News

April 8, 2019

Wilson and Ritchie Speak at Human Resource Law from A to Z Seminar

Malissa Wilson and Spencer Ritchie were speakers at the Human Resource Law from A to Z seminar, held March 27-28, 2019, in Pearl, Mississippi. The basic-to-intermediate level seminar provided a comprehensive overview of current issues in human resource law for attorneys, Human Resource and financial professionals, and other business executives.  Wilson and Ritchie spoke about discrimination and harassment; workplace behavioral issues; workplace privacy and employee monitoring; and, disciplining and firing employees. Click here to learn more about FormanWatkins’ Labor & Employment practice.

April 5, 2019

Wilson and Hunt Win Summary Judgment in Insurance Coverage Dispute Case

Malissa Wilson and Courtney Hunt won summary judgment in a case involving an uninsured/underinsured coverage dispute. The plaintiffs were seeking $3 million in uninsured/underinsured coverage. The Court dismissed plaintiff’s complaint on the ground that the policies in dispute had been properly non-renewed and were not in effect at the time of the accident.

April 4, 2019

Update on the Spring Veterans Legal Clinic in New Jersey

The Monmouth & Ocean County Veterans Information and Resources Clinic was held on Saturday, March 30, 2019, and New Jersey Partners Tom Toman and Nicole Diesa were among those who volunteered. The event was held at the James J. Howard Outpatient Clinic in Brick, New Jersey, and it was successful in reaching a number of younger Veterans that do not normally use the Clinic or any other traditional Veterans groups. Overall, there were 10+ legal consultations conducted, with participation from six additional Veterans aide groups. Based on the success of the event, the president of the Ocean County Bar has asked that another joint Veterans Information and Resources Clinic be organized for later this year. This was the second pro bono event orchestrated by the Monmouth Bar Association as part of a new Veterans’ program that was initiated by FormanWatkins in 2018.

April 3, 2019

Malissa Wilson Serves as Mentor During Bessie Young Council Mentoring Conference

FormanWatkins Partner Malissa Wilson participated in the mini-mentoring session at the 2019 Bessie Young Council Mentoring Conference on Friday, March 29, 2019, at the University of Mississippi School of Law.  The session involved attorneys meeting with students to discuss their respective area of legal practice, work/life balance, what they look for in an associate, and what impresses firms when they interview potential associates.  The mission of this annual conference is to provide learning and networking opportunities for non-traditional law students and young lawyers.  Through its annual conference, the Bessie Young Council shares the experiences of its member attorneys and others in the field to help foster successful careers for those law students and young lawyers who may encounter unique obstacles along the way. Pictured below are Mentors from the 2019 Bessie Young Council Conference.

April 2, 2019

Wilson and White Obtain Favorable Ruling in Smith County Circuit Court

Malissa Wilson and Taylor White obtained a favorable ruling on a motion for judgment on the pleadings in Smith County Circuit Court in a motor vehicle accident case.  The Court dismissed the plaintiff’s complaint on the ground that her claims were barred by a previous Release and Settlement Agreement, under which she accepted settlement proceeds in full satisfaction of any claims related to the accident.

March 13, 2019

FormanWatkins Proudly Sponsors 26th Annual Evelyn Gandy Lecture Series

The FormanWatkins Women’s Initiative was a proud sponsor and attendee of the 26th Annual Evelyn Gandy Lecture Series, hosted by the Mississippi Bar Women in the Profession Committee at the Grand Hotel in Point Clear, Alabama, February 22-24, 2019.  As a scholarship sponsor, FormanWatkins provided funding for Mississippi law students to participate in this mentorship event.  Highlights from this year’s Gandy included a lecture by Judy Perry Martinez, ABA President-Elect Designee, who spoke on the future of the legal profession, in addition to a panel discussion with judges from the state’s appellate and trial courts.  Conference attendees also participated in a panel discussion regarding successful integration of pro bono and community service in the practice of law wherein panel members recognized the pro bono culture at FormanWatkins.

March 12, 2019

Employment Law Update: Spring Has Sprung Proposed Overtime Rule and Confusion Over Wellness Incentives

The seasons have changed from Winter to Spring, but the EEOC’s position regarding wellness incentives remains the same. This year’s stalemate over employee wellness programs has increasingly caused employers to ask: have wellness incentives become more trouble than they are worth? In a dramatic shift from its former endorsement of wellness incentives, the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission (EEOC) has invalidated the incentive provisions of its wellness program regulations. The result: since January 1, 2019, when the EEOC regulations became ineffective, employers have been in limbo when it comes to implementing their employee wellness programs, with no guidance from the EEOC to speak of.

March 7, 2019

Gault and Banks Win TCPA Arbitration

On February 27, 2019, Win Gault and Jake Banks successfully obtained a defense verdict in a Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”) arbitration.  The claimant maintained she received nearly 1400 unauthorized debt collection calls and sought statutory treble damages totaling nearly $2 million.  At the arbitration, both sides presented fact and expert testimony on the defendant company’s software system.  After hearing testimony and reviewing post-arbitration briefs, the Arbitrator concluded the claimant was entitled to nothing because the software system did not meet the statutory definitions under the TCPA.  Additionally, the Arbitrator addressed the claimant counsel’s call-baiting activities designed to increase the numbers of calls claimant received.  Specifically, the claimant’s counsel called the defendant company with the claimant on the call, instructed claimant to read a script, did not notify the company that he was on the calls, and secretly taped the discussions.  The Arbitrator called this conduct “deceptive”. Gault and Banks presently have TCPA arbitrations scheduled in five states in 2019.

March 6, 2019

Spring Session of NJ Veterans Information and Resources Clinic has been Set

FormanWatkins is a proud participant in this Spring’s Monmouth & Ocean County Veterans Information and Resources Clinic, taking place Saturday, March 30, from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the James J. Howard Outpatient Clinic in Brick, New Jersey.  This clinic was first held in November of 2018, and its success resulted in the planning for a joint program with Ocean County.  Please refer to the flyer below for services that will be provided at the March 30 clinic, and be sure to pass the information along to local New Jersey Veterans.

February 26, 2019

FormanWatkins Hosts Special Lagniappe Session for Local LMA Members

The FormanWatkins New Orleans office recently hosted the Legal Marketing Association’s local Baton Rouge/New Orleans group for a special lagniappe session that was being held for its members and friends.  Susan Freeman, CEO & Chief Client Happiness Officer of Freeman Means Business, presented “Understanding Gender-Based Communications,” where attendees learned about various communication styles and how to adapt their style to others to