Frances M. Phares

Frances M. Phares: Attorney with Baum, Hedlund, Aristei & Goldman, P.C. AV stamp icon
Attorney Awards


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 ransportation disasters, pharmaceutical product liability cases and toxic exposure across the nation.

Ms. Phares earned her law degree from 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 and tutored Tulane undergraduates in English.

After law school Fran 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, she gained much 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.

Before joining Baum Hedlund, Fran was instrumental in the settlement of over four hundred claims by hemophiliacs for AIDS infection from contaminated blood products. At Baum Hedlund she has worked to eliminate laws protecting tobacco companies from lawsuits by successfully urging the California Supreme Court to reject the notion that smokers are presumed to know that smoking is addictive and that smoking causes health hazards. This has cleared the way for long-time smokers to file claims for injuries which may have occurred decades after a smoker first became addicted to cigarettes. She has also successfully represented the families of antidepressant suicide victims in their cases against drug manufacturers.

Fran has participated in numerous writing and trial-skills seminars. She is a certified suicide-prevention counselor and hospice volunteer and has created a workshop for people who are adjusting to grief, loss and aging issues.

She has traveled to India where she studied global ethics and sociology and partnered with Tibetan refugees in a cultural exchange program. She created a dental program in Dharamsala known as Tibetan Smiles to provide low-cost dental care to the Tibetan community. In an effort to be more attuned to her clients’ needs and provide more empathetic and comprehensive service, obtained a dual master’s degree in pastoral studies and counseling from Loyola University New Orleans.

In her spare time, Fran enjoys visiting art museums, reading historical novels, golfing, playing the piano, fishing, and walking her Welsh Corgi, Windsor. She facilitates a spirituality group for women in her community, volunteers at the local retirement home and serves as a lay pastoral assistant.

Awards and Honors: AV® Preeminent 5.0 out of 5 Peer Review Rating through LexisNexis Martindale Hubbell® Listed, The Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers™ Listed, The Bar Register of Preeminent Women Lawyers™ Who’s Who in America Who’s Who in American Law

Areas of Practice (11)

  • Drug and Medical Device Litigation
  • Wrongful Death
  • Class Actions
  • Complex and Multi-District Litigation
  • Products Liability
  • Catastrophic Injury
  • Bus Accidents
  • Truck Accidents
  • Aviation Accidents
  • Consumer Fraud
  • Toxic Torts

Education & Credentials

Contact Information:
310-694-5913  Phone
424-278-9369  Phone
310-820-7444  Fax
University Attended:
Louisiana State University, B.S., 1975; Loyola University New Orleans, M.S. (Counseling), 2016; Loyola University New Orleans, M.A. (Pastoral Studies), 2012
Law School Attended:
Tulane University, J.D., 1981
Year of First Admission:
1981, Louisiana; 2007, U.S. District Court, Western District of Michigan; 1998, U.S. District Court, Middle District of Louisiana; 1996, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana; 2005, U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana; 2003, U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit; 2011, U.S. District Court, District of Colorado; 2009, U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit; 2012, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana; 2013, U.S. District Court, Western District of Louisiana; 2014, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Ohio; 2007, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Wisconsin; 2007, U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit; 2010, U.S. Supreme Court; Not admitted in California
Louisiana State Bar Louisiana State Bar Association 22nd Judicial District Court Bar Association Louisiana Counseling Association American Group Psychotherapy Association American Counseling Association Chi Sigma Iota – Counseling Academic & Professional Honor Society International
Reported Cases:
Tucker v. SmithKline Beecham Corp., 701 F.Supp.2d 1040 (S.D.Ind.2010) (denying defendant’s learned intermediary defense and further allowing plaintiffs’ experts to testify regarding the causal association between antidepressants and increased suicidal behavior) Forst v. Smithkline Beecham Corp., 639 F.Supp.2d 948 (E.D.Wis.,2009) (holding that plaintiffs’ claims are not preempted by federal law) Forst v. SmithKline Beecham Corp., 602 F.Supp.2d 960 (E.D.Wis. 2009) (holding that Wisconsin has not adopted the learned intermediary doctrine and allowing all of plaintiffs’ claims, including, negligence, fraud and punitive damages to proceed to the jury) Cunningham v. SmithKline Beecham, 255 F.R.D. 474 (N.D.Ind. 2009) (ordering defendant to produce documents and awarding sanctions) Knipe v. SmithKline Beecham, 583 F.Supp.2d 602 (E.D.Pa. 2008) (holding that a drug manufacturer owes a duty to warn regarding risks associated with off-label uses and allowing plaintiffs’ claims for compensatory and punitive damages to proceed to the jury) Knipe v.SmithKline Beecham, 583 F.Supp.2d 553 (E.D.Pa 2008) (holding that plaintiffs’ claims are not preempted by federal law) Tucker v. SmithKline Beecham Corp., 596 F.Supp.2d 1225 (S.D.Ind. 2008) (granting plaintiff’s motion for reconsideration and holding that plaintiff’s claims are not preempted by federal law) Grisham v. Philip Morris USA 482 F. 3d 1131 (9th Cir., 2007) Grisham v. Philip Morris USA 40 Cal.4th 623, 151 P.3d 1151, 54 Cal.Rptr.3d 735 (2007) Tucker v. GlaxoSmithKline 2006 WL 753128 (S.D. Ind., 2006) Grisham v. Philip Morris USA 403 F.3d 631 (9th Cir., 2005) Smith v. Cutter Biological 770 So.2d 392 (La. App. 4th Cir., 2000) Doe v. Parauka 714 So. 2d 701 (La., 1998) State v. Marquer 446 So. 2d 1258 (La. App. 4th Cir., 1984) State v. Paquette 423 So. 2d 797 (La. App. 4th Cir., 1982)
Hobbies & interests:

Certified St. Joseph Hospice volunteer Certified LOSS volunteer (counseling to families of suicide victims) Mentors a female student at Jawaharlal Nehru University, who is studying international relations and hopes to come to the United States Volunteers every week at Christwood local retirement home, working with older adults in skilled, assisted, and independent living Volunteer work at local Women’s Center where she co-facilitated a care giver’s support group and a grief group Participates at Women’s Creativity Retreat every fall Alzheimer’s conference attendee – to better understand elderly clients suffering dementia Traveled to Turkey and met with women involved in promoting Turkish women’s craft and art businesses in the United States Participant in Enneagram workshop on personality theory – to better understand clients’ perspectives Attended a “Train the Trainer Workshop” to promote multiculturalism and diversity in the legal field

Government Service:

Magistrate Ad Hoc:Support Enforcement Division, 22nd Judicial District Court,Louisiana 1990-2003 Law Clerk, 22nd Judicial District Court, St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana, 1983-1990 Assistant District Attorney, New Orleans Parish, Louisiana, 1981-1983
Payment Information:
  • Free Initial Consultation
  • Fixed Fees Available

Peer Reviews

5.0/5.0 (8 reviews)
A Martindale-Hubbell Peer Rating reflects a combination of achieving a Very High General Ethical Standards rating and a Legal Ability numerical rating.
  • Legal Knowledge

  • Analytical Capability

  • Judgment

  • Communication

  • Legal Experience


*Peer Reviews provided before April 15, 2008 are not displayed.


Los Angeles, California

Contact Frances M. Phares

Required Fields

Required Fields

By clicking on the "Submit" button, you agree to the Terms of Use, Supplemental Terms and Privacy Policy. You also consent to be contacted at the phone number you provided, including by autodials, text messages and/or pre-recorded calls, from Martindale and its affiliates and from or on behalf of attorneys you request or contact through this site. Consent is not a condition of purchase.

You should not send any sensitive or confidential information through this site. Emails sent through this site do not create an attorney-client relationship and may not be treated as privileged or confidential. The lawyer or law firm you are contacting is not required to, and may choose not to, accept you as a client. The Internet is not necessarily secure and emails sent though this site could be intercepted or read by third parties.