Announcements

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.

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 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.

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.

November 28, 2023

Twenty-one FormanWatkins Attorneys Honored as 2023 Mid-South Super Lawyers and Rising Stars

Forman Watkins & Krutz LLP is pleased to announce the inclusion of  21 attorneys in the 2023 edition of Mid-South Super Lawyers and Rising Stars list by Thomson Reuters. Attorneys from Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi and Tennessee are covered within the Mid-South rankings (with no more than five percent of the lawyers in Mississippi selected). Super Lawyer 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. Rising Stars qualify as 40 years old or younger, or in practice for 10 years or less. Congratulations to the following attorneys on their selection to this year’s lists! 2023 Mid-South Super Lawyers: Mary Clift Abdalla*, Tanya Ellis, Win Gault, Nick Giallourakis, Brian Hannula, Fred Krutz, Mitch McGuffey, Alison McMinn**, Joshua Metcalf**, Daniel Mulholland*, Spencer Ritchie*, Jennifer Studebaker, Trey Watkins, and WG Watkins 2023 Mid-South Rising Stars:  Autumn Breeden, Patrick Fields, Joel Fyke,  Sam Kapoor, Chelsea Lewis, Vernon McFarland and Peyton Smith *First-time honorees as Super Lawyers ** Top 50 Mississippi Mid-South Super Lawyers

November 2, 2023

Forman Watkins & Krutz Ranked Nationally and Regionally by Best Law Firms® in 2024

The Firm has been recognized in the 2024 edition of Best Law Firms®, ranked by Best Lawyers®, nationally in 1 practice area and regionally in 9 practice areas for three firm offices. Firms included in the 2024 Best Law Firms® list are recognized for professional excellence with persistently impressive ratings from clients and peers. The transparent, collaborative research process employs qualitative and quantitative data from peer and client reviews that is supported by proprietary algorithmic technology to produce a tiered system of industry-led rankings of the top 4% of the industry. Forman Watkins & Krutz LLP received a national ranking for its work in Mass Tort Litigation and Class Actions Defense and regional recognition in the following Practice Areas: Jackson  Commercial Litigation Litigation – Environmental Litigation – Insurance Litigation – Labor & Employment Mass Tort Litigation / Class Actions – Defendants Personal Injury Litigation – Defendants Product Liability Litigation – Defendants New Orleans Commercial Litigation Litigation – Environmental Mass Tort Litigation / Class Actions – Defendants Personal Injury Litigation – Defendants Product Liability Litigation – Defendants Houston Arbitration Commercial Litigation Mass Tort Litigation / Class Actions – Defendants Natural Resources Law Personal Injury Litigation – Defendants Product Liability Litigation – Defendants