Image: R. Keith Jarrett
R. Keith Jarrett
Shareholder, New Orleans
Hancock Whitney Center
701 Poydras Street
Suite 5000
New Orleans, Louisiana 70139


Keith Jarrett is an experienced trial lawyer, often handling complex litigation involving maritime accidents, environmental damage, toxic torts, ship construction, and oilfield disputes.  Keith’s lead trial experience includes:

  • Well blowouts, and pipeline and drilling rig accidents
  • Shipbuilding disputes
  • Environmental contamination and coastal erosion lawsuits
  • Wrongful death, personal injury, occupational disease, and diving-related claims
  • Vessel collisions
  • Oil spills
  • Indemnity and insurance coverage
  • Class-action defense

Keith has also litigated claims involving catastrophic explosions and fires, engineering malpractice, property construction, and oilfield reservoir damage. 

Keith formerly served as Liskow & Lewis’ President and Managing Partner from 2009 to 2015.  He is a Fellow in the prestigious American College of Trial Lawyers.  Before joining Liskow, he clerked for the Honorable Alvin Rubin of the United States Court of Appeals. And prior to law school he sailed as an engineer and deck officer aboard oceangoing ships in foreign and domestic trade, and served as a Lieutenant in the U.S. Naval Reserve. 



  • Obtained a multi-million dollar jury verdict for extra costs incurred by a major oil company after a survey vessel collided with its chartered drilling rig
  • Defended a major oil company from claims arising out of a well blowout and the sinking of a semi-submersible drilling rig
  • Successfully defended an independent oil company at trial from multi-million-dollar lawsuit by a pipeline owner who claimed its pipeline was damaged by a semi-submersible drilling rig
  • Represented pipeline owners in trial seeking damages for a pipeline that was struck by a drilling rig that broke free during a hurricane
  • Obtained a multi-million-dollar verdict in favor of a pipeline owner whose transmission line was damaged by a pipelay barge
  • Obtained favorable result for a shipyard with a multi-million-dollar builder’s risk claim for an oil tanker that suffered major structural damage during construction
  • Defeated class certification in a lawsuit alleging the monopolization of marine salvage services after Hurricane Katrina
  • Defeated class certification for a vessel owner facing allegations that toxic fumes escaping from a barge injured citizens in nearby city
  • Obtained a favorable result for vessel owner in multi-million-dollar claim against a shipyard for cost overruns associated with construction of a dive support vessel
  • Regularly defends a leading marine construction company from suits by maritime workers claiming injury through offshore construction and diving operations


  • Defended a major oil company in a Clean Water Act penalty trial following an oil spill of national significance
  • Successfully defended several oil companies in a claim by state agency seeking billions of dollars for alleged marsh loss in south Louisiana
  • Defending a major oil company from claims by parish governments seeking damages for land loss allegedly caused by non-compliance with environmental permits
  • Defended a major oil company at trial from claims by a land owner seeking billions of dollars in damages for alleged oilfield contamination resulting from decades of oil and gas production
  • Defended a jury trial against a major oil company accused of contaminating 18,000 acres of marsh through 40 years of oil and gas production


  • Obtained a $21 million jury verdict for a large independent oil company in suit seeking indemnity for monies spent in settlement of disputed wrongful death claims
  • Obtained a jury verdict against insurer for bad faith handling of a first-party toxic mold claim
  • Secured a defense jury verdict in favor of an oil company accused of injuring a truck driver during the loading of a supply vessel
  • Defended an exploration company from claims on behalf of seven workers killed during a well blowout that occurred during snubbing operations in the deadliest such accident in U.S. history
  • Defended a production company from claims filed on behalf of four workers killed during a tank explosion during start-up operations at an on-shore oil production site



  • American College of Trial Lawyers

  • New Orleans, Louisiana State and American Bar Associations

  • Maritime Law Association of the United States

  • Southeastern Admiralty Law Institute

  • Louisiana Association of Defense Counsel

  • Louisiana Bar Foundation

  • Tulane Admiralty Law Institute, National Advisory Board

  • Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers


  • U.S. Merchant Marine Academy Alumni Association


  • Best Lawyers "Lawyer of the Year" 2022

  • American College of Trial Lawyers - Fellow

  • New Orleans Bar Association's Distinguished Maritime Lawyer, 2016

  • New Orleans Magazine's List of "Top Lawyers," 2015–2019

  • The Best Lawyers in America, 2010–2022

  • Louisiana Super Lawyers, 2010–2022

  • Chambers USA – America's Leading Lawyers for Business – Litigation: General Commercial, 2013–2017

  • Benchmark Litigation - Local Litigation Star, 2018

  • New Orleans CityBusiness Leadership in Law Award, 2011

  • Martindale-Hubbell - AV Preeminent

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After Hours

"I love to play golf and  travel.  And I fly fish when I get the chance."