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La'Verne Edney, Former GC of Mississippi Volunteer Lawyers Project, Joins Baker Donelson

La'Verne Edney Joins Firm's Product Liability & Mass Tort Group
(Jackson, MS/September 13, 2011) Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, PC, announces the addition of La'Verne Edney to the Firm's Jackson, Mississippi office.

Ms. Edney, who joins as a shareholder and a member of Baker Donelson's Product Liability & Mass Tort Practice Group, previously served as General Counsel for the Mississippi Volunteer Lawyers Project (MVLP). A joint venture between The Mississippi Bar and Mississippi's two Legal Services Programs, MVLP provides pro bono legal assistance and equal access to justice for Mississippians of low income and limited means. During her two-year tenure as the organization's general counsel, Ms. Edney worked to significantly expand the pro bono delivery system in Mississippi through maximizing pro bono participation and client service, recruiting and retaining pro bono attorneys actively participating in MVLP, and coordinating and implementing monthly continuing legal education training sessions for pro bono volunteers.

Prior to working with MVLP, Ms. Edney was a partner at Brunini, Grantham, Grower & Hewes, PLLC, in Jackson, Mississippi, where for 11 years she maintained a general litigation practice with an emphasis on matters related to mass tort litigation, product liability, employment discrimination, medical malpractice and personal injury.

A 1996 graduate of the Mississippi College School of Law, Ms. Edney is actively involved in Leadership Jackson, the Capital Area Bar Association, the Metro Jackson Black Women Lawyers Association and the Mississippi Bar Association. She serves as a member of various boards including the Mission Mississippi Resource & Development Committee and Mississippi Children Home Services and is on the Board of Trustees of Mississippi College. Her numerous accolades include being named the Mississippi College Black Law Student Association's 2010 Alumni of the Year, receiving the Capital Area Bar Association's 2010 Outstanding Service Award, being honored as the Outstanding Woman Lawyer of the Year by the Mississippi Women Lawyers Association in 2011 and being recognized as one of Mississippi's 50 Leading Business Women by the Mississippi Business Journal in 2007.

"Beyond being an exceptional attorney, La'Verne has demonstrated an outstanding level of service to her profession and her community through her work with the MVLP and her active leadership in numerous legal and civic organizations," noted Carter Thompson, leader of Baker Donelson's Product Liability & Mass Tort Practice Group and a shareholder in the Firm's Jackson office. "She exemplifies the ideal of service to clients and community that are the foundation of Baker Donelson's culture. We're proud to welcome her as a member of our team."

Attorneys in Baker Donelson's Product Liability & Mass Tort Practice Group have extraordinary experience defending a wide variety of product liability cases, many of which involve class action and other allegations with far-reaching implications. In addition to defending companies in lawsuits alleging the defective design or manufacture of products, the Firm defends environmental and toxic tort claims for manufacturers and distributors. Baker Donelson has been ranked by Best Lawyers in America® as the #1 firm in the country for both Product Liability Litigation and Mass Tort Litigation in 2010, 2011 and 2012.

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