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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

October 26, 2023

Stubbs and Banks Obtain Asylum Victory in Venezuelan Immigrant Case

Attorneys Jake Banks and Andrew Stubbs concluded a 6-year immigration court matter on October 24, 2023 with an asylum victory for Simon Barinas. Simon, pictured below with his mother, Juana, 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, in 2016. 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.

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 12, 2023

Wilson and Robinson Achieve Dismissal of Race Discrimination Lawsuit Against State’s Largest Public Employer

FormanWatkins attorneys Malissa Wilson and Mandie Robinson have obtained the court’s complete dismissal of all claims against the State’s largest public employer, and several of its individual employees, in a suit alleging that the Plaintiff had been discriminated against based on his race. Plaintiff sued FormanWatkins’ clients alleging that he was the subject of racially discriminatory actions in his workplace and that his employment was eventually terminated in retaliation for his complaints regarding such alleged discrimination. The FormanWatkins team filed a motion to dismiss all of Plaintiff’s claims, arguing the actions of its clients were not related to Plaintiff’s race in any way. The U.S. District Court of the Northern District of Mississippi agreed, dismissing all of Plaintiff’s claims against both the employer and the individual employees that had been named as defendants in Plaintiff’s lawsuit.

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.

September 1, 2023

Forman Watkins & Krutz Diversity Pipeline Program Helping Underrepresented Students Pursue Law Careers

The process to becoming a lawyer can be intimidating. Forman Watkins & Krutz started its Diversity Pipeline Program to unveil this process and help underrepresented diverse students from Mississippi’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) confidently apply for law school and pursue careers as civil defense litigators. Initiated in 2021, the FWK Diversity Pipeline Program is a collaboration between the firm’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee and Tougaloo College’s Reuben V. Anderson Pre-Law Society and Jackson State University’s Bob Owens Pre-Law Center.  The program includes two phases of development, the Pre-Law Program and the Law School Program. The Pre-Law Program is curated to provide students with the information and preparation needed to make their law school experience more manageable and less stressful. Students who attend the Pre-Law Program are eligible to transition to the Pipeline Program’s second phase, the Law School Program. This phase begins with a bootcamp offered in the Summer prior to students attending law school. As they make their way through law school, the program fosters mentor relationships with firm attorneys and offers a host of professional development opportunities geared towards preparing them for their legal career upon graduation, as well as a mini-clerkship during their December holiday break. Students who complete the Law School Program will then be in consideration for a Summer Associate position with the firm. “The mission of the Forman Watkins & Krutz Diversity Pipeline Program is to expose diverse students to the legal environment so that they can see a path to life as […]

August 31, 2023

Friends of Children’s Hospital Board of Directors Appoints Mary Clift Abdalla as Chairman-Elect

FormanWatkins Partner Mary Clift Abdalla has been appointed Chairman-Elect to the Friends of Children’s Hospital’s Board of Directors. Friends of Children’s Hospital is a nonprofit organization created to benefit the Blair E. Batson Hospital for Children at the University of Mississippi Medical Center. The Board works together to promote fundraising events and reach new donors to help meet the extraordinary needs of caring for Mississippi’s sick and injured children. Contributions have purchased state-of-the-art equipment, built facilities, and provided services for all pediatric patients. Abdalla has been an active member of the Board for the past four years and the firm proudly served as a participant and host site for the organization’s 2023 Over the Edge fundraiser.  

August 21, 2023

45 FormanWatkins Attorneys Recognized as Best Lawyers® Award Recipients

We are pleased to announce that 45 FormanWatkins attorneys have been recognized in the 2024 Edition of The Best Lawyers in America©, the oldest and most respected peer-review publication in the legal profession.  Of those 45 attorneys, 16 were recognized as Ones to Watch, a list which recognizes associates and other lawyers who are earlier in their careers for their outstanding professional excellence in private practice in the United States.   Best Lawyers has published its list for more than three decades, earning the respect of the profession, the media, and the public as the most reliable, unbiased source of legal referrals. Lawyers on The Best Lawyers in America list are divided by geographic region and practice areas. They are reviewed by their peers on the basis of professional expertise, and undergo an authentication process to make sure they are in current practice and in good standing. Attorneys selected to The Best Lawyers in America: Charles Abbott: Commercial Litigation, Mass Tort Litigation/Class Actions – Defendants, Personal Injury Litigation – Defendants, and Product Liability Litigation – Defendants Mary Clift Abdalla: Mass Tort Litigation / Class Actions – Defendants and Product Liability Litigation – Defendants Michael Abraham: Mass Tort Litigation / Class Actions – Defendants and Product Liability Litigation – Defendants Pete Andarsio: Mass Tort Litigation / Class Actions – Defendants Mimi Arthur: Mass Tort Litigation / Class Actions – Defendants Mike Baker: Mass Tort Litigation / Class Actions – Defendants, Personal Injury Litigation – Defendants, and Product Liability Litigation – Defendants Jake Banks: Commercial […]