I came to the practice of law in 1978 a bit late after careers in teaching, newspaper reporting, and as an artist blacksmith. My priorities upon entering law school were first to protect the environment, then individuals, then government, then business. I have remained true to these priorities throughout my career.
While still in law school and as chairman of the Mississippi Sierra Club, I put together two federal environmental injunction suits, one to prohibit a river channelization project and the other against the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to require the Tennessee Valley Authority to provide meaningful public notice and due process to the public concerning plans to build a nuclear power plant near Iuka, Mississippi. Once I had drafted the pleadings and lined up the witnesses, I enlisted my future partner, David G. Hill, to present the cases in court. We were successful in both cases. The river was never channelized and the nuclear power plant was never built once the public learned what was happening. I wrote a post-hearing brief in the channelization case and it was adopted nearly verbatim by the U.S. district court judge, Honorable William C. Keady. As an attorney I also halted plans for two other channelization projects in Mississippi.
I gradually moved my emphasis away from environmental law to civil rights cases, particularly those involving the First, Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments of the United States Constitution. I also developed a practice in employment discrimination. I also practice regularly before all local, state and federal courts on behalf of defendants in criminal cases.
In addition to my concentration in the above areas, I handle personal injury and wrongful death cases, family law cases, professional liability cases and have had several cases which defy definition, such as inverse condemnation. In civil cases I generally represent the plaintiff. In criminal cases I represent the defendant. I have represented several citizens’ groups in environmental matters relating to the siting of landfills and electric power sub-stations. I also have represented clients in election contests.
Although for the last several years I have been a solo practitioner, I often am associated by other attorneys to assist them with cases in the areas listed above. I remain committed to representation of those most vulnerable to abuse by their public officials and big business.