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www.msbusiness.com • January 26, 2018

Lawyer of the Year Karl R. Steinberger

2017 INSIDE: Nominees & Top Ten winners


Southern Farm Bureau Life Insurance Company Proudly Congratulates

Jeff Styres

on being chosen as a 2017

Mississippi Business Journal

Leader in Law

FROM THE EDITOR A member of the Mississippi Press Association www.mspress.org


Honoring the top legal professionals in our state is a true honor

200 North Congress, Suite 400 Jackson, MS 39201-1902 Main: (601) 364-1000 Faxes: Advertising (601) 364-1007; Circulation (601) 364-1035 E-mails: mbj@msbusiness.com, ads@msbusiness.com, photos@msbusiness.com, research@msbusiness.com, events@msbusiness.com

Website: www.msbusiness.com January 26, 2017 Volume 40, Number 4

ALAN TURNER Publisher alan.turner@msbusiness.com • 364-1021


.com • January 26,


Lawyer of the Yea r Karl R. Steinberger


his issue of the Mississippi Business Journal is dedicated to our Leaders in Law awards program. And we are truly delighted to be able to recognize and honor Mississippi’s top legal professionals. This is our eighth annual Leaders in Law event, and I’m pleased to say that the honorees this year represent many of the top professionals in Ross Reily law in the state of Mississippi. These leaders come from large and small firms, solo practitioners, and from the public sector. The judging process was undertaken by a number of highly respected individuals from the Mississippi legal community. When the scoring and comments from all judges were assembled and tabulated, we selected the top 40 for recognition. Having said all of that, the MBJ’s Leaders in Law is not all you will be seeing in this edition. We also have a regular Focus of the MBJ, which this week is Healthcare Mississippi. And then there is the list. One of the things the MBJ is known for is its lists. We print a business list associated with almost every Focus we print in each edition. This week,


that list is the top cardiovascular care centers in Mississippi. There is also lots going on in the typical business world and we aren’t letting that slip through the cracks.

2017 INSIDE: Nominees & Top Ten winners

TAMI JONES Associate Publisher tami.jones@msbusiness.com • 364-1011 ROSS REILY Editor ross.reily@msbusiness.com • 364-1018 FRANK BROWN Staff Writer/Special Projects frank.brown@msbusiness.com • 364-1022 JACK WEATHERLY Staff Writer jack.weatherly@msbusiness.com • 364-1016



We are truly delighted to be able to recognize and honor Mississippi’s top legal professionals. You are still getting the best business news from the only fulltime, state-wide business publication in Mississippi, This includes, stories, profiles, newsmakers, lists, ribbon cuttings, columns and more..

» Contact Mississippi Business Journal editor Ross Reily at ross. reily@msbusiness.com or (601) 364-1018.

VIRGINIA HODGES Account Executive virginia.hodges@msbusiness.com • 364-1012 TACY RAYBURN Production Manager tacy.rayburn@msbusiness.com • 364-1019 CHARINA RHODES Circulation Manager charina.rhodes@msbusiness.com • 364-1045 MARCIA THOMPSON-KELLY Business Assistant marcia.kelly@msbusiness.com • 364-1044 Subscription Services (601) 364-1000 subscriptions@msbusiness.com Mississippi Business Journal (USPS 000-222) is published weekly with one annual issue by MSBJ 200 N. Congress St., Suite 400, Jackson, MS 39201. Periodicals postage paid at Jackson, MS. Subscription rates: 1 year $109; 2 years $168; and 3 years $214. To place orders, temporarily stop service, change your address or inquire about billing: Phone: (601) 364-1000, Fax: (601) 364-1035, Email: charina.rhodes@msbusiness.com, Mail: MS Business Journal Subscription Services, 200 N.Congress Street, Suite 400, Jackson, MS 39201 POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Mississippi Business Journal, Circulation Manager, 200 North Congress Street, Suite 400, Jackson, MS 39201 To submit subscription payments: Mail: MS Business Journal Subscriptions Services, 200 North Congress Street, Suite 400, Jackson, MS 39201. No material in this publication may be reproduced in any form without the written consent. Editorial and advertising material contained in this publication is derived from sources considered to be reliable, but the publication cannot guarantee their accuracy. Nothing contained herein should be construed as a solicitation for the sale or purchase of any securities. It is the policy of this newspaper to employ people on the basis of their qualifications and with assurance of equal opportunity and treatment regardless of race, color, creed, sex, age, sexual orientation, religion, national origin or handicap. The Mississippi Business Journal, is an affiliate of Journal Publishing Company (JPC), Inc.: Clay Foster, president and chief executive officer. Entire contents copyrighted © 2018 by Journal Inc. All rights reserved.

Mississippi Business Journal – 3

Mississippi Business Journal January 26, 2018 Volume 40, Number 4

TABLE OF CONTENTS 2017 LEADERSHIP IN LAW Suzie Baker, Phelps Dunbar LLP ..................................................................6 Sandra D. Buchanan, Daniel Coker.............................................................. 7 Kenny Bush, The Yates Companies .............................................................. 7 Angela Carpenter, District Attorney’s Office for the 9th District...................8 Tucker Carrington, University of Mississippi School of Law..........................9 Claude F. Clayton, Jr., Clayton O’Donnell PPC.............................................9 Marie Saliba Cope, University of Mississippi School of Law ....................... 10 Tara P. Ellis, Balch & Bingham .................................................................... 11 Chip Glaze, Mississippi Bar, Lawyers and Judges Assistance Program ........... 11 Lynne K. Green, Brunini, Grantham, Grower & Hewes, PLLC........................12 Benjamin E. Griffith, Griffith Law Firm ......................................................13 Pamela Gunter, Anderson Crawley & Burke, PLLC .......................................13 Dewey Hembree, McGlinchey Stafford .......................................................14 Cliff Johnson, University of Mississippi School of Law .................................15 Whitman B. Johnson, III, Currie Johnson & Myers, P.A. .............................15 Edward Otis Johnson, Jr., Biggs, Ingram & Solop, PLLC .............................16 James L. Kelly, Kelly Law Office, PC ...........................................................17 Dan Kitchens, Kitchens Law Firm, P.A. .......................................................17 John Kitchens, Kitchens Law Firm, P.A. ..................................................... 18 Matthew Kitchens, Kitchens Law Firm, P.A................................................19 Blythe K. Lollar, Ogletree Deakins ..............................................................19 Joseph E. Lotterhos, Bennett Lotterhos Sulser .........................................20 David Friederich Maron, Baker,Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, PC ....21 Elizabeth Lee Maron, Adams & Reese .......................................................21 Leonard “Len” C. Martin, Baker,Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, PC.. 22

Chan McLeod, Maron Marvel Bradley Anderson and Tardy .......................... 23 Wendy R. Mullins, Bradley Arant Boult Cummings .................................... 23 Krissy Nobile, Office of the Attorney General............................................. 24 J. Andrew Payne, Young Wells .................................................................. 24 J. Conner Reeves, J.D., Mississippi State Medical Association .................... 25 Stephanie M. Rippee, Watkins & Eager PLLC............................................ 25 Karl R. Steinberger, Heidelberg Steinberger ................................................ 5 Jeffery A Styres, Southern Farm Bureau Life Insurance..............................26 Aileen S. Thomas, Jones Walker LLP ........................................................26 Lynn Patton Thompson, Biggs Ingram & Solop......................................... 27 Robert T. Van Uden, III, Stubblefield Yelverton ......................................... 27 H. Rodger Wilder, Balch & Bingham .........................................................28 Malissa Wilson, =fidXe NXkb`ej Bilkq CCG ..........................................28 Sara Beth Wilson, :fg\cXe[ :ffb KXpcfi 9lj_ .......................................29 Robert Wiygul, Walzer Wiygul & Garside LLC ............................................29 EVENT PHOTOS .............................................................................30-31



Call 601-364-1044 or submit request online at http://msbusiness.com/mbj-article-request/


Health Care

» Two thirds of all falls can be prevented ................................................................................................................... 32 » Batson Children’s Hospital getting a much-needed facelift ......................................................................................34 LIST » Cardiovascular Care Centers ...................................................................................................................................36 4 – Mississippi Business Journal



Lawyer of the Year Karl R. Steinberger Heidelberg Steinberger


ew Jersey native Karl R. Steinberger attended the University of Mississippi, receiving a Bachelor of Arts Degree in 1973. He received a Juris Doctor Degree from the University of Mississippi in 1976. After an internship in the Jackson County Public Defender’s Office he was a general practitioner in Pascagoula until he joined the predecessors of the firm of Heidelberg Steinberger, P.A. in 1984. Steinberger is a past President of both the Jackson County Young Lawyers Association and the Jackson County Bar Association, of which he remains a member. He is also a member of the Mississippi Bar Association, the Mississippi Bar Foundation (where he is currently president), Fellows of Young Lawyers of Mississippi Bar, The Defense Research Institute, The Mississippi Defense Association and the American Bar Association. He was selected as a Mid South Super Lawyer in the field of employment law in 2013 and 2017, and in 2016 as a Super Lawyer. Steinberger has also served on the Board of Directors for the Univ. of Mississippi Law Alumni Chapter and has been recognized by his peers as an Outstanding Lawyer of America. In 2008, Mr. Steinberger received the prestigious Distinguished Service Award from the Mississippi Bar Association for his decades of service to the legal profession in Mississippi. For over 20 years, Steinberger served as an officer and member of Mississippi Legal Services. His practice is general but primarily consists of Federal and State workers’ compensation, employment law, insurance defense, personal injury, automobile, products and premises liability, environmental law and wills and estates.


MBJ Associate Publisher Tami Jones with2017 Lawyer of the Year Karl Steinberger.

2017 Leadership in Law – 5


Suzie Baker Phelps Dunbar LLP



uzie Baker, a private practitioner partner at Phelps Dunbar, has more than 36 years experience, including previous work as general counsel to a division of a publicly traded Fortune 500 company. Whatever the problem, Baker is a creative problem solver who leaves a lasting impact on others. Baker works on a variety of corporate matters for businesses of all sizes, including loans and other financings, buying, selling and general contracts. She enjoys working on complex transactions that can require a broad understanding of multiple facets of business operations and the law. Baker earned her BA from Millsaps and her J.D. from the University of Mississippi School of Law. She earned her Masters of Laws from New York University School of Law. Baker also believes in teaching the future generation of attorneys. She previously was an adjunct professor at the Mississippi College School of Law, where she also coached the business transaction competition teams. In addition to numerous Bar associations, Baker is a member of the Tri-County Real Estate Attorneys Association, Mississippi Women Lawyers Association, North Jackson Rotary Club, Junior League of Memphis, Diabetes Foundation of Mississippi, Chi Omega Fraternity, National Association of Professional Women, and National Business Aviation Association.


Congratulations Kenny Bush for being recognized as one of Mississippi Business Journal’s 2018 Leaders in Law!

Yates Construction combines local know how with global expertise from its projects around the world.

6 – 2017 Leadership in Law



Sandra D. Buchanan Daniel Coker Horton & Bell



andra Buchanan is a shareholder in the Jackson office of Daniel Coker Horton and Bell. She co-chairs the Mass Torts practice group and is a member of the General Litigation group. Buchanan also is on the firm’s diversity committee. She was elected to the Daniel Coker Board of Directors in 2014, the first African-American lawyer to earn that distinction since the firm’s beginning in the 1940s. Buchanan earned her marketing degree from the University of Southern Mississippi in 1998, and her juris doctorate in 2002 at the University of Mississippi School of Law. Her main areas of practice are Civil Rights and Governmental Liability, General Litigation & Insurance Defense, Mass Tort, and Products Liability. Her area of expertise is Civil Defense Litigation, and she has practiced in personal injury, product liability, including insurance, governmental liability, premises liability and toxic torts. Buchanan was rated AV Preeminent by Martindale-Hubbell in 2013, was Top Rated Lawyer for Mass Tort Litigation in 2015, and was named to Best Lawyers in Anerican for 2018. She is a member of the Mississippi Defense Lawyers Association and the Metro Jackson Black Women Lawyers Association.

Kenny Bush The Yates Companies


s vice-president of Human Resources and Risk Management and General Counsel for The Yates Companies and W.G. Yates & Sons Construction Company, Kenny R. Bush is responsible for all human resource and risk management functions. These include property and casualty insurance programs, loss control, EEO/Affirmative Action, benefits, substance abuse program, writing policies, personnel, and self-funded group health. He is also responsible for labor and employment legal matters and special projects, and is the company spokesperson to the media. Previously, Bush was Vice President for Administration and General Counsel for Ivey Mechanical in Kosciusko, Vice President for Administration and Development for Magnolia Bible College in Kosciusko, and Assistant Legal Counsel for Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif. Bush earned his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Freed-Hardeman University in Henderson, Tenn., and his law degree from the University of Mississippi School of Law. Past and Present Memberships include the Mississippi Board of Education, Southern Region Education Board, American and Mississippi Bar Associations, Mississippi Economic Council, Kosciusko City Schools District Board of Trustees, Mississippi School Boards Association, and Mississippi Commission on Accreditation.


2017 Leadership in Law – 7


Angela Carpenter District Attorney’s Office for the 9th District


ngela Carpenter is the first female and second African American to serve as an Assistant District Attorney for the 9th District, which covers Warren, Sharkey and Issaquena counties. She has been practicing since 2001 and has been an Assistant District Attorney with the 9th District since January 2008. Prior to becoming a prosecutor, she began her career as an associate attorney with Dockins Turnage & Banks, PLLC, litigating various personal injury lawsuits and obtaining over quarter million dollars in settlements. She then opened her own firm, The Carpenter Law Firm in Vicksburg, specializing in criminal defense, personal injury and family law. She has served on the Board of the Mississippi Prosecutors Association and is a currently a member of the fundraising team for the United Way of Warren County, Mississippi. She is a member of the Mississippi Bar, Warren County Bar and the Magnolia Bar Association. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice and Corrections at the University of Mississippi, and her Masters in Political Science at Mississippi College. She earned her law degree at the Mississippi College School of Law in 2000.

JACKSON OFFICE 207 West Jackson Street Suite 200 Ridgeland, MS 39157

Ogletree Deakins congratulates our own Blythe K. Lollar for being named as one of 2017 “Leaders in Law” Ogletree Deakins is one of the largest labor and employment law firms representing management in all types of employment-related legal matters. The firm has more than 850 attorneys located in 52 offices across the United States and in Europe, Canada, and Mexico.

LAW FIRM OF THE YEAR Litigation - Labor & Employment


8 – 2017 Leadership in Law



Tucker Carrington University of Mississippi School of Law


ucker Carrington is an assistant professor of law and the founding director of the Mississippi Innocence Project and Clinic at the University of Mississippi School of Law. The project’s mission is to identify, investigate and litigate claims of innocence by Mississippi prisoners, as well as advocate for systemic criminal justice reform. Under Carrington’s direction, MIP helped to pass into law Mississippi’s first DNA preservation and post-conviction testing statute, as well as compensation legislation to aid those wrongfully convicted. The Innocence Project’s work has been the subject of national media coverage,. In 2010 Carrington co-directed the documentary film Mississippi Innocence, which was a featured selection of the American Constitution Society and screened at law schools around the country. Outside of the Law School, Carrington is an adviser to the American Law Institute’s re-drafting of the Model Penal Code: Sexual Assault and Related Offenses. He also is teaches for Gideon’s Promise, a public defender training program for lawyers, and co-chairs the Ethics and Best Practices Committee for the Innocence Network. Before law school, Carrington was an E. Barrett Prettyman Fellow at Georgetown Law Center, a trial and supervising attorney at the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia, and a visiting clinical professor at Georgetown.

Claude F. Clayton, Jr. Clayton O’Donnell PPC


laude Clayton is a lawyer, negotiator and mediator with Clayton O’Donnell in Tupelo. His practice focuses on Business Litigation, Insurance Law, Product Liability, Personal Injury Litigation, Intellectual Property Litigation, and Commercial Law. Clayton earned his BA at Tulane University of Louisiana and his law degree at the University of Mississippi. Clayton has more than 30 years of experience in business, commercial and insurance litigation. Clayton also has experience in patent and copyright litigation. In 2009 he completed the Harvard Negotiation Institute’s mediation course and now serves as a mediator/arbitrator in addition to his litigation practice. At Ole Miss, Clayton served on the Mississippi Law Journal and as Chairman of the Honor Council. Clayton’s many prestigious achievements include being a member and former President of the American Board of Trial Advocacy, a member of the Complaint Tribunal, and a Special Justice on the Mississippi Supreme Court. He has been listed in Best Lawyers in America and Mid-South Super Lawyers, and he is “AV” rated by Martindale-Hubbell.


2017 Leadership in Law – 9


Marie Saliba Cope University of Mississippi School of Law


arie Cope is Assistant Dean for Student Affairs, Assistant Clinical Professor and Director of the Transactional Clinic at the University of Mississippi School of Law in Oxford. Cope earned her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology at the University of Tennessee, Her Master of Science in Counseling at the University of Memphis, her teacher’s certiďŹ cation at Rhodes College in Memphis and her law degree in 2006 from the University of Mississippi in Oxford. She has been with the Ole Miss Law School since 2009, serving as Supervising Attorney of the Housing Clinic, Child Advocacy Clinic and Domestic Violence Clinic at the Ole Miss Law School, and Managing Attorney at the Civil Legal Clinic. Previously, she was a Judicial Clerk for Judge Ed Roberts on the Lafayette County Chancery Court, and a Law Clerk for Hickman, Goza, and Spragins in Oxford. She has been a sixth grade teacher, program director for the M. K. Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence, a probate counselor for the Juvenile Court of Memphis and Shelby County, and held two internships at the Shelby County Citizen’s Dispute Office, all in Memphis. She has numerous presentations and publications.

&RQJUDWXODWLRQV WR %HQMDPLQ ( *ULIĂ€WK *ULIĂ€WK /DZ )LUP 2[IRUG 0LVVLVVLSSL on being among the Top 10 2017 Leadership in Law honorees selected by the Mississippi Business Journal ~ The advantage of Experience, Leadership, Vision, & Results ~

P.O. Box 2248, Suite 1023, 2086 Old Taylor Road, Oxford, MS 38655 2IÀFH ‡ 0RELOH ‡ :HEVLWH ZZZ JODZPV FRP

10 – 2017 Leadership in Law



Tara P. Ellis Balch & Bingham


ara Ellis is a corporate and transactional attorney and partner with Balch & Bingham in Jackson. Her work encompasses corporate governance, mergers and acquisitions, commercial real estate, and financing transactions. Tara also has extensive regulatory experience in the areas of gaming, alcoholic beverage law, affordable housing and public bidding, and public records request laws. Ellis earned her B.A. at the University of Mississippi in 2000, and her law degree at Tulane University Law School, cum laude, in 2003. She is affiliated with the International Association of Gaming Advisors, the Mississippi Bar Association, Executive Board of the Gaming Law Section and was a board member with the Mississippi Women Lawyers Association. She has been named to Best Lawyers in America and has been a MidSouth Super Lawyers Rising Star. She has served on the Greater Belhaven Neighborhood Foundation board, the Belhaven Improvement Association board, and has been active with the Junior League of Jackson. She has volunteered with St. Andrew’s Episcopal School, and is a graduate of Leadership Mississippi and Leadership Greater Jackson.

Chip Glaze Mississippi Bar - Lawyers and Judges Assistance Program


s the Director of The Mississippi Bar’s Lawyers and Judges Assistance Program, Chip Glaze, JD, LMFT, provides confidential assistance to judges, lawyers and law students who may encounter substance abuse and other issues that could impair their ability to practice law in a professional and competent manner. He has experience in behavioral health counseling, family therapy, and crisis intervention with professionals. He previously served as Clinical Director of the Program for four years. Glaze is a licensed Mississippi attorney and a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, and he combines that to provide service to members of the legal community. He received his Master’s Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy in 1994 from Mississippi College and his Juris Doctorate from the Mississippi College School of Law in 2002. Glaze lives in Jackson with his wife, Laura, and their three sons, Daniel, Mason and Gray.


2017 Leadership in Law – 11


Lynne K. Green Brunini, Grantham, Grower & Hewes, PLLC


ynne Green says her most significant professional accomplishment is being a part of the efforts to update and improve Mississippi’s estates and trusts laws. She chaired the committee which studied and drafted Mississippi’s 2013 Principal and Income Law, and recently co-chaired the committee which studied and drafted Mississippi’s Uniform Trust Code, a project still in progress. Green focuses her practice on tax, estate planning and probate law. She is a Certified Public Accountant and prior to joining Brunini was associated with a Memphis law firm. Among numerous awards and honors, Green is ranked in Best Lawyers in America directory for Trusts and Estates, and was honored in 2003 as one of “Mississippi’s 50 Leading Business Women” by the MBJ. She is a fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel and is a Regent for this body. She is past president of the Estate Planning Council of Mississippi, a past president of the Estates and Trusts Section of The Mississippi Bar, and is an active member of many professional organizations. Green earned her Bachelor of Business Administration at the University of Mississippi, and her Juris Doctor at the University of Mississippi School of Law.

DANIEL COKER HORTON & BELL CONGRATULATES SANDRA D. BUCHANAN ON BEING RANKED IN THE TOP TEN ATTORNEYS RECOGNIZED BY LEADERSHIP IN LAW 2017. With office locations in Gulfport, Jackson and Oxford, Daniel Coker Horton & Bell is strategically positioned to provide legal services throughout Mississippi and five neighboring states. Three strategically located offices — one more compelling reason to choose DCH&B.

GULFPORT 228-864-8117 • JACKSON 601-969-7607 • OXFORD 662-232-8979 • www.danielcoker.com

*Free Background Information Available Upon Request. © 2018 Daniel Coker Horton & Bell, P.A. All rights reserved.

12 – 2017 Leadership in Law



Benjamin E. Griffith Griffith Law Firm



enjamin E. Griffith for the past 42 years has enjoyed a civil litigation practice in federal and state courts in Mississippi and throughout the Mid South. As principal in Griffith Law Firm in Oxford, he concentrates his practice on election law and voting rights litigation, defense of local governments in civil rights lawsuits, and insurance defense at the trial and appellate level in the Fourth, Fifth and Eleventh Circuits. His clients include counties, municipalities, school districts and private sector insureds. He has served as Board Attorney for the 17-county Yazoo-Mississippi Delta Joint Water Management District since 1989, and served as Board Attorney for the Bolivar County Board of Supervisors from 1983 through 2003. In October 2017, the International Municipal Lawyers Association awarded him the Charles S. Rhyne Award for Lifetime Achievement in Municipal Law. He has been recognized by his peers through inclusion in Best Lawyers in America in the field of Municipal Law and Mid South SuperLawyers in the field of Municipal Law each year since 2006, and recently was selected among America’s Top 100 High Stakes Litigators for 2017. He is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Mississippi School of Law for the Municipal Law Practice Skills Course and Election Law, and is on the Board of Governors of the American Bar Association.

Pamela Gunter Anderson Crawley & Burke, PLLC


am Gunter is a member with Anderson Crawley and Burke and focuses her practice on defending employers and insurance carriers in state workers’ compensation claims and employment related matters. The Jackson native has also been a Hearing Officer for Medicare carriers and intermediaries for the past 15 years. She is also experienced in Antitrust Law and Tax and Estate Planning, and the handling of civil litigation in state and federal courts. Gunter now also serves as a mediator for workers’ compensation claims under the Kid’s Chance Mediation Program. Gunter earned her B.S. in Criminal Justice in 1988 at Delta State University, and J.D. in 1991 at University of Mississippi School of Law, where she was a member of Mississippi Law Journal and a Moot Court Board winner. She received the American Jurisprudence Award in Pre-trial Practice. In 2007, Gunter received her Master of Laws in Taxation from the University of Alabama. She is a member of the Mississippi Bar Association and the Workers’ Compensation Section of the Mississippi Bar. She was admitted to the Bars of Mississippi, the United States District Courts for Northern and Southern District of Mississippi, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in 1992.


2017 Leadership in Law – 13


Dewey Hembree McGlinchey Stafford



Dewey Hembree III, managing member of the McGlinchey Stafford’s Jackson office, practices in the ďŹ rm’s commercial litigation section with a concentration on business litigation and consumer ďŹ nance. Hembree has more than 30 years of litigation. Hembree earned his B.B.A. in Banking and Finance in 1983 at the University of Mississippi. He earned his J.D. in 1986 at the University of Mississippi School of Law. Hembree’s practice consists primarily of defense of nationwide ďŹ nancial and other lending institutions from actions regarding various issues throughout Mississippi. He also represents clients in general litigation matters, including matters involving real estate, title insurance, products liability and municipal actions. Previously, Hembree was the attorney for a county governing body, where he participated in negotiations of various contracts and ďŹ nancial transactions associated with development of the area’s infrastructure and economy. He is a Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent Peer Review Rated Lawyer, a Best Lawyers in America in Commercial Litigation for 2016–2018, and has been recogized by Chambers USA in General Commercial Litigation and Mid-South Super Lawyers in Business Litigation, Real Estate, and Civil Litigation Defense.


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2017 Mississippi Business Journal Law y e r of t h e Yea r

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Bradley congratulates Wendy Mullins on being named a 2017 Leader in Law

At Bradley, our attorneys understand that legal matters are more than contests of critical thought; they have real-world implications, which is why we prioritize integrity. It is this integrity that inspires all of us to go above and beyond our clients’ expectations by providing innovative solutions, dependable responsiveness and a deep commitment to success.


14 – 2017 Leadership in Law



No representation is made that the quality of the legal services to be performed is greater than the quality of legal services performed by other lawyers. ATTORNEY ADVERTISING. Contact: Margaret Oertling Cupples, Esq., 601.592.9914, mcupples@ bradley.com, Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP, 188 E. Capitol Street, Suite 400, Jackson, MS 39201. Š 2018



Cliff Johnson University of Mississippi School of Law


liff Johnson joined the faculty at the University of Mississippi School of Law in 2014 as the first Director of the Roderick and Solange MacArthur Justice Center. Johnson oversees the Center’s litigation efforts and provides instruction and supervision to. The center has litigated cases challenging practices such as the use of illegal and excessive bail, the operation of “debtors’ prisons” in Mississippi, the denial of counsel for indigent defendants, illegal sentencing of juvenile offenders, and the failure to provide inmates with decent conditions. Johnson was the 2016 Public Justice National Trial Lawyer of the Year for his role in challenging bail abuses. Previously, Johnson practiced law at Butler Snow, worked for five years as an Assistant United States Attorney, and was a partner Pigott & Johnson in Johnson. He has been selected as a Mid-South Super Lawyer and listed in Best Lawyers in America. Johnson received his B.A. in Political Science from Mississippi College in 1989 and his J.D. from Columbia Law School in 1992. Johnson is member of the University of Mississippi’s Allies Program – which supports students who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender.

Edward Otis Johnson, Jr. Biggs, Ingram & Solop, PLLC


tis Johnson Jr., an attorney with Biggs, Ingram & Solop, concentrates his practice in the area of Oil & Gas Law, Natural Resources Law, Energy Law, Real Estate Law & Litigation and Conservation Law &

Procedure. Johnson earned his BBA, LL.B, and his JD at the University of Mississippi, earning his law degree in 1968. He also was a Law Clerk for the U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit. His Bar Admissions are Mississippi State and Federal Courts, Mississippi Supreme Court, United States Supreme Court, United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, United States District Court for the Northern and Southern Districts of Mississippi, and the United States Court of Military Appeals. Johnson has been AV rated by Martindale-Hubbell, selected to Best Lawyers in America in Energy, Natural Resources and Oil and Gas, was Best Lawyers Lawyer of the Year in Energy Law in 2014 and Natural Resources Law in 2015. His affiliations and memberships have included Phi Alpha Delta, Interstate Oil Compact Commission, Mississippi Oil & Gas Lawyers Association, Mississippi/Alabama Division of U.S. Oil & Gas Association, Mississippi and American Associations of Professional Landmen, Jackson Yacht Club, North Jackson Kiwanis Club, and U.S. Naval Reserve.


2017 Leadership in Law – 15


Whitman B. Johnson, III Currie Johnson & Myers, P.A.


hit Johnson III specializes in trial work at Currie Johnson & Myers, with the focus of his practice for the past 35 years being the defense of medical negligence claims that have been made against physicians, hospitals, and other health care providers. The Philadelphia, Penn.-native has been licensed to practice in the State of Mississippi since graduating second in the class from University of Mississippi Law School in 1979. He was recognized as the “Lawyer of the Year” by Best Lawyers in the field of medical malpractice law in 2011 and 2014. Johnson has been a frequent speaker to medical organizations and carriers, and has been published in the Journal of the Mississippi State Medical Association. Johnson’s wife, George, is a former pre-school librarian at Jackson. They are parents of three grown children, two of whom are now married. They have lived in Jackson since Johnson’s graduation from law school and are actively involved as parishioners at St. Richard’s Catholic Church.

16 – 2017 Leadership in Law



James L. Kelly Kelly Law Office, PC


ames L. Kelly is the owner of Kelly Law Office in downtown Brandon. He serves individuals and small businesses in matters involving criminal defense, domestic law, and wills and estates. Kelly received a Juris Doctor from the University of Mississippi Law Center in 1986, and was admitted to the Mississippi Bar Association in 1987. He was admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court in 2010. He was a member of the Mississippi Bar Board of Directors, Young Lawyers Division, and was on the University of Mississippi Law Alumni Board of Directors. He is a member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Alliance Defending Freedom, and the American Bar Association. Previously, Kelly was a Special Assistant Attorney General for Mississippi and an Assistant District Attorney for six Mississippi counties. Kelly was a Scoutmaster for 10 years for Troop 304 at Christ United Methodist Church in Jackson, and has been a board member and basketball coach for Victors Home School Sports since 2010. He is married to the former Ann Denney of Houston. They have four children.

Dan Kitchens Kitchens Law Firm, P.A.


fter their father, Jim Kitchens, was elected to the Mississippi Supreme Court in 2008, Dan Kitchens and his brothers, Matt and John, left Kitchens & Ellis and formed Kitchens

Law Firm. Dan received his undergraduate and law degrees from Mississippi College. He is an active member in the American Association for Justice and the Mississippi Association for Justice, where he serves as parliamentarian. Dan is treasurer of the Copiah County Bar Association and is a board member of the Copiah County Democratic Party. A childhood cancer survivor, Dan is a long-time summer camp counselor and steering committee member for Camp Rainbow, an American Cancer Society summer camp for pediatric cancer patients. Matthew and John also serve on the steering committee. Dan is also treasurer and secretary of the Mississippi’s Toughest Kids Foundation, a non-profit foundation that is working to build a permanent home for all special-needs camps in Mississippi.


2017 Leadership in Law – 17


John Kitchens Kitchens Law Firm, P.A.


ohn Kitchens, helped form Kitchens Law Firm with his brothers Dan and Matt in 2008, after their father, Jim Kitchens of Kitchens & Ellis, was elected to the Mississippi Supreme Court. John received his undergraduate degree from the University of Southern Mississippi, where he graduated with a German language degree. In connection with his degree, John lived in Germany on three separate occasions. He received his juris doctorate degree from Mississippi College School of Law in 2003. John is on the Executive Committee of the Mississippi Association for Justice and on the Board of Governors for the American Association for Justice. He is also on the board for the Mississippi Food Network. John attends the Crystal Springs United Methodist Church, and is married to the former Jessica Hembree of Hattiesburg. They have two children, Grace, 6, and Jack, 2.

We Proudly Congratulate



Malissa Wilson Selected for

2017 Leadership in Law

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www.formanwatkins.com Detroit | Houston | Jackson | New Jersey | New Orleans



Matthew Kitchens Kitchens Law Firm, P.A.


efore forming Kitchens Law Firm, Matt Kitchens and his two brothers, Dan and John, were associate attorneys at Kitchens & Ellis in Jackson. They formed the new firm after their father, Jim Kitchens was elected to the Mississippi Supreme Court in 20008. Matthew received his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Southern Mississippi in 1995, and his Juris Doctorate degree from the Mississippi College School of Law in 2002. He spent one year as a law clerk for Justice Oliver E. Diaz, Jr., at the Mississippi Supreme Court, then practiced for five years at the firm of Kitchens and Ellis. In 2007, Matt moved to Asheville, N.C., where he worked at a law firm for two years before returning to Jackson. Matt returned to Mississippi in May of 2010 and joined the Kitchens Law Firm, P.A., as a partner. Matt is a member of the First Baptist Church of Crystal Springs, is on the Board of Governors for the Mississippi Association for Justice and is the editor of its online publication, The Closing Argument. He is a member and officer of the Copiah County Bar Association, the American Association for Justice, and the American Bar Association. Matt is married to Casey Traxler Kitchens, and they have three children, Eydi, Trax, and Emma Love. Matt and Casey serve as mentors at the public elementary school and have co-founded a community open air market in downtown Crystal Springs.

Blythe K. Lollar Ogletree Deakins


lythe Lollar is an associate in the Jackson office where she focuses her practice on employment litigation. She offers advice and provides representation before both state and federal courts. Blythe devotes a substantial amount of her practice to defending employers and management in a variety of legal claims including wrongful termination, harassment, discrimination, retaliation, and wage and hour claims. Prior to joining the firm, Mrs. Lollar served as a law clerk to the Honorable Sharion Aycock, Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi and worked as a summer associate at a large southeastern law firm focused on civil litigation defense. As a law student, Mrs. Lollar also worked as a student clerk for the judges of the First Circuit Court District of Mississippi. Out of the office, Mrs. Lollar serves on the Women in the Profession Committee of the Mississippi Bar Association and is actively involved with the Young.


2017 Leadership in Law – 19



Joseph E. Lotterhos Bennett Lotterhos Sulser


oseph Lotterhos is a mainstay in Mississippi law circles as a founding shareholder for Bennett Lotterhos Sulser and Wilson, focusing on Insurance Coverage Litigation and Commercial Litigation. Since, 1980, Bennett Lotterhos Sulser & Wilson has provided a full range of legal services to businesses of all sizes, particularly in the areas of creditors’ rights and bankruptcy litigation, insurance coverage litigation, and commercial litigation. Lotterhos has an AV Preminent, Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Rating, named in Best Lawyers in Insurance Law and a Captain Judge Advocate General’s Corps. in the U.S. Navy Reserve from 1966-1969. He is a member of the Mississippi Bar, the Capital Area Bar Association, the Commercial Law League of America, Mississippi Defense Lawyers Association, Defense Research Institute and American Arbitration Association. Lotterhos is a 1966 graduate of the University of Mississippi and received his juris doctorate from there in 1972.

Biggs, Ingram & Solop, PLLC Proudly Congratulates

Lynn Thompson & Otis Johnson We don’t just practice in this community


on being chosen as two of

Mississippi’s Leaders in Law 2017

Jones Walker LLP congratulates our partner Aileen S. Thomas on being named a 2017 Mississippi Business Journal “Leadership in Law” award recipient. We congratulate Aileen and all of the honorees for their achievements and contributions across the state. Jeffrey R. Barber, Office Head 601.949.4765 jbarber@joneswalker.com

190 E Capitol St | Suite 800 Jackson, MS 39201 www.joneswalker.com


111 East Capitol Street, Suite 101 Jackson, Mississippi 39201

20 – 2017 Leadership in Law

601-713-1192 www.bislawyers.com

Attorney Advertising. No representation is made that the quality of legal services to be performed is greater than the quality of legal services performed by other attorneys.



David Friederich Maron Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, PC


avid Maron, a shareholder in the Jackson office of Baker Donelson, concentrates his practice defending commercial, product and consumer fraud disputes. Maron’s practice is focused on litigating business and commercial disputes for pharmaceutical manufacturers, insurance companies and other businesses before U.S. federal and state courts and regulatory agencies. Maron has defended clients in government-initiated consumer protection, consumer fraud and government regulatory actions. He has experience managing mass tort litigation and has represented numerous business entities in other commercial matters including agricultural and product liability. Maron regularly writes and has given presentations on various civil justice and litigation-related topics. He has also authored and co-authored amicus briefs before the Mississippi Supreme Court. Maron is recent past president of the Capital Area Bar Association and he remains active in various national and local bar association activities, including pro-bono initiatives.

Elizabeth Lee Maron Adams & Reese


lizabeth Maron joined Adams and Reese in 1996 and is a founding member of the Jackson office. She focuses her practice on education law, employment law, real estate transactions and general litigation. Elizabeth’s primary focus is defending companies and public entities in lawsuits filed by current/former employees. Her employment law practice involves working closely with personnel directors and company or public entity management charged with personnel decisions or enforcement of personnel decisions. She is a frequent speaker on employment and education issues and provides training for clients on how to avoid harassment and discrimination claims, including sexual harassment and racial discrimination claims. Elizabeth feels fortunate to be surrounded by such able mentors at her firm and has tried to emulate certain approaches to the legal practice that she admires in many of her colleagues. In her free time, she enjoys reading, traveling and playing tennis. Playing singles in the state tournament for her USTA team a few years ago is something she recalls with pride, especially after being away from the sport for some time.


2017 Leadership in Law – 21


Leonard “Len” C. Martin Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, PC



en Martin is a shareholder in the Jackson office of Baker Donelson, concentrating his practice in the areas of taxation, trusts and probate, planned giving and non-profit organizations. Martin is a Chartered Life Underwriter, Chartered Financial Consultant and a Certified Financial Planner. Mr. Martin also is a frequent speaker on estate planning, taxation and probate matters. He is listed in Chambers USA High Net Worth Guide as a Notable Practitioner in the area of Private Wealth Law - Mississippi (2017), The Best Lawyers in America® since 2003 in the areas of Trusts and Estates and Non-Profit/Charities Law; since 2016 in Tax Law. He was named the Best Lawyers’ 2018 and 2015 as Jackson Trusts and Estates “Lawyer of the Year”. He was named the Best Lawyers’ 2017 Jackson Tax Law “Lawyer of the Year”. And he as been listed in Mid-South Super Lawyers, 2006 – 2017; listed as among top 50 attorneys in Mississippi, 2012 . Martin is a 1977 graduate of Mississippi State and received his juris doctorate from the University of Virginia in 1980 and an LLM in taxation from the University of Florida in 1985.

WWG proudly congratulates Robert Wiygul on being selected as one of Mississippi’s Leaders in Law

For almost three decades Robert Wiygul has helped save some of the most endangered species on the planet; stopped corporate polluters; protected some of the most beautiful public lands in the country; and helped injured workers get justice. He’s done it in tiny courtrooms in small towns, and big ones in some of the biggest cities in the country. Congratulations to Robert on being named to the MS Business Journal’s 2018 Leaders in Law.

Robert Wiygul


1011 Iberville Dr.


Ocean Springs, MS 39564


22 – 2017 Leadership in Law



Chan McLeod Maron Marvel Bradley Anderson and Tardy


han McLeod is a Shareholder in the Jackson office of Maron Marvel Bradley Anderson & Tardy LLC. He focuses his practice on litigation, specifically product liability, premises liability, toxic tort, and mass tort. He has extensive experience litigating and managing litigation, and has defended complex liability cases in federal and state courts across the country. Chan has experience as national coordinating counsel, handling national litigation strategy, overseeing the administration of local counsel litigation activities, and directing case resolution efforts in jurisdictions nationwide. He also has experience defending claims related to dioxins, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, heavy metals, and wood treatment chemicals. Chan is a Jackson native and a graduate of the University of Mississippi, Millsaps College and the University of Mississippi Law School. He is a Martindale-Hubbell® Preeminent AV™ rated attorney, a member of the International Association of Defense Counsel, and was named to the Mid-South Super Lawyers list for the last five years.

Wendy R. Mullins Bradley Arant Boult Cummings


endy Mullins spends her time assisting clients with a variety of corporate projects that arise along the lifeline of every company. Those projects include entity selection and formation, contract drafting and negotiation to develop and protect both tangible and intangible assets, commercialization tasks aimed at putting the products and services into the marketplace, growth by acquisition that might involve merger, asset or stock transactions, or working to prep the company for diligence by potential buyers as part of an exit strategy. Wendy was fortunate to have worked as general counsel for SkyTel Corp., a wireless communications company owned by WorldCom and later by Verizon for over eight years. This opportunity allowed her to have a front row seat on the interaction of law and the real world of running a business. Wendy serves as a state liaison to the Corporate Laws Committee of the Business Law Section of the ABA from the state of Mississippi. She is a 1991 graduate of University of North Carolina and then received her juris doctorate with distinction from the MC School of Law in 1994.


2017 Leadership in Law – 23


Krissy Nobile Office of the Attorney General


rissy Nobile is a special assistant to the Attorney General of Mississippi. There she practices in the area of civil litigation, with a focus primarily on constitutional law, Section 1983 civil rights actions, and labor and employment defense litigation. Previously, she was with Phelps Dunbar for four years and before that a Federal Judicial Clerk with the US District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi for Chief Judge Sharon Aycock. She also is currently a Adjunct Professor at the Mississippi College School of Law, where she has been for three years and Nobile is Vice President of the Mississippi Bar Association. Nobile earned her Bachelor’s Degree in English Literature, summa cum laude, at Bethel University in 2007. She was the most outstanding English major, an academic All-American and four-year letter winner. Nobile graduated in 2010 with a Doctor of Jurisprudence degree from Mississippi College School of Law. She and her husband have two children, ages 12 and 13, adopted from the Republic of Bulgaria.

J. Andrew Payne Young Wells


Andrew Payne is an attorney for BancorpSouth, where he recently began. Payne formerly was an associate with Young Wells where he practiced in the areas of litigation and commercial law. He is a member of the Mississippi Bar Association and the American Bar Association. Payne is a 2005 graduate of Mississippi State University and he received his juris doctorate in 2001 from the Mississippi College School of Law. While at the MC School of law, he was managing editor of the Law Review and was a Herrin Scholar. He also has earned the American Jurisprudence Awards in Contracts II and Torts II.

24 – 2017 Leadership in Law



J. Conner Reeves, J.D. Mississippi State Medical Association


onnor Reeves is general counsel for the Mississippi State Medical Association. According to Jill Gordon, who nominated Reeves, “Connor is is leading Healthcare Law. He is consulting with Physicians on issues that greatly effect our health. He is so hard working and is making a huge impact on Mississippi issues physicians are facing. He is well deserving of this award.” Reeves has been at the MSMA for nearly 4 years and was previously at the University of Mississippi Medical Center. He is a 2008 graduate of Mississippi State University and he received his JD from the Mississippi College School of Law in 2013. He is an Eagle Scout and a member of the American Society of Medical Association Counsel.

Stephanie M. Rippee Watkins & Eager PLLC



or 25 years, Stephanie Rippee has sought to find practical and efficient legal solutions for clients on a local, regional and national basis. Her practice at Watkins eager focuses on both commercial litigation and product liability litigation. She has earned the ANSI-accredited Certified Information Privacy Professional/United States (CIPP/US) credential through the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP). She is a recognized public speaker and author and has been selected by Mid-South Super Lawyers as one of the Top 50 Lawyers in Mississippi. She is a litigator who has been named one of the top 250 Women Litigators in the United States by Benchmark Litigation for 2016 and 2017. She is rated AV Preeminent Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell, recognized by Best Lawyers in America in four litigation categories, and has also been rated by Chambers USA in General Litigation for 2015-1017. Additionally, she is a Fellow of both the American Bar Foundation and Litigation Counsel of America. She received her Bachelor of Accountancy from the University of Mississippi in 1998 and then her juris doctorate in 1991 from Vanderbilt Law School.


2017 Leadership in Law – 25


Jeffery A Styres Southern Farm Bureau Life Insurance


eff Styres serves as Senior Counsel in the Legal Department of Southern Farm Bureau Life Insurance company. He is active in the company’s litigation and privacy functions, as well as providing legal support to Souther Farm Bureau’s agency, claims, human resources, information systems, pensions, policy service and underwriting departments. Before re-joining Southern Farm Bureau in 2005, Jeff was in private practice in Mississippi and Alabama, specializing in life, health, disability and ERISA claims litigation. He received his BS in Accounting from Samford University in 1992, his MBA from UAB in 1993 and his JD from MC School of Law in 1997. Styrres previously served as an adjunct professor in the School of Business at Mississippi College, and is also a nationally recognized continuing legal education speaker for corporations, state and federal agencies, industry trade groups and state bar associations on the subjects of legal ethics and professional responsibility.

Aileen S. Thomas Jones Walker LLP


ileen Thomas is a partner in the firm’s Business & Commercial Transactions Practice Group in the Jackson office and a member of the firm’s board of directors. As a bond attorney, Ms. Thomas regularly serves as bond, underwriter, and trustee counsel for a myriad of clients, including non-profit and public hospitals, institutions of higher learning, local school districts, and national and regional investment banking firms. In addition to her public finance practice, Ms. Thomas assists clients with large economic development and expansion projects, and is actively involved in state and federal New Markets Tax Credit transactions through-out the Gulf South region and on a national basis. Thomas is the past Chairman of the Business Law Section of The Mississippi Bar, and past President of the Mississippi Women Lawyers Association. Ms. Thomas served for many years as an adjunct professor at Mississippi College School of Law. She is a 1991 graduate of Belhaven University and received her JD with honors in 1995 from Mississippi College School of Law.

26 – 2017 Leadership in Law



Lynn Patton Thompson Biggs Ingram & Solop


ynn Thompson has practiced extensively in the areas of government contracts (federal, state, and local), construction law, commercial litigation, and small business consulting for 25 years. Prime contractors, subcontractors, owners, and suppliers in all aspects of construction and contract-related matters retain her for her experience, know-how and business-minded approach. Lynn is a problem solver. She counsels clients in contract drafting and negotiation, business planning, disputes, claims and appeals, bid protests, litigation, arbitration, and mediation. Thompson represents businesses that do business with the federal and state governments. She has extensive experience in bid protests at the General Accountability Office and the Court of Federal Claims and in protests before the U.S. Small Business Administration, Office of Hearings and Appeals. As associate counsel for the Mississippi Assoc. of General Contractors, she assisted with development of Mississippi’s Construction Lien Law that became effective in 2014. She has lectured extensively on this new litigation. Lynn is a certified mediator on the Mississippi State Bar’s List of Mediators. Thompson received her BA from Emory University in 1988 and then her Juris Doctorate from Emory in 1992.

Robert T. Van Uden, III Stubblefield Yelverton


obert Van Uden is a Member and Manager of Stubblefield & Yelverton, PLLC. Robert received his undergraduate degree in history and English from Louisiana State University in 1996, his Juris Doctorate from the University of Mississippi in 2000 and his LL.M. in Taxation with Distinction from the University of Alabama in 2010. Robert is a member of the Mississippi Financial Planning Association, Estate Planning Council of Mississippi, the Jackson Young Lawyers Division of the Mississippi Bar and serves on the Board of Directors for the Greater Belhaven Neighborhood Foundation, the Belhaven Improvement Association, YMCA Metro Jackson Family Support Center and the Habitat for Humanity Board for St. Peter’s Catholic Church. His primary areas of practice include: Taxation, Estate and Business Planning, Business Succession Planning, Asset Protection Strategies, Corporate Law, Business Transactions, Wills, Trusts, Probate, Elder Law, Securities, Banking and Contracts.


2017 Leadership in Law – 27


H. Rodger Wilder Balch & Bingham



odger Wilder has enjoyed representing clients ranging from multi-nation corporations involved in complex business transactions to individuals needing child guardianships. He says these have all been intellectually stimulating and challenging in different ways, but all have been professionally and personally rewarding. Through the years, Wilder has served on and been in leadership positions with numerous local and statewide organizations. He is a founding member of the Gulf Coast Community Foundation, has continuously served on its Board of Directors, and is currently serving a second term as President and CEO. As co-chair of the Mississippi Access to Justice Commission, he works with lay-people, fellow lawyers, the State Judiciary, and Legislature to reduce barriers to court access for citizens who cannot afford lawyers. Wilder is received a BS in Mechanical Engineering in 1970 from Mississippi State and then his juris doctorate from the University of Mississippi School of Law in 1977.

Malissa Wilson Forman Watkins & Krutz LLP



efore joining FormanWatkins, Malissa Wilson worked as a journalist, a public relations practitioner in crisis communications, a defense attorney, a government attorney, and in-house counsel. Wilson’s diverse background and vast array of knowledge make her a key asset to the creative, efficient work ethic of FormanWatkins. Though she is not a working journalist covering stories anymore, as an attorney, she offers clients her ability to lay out and present the storyline of their cases clearly and efficiently to a judge or juror. A firm believer in the golden rule, Wilson handles every case how she would want an attorney to handle a case for her, always going the extra mile and never backing down from a challenge as she works in the areas of Labor Employment, Premises Liability, Civil Rights, and Media Law. Wilson received her BA in Journalism in 1995 from Texas Southern before getting her Master’s in Journalism from Columbia University in 1997. She earned her JD from the University of Mississippi in 2002.

28 – 2017 Leadership in Law



Sara Beth Wilson Copeland Cook Taylor & Bush


s a bankruptcy and creditor’s rights attorney, Sarah Beth Wilson often finds herself the only female in the courtroom. However, Wilson accepts the challenge and prides herself on being strong, but always fair and reasonable when she takes on a case. An attorney with Ridgeland law firm Copeland Cook Taylor & Bush, the New Orleans native graduated cum laude from Millsaps College and earned her law degree magna cum laude from the Mississippi College School of Law. Additionally, Wilson serves as an adjunct professor of appellate at MC Law. Mentoring law students, she believes, is the most valuable contribution she can make to the world. Balancing family life with a career in law can be tenuous at times, but Wilson deftly handles both with determination and a smile. She is a member of several professional organizations, including the Jackson Young Lawyers. In her spare time, Wilson enjoys repurposing antiques and yoga.

Robert Wiygul Walzer Wiygul & Garside LLC



obert Wiygul has been an attorney for a long time and he’s spent part of that time in Louisiana, part in Colorado, but now he runs the Waltzer, Wiygul and Garside office in Ocean Springs. Over the course of his career, Wiygul has accumulated a lot of honors that mean a great deal to lawyers: editor of the law review; a clerkship with a federal appeals court and awards from environmental groups. When Robert talks about what he’s done, what he talks about are people, places and species. To that end, he’s helped save some of the most endangered species on the planet and helped injured workers get justice. Wiygul is a 1981 graduate of Millsaps College and earned his JD at the University of Mississippi in 1984. Unless you have a lot of time, don’t get Robert started on his family, his dogs, fishing, or sailing. His wife Julia is a consultant and advocate for public education, and his two teenage daughters are smart, funny and occasionally aggravating. He says they are also beautiful, but that is their mother’s department. The two dogs, Jinx and Maisie, are both “genetically complex” in their own right. In whatever spare time he can afford, you can find him fishing the marshes of Mississippi and Louisiana.


2017 Leadership in Law – 29


Images by Stegall Imagery

Winners for previous events can be found at http://msbusiness.com/events/past-event-winners/




Robert T. Van Uden

on being named a 2017 Leader in Law by the Mississippi Business Journal

www.maronmarvel.com 30 – 2017 Leadership in Law

1400 Meadowbrook Rd., Suite 102 Jackson, MS 601-936-4910 | www.sy-law.com www.msbusiness.com


Images by Stegall Imagery


2017 Leaderhip in Law – 31


Special to the MBJ

UMMC night time rendering.

Batson Children’s Hospital getting a much-needed facelift By NASH NUNNERY


asing the anxiety of a hospital stay for children – and their parents – while providing the absolute best care available has always been the hallmark for Children’s of Mississippi’s Batson Children’s Hospital. The only medical facility in Mississippi devoted exclusively to the care of children and adolescents, Batson will be getting a much-needed facelift with the addition of a seven story, state-of-the-art 340,000-square-foot pediatrics tower. The new structure will house a neonatal intensive care unit

32 – Mississippi Business Journal

with private rooms, surgical suites and an imaging center designed specifically for children. The Children’s Heart Center, representing UMMC’s pediatric cardiovascular program, will also call the new building home. Site work on the $180 million tower, located adjacent to Batson on the campus of the University of Giesecke Mississippi Medical Center, began See BATSON, Page 33



BATSON Continued from, Page 32

the first week of January. The building is expected to be completed August 2020. Jackson-based Brasfield & Gorrie is the general contractor for the project. “We are very excited about the new pediatrics tower, something we’ve been thinking about and planning for years,” said Guy Giesecke, CEO of Children’s of Mississippi. “The needs are significant and I cannot measure what it’s going to mean for our patients and staff.” Batson Children’s Hospital averages 9,000 admissions annually, with patients coming from all 82 counties in Mississippi to receive medical care for everything from childhood illnesses to life-threatening trauma cases. Additionally, the hospital provides care in more than 30 specialty areas, including newborn medicine, pediatric cardiology, neurology and surgery. It houses the state’s only pediatric intensive care unit and emergency department along with Mississippi’s only pediatric treatment programs for cancer, cystic fibrosis, sickle cell anemia and congenital heart defects. Giesecke says the new tower and its components will create a much improved environment for patients – and less waiting. “It’s going to give kids more access to services available only to them,” he said. “In the past, some patients have had to wait up to a month for imaging or diagnostics. Wait times will be eliminated with the construction of the pediatrics tower.” According to Giesecke, the new wing will accommodate 30-40 percent more outpatient treatments, 40 percent more surgeries and double the access to imaging services. The new pediatrics addition also will allow Mississippi to “get on par with other states” when it comes to providing care to children, he said. “We are way behind. You can’t retain and recruit physicians and staff without adequate facilities,” Giesecke said. “The physicians were frustrated with being cramped, as were the patients and their parents. The new facility will bring us up to speed with other states.”


“In the past, some patients have had to wait up to a month for imaging or diagnostics. Wait times will be eliminated with the construction of the pediatrics tower.” Guy Giesecke CEO of Children’s of Mississippi

Children’s of Mississippi officials anticipate recruiting 30-40 new physicians in the next five years. At a minimum, about 50-75 staff positions, not including doctors, would be added after construction. Dr. LouAnn Woodward, vice chancellor for health affairs and dean of the school of medicine, says Batson is in need of facilities to match the quality of care provided by its staff. “The time has come,” she said, “for a transformation.” In the past, pediatric surgery shared surgical facilities with UMMC. This required young patients to be transported across campus for their surgical needs, which meant being separated from their families during procedures and preand post-operative periods. No more, says Giesecke. “The main component we have built into the design of the new tower is fluidity,” he said. “Everything will be easily connected and will flow very well.”

Mississippi Business Journal – 33


Two thirds of all falls can be prevented By CALLIE DANIELS BRYANT


wo years ago on a March, Anderson Regional Health Center (ARMC) rose to a call for patient safety by reducing fall risks in healthcare practice, and its successful method became a nationwide practice. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) sponsored a program seeking solutions to reduce fall risks, and selected ARMC along with 10 other hospitals. AHRQ works with the healthcare arm of the government so this specific program was funded by Centers for Medicare and Medicaid. “Falls are not just a risk here, it’s a nationwide epidemic. Every hospital, nursing home, centers and the CDC (Center for Disease Control) all have had discussions about how difficult it is for healthcare entities to prevent (patients falling). We were excited to be a part of that,” said Chris Myers, AMRC’s risk manager and patient safety officer. Myers said in a press release how every patient are susceptible to falling due to medical conditions, medications, surgery and procedures and diagnostic testing which can leave them off-balance. “We didn’t have a huge fall problem but we expressed interest in being a part of this and we were selected for that,” Myers said. AHRQ says that nearly one-third of falls can be prevented, and thus challenged the participants to brainstorm such a solution. “We had a site visit by the organization that first came here to assess our processes and then brain-

storm ideas on how we can implement improvements. We had to develop an action plan with action items such as education for the patient care techs (like) involving them more in ownership of preventing falls and caring for patients,” said Connie Lee, the director of quality who worked on the team. Rising to meet the challenge, ARMC appointed a multidisciplinary team comprised with an estimation of 50 to 60 representatives. Myers said, “Our team was interdisciplinary. Every department in the hospital had a representative on our team. This program was stretched system-wide from housekeeping to purchasing to physical therapy to dietary to risk management to administration and I.T. If there’s a department, it was on the team.” After two years of a hospital-wide effort, the team reduced patient falls by 28.6 percent. The medical system records patient falls every 1,000 days of patient care. In two years ARMC went from 4.2 in-patient falls every 1,000 days to 3.0 in-patient falls. “Addressing patient needs at night you have to determine how often they get up,” Lee said, “what time they get up, and make sure we round them to proactively take them to the bedroom. We found that patients were falling when they were going to the bathroom so we wanted a proactive approach saying, ‘I’m going to take you to the bathroom,’ instead of ‘Do you need to go to bathroom?” We tell See FALLS, Page 35

“We found that patients were falling when they were going to the bathroom so we wanted a proactive approach saying, ‘I’m going to take you to the bathroom,’ instead of ‘Do you need to go to bathroom?” Chris Myers AMRC’s risk manager and patient safety officer

34 – Mississippi Business Journal



Special to the MBJ

Anderson Interdisciplinary Falls Prevention Team, front row from left: Christy Bell, RN; Brandye Vance, RN; Jessica Clark, RN; Fanci Vaugh, RN; Melia Goodman, RN. Center row from left: John G. Anderson, President and CEO; Betty Cryer, VP Nursing, Beverly Bush, RN; Sky Joiner, Registered Dietitian; Ashley Dikes, Information Technology; Donna Herrington, Director of Legal and Risk Management; Vickie Skinner, Director of Nursing Anderson-South; Wanda Cooper, VP Professional Relations. Back row from left: Angela Kingery, Director of Inpatient and Outpatient Rehabilitation; Connie Lee, Director of Quality; Chris Myers, Risk Manager and Patient Safety Officer; John Hampton, Director of Environmental Services. Not pictured: Dr. Scot Bell, Chief Medical Officer; Jason Cain, RN; Diane Nobles, RN; DeAnna Richmond, RN; Cassandra Gibbs, RN; David Howell, Radiology Services Manager; Sandra Jones, RN.

FALLS Continued from, Page 34

them, ‘It’s time to go to the bathroom, I’ll take you.’” The entire staff, not just nursing, understands that they need to do more than platitudes like, “Call me if you need me.” The medical system now has a “potty schedule” where patients can go to restroom for as often as every two hours. Thus, ARHS created “Best Practice Falls Prevention Program.” AHRQ accepted this practice and ARMC’s proactive solution became a national practice. “The final recognition came from our improvement efforts, innovative ideas we put in place and what we achieved and were able to sustain in other projects. Our results were published in (AHRQ’s) toolkit,” Lee said. The president and CEO of Anderson Regional Health

System, John G. Anderson, said in a press release, “We are extremely proud of our team members who developed this ‘Best Practice Falls Prevention Program.’ Due to their dedicated work, the program model will have a direct and lasting impact on patients here and across the country.” This recognition is a boon for the medical health system, too, as the practice stretches from East Mississippi to West Alabama while serving over 60,000 patients a year. And there may be more to come. Lee said, “This entire wing of the hospital does its programs where we continue to focus on issues. You know you never quite get there because you’re always striving to get continuous improvements and delivering quality care to our patients, so patient falls is still on the radar. …There’s no limit to what you can look at in a healthcare organization.”



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36 – Mississippi Business Journal

'&58.78431.3* 46,



Meridian bank taps Quick Great Southern Bank in Meridian has promoted Christy A. Quick to Vice President. A resident of Carthage, Quick is a graduate of Jackson Christian Academy. She began her financial career in 1987 as a teller with Citizens National Bank. Quick She has served in various roles, including Head Teller, Loan & New Account Representative, and Retail Sales Manager. She has also received numerous American Institute of Banking certificates. Quick joined Great Southern Bank in 2007 where she served as Assistant Vice President and Branch Manager of the Bonita Lakes Branch. In 2008, she also assumed the Mortgage Originator position which allows her to assist all of the Great Southern Bank locations. She is a member of the Meridian Exchange Club and an affiliate member of the Meridian Board of Realtors. Quick and her husband, Eric, have six sons, Caleb, Ashton, Noah, Isaiah, Jonah and Gabriel. They are active members of Pine Grove Pentecostal Church in Sebastopol.

Dedeaux elected chair Pearl River Community College’s Board of Trustees has elected new officers for the next two years at the Poplarville school. Alan Dedeaux, of Kiln, a Hancock County representative on the 16-member governing board since 2008, takes over Dedeaux as chairman. Dedeaux is the Hancock County School District’s superintendent of education. Dedeaux replaces Alan Lumpkin of Carriere, superintendent of education for Pearl River County, who has resigned from the board of trustees. He is replaced on the board by assistant superintendent Missy Holston, a PRCC alumnus who served on the board of trustees from 2010-11. Dedeaux began his education career in 1983 as a teacher and coach in the Harrison County School District. He has also served as a teacher, coach and administrator in the Picayune and Hancock County school districts. He graduated from Hancock North Central High School and has education degrees from Mississippi College (B.S., 1983) and William Carey University (Masters, 1993). The board also elected Tess Smith of Sumrall,


Lamar County superintendent of education and a member of the board since 2014, vice chairman. M.L. “Sonny” Knight is the board secretary. He has been a member of the board since 1995.

Potter joins Wiggins clinic Jeffrey N. Potter, MD, recently joined Hattiesburg Clinic Wiggins Clinic as a family medicine physician for patients of all ages. Potter received his medical degree from Jefferson Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, Pa. Potter He completed an internship and his residency in family practice at Harrisburg Hospital in Harrisburg, Pa. Potter is board certified in family medicine by the American Board of Family Medicine and has professional affiliations with the American Academy of Family Physicians and the Pennsylvania Academy of Family Physicians.

Griffin earns CIPP/US Jackson attorney Adam V. Griffin of Adams and Reese recently designated as a Certified Information Privacy Professional/United States (CIPP/US). The CIPP designation is a global industry standard for professionals entering and Griffin working in the field of privacy. Backed by American National Standards Institute/ International Organization for Standardization accreditation, a CIPP/US credential demonstrates a strong understanding of a principles-based framework and knowledgeable base in information privacy within the U.S. context. Achieving the designation requires the recipient to demonstrate these proficiencies by passing an examination. Griffin joined Adams and Reese as a member of the firm’s litigation practice group in November. Licensed to practice in both Mississippi and Alabama, Griffin’s practice focuses primarily on civil litigation, including large and complex litigation as well as work in secured transactions, construction and risk management services. He is one of two Adams and Reese attorneys to hold CIPP/US certification, joining Columbia, S.C., partner Jack Pringle. A 2007 graduate of Mississippi State University with a bachelor’s degree in business information

systems, Griffin completed his J.D. from the University of Alabama School of Law in 2010. He is a member of the Mississippi State Bar, Alabama State Bar, Defense Research Institute, Mississippi Defense Lawyers Association and Jackson Young Lawyers.

Sanderson promotion James “Norman” Butts has been promoted to Corporate Maintenance Manager at Sanderson Farms, Inc., headquartered in Laurel. As a Corporate Maintenance Manager, Butts will be responsible for ensuring a comprehensive maintenance program is active at each Sanderson Farms division along with monitoring maintenance programs to ensure facilities and equipment are being maintained to a high quality standard. He will also assist with any necessary equipment changes or upgrades for the poultry producer. Butts joined Sanderson Farms as an Advanced Trainee III in 2016. Prior to joining the company, he worked at Pilgrim’s, Farmland Foods, Perdue Farms, Koch Foods, Texas America Foodservice Corporation and M-I Drilling Fluids. Butts is a graduate of Texas State Technical College in Waco, Texas, where he earned an Associate of Applied Science degree in Instrumentation Technology and Process Control.

Shoemaker joins firm John Shoemaker has joined Butler Snow’s business services practice group in Singapore. Shoemaker has more than 25 years of experience in legal and regulatory compliance. Shoemaker received his undergraduate in political Shoemaker science from the University of Kansas and his masters in taxation from the University of Alabama. He earned his Juris Doctor from Washburn University.

Reunion hires Scheiver Justyn Scheiver has been named Director of Tennis at Reunion Golf and Country Club. Scheiver previously was Academy and Director of Events for Van der Meer Tennis University in Hilton Head, S.C. He is a member of the Mississippi Junior Tennis Council and Chairman of the state ranking committee.


Mississippi Business Journal – 37

The Mississippi Business Journal will host Leadership in Law, a reception and awards celebration honoring 40 members of the state’s legal community and the Lawyer of the Year.

Nomination Form

NOMINATION CRITERIA Those displaying Leadership in Law: • are astute, wise, knowledgeable and successful • exemplify the noble tradition of the legal profession • win cases and solve problems with the utmost integrity • inspire and lead others with their skills and character • are role models and mentors • are passionate and aggressive on behalf of clients and the community NOMINATION & SELECTION PROCESS • Nominator’s name will be kept confidential. • Nominees will be contacted when their names have been submitted for consideration. • 40honorees and the Lawyer of the Year will be selected by a panel. • Honorees will be announced in a special section of the November edition of Mississippi Business Journal.

The Mississippi Business Journal will honor the state’s most successful lawyers with our Leadership in Law. The MBJ will honor both legal success and qualities of character that make only a few stand out.

Nominee’s name: Nominee’s position (e.g. prosecutor, in-house counsel, private practitioner): Firm or company name: Address: City, State and ZIP: Phone: E-mail address: Briefly describe what makes your nominee a Leadership in Law:

Nominator’s name:


Direct questions to TAMI JONES at (601) 364-1011. Fax this form to (601) 364-1007 or e-mail events@msbusiness.com or or go to http://msbusiness.com/events/leadership-law-nomination-form/ and submit your nomination



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