Recent Posts

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

February 25, 2019

Phase 2 Construction of Jackson Office Begins

We are excited to announce that phase 2 construction of our Jackson office is officially underway!  This phase will integrate the remainder of the 21st floor of the Regions building (which, until December of 2018, held another occupant) into the current FormanWatkins space, providing us with an additional 4500 square feet of space to accommodate our inevitable growth. The new section will continue the same open, unified workspace that is found throughout the rest of our Jackson office.  Below are some initial construction pictures. 

February 22, 2019

Abbott Selected by New Orleans CityBusiness to 2019 Leadership in Law Class

FormanWatkins is proud to announce that Charles Abbott has been selected by New Orleans CityBusiness to its 2019 Leadership in Law class.  Each year New Orleans CityBusiness recognizes 50 area professionals in the field of law for their career and community accomplishments.  To celebrate this year’s honorees, an event will be held in May at the New Orleans Museum of Art.  This isn’t Charles’ first time to be recognized as part of the Leadership in Law class—he also received the honor in 2014.

February 21, 2019

FormanWatkins Holds Financial Health Luncheon As Part of Women’s Initiative

The FormanWatkins Women’s Initiative recently held a financial health luncheon with representatives from Merrill Lynch.  Female attorneys from all FWK offices were in attendance to discuss financial health issues affecting women in the profession.  This is the second year that the Women’s Initiative has hosted this informal event, providing a space for our female attorneys to start a conversation with women in finance about personal financial management.

February 20, 2019

FormanWatkins Welcomes Dima Ghawi As Part Of Diversity & Inclusion Initiative

FormanWatkins recently had the pleasure of welcoming Dima Ghawi to the Jackson office to speak to our attorneys as part of the Firm’s Diversity & Inclusion initiative.  Attorneys from all FWK offices attended, and Dima presented “Diversity & Inclusion: Worth More than Gold,” which focused on the many different types of diversity, the proven benefits of diversity, and how to be intentional in creating diversity in the workplace. 

February 8, 2019

FormanWatkins Releases 2018 Pro Bono & Civic Engagement Report

FormanWatkins released its 2018 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, Margaret McLaughlin, Mimi Arthur, Mitch McGuffey, and Vernon McFarland.

February 4, 2019

Jury Finds Scooter Not Plugged Up, Did Not Blow Up

Malissa Wilson and Joshua Metcalf recently achieved a rare jury trial defense verdict in Claiborne County (MS) Circuit Court on behalf of the manufacturer of an electric scooter.  The products liability case involved allegations that the battery in an unplugged electric scooter combusted and caused the complete destruction of the plaintiffs’ home.  At trial, the plaintiffs sought to recover damages for the loss of their home and its contents.  Malissa and Joshua presented testimony from a certified fire and explosion investigator, as well as the client’s director of research and development, to demonstrate not only that the scooter and its battery were safe and could not have caused the fire, but also that the most likely cause of the fire was a propane gas heater in the same room as the scooter.  Convinced by the evidence and the arguments presented, the jury returned a defense verdict in less than an hour-and-a-half.  Assisting Malissa and Joshua in trial preparation were Courtney Hunt and Taylor White.