News

In M&G Polymers USA v. Tackett, the U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled on behalf of M&G Polymers USA in a suit brought by former employees of the company.  Retirees of M&G Polymers had sued in 2006 when they were required to contribute to their healthcare costs. The retirees claimed their union agreement guaranteed them health benefits without requiring them to contribute. Although lower courts sided with the plaintiffs, the U.S. Supreme Court disagreed.
In 2005, as Hurricane Katrina ravaged the Mississippi Gulf Coast, it tore the Grand Casino barge from its moorings.  Adrift, the barge rammed into Cherri Porter’s Biloxi beachfront home. Her ensuing insurance claim was declined because her policy excluded water damage.  Porter claimed the policy does not exclude damage from “barges”.
After recent cyber-attacks, like the one in November against Sony Pictures Entertainment, President Obama is pushing for Congress to pass the stalled cyber security legislation. The President hopes to obtain bipartisan agreement with Republicans for legal protections for companies sharing threat data with the government. One of the major concerns of any bill regarding data sharing is the inappropriate monitoring of personal information.
Property/Casualty insurance executives overwhelmingly predict that 2015 will be the year of cyber insurance and merger and acquisitions growth. The Insurance Information Institute recently surveyed executives attending its annual Property and Casualty Insurance Joint Industry Forum. While cyber insurance did not make the 2014 list of concerns, in 2015 80% believe commercial insurers could experience major growth in cyber growth this year.
The following article was published in the Westlaw Journal on January 16, 2015.  If the United States Supreme Court grants certiorari and issues an opinion the landscape for applying Medicare repayment rules may be clarified or made more confusing.  We will keep you posted.  
The United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit has recently addressed whether one party, subject to a forum selection clause, may have its claims severed and transferred from the claims of other parties in multi-party litigation.  In In re: Rolls Royce Corp., No.
On December 8, 2014, without comment, the United States Supreme Court denied certiorari of BP’s last appeal (In other words, the Supreme Court declin
Webb Sanders and Williams is proud to announce that one of our members, Wayne Williams, was honored this month by Martindale-Hubbell with its highest rating, AV Preeminent.  Based solely on peer reviews, the AV Preeminent rating confirms Wayne’s practice at the highest level of professional excellence.
On November 10, 2014, the United States Supreme Court, evoking an unusual process, granted Tracey Johnson’s Petition for Certiorari, reversed the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals decision that Johnson from which Johnson appealed, and remanded the case to the United States District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi. Ordinarily the U.S. Supreme Court will grant certiorari, after which time briefing will be completed and then argument heard, and finally a decision rendered.
We are proud to announce that two of our attorneys, Dan Webb and Wayne Williams, have been honored in the 2014 Mid-South Super Lawyers Magazine.
On October 22, 2014 one of our members, Dan Webb, presented a three hour seminar for the membership of the Financial Planning Association (FPA) of Northeast Mississippi at the Community Development Foundation Board Room in Tupelo, Mississippi.  The FPA, comprised of professionals with expertise in many areas, including lawyers, insurance industry professionals, and estate planners, emphasizes continuing education and requires its members to take ethics courses as part of that emphasis.  Dan dis
This month Martindale-Hubbell honored our firm, with its highest rating of AV Preeminent—which confirms our peers rank Webb Sanders and Williams at the highest level of professional excellence!  Our Senior Member, Dan Webb, has received this designation for over 25 consecutive years.
This is an ERISA case removed from the Circuit Court of Warren County to the United States District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi.  The plaintiff’s husband, Robert McGuffie, was a retired employee of Anderson-Tully Lumber Company.  Before he retired, Robert McGuffie was married to Mary Jo and identified Mary Jo as his spouse on a retirement election form in which he elected that his spouse receive benefits in the form of a qualified joint and s
On September 26, 2014, the Mississippi Supreme Court denied the plaintiff’s motion for writ of certiorari effectively ending Webb Sanders & William’s successful defense of a legal malpractice case.  The representation began in July 2011 and over the next three years utilized the firm’s experience in insurance coverage matters, UCC Article 9 secured transactions, bankruptcy, civil litigation and appellate practice, and included appearances before State trial and appellate courts and the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Northern District. 
On September 22, 2014, the Mississippi Supreme Court adopted an amendment to the Mississippi Rules of Civil Procedure in Rule 42 (c), which allows consolidation of suits pending in multiple counties within the same Circuit or Chancery District involving common questions of law or fact.  While not as broad as the federal counterpart which allows consolidation of such claims between states via Multi-District Litigation procedures (“MDL”), this certainly will provide an avenue
On October 2, 2014, the Mississippi Supreme Court reached a decision in Smith v. Express Check (opinion here), that upheld the use of an arbitration agreement as a means of resolution for employment disputes. The arbitration provision, which was signed and acknowledged by the employee, Smith, at the outset of her employment with Express Check, was included in a pre-printed document entitled “Non-Competition and Confidentiality Agreement”.
The Ole Miss Risk Management and Insurance program invites you to participate in our 5th Annual Fall Insurance Career Days on Tuesday, October 14th and Wednesday, October 15th, 2014. Insurance Career Days serves to educate Ole Miss students about careers in the industry and to facilitate recruiting for both full-time positions and summer internships. Last year, well over 100 RMI students attended both our Fall and Spring Insurance Career Days, and we expect similar attendance this year.
The Eighth Circuit, applying Minnesota law, held that a CGL policy provided coverage to an insured manufacturer who produced contaminated dry milk and was sued by a purchaser who incorporated the dry milk into its instant oatmeal products.  The carrier argued that the controversy centered on the contaminated dry milk but the Court rejected the argument stating that the insured sought indemnity for damages caused to the purchaser’s instant oatmeal products not for damage to its milk.  As a result, the Court fou
The Mississippi Supreme Court considered for the first time whether Facebook messages were properly authenticated. During the course of the defendant’s trial, the State introduced Facebook messages containing conversations between the defendant and his wife that were utilized as evidence of motive. To authenticate the messages, the wife testified that she and her husband wrote letters to each other on Facebook, and she identified the messages as such.
Attorney sought to force arbitration of a fee dispute under a joint-venture agreement without an arbitration provision by using the arbitration provisions in either the joint-venture’s retainer agreement with the client, or in the settlement agreement related to the client’s claim.

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