Recent Posts

June 13, 2024

FormanWatkins Ranked in 2024 Chambers and Partners USA Guide

FormanWatkins Partners Win Gault, Fred Krutz and  and W.G. Watkins have again been recognized and ranked by Chambers and Partners in the Chambers USA Guide for 2024. The guide also highlighted the firm’s work in general commercial litigation defense matters in Mississippi. Win Gault (Litigation: General Commercial) W.G. Watkins (Litigation: General Commercial) Fred Krutz (“Senior Statesperson” for Mississippi Litigation: General Commercial) London-based Chambers and Partners annually ranks the leading firms and lawyers across the United States, as well as internationally. Rankings are based upon independent research that assesses each firm and lawyer’s technical legal ability, professional conduct, client service, commitment and other client-valued qualities. The Chambers USA guide is widely recognized by industry-leading companies and organizations across the nation.

May 29, 2024

FormanWatkins Hosts Fourth Annual Diversity Pipeline Program

The FormanWatkins Diversity Pipeline Program is a three-day program for Jackson State University Bob Owens Pre-Law Center and Tougaloo College Reuben V. Anderson Pre-Law Society students interested in pursuing careers as civil litigators. The Firm’s Jackson office welcomed Corrin Dixon, Tyshshia Frazier, Destiny Ivory, LaChassity Jackson, Markita Shell, Naya Singleton, Andreze Suggs-Ewing, Walter Townsend and Sha’Nyla Wilson as 2024 participants. This year’s program included a presentation by career consultant Candie Simmons on business etiquette in the modern workplace, as well as seminars with FormanWatkins attorneys on “firm life,” the firm’s practice areas, civil litigation 101, and research and writing. The students also met with members of the firm’s Pro Bono, Recruiting, and Diversity & Inclusion committees. In an effort to best prepare the students for what to expect at law school, Karen Peairs with the University of Mississippi School of Law Career Center presented on law school admissions and experiences while firm attorneys provided a workshop on resume writing and interview best practices. A special highlight and key component of the program was the opportunity for the students to engage with in-house counsel. These attorneys shared their personal accounts of pursuing careers in law, what life is like as in-house counsel of major corporations and how they work with FormanWatkins attorneys. The students were then invited to engage in Q&A. The collective goal of the program is to provide students an up-close experience as to what life might be like as a civil litigator and provide them with the knowledge and […]

May 15, 2024

2023 Pro Bono and Civic Stars Dedicate Time and Effort to Incredible Causes

The Firm is pleased to announce that Andrew Stubbs and Shelli Oulliber, respectively, received the FormanWatkins Pro Bono Star and Civic Star awards! Andrew Stubbs was awarded the 2023 Pro Bono Star for hours dedicated to a Venezuelan immigration asylum matter that first originated in 2016. More than six years later, on October 24, 2023, asylum was granted to Simon Barinas, who was represented by Andrew and fellow FormanWatkins attorney Jake Banks. Simon came to the United States from Venezuela in 2008 as a college student. Several years later, the political and socioeconomic climate in Venezuela had reached a boiling point forcing his mother and immediate family to flee the country for their safety. It was no longer safe for Simon to return to Venezuela, and he filed for asylum, along with his mother. After 6 years, his case came up for a merits hearing. After hearing the proof and testimony of Simon and his mother, Judge Du Puy granted Simon asylum, thus opening the door for the path to citizenship for Simon. Shelli Oulliber was awarded the Civic Star for dedicating an astounding 423 civic hours throughout 2023. More impressive, these hours were dedicated to Bring a Noodle, a 501c-3 non-profit of which Shelli is Founder, CEO and President. Bring a Noodle works diligently with multiple local beach rescue groups, several National Weather Service offices as well as NOAA to help increase rip current awareness along the Gulf Coast. Last year, Bring a Noodle partnered with the Lt. Governor of Louisiana to […]

April 17, 2024

New Orleans Office Welcomes Etienne René as an Associate

The Firm is pleased to announce that Etienne René has joined the New Orleans office as an Associate. A 2016 graduate of LSU’s Hebert Law Center, Etienne has practiced as a toxic tort defense litigation attorney for a Fortune 10 oil company along with other contractor and product defendants throughout his career. He additionally spent two years on the West Coast brokering commercial real estate transactions and working with a growth engine start-up company. He is admitted to practice before the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, the Eastern, Middle and Western Districts for the U.S. District Courts, and all Louisiana courts.  Among his many accomplishments while in law school, Etienne was accepted as an intern with The Honorable Jay C. Zainey, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, accepted as an extern with The Honorable James Brady of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana, received the CALI Award For Excellence: Federal Civil Procedure I, participated in the Robert Lee Tullis Moot Court Competition, and served as Senior Articles Editor for the LSU Journal of Energy Law and Resources.

April 11, 2024

Malissa Wilson Honored as a Fellow by The Mississippi Bar Foundation

The Mississippi Bar Foundation’s Board of Trustees unanimously selected Malissa Wilson as one of twenty new Fellows of the Foundation. The Fellows designation is the Mississippi Bar Foundation’s highest honor, as only 10% of the lawyers in Mississippi are eligible for membership. Fellows are selected for membership based not only on their excellence as a lawyer, but also by their dedication and service to the public and profession. Their selection is recognition by their peers that the attorney has achieved the highest level of professionalism, competence, and leadership.

February 28, 2024

NCAA Compliance and Sports Litigation Team Wins Dismissal of Head Coach in Player Lawsuit

FormanWatkins NCAA Compliance and Sports Litigation team members WG Watkins, Courtney Hunt and Mitch McGuffey secured dismissal of a lawsuit against their client, an SEC head football coach. The plaintiff was a student athlete seeking tens of millions of dollars in damages from FormanWatkins’ client personally and from the university that employed him. He brought numerous claims under federal and state law for alleged discrimination based on race and sex, intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligence and gross negligence. FormanWatkins along with counsel for the university, filed a motion to dismiss, which was converted to a motion for summary judgment. The judge found there was no showing of discriminatory intent, that immunity defenses applied, and that the plaintiff could not meet the legal requirements to prevail on any of his claims. The decision has been appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, where the FormanWatkins team will continue to defend its client.

February 27, 2024

Fair Credit Reporting Act Claimant Singing the Blues After Failed Bid for Big Payday

On February 21, 2024, a Memphis, Tennessee, arbitrator returned an award in favor of a national retailer represented by FormanWatkins attorney Jake Banks. Claimant sought damages totaling $202,721.00, based on the retailer’s alleged violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act. After hearing testimony and reviewing the parties’ briefing, the arbitrator entered an award in the retailer’s favor, awarding nothing to the Claimant.

February 26, 2024

FormanWatkins Attorneys Celebrate Development Groundbreaking with Investment Group and Sports Entertainment Clients

FormanWatkins attorneys Nick Giallourakis, Mitch McGuffey, and Spencer Ritchie celebrated alongside PraCon Global Investment Group and TopGolf during the groundbreaking ceremony for Topgolf’s sports entertainment facility that will anchor the 77-acre mixed use development of Prado Vista at Ridgeland. The FormanWatkins team successfully provided zoning counsel in petitioning the City of Ridgeland to allow an overlay district for the Prado Vista development to include a Topgolf venue.  FormanWatkins will continue to assist with development of the project, which is set to include a national grocery store, two high-end hotels, more than 100,000 square feet of office, retail and restaurant space, an entertainment venue, 228 homes for sale, and a river walk.

February 8, 2024

Abbott and Agee Guest Lecture to Toxic Tort Class at LSU Law School

On February 5, 2024, New Orleans attorneys Charles Abbott and Chandler Agee guest lectured a Toxic Tort Class at LSU Paul M. Herbert Law Center. With both second year and third year law students in attendance, Abbott and Agee provided practical experiences and advice pertaining to various toxic tort related topics and issues, including, but not limited to, causation, expert witnesses, and Daubert challenges of expert witnesses, as well as overviews of epidemiology and toxicology. This is Abbott’s eleventh year guest lecturing in the Toxic Tort class at LSU and will be the first in a series of Toxic Tort classes that he and fellow FormanWatkins attorneys will guest lecture this semester.

January 24, 2024

Attorneys Sampada Kapoor and Vernon McFarland present CLE on Attorney-Client Privilege and Confidentiality

FormanWatkins Associate Sampada Kapoor and Partner Vernon McFarland, along with Valerie Phan of Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C. presented a CLE on Attorney-Client Privilege and Confidentiality in Pasadena, California. The one-hour lunch & learn course was designed to provide in-house attorneys with the latest developments in attorney-client privilege and covered key components of state laws in California, New York, and Texas. It specifically addressed attorney-client privilege in the context of insurance companies and third-party administrators as well as best practices, common pitfalls, and future trends associated with privilege.