About Gretchen Roberts

Gretchen Roberts Articles written 6

Articles written by Gretchen Roberts

Just Plain Fun

Christy Jones never wanted to be anything but a lawyer

Have you heard the one about how many lawyers it takes to screw in a light bulb? Christy Jones has. “Despite all of the bad jokes about lawyers, I really believe that the legal profession contributes significantly to society,” says Jones, the chair of Butler, Snow, O’Mara, Stevens and Cannada’s pharmaceutical, medical device and health care industry group. “Lawyers are our leaders, and whether this sounds idealistic or not, I truly believe that what I am doing contributes to the …

The Rabidly Polite Attorney

Scotty Welch on Katrina, juries and mandatory retirement       

W. Scott Welch III knew the job might not win him many friends. After Hurricane Katrina ravaged the Gulf Coast in 2005, thousands of homeowners received only small payouts for wind damage from their insurance companies, most of which didn't cover flooding. In cases brought by the Katrina Litigation Group (formerly Scruggs Katrina Group), hurricane victims sought to have a greater portion of their damages covered by their insurers. Welch, a shareholder in the Jackson office of Baker, Donelson, …

The Lawyer as Surgeon

Phillip Wittmann’s unshakeable poise and precise trial moves win cases for his big-business clients

When Phillip Wittmann recalls some of his favorite cases during his 47-year career, he uses unexpected adjectives for work others would consider boring or, even worse, heinous. That’s because the majority of Wittmann’s time is spent winning cases for companies such as R.J. Reynolds Tobacco, Exxon Mobil, Merck and more. “Working with [R.J. Reynolds] and with top-quality law firms all over America has been a great experience,” says Wittmann, a partner at Stone Pigman Walther Wittmann in …

The Mississippi Advocate

Wayne Drinkwater represents big business for a living, but he lives to help the little guy

After two weeks in trial in St. Louis, Wayne Drinkwater has returned victorious to his Jackson, Miss., office. He was representing a respiratory equipment manufacturer in a suit brought by a terminally ill man claiming the company’s products were defective. “I’m happy to report that we got a defense verdict for the company,” says Drinkwater, who is careful not to mention specific cases when discussing his clients. “My client was very concerned that if they lost this case, there might …

Perlman's Pearls

Peter Perlman explains how to prep a case, talk to a jury and dropkick a basketball

Peter Perlman has seen the lawyers on TV and in the movies. He’s seen the bravado, the posturing, the bluster. But the Lexington trial lawyer––the man after whom the Kentucky Academy of Trial Attorneys named its “Outstanding Trial Lawyer” award––will tell you that in his own practice, he tries to take the high road. “There’s an old saying, you don’t want to mud-wrestle with pigs,” Perlman says. “You both get dirty, but the pig loves it.” That might sound strange coming …

The Supreme Thrill

Three attorneys tell their stories of arguing before the nation’s highest court

There’s no greater legal stage than the U.S. Supreme Court. And there’s nothing as nerve-wracking and exhilarating as the 30 minutes spent arguing a case there.   Months of preparation can precede that half hour, and it’s often needed –– more often than not, the attorney is not allowed an uninterrupted display of TV-style rhetoric, but is barraged with questions from the justices. The ability to thrust and parry is required, as is a bit of luck.   No matter how they get there, …

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