Max Swetman

Max Swetman Partner

P 504 799 0502 F 504 535 2886
One Canal Place, 365 Canal Street, Suite 3000
New Orleans, LA 70130
One Canal Place, 365 Canal Street, Suite 3000, New Orleans, LA 70130

Max Swetman's practice includes litigation and regulatory compliance counseling concerning a wide range of environmental laws. His litigation practice focuses on the defense of environmental, toxic tort, construction litigation, infectious disease counseling and litigation, COVID-19, and occupational disease claims alleging bodily injury and property damage. These include individual claims as well as mass torts. His experience in these areas covers a wide array of industries and products including oil and gas, chemicals, food production/food poisoning, building and waste materials, and industrial manufacturing.

Max's technical background allows him to bring together legal, scientific, and medical teams to ensure the best possible defense of these claims. Max has extensive experience in the defense of cases involving wastes generated from oil and gas exploration, underground storage tanks, polychlorinated biphenyls, dioxins, polychlorinated dibenzofurans, pesticides, benzene, PFOA, PFAS, PFOS and other PFCs, other POPs, chemical mixtures, asbestos, silica, mold, talc, hearing loss, indoor air quality issues, due diligence audits, OSHA and other regulatory compliance. These claims have included the defense of property damage, groundwater and soil vapor contamination, personal injury, "fear of disease" and medical monitoring claims. He has represented clients in regional and national capacities and has investigated corporate client histories extending over a century into the past.

Max represents a number of oil and gas companies in a wide range of legacy oil field site cases, including claims associated with soil and groundwater contamination, e.g., non-hazardous oilfield wastes (NOW), naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM), etc. These cases involve inland locations and marsh and wetland environments brought on behalf of individual landowners and of state and local governments. He has also represented major energy production companies in wetland loss issues in Louisiana's coastal parishes, as well as national energy companies in complex litigation involving mineral exploration and production claims involving hundreds of multi-million dollar corporations.

Max also counsels clients on issues of liabilities associated with environmental contamination and, looking forward, potential future liabilities that may arise from industrial, manufacturing, and other processes. This includes the development of programs for compliance with local, state and federal/national environmental regulations and the formulation of plans to meet future regulatory requirements in the United States, Canada, Latin America, and the European Union. His specialized training and experience allows him to provide a unique and immediate perspective to urgent environmental-legal problems which usually require extensive initial outside expert consultation. His background allows him to not only defend cases from the initial stages through trial, but also to consult with the manufacturing and industrial sectors as a pre-litigation advisor. As a consultant addressing environmental and health issues, he has traveled throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, France, Germany, and the Slovak Republic.

On a national level, Max is often retained to reexamine defense strategies and develop new defenses based on environmental, epidemiological, and toxicological analyses for clients which have been in environmental and toxic tort litigation for decades. He maintains close professional associations with risk assessors, environmental engineers, analytical chemists, epidemiologists, certified industrial hygienists, and other consultants. Max has represented defendants as lead trial counsel in lawsuits filed in numerous states, including Alabama, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Utah, Washington, West Virginia, and Wyoming.

Max earned his J.D. in 1992 from the Paul M. Hebert Law Center at Louisiana State University. He holds a Master of Science in environmental sciences and policy from Johns Hopkins University, where he concentrated his research and study in environmental fate and transport, oceanic and atmospheric processes, hydrology and the ecological effects of pollutants. He also has a Master of Public Health in the field of epidemiology from the Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, where he concentrated in occupational and environmental epidemiology. 

Max has been named a Super Lawyer (2012-present), a Best Lawyer in America (2011-present), including "Lawyer of the Year" (2014), and one of the "Top 50 Legal Professionals" in New Orleans by New Orleans CityBusiness Magazine for 2011, 2012, and 2018, making him a member of the New Orleans CityBusiness Hall of Fame.

Bar Admissions
  • Louisiana
  • Louisiana Supreme Court
  • Mississippi Supreme Court
  • Mississippi
  • US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
  • US District Court, Southern District of Mississippi
  • US District Court, Northern District of Mississippi
  • US District Court, Middle District of Louisiana
  • US District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana
  • Texas
  • Louisiana State University, JD, 1992
  • Johns Hopkins University, MS, Environmental Science and Policy
  • Tulane University, School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, MPH, Epidemiology


  • New Orleans CityBusiness "Leadership in Law" Hall of Fame, 2018
  • Best Lawyers In America, Product Liability Litigation—Defendants, 2012–2023, Mass Tort Litigation/Class Actions—Defendants, 2021–2023
  • Thomson Reuters, Super Lawyers, 2012–2022
  • Biz New Orleans Magazine "Executives of the Year" in Law, 2022
  • Best Lawyers in America, Lawyer of the Year, 2014


  • Federal Bar Association, Landmark Member
News & Insights
  • "Hearing Loss Litigation and Defense of Future Claims" - Presentation October 14, 2014, and publication in Spring 2014 Litigation Management Magazine
  • Urban Stormwater Management - Compliance, Storm Water Policies Upcoming Changes and Green Infrastructure" Lorman Educational Services - Current Issues in Storm Water Regulation, July 28, 2010 - New Orleans, LA
  • Blinding You With Science: A Mock Direct-Examination and Cross-Examination of the Medical and Scientific Expert Witness", Andrews Asbestos Litigation Seminar 2009, May 1, 2009 - New Orleans, LA
  • Nanomaterials and Waste Implications" (paper and presentation), Johns Hopkins University Presentations on Waste Policy, December 13, 2008 - Baltimore, MD
  • Clean Air, Water and MTBE: Just an Oversight?" (paper and presentation). Johns Hopkins University Environmental Policymaking and Policy Analysis, April 25, 2008 - Baltimore, MD
  • Deposition Survival for the Industrial Hygiene Professional" (paper and presentation), American Industrial Hygiene Association - Deep South Section, October 18, 2007
  • Lipids Analysis Is a Significant, Often Unrecognized Source of Uncertainty in POPs Results for Human Blood" (paper and presentation), The Dioxin Conference: 27th International Symposium on Halogenated Persistent Organic Pollutants, September 2-7, 2007 - Tokyo, Japan
  • Estrogen Replacement Therapy and Coronary Heart Disease" (paper and presentation), Tulane University Hospital and Clinics, July 21, 2004 - New Orleans, LA
  • What is Epidemiology and Why Do I Care?" (paper and presentation), Andrews' Asbestos Litigation Seminar, April 25-26, 2002 - New Orleans, LA
  • Control of Nosocomial Infections in Pediatric Hospitals" (paper and presentation), Tulane University Hospital and Clinics, April 14, 2002 - New Orleans, LA

Speaking Engagements

  • Moderator, "Environmental Reopeners - Strategies to Managing Risks and Impacts", Perrin Conferences' Environmental Risk & Litigation Conference, June 18, 2019 - New York, NY.
  • Featured panelist, “DNA in the Court Room – The Cutting Edge of Science and Medicine”, Perrin Conferences' Cutting Edge Issues in Asbestos Litigation Conference, March 11, 2019 - Beverly Hills, CA
  • Featured panelist, “Perflourinated Chemicals – The Science and Law Behind PFOA”, Perrin Conferences' Environmental Risk & Litigation Conference, June 20, 2017 - New York, NY
  • Featured panelist, “Evaluating Industrial Hygiene Conclusions”, Perrin Conferences Asbestos Litigation Conference: A National Overview & Outlook, September 12, 2016 - San Francisco, CA
  • Speaker, “Development of Louisiana Water Laws: Making Sense of It All and Understanding Louisiana Surface Water Rights", Louisiana Water Laws and Regulations Conference, June 13, 2012 - New Orleans, LA
  • Speaker, “Environmental and Health Impact of Green Building Construction", First Annual Green Legal Symposium, October 13-15, 2010 - New Orleans, LA
  • Speaker, “Doing the Deep Dive with the Experts - Oil Spill Ecology and Effects" HB Litigation Conference: Oil in the Gulf - Litigation & Insurance Coverage, June 24 & 25, 2010 - Atlanta, GA
  • Speaker, “Navy Exposure Cases - Evidence, Experts and Recent Developments", Harris Martin's Florida Asbestos Litigation Conference, March 26, 2009, Miami, FL
Best Lawyers in America
Martindale Hubbell AV Rating
Super Lawyers
AM Best Recommended Insurance Attorney