Frances M. Phares is of counsel to Baum, Hedlund, Aristei & Goldman, where she focuses her practice on personal injury and wrongful death litigation stemming from major transportation accidents and pharmaceutical drug product liability cases across the nation.
Among her notable achievements is the work she did, alongside other Baum Hedlund attorneys, to eliminate laws protecting tobacco companies from lawsuits by successfully urging the California Supreme Court to reject the presumption that smokers know that smoking is addictive and causes health hazards. This cleared the way for smokers to file claims for injuries which may have occurred decades after becoming addicted. Fran has also successfully represented the families of antidepressant suicide victims in their cases against drug manufacturers. Before joining Baum Hedlund, but in collaboration with the firm, she was instrumental in the settlement of over four hundred claims by hemophiliacs for AIDS infection from contaminated blood products.
Ms. Phares earned her law degree at the Tulane University Law School and holds an undergraduate degree in Zoology from Louisiana State University. While in law school she clerked for the Orleans Parish District Attorney. After law school she worked as an Assistant District Attorney, prosecuting cases for victims of felony crimes such as armed robbery, theft, rape, child abuse, and murder. During that time, she obtained the first-ever conviction in Louisiana of pharmacists for illegally selling prescription drugs to addicts. Thereafter, Fran gained valuable research and writing experience and hands-on exposure to civil litigation as a Law Clerk for the 22nd Judicial District Court in St. Tammany and Washington Parishes, Louisiana. She also served for many years as a Magistrate Hearing Officer for child support issues in divorce lawsuits.
Fran has developed a unique set of skills that permit her to be finely attuned to her clients’ needs. She is a certified suicide-prevention counselor and hospice volunteer and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in counseling at Loyola University New Orleans. She has created a workshop for people who are living with and managing grief and recently became a student member of the Louisiana Counseling Association and the American Group Psychotherapy Association.
Ms. Phares has Martindale Hubbell’s highest AV® Peer Review Rating and Client Rating. She is also listed in The Bar Register of Preeminent LawyersTM.
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