Forman Watkins & Krutz LLP

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.

December 21, 2023

FormanWatkins Sports Compliance Team Closes Out Year with NCAA Reversal

The FormanWatkins Sports Compliance-NCAA team of W.G. Watkins,  Courtney Hunt, Chelsea Lewis and Mitch McGuffey successfully helped a Division I student athlete secure a two-time transfer waiver from the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), allowing him to immediately compete following his second transfer. The student-athlete’s waiver application was initially denied by the NCAA. While NCAA transfer rules are currently on hold pursuant to an agreement of several State Attorneys General and the NCAA, at the time, the rules required student-athletes to sit out a year of competition following a second transfer between universities, unless the NCAA granted a waiver for an athlete to compete immediately.  The NCAA stated, “Student-athletes must demonstrate and adequately document a personal need for medical or safety reasons to depart their previous school.” After working with the university to prepare submissions for the appeal and submitting documents to the NCAA on behalf of the student-athlete, the FormanWatkins team was able to successfully demonstrate the student-athlete met the requirements for a waiver. The FormanWatkins team was in the process of helping two additional student-athletes appeal waiver denials, at the time the rules were enjoined. The team is pleased that all three of their clients are now playing.

December 20, 2023

2024 Louisiana Super Lawyers and Rising Stars Announced

The 2024 Louisiana Super Lawyers and Rising Stars lists have been released, and we are pleased to announce that eight 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! 2024 Louisiana Super Lawyers: Charles Abbott, Michael Abraham and Tim Gray 2024 Louisiana Rising Stars: Chandler Agee, Chelsea Gaudin Favret, Jordan Nixon, Margaret McLaughlin, and Peyton Smith

December 14, 2023

Wilson and Kapoor Recognized at MVLP Pro Bono Awards Ceremony

The Mississippi Volunteer Lawyers Project’s annual awards ceremony was held Tuesday, December 12 and our very own Malissa Wilson and Sampada Kapoor were recognized for their work in Pro Bono. Kapoor was recognized as a member of the 2023 class of MVLP Pro Bono Ambassadors while Wilson received the Pro Bono Award, which recognizes individual lawyers, law firms, law students, law schools and other institutions in the legal profession throughout Mississippi involved in significant pro bono efforts from the previous year. FormanWatkins is a proud supporter of MVLP and is honored to have two of our attorneys recognized by the organization. Congratulations!

December 6, 2023

Louisiana Fourth Circuit Affirms Trial Court’s Decision to Dismiss Maritime Case in Favor of Fortune 500 Energy Clients

FormanWatkins secured a significant victory in the Louisiana Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in favor of two of the firm’s Fortune 500 energy clients in a mesothelioma asbestos exposure matter. The team included Forman Watkins & Krutz attorneys Michael Abraham, Byron Kitchens  Margaret McLaughlin and Patrick Fields. Plaintiff-Appellants are Italian citizens who initially filed suit under maritime law nearly ten years after their decedent’s mesothelioma diagnosis. The FormanWatkins team sought dismissal of the claim because it was filed beyond the applicable maritime statute of limitations. In September 2022, the District Court found after a bench trial on the issue that the case was beyond the statute of limitations and dismissed Plaintiff-Appellants’ claims with prejudice. The FormanWatkins team cross-examined the plaintiff and plaintiff expert and presented affirmative testimony from a leading Italian medical expert. Plaintiff-Appellants appealed that decision to the Louisiana Fourth Circuit. At the appellate stage, with briefing by associate Patrick Fields, associate Margaret McLaughlin successfully argued that injured plaintiffs have an affirmative duty to investigate the potential causes of known injuries, that an investigation in this case would have revealed the connection between the injury and its cause, and that the plaintiff-appellants in this case failed to carry out their duty to investigate. The Fourth Circuit agreed, finding that the Plaintiff-Appellant’s own evidence at the trial stage made clear that the case was prescribed and affirmed the trial court’s dismissal of the Plaintiff-Appellants’ claims as to all defendants. Click here to see the Louisiana Fourth Court of Appeals’ issued judgment.