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William N. Reed

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Jackson
T: 601.351.2410
F: 601.592.2410

Bill Reed concentrates his practice in class action, complex commercial, insurance coverage, banking, antitrust, and health care.

Featured Experience

From 1984 to 1994, represented multiple asbestos manufacturing companies and Plaintiff's claims to jury verdicts in Florida, Oregon, Louisiana, Michigan, and South Dakota (state and federal courts). The cumulative amount in controversy was well in excess of $100 million. At least an equal number of claims were resolved in Mississippi, Washington, West Virginia, Maryland, Ohio, and Arkansas during trial.

Defended an equipment manufacturing company against a breach of contract claim in the Circuit Court of Jackson County, Mississippi. The contract obligated our client to manufacture forklifts to be used on U.S. Navy destroyers built by the plaintiff. The amount in controversy was approximately $12 million. A jury verdict for the plaintiff was reversed and rendered in favor of our client.

Defended an insurer in a business interruption and bad faith claim filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi. The plaintiff sought approximately $30 million in actual damages suffered as a result of Hurricane Katrina. The court's award of less than $5,000 was affirmed on appeal.

Professional Biography

Overview

Mr. Reed has tried more than 125 cases in federal and state courts in 10 states and has handled appeals in Mississippi and four federal circuits. 

He served as president and COO of the Firm from 1998 to 2005.

Representative Matters
  • Representing a major property and casualty insurer in a case filed by the Mississippi Attorney General, alleging that the client misclassified more than 4,500 Hurricane Katrina losses to escape coverage for wind damage. The case is pending in the Circuit Court of Hinds County, Mississippi.

  • From 1984 to 1994, represented multiple asbestos manufacturing companies and Plaintiff's claims to jury verdicts in Florida, Oregon, Louisiana, Michigan, and South Dakota (state and federal courts). The cumulative amount in controversy was well in excess of $100 million. At least an equal number of claims were resolved in Mississippi, Washington, West Virginia, Maryland, Ohio, and Arkansas during trial.

  • Defended an equipment manufacturing company against a breach of contract claim in the Circuit Court of Jackson County, Mississippi. The contract obligated our client to manufacture forklifts to be used on U.S. Navy destroyers built by the plaintiff. The amount in controversy was approximately $12 million. A jury verdict for the plaintiff was reversed and rendered in favor of our client.

  • Defended an insurer in a business interruption and bad faith claim filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi. The plaintiff sought approximately $30 million in actual damages suffered as a result of Hurricane Katrina. The court's award of less than $5,000 was affirmed on appeal.

  • Received a defense verdict in a medical negligence jury trial against our client, a pediatric cardiovascular surgeon. The claim involved the death of an infant following surgery to repair a heart defect.

  • Defended a business supply company in an unfair competition case in the Circuit Court of Hinds County, Mississippi. The plaintiff claimed actual and punitive damages in excess of $5 million. The jury returned a defense verdict.

  • Defended ERISA liability claims in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi. The plaintiff alleged that a sale of assets to our client shifted to our client ERISA obligations in excess of $10 million. The Court ruled for our client on all claims.

  • Defended a physician multi-specialty clinic in an anti-trust suit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi. The plaintiff owner of a hospital alleged that the proposed merger of our client and a competing hospital was an illegal attempt to monopolize. The Court returned a defense verdict.

  • Represented a chicken processor in a breach of warranty claim in the Circuit Court of Madison County, Mississippi. The defendant sold our client corn that was contaminated by a banned pesticide. The jury awarded our client $1.2 million in actual damages.

  • Defended an insurance bad faith claim in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi. The Plaintiff sought actual and punitive damages in excess of $2 million for the denial of her property damage claim following Hurricane Katrina. The jury returned a defense verdict.

  • Defended a negligence claim in the Circuit Court of Yazoo County, Mississippi. The plaintiff alleged that our client's negligent roof repair resulted in a fire and the destruction of the plaintiff's insured's place of business. The jury returned a defense verdict.

  • Defended an orthopedic surgeon in a medical negligence case in the Circuit Court of Hinds County, Mississippi. The plaintiff alleged that a small piece of tubing was left in his knee following surgery, requiring a second surgery. The jury returned a plaintiff's verdict for an amount far less than the plaintiff's pre-trial demand.

  • Defended an oil exploration company in the Circuit Court of Lincoln County, Mississippi. The plaintiff subcontractor alleged that its unlawful termination breached a contract, resulting in economic loss of approximately $3.0 million. A jury verdict for the plaintiff in excess of $1.0 million was reversed on appeal.

  • Defended a steel supplier in a catastrophic injury case in the Circuit Court of Jones County, Mississippi. The plaintiff's spinal cord was severed in an accident that occurred when a load of steel on the plaintiff's truck shifted and pierced the cab and struck the plaintiff. All claims were resolved during jury deliberations.

  • Defended a construction subcontractor in a catastrophic brain injury case in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi. All claims were resolved during jury deliberations.

  • Defended a lodging franchisor in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas. The plaintiff alleged a breach of a franchise agreement, and our client asserted a counterclaim for trademark infringement. All claims were resolved prior to jury deliberations.

  • Defended a $10 million wrongful termination/breach of fiduciary duty claim by a former partner in law firm. Following a bench trial in the Chancery Court of Jackson County, Mississippi, the Court ruled for our client on 16/18 claims and awarded the plaintiff less than one percent of her claim.

  • Defended our client in a claim that they illegally taxed the plaintiff and other member counties and misspent more than $5 million in tax revenues on unauthorized projects. Our client prevailed on all claims.

  • Defended an energy company in a putative class action filed in federal court that alleged the underpayment of royalties on CO2 production in Mississippi. Following oral argument, class certification and motion for reconsideration were both denied. Achieved voluntary dismissal after the court refused to certify class in 2017.
  • Secured a settlement agreement in federal court on behalf of a chemical company in a lawsuit alleging contamination of real property by a former company facility in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. The plaintiffs, who include 500 individual property owners, sought damages in excess of $500 million for property diminution, remediation and punitive damages. The case settled for a nominal percentage of total claims.
  • Represented two automotive parts manufacturers in a state antitrust case alleging that the manufacturers conspired to fix the prices of automotive parts utilized to manufacture automobiles. The court granted the defendants' motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction.

  • Represent insurer in two putative class actions in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi. The plaintiffs allege fraud and bad faith in connection with the denial of uninsured motorist claims.

  • Represented a consumer product manufacturer in multiple cases alleging RICO violations, fraud, and negligence. Prevailed on motions to compel arbitration and settled all claims for a nominal sum.

Professional Honors & Activities
  • Law Clerk – Judge Elbert P. Tuttle, U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals (1977 – 1978)
  • Listed since 2002 in Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business; Commercial Litigation
  • Who's Who Legal USA; Commercial Litigation (2006)
  • AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell (since 1983)
  • Listed since 2001 in The Best Lawyers in America®; Commercial Litigation, Product Liability Litigation, Personal Injury Litigation 
  • Listed since 2006 in Mid-South Super Lawyers; named among top 50 attorneys in Mississippi by Mid-South Super Lawyers (2008, 2009, 2015, 2016, 2017) 
  • Selected by American Lawyer Media as a "2013 Top Rated Lawyer in Commercial Litigation"
  • Listed in Benchmark: America's Leading Litigation Firms and Attorneys (2014 – 2017)
  • Listed in Benchmark: America's Leading Litigation Firms and Attorneys (2008)
  • Fellow – Litigation Counsel of America  
  • Fellow – American Bar Foundation 
  • Member – American, Mississippi and Capital Area Bar Associations
  • Member – Bar Association of the Fifth Federal Circuit
  • Member – Mississippi Defense Lawyers Association
  • Member – DRI
  • Member – Lamar Order
  • Member – International Association of Defense Counsel
  • Fellow – Mississippi Bar Foundation
  • Adjunct Professor of Law, University of Mississippi School of Law
  • Vice President and Board of Directors – Mississippi World Trade Center (2004 – 2007)
  • Co-chair – TerraLex U.S. Litigation Practice Group (2014 – 2016)
  • Board of Directors – Terralex (2010 – 2017)
  • Faculty – IADC Trial Academy (2010) 
Press Releases
In the News

Military

  • Served in the United States Army (1972 – 1974)

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.

Bill Reed regularly defends class actions and tort cases before state and federal courts and acted for Denbury Onshore on a class action regarding the alleged underpayment of CO2 production royalties. He also practices in insurance coverage and commercial litigation in ten US states.

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