Recent Posts

November 14, 2017

Joel Fyke Serves as Alumni Panelist for the Croft Institute of International Studies

Joel Fyke, along with two other Croft alumni, with degrees in international studies, spoke to a crowd of undergraduate students in the Croft building Friday afternoon. The graduates advised students on making the most of their undergraduate degrees and pursuing jobs they want after graduation. Directly following the panel discussion, the alumni met with small groups of students to conduct breakout sessions, which allowed for more personal conversations. “If you don’t get the job, talk to the person who just rejected you and ask them where you should go and get some experience before you can come back,” 2005 graduate Joel Fyke said. A recipient of the Truman Scholarship, Fyke began his career in a small newspaper and now works with the firm as an Associate in the Jackson office. The Croft Institute for International Studies will celebrate its 20th anniversary next year, and Friday’s event was the second of its kind under director Oliver Dinius’ leadership. Read more on the panel by clicking here.

November 13, 2017

Amorya Orr Serves as Panelist at Diversity & Inclusion Conference

Associate Amorya Orr recently participated as a panelist at the Perrin Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) Conference in Philadelphia, PA. The conference addressed a variety of topics including:  generational diversity, effective use of social media to further D&I efforts, and creative and innovative D&I programming. Partners Malissa Wilson and Nicole Diesa also attended the Conference on behalf of Forman Watkins.

November 8, 2017

Abbott & Kitchens Win Early Defense Victory for National Power Tools Manufacturer

Charles Abbott and Byron Kitchens undertook representation of a national power tools manufacturer in July 2017 in claims arising out of a residential fire in Orleans Parish, Louisiana in which the homeowner’s insurer claimed losses of nearly $700,000.00, casting allegations of sole fault for the loss upon the power tool manufacturer, claiming its product was defective under the Louisiana Products Liability Act. Partnering with attorneys from Lightfoot, Franklin & White, our team quickly removed the lawsuit from the Civil District Court of Orleans Parish to the United States Eastern District of Louisiana.  Within two weeks of removal, the Plaintiff-Insurer transmitted a settlement offer. Assessing the evidence, or more particularly lack thereof, the defense counter-offer was simply an opportunity for the Plaintiff-Insurer to dismiss its case with prejudice.  A week later, the Plaintiff-Insurer accepted the “offer” and agreed to dismiss its case with prejudice.

October 23, 2017

Watkins & Arthur Win Contested Motion in Eastern District of Louisiana

Forman Watkins’ O-I Louisiana team recently won a contested motion in the Eastern District of Louisiana in the Joseph Savoie case. In 1991, Joseph Savoie filed an asbestosis lawsuit against O-I and other defendants. O-I settled his claim as part of group settlement, and Mr. Savoie and his wife executed an agreement releasing O-I from any cause of action arising out of Mr. Savoie’s asbestos-related injury, including mesothelioma, cancer, wrongful death, and survival claims. Seventeen years later, Mr. Savoie contracted mesothelioma. His wife and children sued O-I again, seeking survival and wrongful death damages. In response, O-I filed an Exception of Res Judicata, arguing for dismissal of the plaintiffs’ claims because the prior release explicitly compromised any prospective mesothelioma claims. A co-defendant removed the case to federal court, where O-I re-urged its state court exception. The plaintiffs opposed O-I’s motion, arguing that Mr. and Mrs. Savoie never intended to release any mesothelioma claims as evidenced by the small settlement sum they received. After reviewing the briefing, Judge Barbier found the prior release was valid and that Mr. Savoie’s mesothelioma claim existed when he executed the release because the prior settlement agreement expressly included mesothelioma and wrongful death claims. Further, Louisiana law provides that the actual settlement value a party receives is inconsequential if the settlement agreement includes a specific reference to the claim released. The Court granted O-I’s exception and dismissed all Mr. Savoie’s survival claims and Mrs. Savoie’s wrongful death claims. Forman Watkins attorneys Trey Watkins and Mimi Arthur […]

October 20, 2017

FWK Offices Wear Pink in Support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Our teams from MS to LA and up to NJ all showed their support for Breast Cancer Awareness month by wearing pink to work yesterday! You all look great! We are also collecting hats, blankets, and scarves for our local cancer clinic through the month of October. These items will help keep patients more comfortable and warm during treatments. Click on each photo to make it larger.

October 16, 2017

Mississippi Business Journal Publishes Ritchie’s article on Mississippi Campaign Finance Laws

By: Spencer Ritchie Mississippi campaign finance laws are about to change, and it’s not just officeholders and candidates that need to be prepared for the changes. Businesses and other organizations that seek to participate in elections and ballot measures through political committees must also be ready…. read the full article here: SPENCER RITCHIE — Changes to Mississippi campaign finance laws affect business community    

October 10, 2017

Ahmad R. Smith Selected to Tougaloo College 40 Under 40 List

Forman Watkins & Krutz LLP congratulates Ahmad Smith for being selected to Tougaloo College’s Second Annual Forty Under Forty Alumni List. Tougaloo created this program to honor outstanding young alumni who have distinguished themselves by virtue of their accomplishments.

October 6, 2017

Forman Watkins Wins Summary Judgment in Louisiana Take-Home Asbestos Case

On October 4, 2017, Forman Watkins won summary judgment on behalf of a premises defendant in the 23rd Judicial Circuit Court for the Parish of St. James, Louisiana.  Plaintiffs in the case alleged that their decedent was exposed to asbestos on the clothing of her late husband, who worked at numerous industrial worksites, including the premises defendant represented by Forman Watkins.  Plaintiffs’ counsel issued a $650,000 settlement demand to our client. Our team completely defended the action for our client; taking all fact and expert witness depositions and preparing the motion for summary judgment.  Forman Watkins successfully persuaded the Court to grant its client’s motion during oral argument. The summary judgment briefing was prepared by Michael Abraham, and the motion was argued by Daniel Roberts.

September 25, 2017

Lay-Offs Down, EEOC Charges Up

Current labor department statistics reflect a steady decrease in layoffs since the 2007-2009 recession. While layoffs are down, charges of discrimination filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) are steadily going up. Nationally, the number of charges has increased from 75,768 in 2016 to 91,503 in 2016. As for the specific type of charge, retaliation claims currently top the national list at 42,018 followed by race claims at 32,309.