La'Verne practices within Butler Snow’s Pharmaceutical, Medical Device and Healthcare Litigation Group and serves as the Chair of the firm’s Diversity and Inclusivity Committee. She is experienced in defending cases involving product liability, medical negligence, premises liability, bad faith insurance, employment disputes and legal malpractice.

Biography – View PDF Bio

Narrative Bio

Recognized by Chambers USA and as one of the Best Lawyers in America® in the area of Mass Torts/Class Actions since 2016, La’Verne is a Fellow of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers, the American College of Trial Lawyers, the International Society of Barristers, and an Associate of the American Board of Trial Advocates, where she currently serves as Vice President. She has over 25 years of experience trying cases in very difficult venues in state and federal courts in mass tort, premises liability, medical negligence, and commercial litigation. Her trial practice over the past several years has primarily focused on mass tort litigation involving pharmaceutical products and medical devices.

La’Verne has been called upon to prepare and try cases in challenging venues, such as Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where in 2019, she obtained a defense verdict in a pelvic mesh trial. See “J&J Dodges Pelvic Mesh Claims In Philadelphia Trial,” Law360, April 17, 2019. La’Verne is known for her ability to connect with jurors, allowing her a unique opportunity to use her relatable life experiences and calm resolve to explain complicated facts and evidence so that it is easy for juries to understand.

In May 2022, La’Verne served as U.S. Delegate at The Forum on the Rule of Law at the U.S. Supreme Court, for which she co-authored a paper and spoke on Human Rights and Civil Liberties. La’Verne is called upon often to speak on topics addressing the unique perspectives women litigators bring to the profession. Most recently, in 2022, La’Verne spoke as a guest panelist on the topic, “Hear Us Roar: Being a Female Litigator in a Male-Dominated Industry” at a conference in Palm Springs, CA.

Additional recent recognition includes Capital Area Bar Association’s Professionalism Award in 2021, Mississippi Women Lawyers Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2019, and Mississippi College School of Law’s Distinguished Alumni Lawyer of the Year in 2018. In addition to her professional involvement and recognition, La’Verne serves on numerous community boards and committees including the Board of Trustees of Mississippi College, Origin Bancorp, Inc.’s Board, the Magnolia Speech School Board, Baptist Hospital Board of Regents, and is the Chair of the Greater Jackson Chamber Partnership Board.

She obtained her B.S. from Alcorn State University and her J.D. from Mississippi College School of Law. Following law school, La’Verne clerked for the Honorable Leslie Southwick on the Mississippi Court of Appeals.

Associations

Bar Admissions

  • Mississippi, 1996
  • Tennessee, 2018

Civic Involvement

  • Origin Bancorp Board
  • Baptist Hospital Board of Regents
  • Greater Jackson Chamber Board
  • Magnolia Speech School Board
  • Mississippi College
    • Board of Trustees, 1999 – present
    • Search Committee, President of Mississippi College, 2017-2018

Distinctions

  • Fellow, American College of Trial Lawyers
  • Fellow, International Academy of Trial Lawyers
  • Barrister, International Society of Barristers
  • Associate, American Board of Trial Advocates
    • Vice President, 2022
    • Board Member
    • Masters in Trial Program
      • Faculty
  • Bencher, American Inns of Court, 2000 – present
  • Leadership Jackson
  • Benchmark Litigation
    • Local Litigation Star, 2021
  • The Legal 500 US
    • Recognized in the editorial for nationwide Dispute Resolution: Product Liability, Mass Tort and Class Action: Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices – Defense, 2019.
  • Chambers USA, America's Leading Lawyers for Business
    • Litigation: General Commercial – Mississippi, 2020-2022
  • More...

Education & Honors

  • Mississippi College School of Law, J.D., 1996
  • Alcorn State University, B.S., 1988

Experience

  • Representative Matters
    • Krolikowski v. Ethicon Inc.: Trial Counsel in a pelvic mesh case in Pennsylvania – defense verdict in April 2019. “J&J Dodges Pelvic Mesh Claims In Philadelphia Trial,” Law360, April 17, 2019
    • Obtained numerous defense jury verdicts in state and federal court where plaintiffs alleged injuries and/or death of nursing home residents due to nursing home abuse and neglect.
    • Obtained a defense verdict in a legal services fraud case.
    • Obtained the voluntary dismissal of a premises liability case involving a shooting on the premises of a restaurant chain.
    • Obtained a favorable settlement in a suit alleging inadequate security which led to customer’s stabbing and ultimate death at major restaurant chain.
    • Obtained a defense verdict in a jury trial alleging inadequate security which led to customer’s shooting at major restaurant chain.
    • Obtained favorable resolutions of uninsured/underinsured bad faith claims on behalf of a national insurance company.
    • Obtained favorable resolutions for multi-family housing complexes accused of providing inadequate security and maintenance which led to assault, rape and/or other injury to residents.
    • Obtained a defense verdict in a federal court jury trial alleging bad faith insurance coverage.
    • Secured the summary judgment dismissal of a bad faith insurance coverage dispute in state court.
    • Obtained a favorable ruling from the Mississippi Court of Appeals affirming the dismissal of claims of compensatory punitive damages in a bad faith home insurance case.
    • Obtained a favorable jury verdict in a state trial alleging medical negligence and false imprisonment, with the decision ultimately upheld by the Mississippi Supreme Court.

In the News

Papers, Presentations, & Publications

  • Panelist and Co-Author, "U.S. Delegates’ Executive Summary: Human Rights & Civil Liberties, or Human Rights v. Civil Liberties," Forum on the Rule of Law: Legal Issues in a Post-Pandemic Society, May 2022.
  • ​Speaker, "Hear Us Roar: Being a Female Litigator in a Male-Dominated Industry," CLM 2022 Annual Conference, March 24, 2022.
  • Quoted, "How the Supreme Court with Ketanji Brown Jackson would help restore faith in our criminal justice system," Tennessean, March 23, 2022.
  • ​​Panelist, "Trial Lawyer Roundtable," Pro Te: Solutio, Vol. 15, No. 1, March 2022.
  • Speaker, "Balancing the Scales: Leading Women Lawyers on Meeting the Challenges of the Legal Profession CLE," March 2018
  • Faculty, "Masters in Trial: A Trial Demonstration from Opening Statement through Jury Deliberation," American Board of Trial Advocates, Masters in Trial program, Des Moines, Iowa, May 2017
  • Faculty, TIPS/ABOTA National Trial Academy, American Bar Association, Reno, Nevada,  March 25-29, 2017
  • Speaker, "Getting it Right the First Time: Learning from Today's Top Verdicts and Settlements," ACI Long Term Care & Risk Management Seminar, Miami, Florida,  January 2017
  • Speaker, "The Fightin' Side of Me: Trial Tactics," November 2016
  • More...