Litigation: General Commercial - Mississippi


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What the team is known for Strong track record for handling complex litigation, trying numerous cases to verdict, and also experienced in mediation. Handles a wide range of disputes, including notable activity in the financial services and healthcare sectors. The firm's regional footprint strengthens its offering to national clients. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They've done good work for us; we got a very good result." 

Work highlights Defending Hercules and Ashland in federal court litigation over allegations of real estate contamination by a former Hercules facility. The damages sought are in excess of $300 million. 

Providing ongoing counsel to several nursing homes supported by Tara Cares, including obtaining summary judgments, appellate wins and defense verdicts in numerous high-value cases.

Notable practitioners  

Bill Jones has an esteemed practice, handling both trial and appellate matters. Peers are keen to point out that they would refer work to him, and note his depth of expertise. His areas of focus include product liability litigation and insurance defense work.

Scott Welch is a leading figure at the firm, renowned for his extensive litigation experience. He acted for WMS Gaming in a patent infringement action filed in the Southern District Court of Mississippi regarding patents applicable to casino slot machines. 

Bill Reed handles many of the firm's significant mandates, including representing Hercules and Ashland in federal court. In addition to this, he recently obtained summary judgment for Forrest General Hospital in a federal court dispute, in which a competing hospital was alleging a conspiracy regarding the classification of trauma patients. 

Barry Ford's trial ability receives considerable praise, with sources highlighting that "he communicates well with juries." His work highlights include successfully representing Ford in litigation concerning allegations that one of its vehicles had crashed as a result of manufacturing defects.

Carter Thompson is commended by clients, who value his ability to "develop good relationships and get great results." He provides ongoing representation to Tecumseh in product liability cases across the region.

Sheryl Bey handles a range of litigation matters, including financial, insurance and trade secrets disputes. She receives praise from interviewees, with one saying: "She understands the importance of nuance and detail," before adding that "any client would be very well served with Sheryl as counsel." 

Significant clients Ford, American Modern Insurance Group, KLLM Transport, Wells Fargo, Ashland.

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What the team is known for Handles a range of significant cases both in Mississippi and in the wider region. Impressive bench of highly respected practitioners who are equipped to handle both trial and appellate work, including mass torts, product liability and insurance litigation.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"Very strong regional firm. Their expertise is broad enough that I can take almost any issue to them." 

"They are top-level and handle high-importance work for us." 

Work highlights Successfully represented Baker & McKenzie in an appeal before the Mississippi Supreme Court regarding a $115 million legal malpractice verdict.

Acted for Eaton Corporation in filing counterclaims against Frisby. Successfully obtained final dismissal, following almost a decade of litigation alleging misappropriation of trade secrets.

Notable practitioners  

Wayne Drinkwater continues to be preeminent in this market for both trial and appellate work. One source declares: "He is one of the most intelligent lawyers I've ever dealt with," going on to report that "he has this unique ability to connect with a jury and other members of the court." In a highlight, he acted for Southern Farm Bureau in obtaining a reversal of a $45 million federal court judgment regarding alleged securities fraud.

William Purdy is held in high regard by market commentators, who emphasize his strong reputation in the construction sphere. Clients benefit from the depth of his litigation and arbitration experience, having practiced for almost four decades.

Roy Campbell is a highly skilled litigator with a specialism in product liability claims and insurance disputes. He obtained summary judgment for Great American Insurance in disputes over extra-contractual and punitive damages allegedly owed following an insured truck driver's death. 

Stephen Thomas has a wealth of experience in complex litigation mandates, appearing in cases throughout the Southeastern states. In addition, he is also highlighted for his work on arbitration matters.

William Manuel specializes in product liability, employment and commercial litigation. In a highlight, he defended TimberTech in a $1.3 million suit wherein the plaintiff sought damages for alleged manufacturing defects.

Douglas Minor is appreciated by clients for his efficient and diligent approach. One source reports that "he handles everything very comprehensively, with a minimum of stress, disruption or drama." He continues to act for Seterus in various disputes including contract, statutory and tort actions filed in numerous states.

Alan Perry continues to be a market leader in the litigation space. He receives a raft of praise from peers and clients alike, with one stating that he is "just one of the best known commercial litigators in the state," and another that he's "brilliant and extremely well thought of."

Significant clients Cooper Tire & Rubber, Trustmark Insurance, Bayer CropScience, TimberTech, 3M. 

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What the team is known for Robust national firm, able to handle the full spectrum of litigation issues, including multidistrict class actions, antitrust disputes and professional negligence cases. Also has an impressive alternative dispute resolution offering.  

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"I view Butler Snow as our go-to firm for larger Mississippi matters."

"They are very good on sophisticated commercial transactions."

Work highlights Mississippi counsel to Eli Lilly in an action brought by the Attorney General concerning alleged violations of the Medicaid Fraud Control Act and the Mississippi Consumer Protection Act.

Acted for Johnson & Johnson and Janssen Pharmaceuticals in a product liability case regarding a prescription antipsychotic medication.

Notable practitioners  

Christy Jones is widely recognized as "one of the country's most sought-after trial lawyers in the pharmaceutical industry." She routinely handles high stakes product liability mandates, and has over 30 years of trial experience. Sources state: "In the specialist area of pharmaceutical defense, she is at the top of the list on a national scale."

John Henegan is a highly commended litigator who is lauded particularly for his appellate practice. Clients appreciate that "he has a very useful understanding of the federal judges, and he is very good at crafting a winning strategy." Peers are also quick to note that they would refer work to him in a conflict.

Luther Munford is characterized by interviewees as "a very good appellate lawyer." Peers applaud his strong track record on appellate cases, and confirm his continued high standing in this area.

Donna Jacobs maintains an impressive appellate practice, and is praised by sources for her sound technical ability. She is also experienced in media defense work and product liability claims.

Phil Abernethy's practice includes extensive expertise in both general commercial and construction disputes. Peers confirm that he is "one of the go-to construction lawyers in Mississippi." He recently defended Bechtel National against allegations of false claims relating to its work following Hurricane Katrina.

Clients benefit from Robert Galloway's extensive experience in litigation, having practiced for over four decades. He recently acted for State Farm in a false claims case regarding alleged violations of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and the Mississippi Trade Secrets Act.

Barney Robinson is highly valued by clients, who particularly commend his skills in arbitration. Peers also highlight his rising prominence in the commercial litigation market. His work highlights include defending State Farm in a multidistrict litigation involving numerous Sherman Act claims filed in various states.

Phillip Sykes continues to be recognized for his expertise in financial services and insurance litigation. He also offers substantial experience in professional and product liability mandates.

Significant clients Johnson & Johnson, Kinder Morgan, Regions Bank, GM, Hoffmann-La Roche.

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What the team is known for Highly regarded full-service firm with a broad litigation practice. Maintains an excellent reputation for product liability work, particularly defending automotive and pharmaceutical clients. Also active on financial litigation mandates.

Work highlights Represented Bayer in complex product liability litigation, including a multidistrict litigation proceeding concerning birth control products.

Successfully defended Trustmark National Bank against numerous high-value claims following a significant trust and estate dispute.

Notable practitioners  

Senior statesman William Goodman is widely respected for his deep litigation experience. One peer states: "He's one of the best commercial litigators that I've ever known." His areas of specialty include class actions, banking disputes and appellate work.

Paul Stephenson commands high levels of respect among interviewees, who describe him as "an outstanding lawyer" who "is very smart, diligent and responsive." He is adept at handling a range of commercial, business and financial disputes as part of his broad litigation practice.

Michael Ulmer's practice garners substantial acclaim from market sources and his areas of focus include mass torts, personal injury and product liability claims. His work includes advising Jacksonville Electric Authority in a construction defect case.

David Ayers is recognized by sources as "a fine trial lawyer." He is well versed in personal injury and product liability litigation, particularly in matters concerning automotive products and heavy equipment.

William Ray attracts praise for being a "very good, talented, smart guy" and a "fantastic litigator." His broad practice includes expertise in commercial litigation and financial services.

Stephanie Rippee makes her debut in the table this year, reflecting her growing reputation in the commercial litigation sphere. Clients report that she is a "go-to Mississippi counsel for product liability matters," and note that they value her pragmatic approach.

Lewis Bell is an established figure in the market who is noted for his broad litigation expertise. His areas of focus include mass torts, product liability and personal injury.

Michael Gwin is well versed in handling both trial and appellate litigation. His expertise includes toxic torts, professional malpractice and product liability disputes.

Significant clients Honda, Bayer, Toyota Motor Sales, Pfizer, Trustmark National Bank.

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What the team is known for Well-respected practice with a broad litigation offering. Regularly sought out to handle business, construction and financial litigation. Additionally offers expertise in white-collar criminal defense.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients) 

"I've always been pleased with their performance. They're very honorable and ethical; they have a lot of integrity."

Work highlights Defended Blue Cross Blue Shield of Mississippi against claims brought by ten hospitals, including allegations of breach of contract and tortious interference with business relations. Damages sought exceeded $17 million.

Notable practitioners  

David Kaufman is a leading commercial litigator who handles sophisticated mandates both in and out of state, including breach of contract, antitrust disputes and product liability claims. Peers are full of praise, with one asserting that "he is excellent, no question," and another that "he's the real deal, and would be on my shortlist of lawyers to use in a conflict."

Ron Yarbrough receives considerable praise for his work on construction litigations. Peers point out his depth of knowledge in this area, having practiced for over three decades. 

Samuel Kelly is a "very experienced, very good lawyer," according to interviewees. He has a highly respected construction practice, which includes both litigation and transactional work.

Christopher Shapley is revered as an "excellent lawyer" with a wealth of litigation experience. He has a broad-ranging practice that spans environmental litigation, mass torts and product liability claims. A peer states: "I have great respect for him."

Significant clients Tronox, Blue Cross Blue Shield, C-Spire, Trustmark National Bank, CenterPoint Energy Resources.

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What the team is known for Continues to demonstrate depth of expertise in mass tort defense work. Other areas of strength include product liability, environmental and general commercial litigation.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They've done an excellent job. They're by far and away the most dedicated and technically able team that I've seen." 

"I don't feel like I'm just a client - I feel like we're all part of the same team."

Work highlights Successfully defended Triumph Group in a lengthy trade secrets claim brought by Eaton Corporation, and in a subsequent appeal to the Supreme Court, wherein a $147.5 million settlement was reached.

Defended Church Mutual Insurance against claims of alleged breach of contract with regard to insurance payments for a collapsed roof. The plaintiff's claims of $2.75 million in punitive damages were dismissed.

Notable practitioners  

Fred Krutz is "a very good trial lawyer," according to interviewees. One appreciative client explains that they "rely on him to try product liability cases in very difficult jurisdictions." His work highlights include obtaining summary judgment for Precision Packaging and Clemco Industries in a complex silica dispute in Arkansas.

Walter Watkins has a wide-ranging litigation practice, and an especially strong track record for mass torts and environment disputes. He has over three decades of experience, and peers describe him as "a fine lawyer."   

Thomas Tardy is appreciated by clients for the high level of service that he provides. As one reports, "he's very attentive and professional, and makes sure we have all our needs addressed." His expertise spans environmental litigation, mass torts and product liability claims.

Edwin Gault is characterized as "confident, decisive and efficient" by market commentators. He recently obtained summary judgment on behalf of the Family Services Center in a claim for damages filed by one of its former clients.

Significant clients CVS Pharmacy, O-I, C Spire, Union Pacific, Chubb & Son.

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What the team is known for Highly reputed practice with expertise in litigation and alternative dispute resolution. Areas of activity include class actions, insurance defense, railroad litigation and product liability claims.

Notable practitioners  

Experienced practitioner Sandy Sams has a prestigious reputation in the commercial litigation sphere. He regularly handles significant professional and product liability mandates, as well as construction disputes.

John Wheeler is described by peers as "a fine lawyer" and "someone who is not afraid to try law suits, and try them well." His areas of expertise include medical malpractice defense, pharmaceutical disputes and railroad liability claims.

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What the team is known for Distinguished reputation for trial and appellate work, often acting for energy and healthcare clients. Continued strength in railroad litigation as well as a growing profile in insurance disputes.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"I find them to be very thorough, effective and proactive in their response to our issues and needs." 

"Wise Carter does high-stakes, important litigation." 

Work highlights Represented AAA Ambulance Service in litigation brought by Wesley Health System over allegations of falsified medical records and collusion with Forrest General Hospital.

Acted for Entergy in successfully appealing a decision by the Hinds County Circuit Court to reinstate a negligence action that had previously been dismissed.

Notable practitioners  

Michael Wallace is highly praised by interviewees, who say he is "outstanding, and very experienced" when it comes to commercial litigation, and also "great on appellate work." He regularly advises the Mississippi Republican Party on high-profile disputes.

Clients highlight James Robertson as "very bright and very savvy in the advice and representation he provides." He is highlighted for his acclaimed appellate practice, drawing upon his experience as a former Justice of the Mississippi Supreme Court.

Significant clients Toshiba, Ford, Illinois Central Railroad Company, Eaton Corporation, Kansas City Southern Railway Company.

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What the team is known for Substantial team that is active across a wide range of disputes work, including insurance, securities and environmental litigation. Maintains a good reputation for representing clients from regulated industries, including healthcare, gaming and energy.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They do an excellent job for us; they understand our business, what direction we want to go in, and they're great at helping us get there." 

"I always get such great service from Balch & Bingham." 

Notable practitioners  

Jonathan Dyal receives praise for his high level of responsiveness, with one client noting: "He's always available if I have any questions." His areas of focus include mass torts, product liability litigation and environmental disputes.

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What the team is known for Offers extensive litigation expertise to predominantly Mississippi-based clients. Strengths include insurance defense, personal injury claims and real estate litigation.  

Notable practitioners  

Insurance litigation specialist Greg Copeland is commended by interviewees for his extensive experience in this field. Peers highlight him as "a conscientious and diligent lawyer."

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What the team is known for Full-service firm with a respected litigation team, with expertise in antitrust, product liability and financial disputes, among others. Also routinely advises corporations on litigation avoidance and workouts.  

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"I'd use them for any commercial litigation matter in Mississippi."

Work highlights Continues to act for the Pat Harrison Waterway District in an $18 million dispute with Lamar County, regarding Lamar County's withdrawal from the district.

Acted for convenience stores chain Major Mart in a suit against beer distributor Mitchell Distributing alleging violations of the Sherman Act.

Notable practitioners  

Clients value Mark Herbert for being "very responsive and very knowledgeable" in the construction litigation arena. He acts for a multitude of construction clients in arbitration and litigation, handling matters such as defective specifications, cost overruns and wrongful termination. 

Keith Raulston's broad practice includes both litigation and arbitration mandates, spending a significant portion of time on work in the insurance sector. He is adept at handling cases at trial and appellate level, and enjoys considerable market respect.

Neville Boschert is praised for the high level of service that he provides, with one client reporting: "Whenever we have questions or needs he immediately responds and gets the right people involved. He's a real joy to work with." He recently defended Forest River in a suit against Watson Quality Ford concerning allegations of obtaining government purchaser prices for bus chassis for non-government purchasers.

Mitchell Cowan is a highly experienced litigator with over 25 years in practice. He has a number of specialties, including insurance, product liability and consumer finance work.

Significant clients New Palace Casino, Ally Financial, Boyd Gaming, Fred’s Stores of Tennessee, Consumer Insurance Company.

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What the team is known for Continues to be held in high regard for expertise representing banks and lenders in commercial litigation. Also active in a number of consumer protection, insurance and antitrust disputes.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"Mississippi can be a difficult jurisdiction to litigate in, but McGlinchey Stafford knows the courts and has a good, practical knowledge of the local playing field."

Work highlights Defending RBS Financial Products in litigation by borrowers alleging breach of loan modification agreements, wrongful foreclosure and breach of contract.

Notable practitioners  

Hunter Twiford receives praise from peers and clients alike for his litigation prowess. One source remarks that "he's experienced and practical - someone you can take an issue to and know he'll get the best result for his client." He handles many of the team's most complex mandates and has over four decades of experience.

Dewey Hembree continues to specialize in commercial litigation and consumer finance matters. Clients particularly value his persistence and the diligent representation he provides.

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What the team is known for Handles a diverse range of contentious mandates including IP disputes, professional liability claims and construction litigation. Notable expertise in appellate and white-collar criminal defense work. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"The lawyers have done an excellent job - they are very knowledgeable, efficient and effective. I'm very happy with the work that we've done together."

"Phelps Dunbar seems to have a boutique feel, which means we get that great service, but also have access to offices all over the country."

Work highlights Acted for St. Martin, Mahoney & Associates in a legal malpractice suit which was pending for 13 years in numerous courts. Summary judgment was eventually re-obtained, following several reversals and appeals by various courts.

Successfully defended Acceptance Indemnity Insurance against bad faith and breach of contract claims brought by a general contractor.

Notable practitioners  

Fred Banks is an accomplished appellate lawyer with a wealth of litigation experience, including trade secrets, tax and contract-related cases. He also offers expertise in alternative dispute resolution. 

Ross Bass's experience includes class actions, product liability cases and mass torts. He garners much respect from market commentators for his depth of litigation experience. 

Significant clients Hertz, Integrated Management Services, Coburn Supply, Acceptance Indemnity Insurance, Sand Specialties & Aggregates.

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What the team is known for Regularly advises a range of international and domestic clients from the construction and industrial industries, including on construction litigation work. Also shows strength in consumer finance disputes.

Work highlights Represented steel company Outokumpu in a $10 million contract dispute with National Steel City.

Defended Allstate Investments and US Bank in a dispute connected to the order of priority for payment of bond debt for a real estate development in Madison County.

Notable practitioners  

Cheri Gatlin enjoys a distinguished reputation as a construction litigation specialist, frequently advising international clients. Sources describe her as a very strategic and business-oriented attorney. She counts Outokumpu, a multinational stainless steel corporate, as one of her major clients.

Significant clients Outokumpu, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Hewlett-Packard, Peavey Electronics.

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What the team is known for Respected litigation boutique, best known for its proficiency in construction and insurance disputes. Also has notable expertise in alternative dispute resolution.

Notable practitioners  

Myles Parker is noted for his "sophisticated practice," which includes notable activity on international and nationwide insurance claims. Peers assert that he is an impressive opponent in litigation proceedings.

Jim Warren is complimented for his effective handling of both litigation and mediation matters. He handles a considerable amount of out-of-state work, and attracts praise for his experience with insurance disputes.

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What the team is known for Compact firm with strength in environmental litigation and product liability claims. Able to handle the full spectrum of litigation work at trial and appellate level.

Notable practitioners  

Seasoned practitioner John Corlew is a highly established commercial litigator. Peers report they would refer to him in a conflict, explaining that "he carries a good reputation."

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What the team is known for Acts for a number of major insurance entities and financial institutions on litigation matters. Areas of activity include financial, real estate and employment disputes. Also well versed in alternative dispute resolution.

Work highlights Defended Kendall Blake, Jackson Bone and Joint Clinic in a medical malpractice litigation spanning several years. A defense verdict was eventually obtained in the Mississippi Supreme Court.

Acted for Citizens National Bank in a suit filed before the Madison County Chancery Court requesting the judicial foreclosure of Ironwood Plantation Development as a result of Ironwood's multimillion-dollar loan default.

Notable practitioners 

Managing partner Kenna Mansfield is a key client contact.

Significant clients Tyson Foods, FedEx, Minnesota Life Insurance, Pharmacist Mutual, Pacific Life Insurance.

Other Ranked Lawyers 其他上榜律师

Luke Dove of Dove and Chill is praised for his adept handling of white-collar criminal defense and commercial litigation mandates. He is described as a "great lawyer" by one peer, and is noted for his depth of experience.

Robert McDuff of McDuff & Byrd is an accomplished appellate lawyer with a strong profile in the areas of public interest and white-collar criminal defense. Peers report that he is "a bright guy," and note his high level of technical ability.

David Mockbee of Mockbee Hall Drake & Hodge enjoys a prestigious reputation in the construction litigation sphere. Market commentators unanimously highlight his experience in this area, one declaring that "David Mockbee is excellent."

Joe Sam Owen of Owen, Galloway & Myers is an increasingly prominent name in the Gulfport market, who is praised by peers as an "incredibly gifted trial lawyer." He has expertise in both civil and criminal litigation. 

Foreign Experts

Foreign Experts are individuals with expertise in a different jurisdiction to the one they are based in. These individuals are particularly highly regarded for international and cross-border work. Usually, they will be identified in the jurisdiction in which they are based and in their country of expertise.

Senior Statesman

A 'Senior Statesman' is a lawyer who no longer works hands-on with the same intensity but who, by virtue of close links with major clients, remains pivotal to the firm’s success.

Eminent Practitioners

'Eminent Practitioners' are highly influential lawyers in a particular practice area who, due to managerial or client relationship commitments, are less active in day-to-day work but remain key players in the team.

Other Noted Practitioners

Other Noted Practitioners are individuals who have not yet been ranked but are seen to be active and accomplished in this area of law.

Other Noted Firms

Other Noted Firms are firms that have not yet been ranked but are seen to be active and accomplished in this area of law.