Serving as counsel to some of the world’s largest employers, Paula’s practice focuses on employment policies and practices, contracts, counseling, training and litigation.

Biography – View PDF Bio

Associations

Bar Admissions

  • Mississippi, 1986
  • U.S. District Courts
    • Mississippi: Northern, Southern
  • U.S. Court of Appeals
    • 5th Circuit
  • U.S. Supreme Court

Distinctions

  • Fellow, College of Labor and Employment Lawyers
  • Chambers USA, America's Leading Lawyers for Business
    • Labor and Employment – Mississippi, 2014-2018
  • Martindale-Hubbell®
    • AV® – Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated, 2005-2017
  • Best Lawyers in America®
    • Employment Law – Management, 2011-2020
    • Litigation – Labor & Employment, 2011-2020
  • Super Lawyers®
    • Mid-South Super Lawyers, Employment & Labor, 2013-2018
    • Top 50 Women: Mid-South Super Lawyers, 2014-2016
  • 50 Leading Business Women, Mississippi Business Journal, 2009
  • Mississippi Bar Young Lawyers Division, President’s Award for Public Service

Education & Honors

  • University of Mississippi, J.D., cum laude, 1986
    • Editorial Board, Mississippi Law Journal
  • Mississippi College, B.S.B.A, Accounting, 1983

Experience

  • Ferrell v. Baxter Healthcare Corp., Arkansas Federal Court, (jury verdict in favor of Baxter on age discrimination claim).
  • Crawford v. Baxter Healthcare Corp., 2009 WL 27466 (5th Cir. 2008) (Fifth Circuit affirmed summary judgment in favor of employer in race discrimination and retaliation case).
  • Ceatrice Kelly v. The Higbee Company dba Dillard’s, American Arbitration Association (obtained a defense award in arbitration of race discrimination and retaliation claims). 
  • Edrick Shundra Garrison v. Rent A Center East, Inc. (obtained a defense award in arbitration of race discrimination claim).
  • Trotter v. BPB America, Inc., 106 Fed. Appx. 272, 2004 WL 1746363 (5th Cir. 2004)(affirming summary judgment for employer and finding alleged stray remarks by manager were insufficient evidence of race discrimination).
  • Sanders v. Leake County School Dist., 546 F.Supp.2d 351, 2008 WL 682416 (S.D. Miss. 2008)(dismissing principal’s claims against school district for violations of First Amendment, due process, and breach of contract).
  • Comans v. Scott County School Dist., 2008 WL 695601 (S.D. Miss. 2008)(granting summary judgment in favor of superintendent of school district on plaintiff’s claims under Section 1983 and Title VII for gender discrimination and retaliation).
  • Sappington v. Style-Line Furniture, 2007 WL 3355838 (N.D. Miss. 2007)(granting summary judgment in favor of employer on plaintiff’s FLSA claim; finding that employer properly classified supervisor under the executive exemption).
  • Sandifer ex rel. Sandifer v. Lumberton Public School Dist., 2007 WL 2071799 (S.D. Miss. 2007)(dismissing plaintiff’s claim under the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act for failure to exhaust administrative remedies).
  • More...

Papers, Presentations, & Publications

  • ​Co-Author, “Background Check Best Practices After 5th Circ. EEOC Ruling,” Law360, September 9, 2019.
  • Presenter, “Employment Law Briefing,” March 25, 2019.
  • Presenter, “ADA Accommodations and Sexual Harassment Through the Eyes of the EEOC – Pitfalls to Avoid,” Northeast Mississippi Human Resources Association, January 10, 2019.
  • Presenter, “Navigating Tricky Waters: Discrimination and Harassment Issues in Today’s Busy World,” June 5, 2018.
  • Author, “Employer Duties Under Amended Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA),” October 2015.
  • Author, “Pregnancy Discrimination Act,” March 2015. 
  • Presenter, “HR Presentation,” North American Electric, March 4, 2014.
  • Author, “Compensation Analysis,” April 2013.
  • Speaker/Author, “Hot Topics in Employment Law,” Employment Rights and Responsibilities Conference, March 2013.
  • More...