Deborah B. Rouen - Adams and Reese LLP

Deborah B. Rouen

Listed in Best Lawyers since 2010
Phone: 504-585-0257

Debbie Rouen joined Adams and Reese in 1983 and has extensive experience in defending class actions, mass torts and complex litigation involving tobacco, refineries, pharmaceuticals, crop fertilizer and Hurricane Katrina and Road Home suits. She is the former leader of the Class Action/Complex Litigation team and focuses her practice on defense of product design, toxic tort, environmental, maritime, fraud, misrepresentation, conspiracy and punitive damages.


Debbie has acted as liaison counsel for defendants and has successfully defeated class certification in both federal and state courts. She is experienced in partnering with clients to handle major litigation in order to achieve quality solutions through the efficient use of resources, technology and case management.


Her other significant contributions include:


  • A strong track record of early case dismissals through developing and advancing novel legal arguments in motion practice. 
  • Defense of clients in nationwide class action litigation involving “lights” cigarettes. Her creative argument regarding the Louisiana law of redhibition led to denial of remand and ultimately set up a split in the federal circuit courts of appeal on the issue of preemption. 
  • Leading successful defense in a three-week trial involving three deaths in a refinery tank explosion. The United States Fifth Circuit upheld a defense verdict on a 2-1 decision on a narrow evidentiary issue.
  • Aggressive representation of clients in complex cases involving fraud, misrepresentation, conspiracy and punitive damages.


After serving a three-year term as the first woman elected to the Executive Committee at Adams and Reese, Debbie was appointed Chair of the firm’s Diversity Committee and served in that role from 2006-2012. She worked to expand cultural inclusion, partnered with clients to meet diversity requisites, improved recruitment, mentoring and retention of women and minority lawyers; obtained firm recognition in national rankings of women and minority lawyers and increased firm support of minority-sponsored legal, cultural and social events. She has frequently participated in client-sponsored diversity conferences, panels and roundtables.   

Debbie serves as Vice President of the Board of the New Orleans Bar Foundation and is a former board member of the New Orleans Chapter of the Federal Bar Association. In the community, she serves as President of the Board of the Jefferson Performing Arts Society. She coordinates the firm’s participation in the Dress for Success program.


Debbie is the mother of three children, and in her free time keeps up her skills as a classical pianist. She also enjoys playing tennis, cooking, and international travel. 

Loyola University New Orleans College of LawJ.D. Loyola University
New Orleans Bar FoundationJefferson Performing Arts Society, Board of DirectorsMaritime Law Association of the United States Louisiana Association of Defense CounselFederal Bar AssociationDefense Research Institute

Case History

Other Court Admissions
  • United States Supreme Court
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
  • United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana
  • United States District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana
  • United States District Court for the Western District of Louisiana

Office Location

One Shell Square, Suite 4500
701 Poydras Street
New Orleans, LA 70139
United States

Lawyer of the Year Awards

2013 Lawyer of the Year in Product Liability Litigation - Defendants of the New Orleans Metro Area
Deborah B. Rouen has earned a Lawyer of the Year award for 2013!

Practice Areas

Commercial Litigation
Personal Injury Litigation - Defendants
Product Liability Litigation - Defendants (Medical Devices, Pharmaceutical)