Watkins & Eager is a full service, diversified law firm. Its proud heritage began in 1895 when William Hamilton Watkins became the twentieth lawyer at the Jackson bar. The influential career of Will Watkins spanned sixty-four years during which he argued over twenty cases before the Supreme Court of the United States. Pat H. Eager, Jr. joined Will Watkins in 1916 and practiced with the firm until his death in 1970; Pat Eager was recognized as a premier trial lawyer who served as president of the International Association of Defense Counsel (1943–1944) and who was Mississippi’s initial invitee into the American College of Trial Lawyers. For several decades the image of the firm was heavily influenced by two of Will Watkins’ children. Elizabeth Watkins Hulen, an outstanding appellate advocate, was the first woman in Mississippi history to argue before the Supreme Court of the United States. Thomas H. Watkins earned a national reputation in the representation of corporate and governmental clients. Will Watkins’ grandson, Bill Goodman, is the firm’s senior partner and is one of only three Mississippi lawyers who are members of both the American College of Trial Lawyers and the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers. Many others have contributed and continue to contribute to the growth and progress of the firm that now enjoys an extensive corporate and business practice in addition to its broad trial and appellate practice.
Our client base includes major manufacturers, employers, contractors, oil and gas producers and refiners, banks and financial institutions, cable television operators, institutions of higher learning, investors, telecommunication providers, insurers and governmental entities on the federal, state, county and municipal levels.
The firm has graduates in law from Columbia University, Florida State University, Georgetown University, Louisiana State University, Mississippi College, New York University, Tulane University, University of Arkansas at Little Rock, University of California (Hastings), University of Florida, University of Mississippi, University of North Carolina, University of Virginia, Vanderbilt University, and Wake Forest University. The staff includes investigators, paralegals, nurses and other professional support personnel. Orderly continued growth is expected.
Significant Distinctions: The firm is proud of the academic achievements and honorary qualifications of its lawyers. One of the firm’s active members, Charles Clark, is the retired Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and is also a member of both the American College of Trial Lawyers and the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers. In-house professional endeavors are required in addition to mandatory continuing legal education. Participation in the State Bar pro bono program is encouraged.
Individual lawyers are associated with recognized civic, industry and professional organizations. Members belong to the Product Liability Advisory Council, the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, the American College of Employment Lawyers, the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers, and are Fellows of the American College of Trial Lawyers.