for major inland marine company whose barge was alleged to have caused catastrophic levee breach and flooding of lower Ninth Ward/New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina
- Won summary judgment in state court for client, an aviation fuel supplier, in helicopter crash where fuel was alleged to be defective for fouling in storage and aircraft fuel tanks
- Won summary judgment in federal court for major records and data storage client whose employee lost computer data of more than a million Louisiana residents
- Won trial judgment in products liability case in state court on behalf of helicopter manufacturer after fatal crash, and successfully defended result in Third Circuit and Louisiana Supreme Court (Kramer v. Petroleum Helicopters Inc., et al., 999 So.2d 101 (La. App. 3d Cir. 2008), writ denied, 6 So.3d 811 (2009)
- Defeated class certification in case involving spill of benzene-containing chemicals in Mississippi River
- Served as Defense Liaison Counsel in multi-district litigation involving claims resulting from gasoline alleged to contain high levels of sulfur that caused gas gauge malfunctions in thousands of cars in Gulf South
- Served on trial and appellate team in $250 million property loss involving offshore platform dropped by client’s contractor into the Gulf of Mexico (Texaco Exploration and Production Inc.; Marathon Oil Company v. AmClyde Engineered Products Company Inc., 448 F.3d 760 (5th Cir. 2006))
- Obtained Rule 11 sanctions against prominent Mississippi plaintiffs’ attorney and affirmance by en banc United States Fifth Circuit (Whitehead; et al., v. Food Max of Mississippi, Inc., 332 F.3d 796 (5th. Cir. 2003)(en banc))
- Acted as appellate counsel for major retailer, obtained reversal of adverse jury verdict due to inflammatory and prejudicial conduct of plaintiffs’ attorney (Whitehead; et al., v. Food Max of Mississippi, Inc., 163 F.3d 265 (5th. Cir. 1998))