Recent Posts

June 9, 2023

Forman Watkins & Krutz Hosts Diversity Pipeline Program for Third Year

The Jackson office of Forman Watkins & Krutz LLP recently hosted eight students from Tougaloo College and Jackson State University for its third annual Diversity Pipeline Pre-Law Program. Kennadie Boykin, Naya Singleton and Alexandria Williams from Jackson State University and Daija Gist, Jontrell Mack, Avery Robinson, Carmen Washington and Montae’l Williams from Tougaloo College participated in this year’s program. They were provided an overview of “firm life,” including an overview of civil defense litigation and the firm’s practice areas, along with discussions regarding the firm’s Pro Bono, Recruiting, and Diversity & Inclusion committees. The firm’s junior associates shared best practices for law school. Students also heard from diverse in-house counsel who work with civil defense firms, including Tiffanee Wade-Henderson, Associate General Counsel – Chief Ethics & Compliance Officer and Litigation at International Paper; Romika Wells, Director of Organization Development and Training at Wayne-Sanderson Farms, Inc.; Bobby Owens, , General Counsel at OCI Americas; and Reginald Paige, Associate General Counsel at Sylvamo North America. There was also a professional development presentation led by executive coach, Candie Simmons, President of CLSimmons Consulting, LLC “The mission of the Forman Watkins & Krutz Diversity Pipeline Program is to expose diverse students to the legal environment so  they can see a path to life as a civil defense litigator,” says Malissa Wilson,  partner and director of the firm’s Diversity Pipeline Program. “If we want to see more diversity, equity and inclusion in our legal profession, and specifically at civil defense firms, programs like these are critical […]

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.

April 25, 2023

FormanWatkins Provides Zoning Counsel in Multi-Million Dollar Development Project

FormanWatkins attorneys Nick Giallourakis, Mitch McGuffey, and Spencer Ritchie guided their global investment group and sports entertainment company clients to a successful approval of zoning changes required for a major mixed use development project planned in the City of Ridgeland, Mississippi. The Mayor and Board of Alderman approved the ordinance implementing the zoning changes unanimously following a public hearing. The golf entertainment company facility will serve as anchor of the 77-acre mixed use development named Prado Vista at Ridgeland. The development will also 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. To see media coverage of the development, click below. The Clarion Ledger WAPT – ABC WJTV – CBS WLBT – NBC

April 20, 2023

FormanWatkins Pro Bono Initiative Hits 5-Year Mark

The FormanWatkins Pro Bono Initiative was launched in 2017 in an effort to solidify the firm’s commitment to public service and community involvement. Over the past five years, FWK attorneys, staff and summer associates have committed 8,864 hours to pro bono matters across the public interest spectrum including but not limited to: family and immigration law, appellate work, and assistance to veterans. The value of the pro bono hours is more than $2 million. Not only did the firm commit an enormous amount of time and energy to pro bono efforts, but FWK employees also donated more than 10,000 hours of their time to civic organizations in their local communities. The firm remains committed to public service and positively impacting our legal and local communities by helping those with limited means.   In 2022, the firm had 11 attorneys who completed 25+ pro bono hours, and these attorneys will be awarded 2022 Pro Bono Badges on their credentials. Catherine Pettis* Sampada Kapoor Sonya Dickson Mary Clift Abdalla Patrick Fields Thomas Toman, Jr. Jordan Nixon Spencer Ritchie Patrice Pujol Alison McMinn Chandler Agee For 2022, Catherine Pettis in our Jackson office was awarded the Pro Bono All-Star* for logging over 80 pro bono hours as she drafted an appeal to the Mississippi Court of Appeals. Jennifer Parks in our Jackson office was awarded the Civic Star for dedicating over 239 civic hours while serving in various capacities in her church and also serving as the state and local President of the […]

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.

March 1, 2023

FormanWatkins Secures Summary Judgment for Major Retailer Client

FormanWatkins attorneys Vernon McFarland, Simine Reed, Courtney Hunt, and Jennifer Studebaker obtained summary judgment on behalf of a major retailer in relation to a personal injury case in Mississippi’s 10th Circuit Court District, on February 1, 2023. After sustaining injuries from a rogue police officer’s use of excessive force, Plaintiff sued FormanWatkins’ client alleging negligence, negligent hiring and retention, negligent infliction of emotional distress, and civil conspiracy. Plaintiff alleged an employee of the retailer negligently called the police after witnessing the Plaintiff’s suspicious activity in the store. The FormanWatkins’ team filed a motion for summary judgment, arguing its client was not liable because the police officer’s use of force was an intervening, superseding cause of the Plaintiff’s injuries.  The Court noted in its Order that “in his deposition testimony, Plaintiff admitted no retailer employee attempted to stop or detain him and that the police officer was the only person to assault him. Plaintiff has produced no evidence to support his claims.”  The Court granted summary judgment and dismissed the claims against FormanWatkins’ client.

February 20, 2023

Forman Watkins & Krutz Attorneys Attend DRI 2023 Women in the Law Seminar

In January, FormanWatkins attorneys McCann LeFeve and Ruth M. Huskey participated in the three-day 2023 DRI Women in the Law Seminar. The Seminar allows small group networking with women in the legal field from across the country as well continuing legal education opportunities that help foster attorneys’ professional development and personal health and wellness.

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.