Recent Posts

December 13, 2022

FormanWatkins Wins Second Dismissal in Maritime Case

On October 10, 2022, an Orleans Parish District Court judge for a second and final time dismissed a mesothelioma asbestos exposure case in favor of two energy companies, represented by Forman Watkins & Krutz attorneys Byron Kitchens and Margaret McLaughlin, and Michael Abraham and Peter Moir, respectively. Plaintiffs are Italian citizens who initially filed suit under maritime law nearly ten years after their decedent’s mesothelioma diagnosis. The parties re-filed a new motion and Plaintiffs brought two witnesses to testify on their behalf, including one of the Plaintiffs and an Italian lawyer. After successful cross-examination executed by McLaughlin and Kitchens, the case was brought home by the testimony of the defense’s Italian medical expert, brought in by Moir. Ultimately, Civil District Court Judge Giarrusso granted the clients’ Renewed Exception of Prescription (motion to dismiss due to statute of limitations).

December 2, 2022

Abbott, Smith, and Agee Win Summary Judgment in Louisiana Unfair Trade Practices Act Case

FormanWatkins attorneys Charles Abbott, Peyton Smith, and Chandler Agee won summary judgment in a Louisiana Unfair Trade Practices Act (“LUPTA”) case filed in Louisiana state court.  The case was filed in October of 2020 by a plaintiff claiming a forest products client violated the LUTPA in connection with a sand and gravel mining lease on property owned by the client.  The FormanWatkins team exposed the baseless nature of the claims through multiple, extensive depositions, principally conducted by Mr. Smith, and then filed a detailed motion for summary judgment, providing the necessary evidence to disprove the plaintiff’s allegations.  On November 22, 2022, Mr. Abbott argued the motion before the state court judge, who ruled from the bench, granting the motion and dismissing all of plaintiff’s claims against the client with prejudice.

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 27, 2022

Mississippi Volunteer Lawyers Projects Honors Mandie Robinson with Pro Bono Award

The annual Pro Bono Awards event celebrates attorneys across the state who have impacted the community through their profession. The event also helps to support MVLP’s mission to provide equal access to justice for Mississippians of limited means through high-quality pro bono legal assistance. The firm has many attorneys active in the MVLP, including Mandie Robinson, who was the recipient of  the Mississippi Volunteer Lawyers Project’s 2022 Pro Bono Award at this year’s Pro Bono Awards Reception

October 6, 2022

FormanWatkins Attorneys Featured at National Asbestos Litigation Conference

Malissa Wilson, a Partner in the FormanWatkins Jackson office, and Margaret McLaughlin, an Associate in the firm’s New Orleans office, were featured speakers at Perrin Conferences’ National Asbestos Litigation Conference on Sept. 14-15 in Charleston, South Carolina.  Malissa served as a featured panelist during the Women’s Symposium Lunch, where she gave thoughtful insights to fellow women and leaders in the industry on work-life integration in the post-Covid era, with topics including effective time management, mentoring the next generation, and balancing professional and personal life. Margaret participated in the Non-Traditional Jurisdictions and Exposures panel and dived into which non-traditional jurisdictions are experiencing increased filings, recent cases with non-traditional exposures, a-typical job sites and emerging areas of asbestos exposures. 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.  

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.

September 12, 2022

FormanWatkins Co-Hosts Hinds County Family Law Clinic

FormanWatkins attorneys and summer associates from the Jackson office were among those who volunteered July 29,2022, at the Hinds County Family Law Clinic, a pro se legal clinic held at the Hinds County Chancery Courthouse. The clinic assisted individuals with a variety of legal matters, including irreconcilable differences divorces, uncontested guardianships, birth certificate corrections, and name changes. The clinic was hosted by the Fifth Chancery District (Hinds County Chancery Court), Jackson Public Schools, the Mississippi Volunteer Lawyers Project, Mission First, the Capital Area Bar Association, and Forman Watkins & Krutz. Our participating team included Mary Clift Abdalla, Mimi Arthur, Jean Folsom, Ruth Huskey, Sampada Kapoor, and summer associates, Kelsi Baldwin (Mississippi College School of Law, May 2023), Merritt Baria (University of Mississippi School of Law, May 2024), Keri Herrington (Mississippi College School of Law, May 2024), Teresa Jones (University of Mississippi School of Law, May 2023) and Cailin Sims (Mississippi College School of Law, May 2024).