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. The Louisiana Fourth Court of Appeals issued its judgment November 15, 2023.

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

September 22, 2023

FormanWatkins Named One of Best Places to Work by New Orleans CityBusiness

FormanWatkins is pleased to announce its selection by New Orleans CityBusiness as one of the 2023 Best Places to Work. Of the 82 companies who made the list, FormanWatkins was one of 8 law firms featured. The New Orleans office previously earned the distinction in 2019, 2021 and 2022. 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 14, 2023

FormanWatkins Attorneys Participate in 2023 National Asbestos Litigation Conference

Peyton Smith, a Partner in the FormanWatkins Jackson office, and Nicole Diesa, a Partner in the firm’s New Jersey office, participated in Perrin Conferences’ National Asbestos Litigation Conference Sept. 12-13 in Charleston, South Carolina. Peyton served as a featured panelist and spoke on Risk Assessment in Asbestos Litigation. The panel’s insights on risk included discussion on access and personal relationships, tolling agreements and the implementation of the latest tools and technology. Nicole served as Moderator for The Insurer Perspective panel, which dove into topics including carrier views on trial activity in new jurisdictions, perspectives on emerging high-risk jurisdictions, and the collaboration and communication among insurers, insureds and counsel in the tripartite relationship. The conference program included both national and jurisdictional asbestos litigation updates and offered attendees the opportunity to attend numerous informative and dynamic panel discussions, presentations, and demonstrations on a variety of topics related to asbestos litigation. Speakers and attendees included many of the nation’s premiere plaintiff and defense attorneys, judges, and insurance professionals.

September 6, 2023

Firm Welcomes Two Associates

Forman, Watkins & Krutz is pleased to welcome Autumn Breeden to the firm’s Jackson office and Michael Morton to the New Orleans office. Autumn joins the firm as an Associate. She began practicing in 2017, defending toxic tort, talc, asbestos, professional liability, personal injury, construction defect, and trucking cases in Mississippi and Louisiana. She also served as a judicial law clerk for the Honorable Michael P. Mills of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi. She earned her J.D., cum laude, from the University of Mississippi and her B.S. in Psychology with a Minor in Industrial Engineering, cum laude, from Clemson University. Michael served as a FormanWatkins summer associate in both 2021 and 2022, assisting the firm’s attorneys in various matters. He graduated from Tulane University Law School. While in law school, Michael served on the Tulane Law Review and participated in Moot Court competition. Prior to pursuing a career in litigation, Michael was a process engineer with Shaw Industries, Inc.