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Overview

Chris Massenburg is a partner based in MG+M’s New York and New Orleans offices. His practice primarily focuses on environmental, toxic tort, products liability, commercial trucking and transportation, premises liability, and construction defects litigation. Chris has tried cases in Louisiana, California, Texas, New York, Alabama, Illinois, Iowa, Georgia, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi, Delaware, Washington, Wyoming, West Virginia, Oregon and Utah. He has defended his clients in numerous cases as lead trial counsel, and has secured multiple zero-dollar defense verdicts by successfully showing juries that his clients did not do anything wrong.

Specifically in asbestos litigation, Chris has tried cases in 18 states for numerous clients and has represented a diverse set of asbestos-related liabilities nationwide, including: friction (brakes, clutches), gaskets, packing and related equipment (valves, pumps, boilers, digesters, tanks, turbines), joint compound, floor tile, AC pipe, resin pipe, cosmetic talc, HVAC, PPE (respirators), commercial and military aircraft, electrical equipment, typecasting machines, plastics and molded materials, premises, and contractors. This work has provided Chris with a deep knowledge of the history and science available to demonstrate his clients' innocence, which he uses to innovate new ways to protect all of the companies that trust him with their defense.

Even when trial is not desired, Chris’ experience at all levels of simple and complex litigation allows him to provide his clients with a comprehensive defense for their cases. Chris has been retained by clients to reevaluate their litigation strategies; develop and defend fact, corporate, and expert witnesses in deposition and trial; negotiate the resolution of multi-million dollar risks; and to step in and try high stakes cases, even on short notice.

Licensed to practice law in Louisiana, New York, New Jersey, California, Pennsylvania, Texas, Mississippi, and Tennessee, Chris earned his J.D. in 2000 from Tulane University Law School, and also achieved a certification in maritime law. Chris has served on the Trial Advocacy faculty of both Tulane and LSU law schools, is a current faculty member of the National Institute for Trial Advocacy (NITA), a member of ABOTA, and board certified in both Civil Law Trial and Civil Practice Advocacy by the National Board of Trial Advocacy. Chris is AV® Peer and Client Review-Rated by Martindale-Hubbell, and has been repeatedly recognized by both Super Lawyers (Louisiana and Mississippi) and Best Lawyers in America. Chris has also been recognized multiple times by New Orleans CityBusiness with their “Leadership in Law” Award (2019-2020, 2023).

Client and Jury Comments

Representative Samples of MG+M Clients' Comments:

  • "We use lawyers from over 50 law firms—some of the best litigators across the country. The MG+M law firm stands out. Chris stands out. He is exceptional. He’s not a litigator—he’s a trial lawyer. Chris’s skillset is therefore different than 99% of the lawyers we see, because he can actually take a case to trial (and win). He’s an exceptionally gifted and talented advocate who combines high performance with high integrity and wise advice. We have and will continue to entrust Chris with our biggest and most important matters."
  • "Chris is extremely knowledgeable and thoroughly prepared. As a client I felt he explained things well and clearly and was very helpful making sure I understood what was expected of me and others. He related well to the jury who liked him and paid attention to him. He was highly effective at asking questions during cross examination and eliciting answers which resonated with the jury in a very favorable and memorable way for our case. He and his team were a pleasure to work with. I highly recommend him."
  • "Chris is a top-notch litigator that puts client service before all else. He anticipates the client's needs and consistently exceeds expectations in his results."
  • "Chris is an absolutely stellar litigator. He is practical, focused and very cost effective. I recommend him without hesitation."
  • "Chris provided excellent service and achieved a favorable resolution to the case we hired him on. I would absolutely hire him again and I can't recommend him highly enough."
  • “Chris is an extremely effective litigator and has a well-deserved reputation as one of the top asbestos defense trial attorneys in the country. I would recommend him to try a case for anyone in the asbestos field.”

Representative Samples of Jurors' Post-Trial Comments:

  • "He was really strong. Obviously he did his research. The more you learned about the case ... I assumed he is a specialist when it comes to these kinds of cases. He was better at cross examination than the [opposing counsel]."
  • "He’s a 10. I remember Chris. He was another fireball. Our nickname for him was Tom Cruise." 
  • "Tom Cruise is a 10. Very impressive. He basically said that his company didn’t have really anything to do with this. He was kind of like, ‘Why am I here?’ and he was actually good enough to make me ask that question: why were they?"
  • "He was great. I could connect with the way in which he explained things. I liked that he was not rude like [opposing counsel] when questioning witnesses. He got his point across and was respectful. One thing that he did, which I liked, was that he would say, 'So you’re telling me this means ...' like he was summarizing the point that he was trying to get across. I liked the way he approached questioning the witnesses."
  • "The main defense lawyer [Mr. Massenburg] was good. He was able to keep the same temperament and demeanor throughout the trial, regardless of what was said. He was the strongest."
  • “Chris Massenburg! I’ll never forget that name as long as I live... We called him 'The Ripper,' because he ripped 'em up!"
  • "He had Southern charisma and was a good talker. He seemed like he had a sarcastic, skeptical manner to him. He was very no-nonsense, but also likeable."
  • "He was ruthless, but not in a bad way. It was almost like watching TV when the two main attorneys were against each other. Mr. Massenburg never stepped down. He shocked a lot of us and was a ruthless type of attorney but it worked. He was really knowledgeable."
  • "The limelight was on Mr. Massenburg out of all of the defense attorneys. He was very impressive and knowledgeable. I give him credit for defending his client to the hilt."
  • "Chris was marvelous and his team ran like a well-oiled machine."
  • "He was affable, personable, and genuine... With my background, I appreciated that he relied heavily on the science in his presentation."
  • “He was very effective, very spot on with his arguments and defense. He was polite and respectful, and he made good points on cross-examination. He was easy to listen to, and charismatic. He has some flair in the courtroom. Some of these other lawyers drone on, and sometimes it is an effort to pay attention. I would give him a 10. He was very good.”
  • “I think Mr. Massenburg did a fantastic job. He used lots of visuals. He had a giant board he pulled out... it was effective. He was probably the strongest defense attorney... 9.5.”
  • “I really liked Massenburg... very likable and effective. 10.”
  • “Massenburg was great. We had a break, and I commented to the others; I would like to go out for a beer with this guy. He was a guy you felt you could listen to.”
  • “Massenburg was the best.”
  • “I was really impressed with Chris Massenburg . . . I would sum it up as you can tell that he takes his job very seriously and he is very good at it, but he also enjoys what he does. I think he came off as more genuine than the plaintiff attorneys I guess, and that navigating that situation where he's obviously got to be empathetic to this family that's sitting there. Well, it's a tough job, and I think he threaded that needle extremely well of enjoying what he is doing while being respectful and yet, doing his job and doing it well.”

Recognition

  • Best Lawyers In America, Mass Tort Litigation/Class Actions–Defendants, 2018–2024, Product Liability Litigation for Defendants, 2021
  • Thomson Reuters, Super Lawyers Rising Star, 2010–2012, Super Lawyers, 2013–2014, 2016–2024
  • New Orleans CityBusiness "Leadership in Law," 2019–2020, 2023
  • Litigation Counsel of America, Senior Fellow
  • Martindale-Hubbell AV Peer and Client Review Rated
  • Martindale-Hubbell Gold Client Champion
  • Order of Barristers
  • James A. Wysocki Trial Advocacy Award (Tulane Law - for graduating number one in the trial advocacy course)
  • Cicero C. Sessions Award (Tulane Law - awarded to the highest-rated trial advocate in the graduating class)
  • 2000 Phelps Dunbar Senior Trial Competition Champion (Tulane Law - partnered with his current law partner, Jeanette Riggins)
  • Moot Court Board - Trial Team Competition Coach (Tulane Law)

Involvement

  • Louisiana Association of Defense Counsel (LADC)
  • National Board of Trial Advocacy
  • American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA), Associate Member
  • Tulane Law School Trial Advocacy Faculty
  • LSU Law School Trial Advocacy Faculty
  • NITA Faculty
  • Order of Barrister
  • Litigation Counsel of America
  • Claims & Litigation Management Alliance
  • International Institute of Natural Resources, Energy and Environmental Law
  • Trial Law Institute
  • Diversity Law Institute
  • Journal of American Law, Premises Liability Editorial Board 

Education

  • Tulane University School of Law, JD, 2000
  • Loyola University New Orleans, BBA, cum laude

Bar Admissions

  • New York
  • Louisiana
  • California
  • Mississippi
  • New Jersey
  • Pennsylvania
  • Tennessee
  • Texas

Court Admissions

  • US Supreme Court
  • US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
  • US District Courts of California—Central, Eastern, Northern and Southern Districts
  • US District Courts of Louisiana—Eastern, Middle and Western Districts
  • US District Courts of Mississippi—Northern and Southern Districts
  • US District Court, District of New Jersey
  • US District Courts of New York—Eastern, Southern, Northern and Western Districts
  • US District Courts of Pennsylvania—Eastern, Middle and Western Districts

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