Recent Posts

March 16, 2023

Firm Recognizes 2022 Pro Bono All-Star and Civic Star Award Recipients

The Firm is pleased to announce that Catherine Pettis and Jennifer Parks, respectively, received the 2022 FormanWatkins Pro Bono All-Star and Civic Star awards! Catherine Pettis, an Associate in our Jackson office, was awarded the Pro Bono All-Star for dedicating nearly 100 pro bono hours during 2022. The major of her pro bono work was representing a client from the Public Defender’s Office in a capital murder conviction appeal. Jennifer Parks, a legal assistant in our Jackson office, was awarded the Civic Star for dedicating more than 230 civic hours to local, state and national Legal Associations, Wills for First Responders and within her church’s women’s, youth and media ministries. We are grateful to have so many employees who devote so much time to their communities each year, and we are proud they are a part of the FormanWatkins family.  Read more on our Pro Bono and Civic Engagement initiatives here.

March 1, 2023

FormanWatkins Secures Summary Judgment for Major Retailer Client

FormanWatkins attorneys Vernon McFarland, Simine Reed, Courtney Hunt, and Jennifer Studebaker obtained summary judgment on behalf of a major retailer in relation to a personal injury case in Mississippi’s 10th Circuit Court District, on February 1, 2023. After sustaining injuries from a rogue police officer’s use of excessive force, Plaintiff sued FormanWatkins’ client alleging negligence, negligent hiring and retention, negligent infliction of emotional distress, and civil conspiracy. Plaintiff alleged an employee of the retailer negligently called the police after witnessing the Plaintiff’s suspicious activity in the store. The FormanWatkins’ team filed a motion for summary judgment, arguing its client was not liable because the police officer’s use of force was an intervening, superseding cause of the Plaintiff’s injuries.  The Court noted in its Order that “in his deposition testimony, Plaintiff admitted no retailer employee attempted to stop or detain him and that the police officer was the only person to assault him. Plaintiff has produced no evidence to support his claims.”  The Court granted summary judgment and dismissed the claims against FormanWatkins’ client.

February 20, 2023

Forman Watkins & Krutz Attorneys Attend DRI 2023 Women in the Law Seminar

In January, FormanWatkins attorneys McCann LeFeve and Ruth M. Huskey participated in the three-day 2023 DRI Women in the Law Seminar. The Seminar allows small group networking with women in the legal field from across the country as well continuing legal education opportunities that help foster attorneys’ professional development and personal health and wellness.

February 14, 2023

Malissa Wilson Named Recipient of The Mississippi Bar’s Distinguished Service Award

The firm is very pleased to announce that the Mississippi Bar will present Malissa Wilson with its 2023 Distinguished Service Award during the organization’s Annual Meeting held July 18-20 in Biloxi. Each year, The Mississippi Bar honors certain individuals whose work and contributions advance the purposes of the Bar and demonstrate the legal profession’s commitment to serving the public and the profession. Wilson received the Distinguished Service Award in honor of her outstanding achievements and significant contributions to the legal community. Ms. Wilson is a partner in the Jackson office of Forman Watkins & Krutz, where she has devoted her practice to all aspects of employment law. She has served as Chair of the Mississippi Bar’s Diversity in Law Committee and previously served on the Media and Law Subcommittee. She has 20 years of litigation and trial experience both in the private and public sector. Ms. Wilson received her B.A. degree, magna cum laude, from Texas Southern University, her M.S. degree from Columbia University and her J.D. degree, cum laude, from the University of Mississippi. She is admitted to practice in Arkansas, Illinois, Mississippi, Missouri and Texas. She is a Mississippi Bar Certified Mediator. Ms. Wilson has been recognized by The Best Lawyers in America® in the legal areas of labor, employment and workers’ compensation law with her most recent distinction being the “2023 Lawyer of the Year” for Jackson, Miss., in Labor and Employment litigation. This past year, she was invited to join the International Association of Defense Counsel. […]

January 17, 2023

Courtney C. Hunt Promoted to Partner

FormanWatkins is pleased to announce that Courtney C. Hunt has been promoted to Partner. Ms. Hunt joined the firm in 2016. She is a graduate of Smith College and Harvard Law School, and spent five years as a public interest lawyer in Jackson before becoming an integral part of FormanWatkins’ strategic legal team. In her time with the firm, Ms. Hunt has been involved in a wide range of toxic tort litigation, products and premises liability, commercial litigation, real property litigation, insurance coverage defense, and NCAA compliance and investigation matters. Ms. Hunt has received recognition as a Mid-South Rising Star and Best Lawyers in America Ones to Watch. She is an active member of the firm’s Pro Bono Committee and recipient of the firm’s Pro Bono Star Award.

January 10, 2023

FWK Partner Malissa Wilson Joins International Association of Defense Counsel

The International Association of Defense Counsel (IADC) has announced that Malissa Wilson has accepted an invitation to join the IADC, the preeminent invitation-only global legal organization for attorneys who represent corporate and insurance interests. “I am happy to join an organization such as the IADC with like-minded people who have a consistent record of displaying high professional standards and a passion to advance the legal profession by promoting ethics and character, in addition to social justice and diversity,” Ms. Wilson said. With nearly 20 years of litigation and trial experience, Malissa focuses her practice on employment law, as well as matters involving civil rights, premises liability, product liability, and insurance. Previously, she worked as a special assistant attorney general in the Civil Division of the Office of the Mississippi Attorney General and as a senior assistant city attorney in the Labor, Employment and Civil Rights Division of the City of Houston (Texas). She also has served as in-house counsel for a national insurance company overseeing cases in Texas, Oklahoma, and Mississippi, as well as for Mississippi’s largest public employer, the University of Mississippi Medical Center. Malissa received her J.D. (cum laude) from the University of Mississippi School of Law. She also holds a Master of Science from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and a Bachelor of Arts (magna cum laude) from Texas Southern University. About the International Association of Defense Counsel The IADC is the preeminent invitation-only global legal organization for attorneys who represent corporate and insurance interests. Founded […]

December 19, 2022

Krutz, Hannula and Stubbs’ 2021 Summary Judgment Win Upheld by the Fourth Circuit

Attorneys Fred Krutz, Brian Hannula and Andrew Stubbs won summary judgment in 2021 arguing the statute of limitations barred plaintiff’s product liability action claiming that defendant’s respirators were defective and caused him to develop coal workers pneumoconiosis. The lawsuit was pending in the United States District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia, and Chief Judge Gina Groh delivered the District Court’s opinion. The plaintiff appealed the case to the United States Court of Appeals For The Fourth Circuit who recently released an opinion affirming the lower court’s judgment.

December 13, 2022

FormanWatkins Foundation Supports Area Causes

In the last quarter of 2022, via the FormanWatkins Foundation, the Forman Watkins & Krutz’s Jackson office participated in and helped support the Juvenile Diabetes Research Fund (JDRF) One Walk, the Blazer Bolt for Brain Cancer 5k and the American Heart Association’s Metro Jackson Heart Walk. The JDRF One Walk (October 22) raised funds for life-saving treatments for individuals living with type 1 diabetes. The Blazer Bolt for Brain Cancer run (October 15) had 600 registrants and 40 teams this year, all raising funds to support individuals and families battling brain cancer. The Metro Jackson Heart Walk (November 12) raised more than $150,000 for the American Heart Association. FormanWatkins’ CFO, Robby Gathings, was the second highest fundraiser in the corporate category for the Heart Walk. The Forman Watkins & Krutz Foundation is proud to join in supporting these events.  

December 13, 2022

FormanWatkins Wins Second Dismissal in Maritime Case

On October 10, 2022, an Orleans Parish District Court judge for a second and final time dismissed a mesothelioma asbestos exposure case in favor of two energy companies, represented by Forman Watkins & Krutz attorneys Byron Kitchens and Margaret McLaughlin, and Michael Abraham and Peter Moir, respectively. Plaintiffs are Italian citizens who initially filed suit under maritime law nearly ten years after their decedent’s mesothelioma diagnosis. The parties re-filed a new motion and Plaintiffs brought two witnesses to testify on their behalf, including one of the Plaintiffs and an Italian lawyer. After successful cross-examination executed by McLaughlin and Kitchens, the case was brought home by the testimony of the defense’s Italian medical expert, brought in by Moir. Ultimately, Civil District Court Judge Giarrusso granted the clients’ Renewed Exception of Prescription (motion to dismiss due to statute of limitations).