March 25, 2020

FormanWatkins Staff Employees Achieve LTC4 Certification

Forman Watkins & Krutz LLP is proud to announce that 20 of our staff employees have achieved their LTC4 Certification. On February 27, FormanWatkins hosted a special luncheon at the Capital Club in Jackson to recognize these employees. The honorees were treated to a delectable buffet followed by a game that was enjoyed by all. Speeches recognizing their accomplishments were given by the Firm’s COO, Robby Gathings, and HR Director, Mandi Murphy. To commemorate their achievement, each honorary attendee received a recognition plaque and had an individual picture taken with Mr. Gathings. FormanWatkins began a partnership with LTC4 in June 2018, with the goal of providing our employees an online opportunity to enhance their job skills. The Legal Technology Core Competencies Certification Coalition (LTC4) is a non-profit organization that is considered the industry standard for legal technology skills. The courses approved by LTC4 were provided by Capensys, a Training Vendor Member of LTC4. In July 2019, the Firm identified four core LTC4 courses that employees would need to pass by December 31, 2019, in order to be recognized as LTC4 Certified. The required courses were: Legal Documents (Word) Data, Reports, and Exhibits (Excel) Presentations (PowerPoint) Collaborating with Others (Outlook) Congratulations to the 20 staff employees who met this goal! The Firm values and appreciates your dedication, hard work, and efforts to enhance and develop your skills. Pictured (left to right) – 1st Row: Barbara Meeks, Jennifer Bradford; 2nd Row: Lisa Ainsworth, Sarah Springler, Amy Boone, Jennifer Parks, Michele Clark, Amber Moore, Theresa […]

March 18, 2020

Coronavirus: FWK Operational Update

March 18, 2020 Clients and Friends, As we monitor, assess, and respond to rapidly-evolving developments related to the spread of COVID-19, the safety and health of FormanWatkins employees, their families, and our communities is our most important objective. This is an unprecedented time filled with unique challenges. To meet these challenges, the Firm has taken a number of actions to protect the safety of our team while ensuring continued service to our clients. We continue to follow the recommendations and directives of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as State and Local government, for reducing the spread of COVID-19. With very limited exceptions, our entire team is now working remotely. All such employees have the technology to seamlessly work remotely through the coming weeks. While our offices are closed to client meetings, we continue to receive mail at each of our locations. Thankfully, as of today, no FormanWatkins employees have been diagnosed with COVID-19. The Firm is confident it will provide uninterrupted service to its clients during this time. This confidence is rooted in our core strength–the over 150 attorneys and staff whose can-do attitudes shine brightest when faced with challenges. We remain vigilant and prepared to respond as conditions evolve. Stay safe and healthy. Forman Watkins & Krutz LLP

March 3, 2020

FormanWatkins Releases 2019 Pro Bono & Civic Engagement Report

FormanWatkins released its 2019 Pro Bono & Civic Engagement Report today. The Firm’s pro bono efforts are led by our Pro Bono Committee, whose members include: Alison McMinn, Courtney Hunt, Erin Latuso, Julian Miller, Margaret McLaughlin, Mimi Arthur, Mitch McGuffey, Nicole Diesa, and Vernon McFarland.

January 24, 2020

Upchurch, McGuffey, and Kapoor Selected to MBJ 2019 Leadership in Law Class

FormanWatkins is proud to announce that Caroline Upchurch, Mitch McGuffey, and Sam Kapoor have been selected by the Mississippi Business Journal as part of the 2019 Leadership in Law class. Each year the Mississippi Business Journal recognizes a select group of 40 attorneys who exhibit both the legal success and the qualities of character that exemplify this honor. In December, a reception and awards celebration was held to recognize the 2019 honorees. Here is a little bit of information about the FormanWatkins honorees: Two things inspire Caroline Upchurch every day: the client and the puzzle. Each case is uniquely important to Caroline, because it’s a chance to form a personal relationship with a client and also to use her naturally analytical brain to solve problems. Caroline always works three steps ahead, avoiding surprises and creating well thought out solutions for her client. With an eye for efficiency, Caroline is able to quickly assess situations to decide the best approach and enjoys crafting innovative strategies for her clients. She enjoys the daily puzzles and challenges that walk through her door. Caroline is admitted to practice in Mississippi and Alabama, and she is a member of The Mississippi Bar and the Capital Area Bar Association. Caroline has been recognized by The Best Lawyers in America® in Product Liability Litigation – Defendants, and has been selected to the Mid-South Rising Stars list since 2014. Caroline graduated magna cum laude from The University of Mississippi School of Law, where she was on the Mississippi Law […]

January 9, 2020

Penn, Pujol, and Ritchie Promoted to Partner

FormanWatkins is excited to announce that Elizabeth Penn, Patrice Pujol, and Spencer Ritchie have been promoted to Partner! Elizabeth Penn  joined the Firm in 2016 with over ten years of litigation experience. Elizabeth graduated magna cum laude from Mississippi State University with a degree in Business Information Systems and received her law degree from The University of Mississippi School of Law, where she received the Patrick Michael Magann Public Interest Award and was Associate Mississippi Cases Editor for the Mississippi Law Journal. Elizabeth is a member of the Mississippi Bar Association, the Louisiana State Bar Association, the New York State Bar Association, and she serves on the Firm’s Technology and Diversity Committees. Elizabeth provides pro bono and community service through Joni and Friends (a disability advocacy and support organization), as well as Mission First Legal Aid Office and Mississippi Center for Justice. Elizabeth is also a Mid-South Rising Stars and Louisiana Rising Stars honoree. Elizabeth works out of our Jackson and New Orleans offices and is admitted to practice in Mississippi, Louisiana, New York, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. Patrice Pujol is licensed in Texas and works out of our Houston office.  Patrice received her Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Baylor University and her Master of English degree from the University of Dallas. She earned her law degree from South Texas College of Law – Houston, where she received the American Jurisprudence Award in Appellate Advocacy, the Best Team award and the Second-Best […]

January 6, 2020

Ritchie Appointed to Mississippi Ethics Commission

FormanWatkins is proud to announce that Spencer Ritchie, a partner in the firm’s Jackson office, has been appointed by Mississippi Lieutenant Governor Tate Reeves to the Mississippi Ethics Commission. The Commission is composed of eight members serving four-year terms and a full-time Commission staff. The Commission enforces Mississippi’s Ethics In Government Law, as well as the State’s Open Meetings Act, Public Records Act, and Campaign Finance Law. All elected and appointed officials and employees of state, county, district, and municipal government come under the authority of the Ethics Commission. Congratulations, Spencer!

December 19, 2019

2020 Louisiana Super Lawyers and Rising Stars

The 2020 Louisiana Super Lawyers and Rising Stars lists have been released, and we are proud to announce that 8 of our attorneys were among those selected! Each year, no more than five percent of the lawyers in the state are selected by the research team at Super Lawyers to receive this honor. Super Lawyers, a Thomson Reuters business, is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The annual selections are made using a patented multi-phase process that includes a statewide survey of lawyers, an independent research evaluation of candidates, and peer reviews by practice area. Congratulations to the following attorneys on their selection to this year’s lists! 2020 Louisiana Super Lawyers: Charles Abbott** and Tim Gray 2020 Louisiana Rising Stars: Melissa Fuller, Erin Latuso, McCann LeFeve, Elizabeth Penn, Daniel Roberts, and Peyton Smith **Also named to Top 50: 2020 New Orleans Super Lawyers and Top 50: 2020 Louisiana Super Lawyers

November 22, 2019

Smith Selected as Member of Criminal Justice Act Panel

Forman Watkins & Krutz LLP is proud to announce that Jackson Associate Ahmad Smith has been selected as a member of the Criminal Justice Act (“CJA”) Panel! The CJA Panel is a group of qualified and court-approved attorneys who are eligible for appointment by the Court to represent individuals in federal criminal cases who are unable for financial reasons to retain counsel. The appointments are made by the Court on a rotating basis among members of the panel. Congratulations, Ahmad!

November 11, 2019

Veterans Day & Update from Veterans Clinic

In honor of Veterans Day, Forman Watkins & Krutz LLP would like to thank all Veterans for their service to this country. Some Veterans Day facts: The day was first called Armistice Day and was established on November 11, 1919, the first anniversary of the end of World War I. Armistice Day was changed to Veterans Day in 1954 as a result of lobbying by veterans service organizations. President Eisenhower signed the legislation, and the holiday became a day to honor all of America’s veterans. France, Great Britain, Canada, and Australia also honor World War I and II veterans on or near November 11. The first Veterans Day parade was held in Birmingham, Alabama in 1947 and remains an annual tradition. UPDATE: The November 2nd Monmouth County Veterans Information and Resources Clinic went well with about a dozen Veterans speaking with the attorneys. There was a good combination of government/non-profit support groups on-site that also provided assistance to our Veterans. The organizers continue to develop contacts with local Veterans organizations and have met with a number of young Veterans connected with Brookdale University who are interested in holding the next event on their campus, ideally in mid-to-late February.