February 5, 2020

FormanWatkins Attorneys Attend DRI 2020 Women in the Law Seminar

FormanWatkins attorneys Chelsea Favret, Elizabeth Penn, and McCann LeFeve participated in the three-day DRI 2020 Women in the Law Seminar in Scottsdale, Arizona, during January. The program gathered outstanding women from law firms and corporate legal departments around the United States. Attendees received instruction in communication and negotiation skills through interactive workshops and attended small-group networking events. Other highlights included panel discussions on how to build business by “getting uncomfortable” and how to bridge the generational gap in communication. The FormanWatkins Women’s Initiative proudly supports events such as the DRI WITL Seminar, which foster the advancement of women in law.

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

December 18, 2019

Offices Continue Traditions with Local Charities

In the spirit of giving, our New Jersey, Jackson, and New Orleans offices kept with past traditions and donated their efforts with local charities. New Jersey purchased various winter items and donated them to Lunch Break. Jackson adopted children from the Angel Tree Program through Prison Fellowship Ministries. New Orleans adopted a family through Catholic Charities’ Adopt-A-Family program. Thank you all for your compassion and continued support of these local charities! (Nicole Diesa and Donna Ross from the NJ office) (Jackson Office) (New Orleans Office)

December 9, 2019

Gault and Ritchie Present Oral Argument Before U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

Win Gault and Spencer Ritchie presented oral argument before the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. Gault and Ritchie appeared before the Court on behalf of an oil and gas company after having obtained a bench trial verdict for the company in the Eastern District of Louisiana. The District Court awarded our client contractual damages, attorney fees, prejudgment interest, and post-judgment interest totaling more than $800,000.

November 25, 2019

Gault and Banks Obtain Defense Verdict in TCPA Arbitration

On November 21, 2019, a Jackson, Mississippi Arbitrator returned an award in favor of a national retailer represented by Win Gault and Jake Banks.  The Claimant maintained that the retailer willfully violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”) by using an automatic telephone dialing system (“ATDS”) to place 500 collection calls to his cellular telephone number.  Claimant sought statutory damages in excess of $750,000.00.  After holding an evidentiary hearing and reviewing extensive briefing, the Arbitrator ruled in favor of the retailer, finding that its telephone system did not qualify as an ATDS and, thus, the retailer’s collection calls did not violate the TCPA.  In 2020, Gault and Banks are slated to participate in 43 final arbitration hearings in six different states, regarding various consumer financial services matters, including the TCPA and Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”).