On September 4, 2013, the United States District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi granted summary judgment to CenterPoint Energy. The order dismissed the Plaintiff’s wrongful death action which sought damages for the death of his father allegedly caused by a residential natural gas explosion. Plaintiff alleged CenterPoint was negligent in supplying gas and maintaining the gas lines around his father’s home, which resulted in the alleged gas leak and explosion. Plaintiff further alleged his father called CenterPoint on at least two occasions in the months before the explosion to report the smell of gas and that CenterPoint failed to repair the leak. The Court found no evidence was presented of a gas leak on CenterPoint’s side of the meter, and even assuming a leak existed on the customer’s side of the meter, Plaintiff submitted no evidence that CenterPoint was ever placed on notice of a gas leak. Accordingly, the Court held CenterPoint could not be held liable under Mississippi law. Opinion and Order
Close to half of all the Mississippi lawyers recognized as “IP Stars” by Managing Intellectual Property (IP) magazine are Brunini, Grantham, Grower & Hewes, PLLC principals.
The magazine recognized a total of seven Mississippi-based “IP Stars” for their skill in identifying, securing, and protecting clients’ innovations. Three of those seven are Brunini attorneys:
- Steve Carmody
- Chuck McBride
- Richard Cirilli
The designation is part of a new state-by-state analysis of the U.S. IP market included in the magazine’s annual World IP Handbook and Survey.
“Brunini is consistently singled out for its technical expertise and has been recognized for many years as one of Mississippi’s top law firms,” said Carmody, chair of the IP Litigation Practice Group. “We are thrilled that our intellectual property attorneys are being recognized locally, nationally and now internationally, and we thank our clients for trusting us with some of their most prized assets.”
The Brunini attorneys honored as “IP Stars” develop and manage trademark and copyright portfolios; handle licensing and other transactional matters; and protect trademarks, copyrights and trade secrets – with particular expertise in the technology, telecommunications and pharmaceutical industries.
Brunini IP attorneys work in state and federal courts on trademark, copyright and patent litigation, including litigation of issues involving opposition, cancellation, infringement, and breach of contract. The firm’s attorneys also advise clients concerning intellectual property issues, including advertising, labeling, and federal regulatory compliance, as well as protecting their interests in computer software and related materials.
The World IP Handbook and Survey covers more than 80 countries, with rankings based on extensive research conducted among IP practitioners over a six-month period starting in September 2012. The complete listing is available online at www.miphandbook.com.
Brunini, Grantham, Grower & Hewes, PLLC has been named one of the 2013 “Go-To Law Firms®” by Corporate Counselmagazine.
This honor recognizes law firms that provide exceptional corporate litigation work for in-house legal departments at Fortune 500 companies.
Brunini’s commercial litigation group is led by Sam Kelly and John Wade.
“To be acknowledged by our peers is truly an honor, and it confirms our core values and commitment to doing good work for our corporate clients,” Kelly said.
“We take immense pride in Mississippi’s top companies, and this national award also honors our partners, the in-house legal departments, and raises the state’s economic profile,” Wade said.
American Lawyer Media, publisher of Corporate Counsel’s annual reference guide, “In-House Law Departments at the Top 500 Companies,” surveyed Fortune 500 companies’ general counsels to determine which law firms they rely on for outside counsel in key practice areas. Based on this input, as well as in-depth research of select industry databases, public filings and other resources, firms were selected for inclusion in the “Go-To Law Firms®” guide. The guide is distributed nationally to all Fortune 500 in-house counsels, as well as to leading business executives and other major U.S. law firms.
The 2013 edition of Chambers USA, which lists leading law firms and individual lawyers in an extensive range of practice areas, jointly awarded high rankings to nine Brunini attorneys and five of the firm’s practice areas.
Chambers USA ranked five of Brunini’s practices, with the firm’s Commercial Litigation, Energy & Natural Resources and Environment practices receiving the highest ranking possible in the state. The firm’s Real Estate and Corporate/Commercial practice were also highly ranked.
Each year, Chambers USA conducts thousands of interviews and surveys with lawyers and their clients, as well as analyzes its own database resources, to determine rankings for top law firms and individual attorneys. The qualities on which rankings are assessed include technical legal ability, professional conduct, client service, commercial astuteness, diligence, commitment and other qualities valued by clients.
“The Brunini firm is truly honored to have its practice groups recognized by our clients as among the best in Mississippi through one of the nation’s most respected legal directories,” said Granville Tate Jr., Chairman of the firm’s Board of Directors. “Our commitment to client service and a long history of legal excellence are hallmarks that set us apart in Mississippi, and those are good reasons to earn the respect of business leaders and peers.”
Four Brunini attorneys also received the highest individual rankings awarded by Chambers: R. David Kaufman, John E. Milner, Christopher A. Shapley and Granville Tate Jr. A collective list of the nine Brunini attorneys recognized as among the best in their fields in Mississippi by Chambers USA include:
Walter S. Weems
Corporate/Commercial: Banking & Finance
Granville Tate Jr.
Energy & Natural Resources
James L. Halford
Watts C. Ueltschey
John A. Brunini
John E. Milner
Samuel C. Kelly
Litigation: General Commercial
R. David Kaufman
Christopher A. Shapley