The last surviving founder of our law firm, Phineas Stevens, has passed away at his home in New Orleans. Phineas, who was nearing his ninety-ninth birthday, will be remembered as a leader and visionary by those he knew and practiced law with.
Phineas was one of the founders of the firm Butler, Snow, O’Mara, Stevens & Cannada in 1954. His vision of a collaborative law practice helped pave the way for Butler Snow attorneys today. Phineas conveyed this vision to his partners in a memorandum entitled “Quo Vadis,” which became one of the firm’s foundational documents and one that still guides it today. Phineas’s answer to his own question, “Where are we going?” challenged the firm to consider long-range objectives and strategies while maintaining a client-first philosophy. Although he retired from the firm’s partnership over 30 years ago, Phineas remained involved with the firm, visiting frequently and lending his wisdom and advice when needed.
“We will all miss Phinny,” said Butler Snow Chairman Donald Clark, Jr.. “His vision, leadership and skills as an attorney led the way for a small firm in Mississippi to become nationally recognized as a trendsetter in the legal profession.”
Phineas was himself nationally recognized as a regulatory lawyer in the transportation industry and served as president of the American Transportation Lawyers Association. He completed his undergraduate education and earned his Juris Doctor at the University of Mississippi. After graduating from law school he served as a Special Agent in the FBI before going on to serve in the United States Navy (1943-1946) during World War II as a Lieutenant Operations Officer.
Phineas leaves behind his wife Pat, and his children, Stuart and Susan, along with many friends and colleagues as well as his partners at Butler Snow. A memorial service is scheduled at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Cathedral in Jackson, Mississippi at 11:00 on December 22, with visitation immediately before.