May 2, 2023

Ritchie Elected to Mississippi Law Journal Board of Directors

Spencer Ritchie was elected by the Mississippi Law Journal Board of Directors as a new member of the Board. The Mississippi Law Journal publishes four to six volumes of legal scholarship each year and is operated by students at the University of Mississippi School of Law. First published in 1922, the Mississippi Law Journal is one of the oldest student-edited law reviews in the American South. The Board of Directors, which oversees the Journal’s operations, is made up of five Journal alumni, three student editors from the Journal, and one faculty advisor.

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.

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 1, 2022

FormanWatkins Partners Named to New Orleans Magazine 2022 Top Lawyers List

Forman Watkins & Krutz LLP is proud to announce that Charles Abbott, Michael Abraham, Melissa Fuller, Tim Gray and Byron Kitchens were selected to the 2022 Top Lawyers list by New Orleans Magazine. New Orleans Magazine presents the Top Lawyers list annually, and this year’s list was prepared by Detroit-based Professional Research Services.  Honorees were selected via a voting system, in which voting was open to all licensed attorneys in New Orleans.  The voters were asked which attorney, other than themselves, they would recommend in the New Orleans area, and each attorney was allowed to recommend up to three colleagues in each given legal specialty.  Once the online nominations were complete, each nominee was carefully evaluated on the basis of the survey results, the legitimacy of their license, and their current standing with the State Bar Association of Louisiana.  Attorneys who received the highest number of votes in each specialty are reflected in the Top Lawyers list.

November 29, 2022

23 FormanWatkins Attorneys Named 2022 Mid-South Super Lawyers and Rising Stars

Forman Watkins & Krutz LLP  is once again represented in the latest edition of Super Lawyers, the prominent legal ranking published by Thomson Reuters, with 23 attorneys earning distinctions on the 2022 Mid-South Super Lawyers and Rising Stars lists. Super Lawyers recognizes outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement, with no more than five percent of the lawyers in the state receiving the honor. The patented selection process includes independent research, peer nominations and peer evaluations to select lawyers across all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Congratulations to the following attorneys on their selection to this year’s lists: 2022 Mid-South Super Lawyers: Tanya Ellis, Win Gault,  Nick Giallourakis, Brian Hannula, Fred Krutz**, Mitch McGuffey, Alison McMinn, Joshua Metcalf, Jennifer Studebaker, Trey Watkins*, and WG Watkins** 2022 Mid-South Rising Stars: Mary Clift Abdalla, Patrick Fields, Joel Fyke, Courtney Hunt, Ruth Maron Huskey, Sampada Kapoor, Chelsea Lewis, Vernon McFarland, Daniel Roberts, Peyton Smith, Andrew Stubbs, and Caroline Upchurch **Also named to the Top 50 in Mississippi list *Selected as a Super Lawyer for 10 years

October 3, 2022

FormanWatkins Expands

Forman Watkins & Krutz LLP significantly expands in Texas with a new office in Beaumont, and an addition to its Houston and New Orleans offices. Joining FormanWatkins and establishing the Beaumont office are David Ledyard, Michael Baker and Vickie Thompson. Thompson, who is licensed in Louisiana and Illinois, will practice out of the firm’s New Orleans office as well.  Additionally, K.B. Battaglini joins the firm’s Houston office. All previously practiced with Strong Pipkin Bissell & Ledyard, LLP and have decades of experience representing regional and national clients in the energy, rail, chemical and securities industries. Founded in Jackson, Mississippi, FormanWatkins opened its Houston office in 2003 and a New Orleans office in 2002. Along with firm offices in New Jersey and Detroit, the addition of Beaumont strengthens the firm’s toxic tort litigation practice and strategically extends its ability to meet the needs of clients nationally and throughout the Gulf South region. “The firm could not be more pleased to deepen our Texas and Louisiana roots and gain a group of attorneys with decades of trial experience,” said New Orleans Partner Tim Gray. “In addition to anticipated work for their existing clients, David, Michael, Vickie and K.B. will also provide tremendous trial depth for firm clients in Texas, Louisiana and nationwide.” Having served as counsel for major oil and chemical companies, Mr. Baker’s practice focuses on toxic tort, mass tort, environmental, products liability, and premises liability litigation. Mr. Battaglini has expertise in commercial, securities, energy, environmental, natural resources, media and entertainment […]

September 19, 2022

FormanWatkins Selected as Best Places to Work by New Orleans CityBusiness

FormanWatkins is pleased to announce its selection by New Orleans CityBusiness as one of the Best Places to Work.  The New Orleans office earned the same distinction in 2019 and 2021 as well. Voted on by employees, the firm values this honor each year as it speaks to the vitality of the firm’s culture. To participate in Best Places to Work, companies submit extensive nomination forms disclosing workforce data such as salaries, benefits, retention levels, and employee advancement. Employees of the nominated companies are then anonymously surveyed to measure workplace culture. All companies chosen are honored at an awards event where the top three large and small companies are announced. The list is then published in the year-end issue of New Orleans CityBusiness magazine. See the full list here.  

September 16, 2022

Sonya Dickson Joins the Firm as an Associate

Forman, Watkins & Krutz is pleased to welcome Sonya Dickson to the firm’s Jackson office. Sonya joins the firm as an Associate. Prior to joining FormanWatkins, Sonya served as a judicial clerk for the Honorable Kristi H. Johnson of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi. She earned her J.D., summa cum laude, from Mississippi College School of Law in 2021 and her B.S. in Psychology, summa cum laude, from Mississippi College in 2019.