Who Represents Your Governments in Court?

Editor’s Note: It is time we examine those who we allow to represent our local governments. Dogan & Wilkinson has represented the Jackson County Board of Supervisors, Cities of Moss Point, Pascagoula, Ocean Springs, and Gautier, and currently represents Singing River Health System. The events of this two-part story take place before Roy & Brett Williams left their old firm and joined with Dogan & Wilkinson, bringing SRHS as a client.

If you were watching the Republican debate a few weeks ago, you saw the topic of vaccines and autism take center stage. Such was the case at Dogan & Wilkinson way back at the turn of the millennium.

In March of 2001, the Dallas based Waters & Kraus announced they were filing suit against Abbott Laboratories.  They alleged that mercury in vaccines was causing childhood autism. As is usual in these cases, Waters & Kraus recruited other law firms to assist in litigation. One of those firms was Dogan & Wilkinson.

There is nothing unusual about law firms joining forces. This case was a bit of an oddity because Waters & Kraus represents individual plaintiffs against major corporations while Dogan & Wilkinson usually represents those corporations.

In this case the partnership went beyond an oddity and pushed ethical boundaries.

At the same time Dogan & Wilkinson was teaming up with Waters & Kraus to sue pharmaceutical companies, Dogan & Wilkinson was defending hundreds, if not thousands, of asbestosis and mesothelioma lawsuits brought by Waters & Kraus.

To the insurance companies that hired Dogan & Wilkinson, it looked as if they were sleeping with the enemy.  The insurance companies issued an ultimatum: get out of the vaccine suits or lose our business.  Dogan & Wilkinson dropped out of the vaccine litigation.

It turned out to be a stroke of good luck for the firm, as those who attempt to link vaccines and autism are now regarded with the same disdain as members of the Flat Earth Society.

This would not be Dogan & Wilkinson’s last time to join forces with the plaintiffs’ bar in search of fortune. The next time they would proceed with more discretion and cross ethical bright-lines.

Part two of this story is forthcoming. If you enjoy the work that SRHS Watch does, please consider donating to organizations that support independent journalism and advocate for open government.


2 thoughts on “Who Represents Your Governments in Court?”

  1. I hate to piss in the Wheaties, but

    Dogan & Wilkinson? Ethics in practicing law? Sorry, but to put the two phrases in the same sentence is impossible. Those “lawyers” have been sucking at the public tit for so long it is just routine practice for them. They threw recent-ex-chancellor Chuck Bordis, who was screwing Fondren’s wife, a bone to come shill for them. They pulled a bunch of crap to get Neil Harris off the case. They have been fucking “the public” for years. As a law firm, they aren’t even the least bit respected other than as a bunch of coast crackers to be called in for local work.

    They are not even honest in their own personal dealings:

    Look up Dogan v. Dogan, 98 So.3d 1115 (2012). You can use Google Scholar (scholar.google.com) or any other source for legal case reporting you might wish.

    And while we are at it, what about the Page, Mannino, Peresich people? Page (dead), Mannino (retired) and the Peresich brothers (alive and active), from the tobacco litigation to this to Ted Cain and his scams, now screwing the coast hard, fast and deep? And Reeves and Mestayer (who have ties to numerous Dogan & WIlkinson partners)? The opposite of the same double-sided cheater coin. These hick buffoons think they deserve $6.5 million for maybe – MAYBE – 200 hours of no-brainer work (and frankly, for an actual law firm, 100 or so hours for associates, if that) and maybe – MAYBE – 25K in expenses? Are you kidding me? Please. Yet again, the coast gets fucked by greed.

    The bottom line is that Singing River Hospital retirees and employees are getting screwed just as they and the rest of the coast has been by these sorry douchebags for years. And now, the Jackson County taxpayers are getting set up for yet another screwing. Anyone with any sense knows Mississippi is corrupt, but good grief, how corrupt do things have to get before decent people say enough is enough? I guess we are fixing to find out.

    Some people are just plain scumbags. I’ll leave it to the reader to decide who they think is what.

    And for those who want to write letters, here are few ideas:

    The Mississippi Bar – Almost useless, but if they get enough letters, it might scare them into doing something.
    The Mississippi Supreme Court and Mississippi Court of Appeals – AND – the folks in charge of running the judges’ reelection. No, they can’t act without something before the Court, but maybe you can make them nervous about reelection.
    The American Bar Association – They can’t do a lot, but, hey, for them, bad press about lawyers is not good.
    The Feds – the FBI, the IRS, HHS, FEMA and any other agency you can find, such as the inspector general for Medicare. If there is some fire with all this smoke and you can get them interested, these folks can rock someone’s world. And don’t forget the SEC, FINRA and the USPS (somebody mailed something to somebody, believe me).
    And then, there is AARP and the NAACP – think about it – a bunch of white boys screwing over some black retirees.

    Can all of these take action? Maybe not directly, but if any of them decide to take a bite, it could lead to something.

    And lastly – I am not a MS lawyer and this isn’t legal advice, it’s just a personal observation. I’d make sure SRHS had notice of your claim against them before any statute of limitations ran. Even a sympathetic court cannot ignore the law and if the law says your claim must be filed by a certain date, it must be filed. You can file your own notice and it is pretty easy to research how to do it, but it is really easy to get with an attorney to do it. I’ve heard that some of the attorneys have set a early deadline – shame on them, they should take you up to the very last second – but others have not and are taking people up to that last second. If an attorney says they are doing this not for the money, but “pro bono” (for free, for the public good), then they should not only take you, but offer an agreement that reflects that. From what I’ve heard, none are doing so, so I won’t comment further about that other than to say that a true “pro bono” agreement reflects the attorney’s expectation of getting nothing in return. Pro bono does not mean “I won’t charge you, but I’ll beat it out of the opponent,” it means, “I expect no payment, in fact, I expect to eat the expenses, too, and if we get attorney’s fees, it either goes to make the client whole or goes to charity.” $6.5 million dollars? I couldn’t look colleagues, my family or friends, clients or the public in eyes. I wouldn’t even want to look myself in the mirror. They ought to be ashamed of themselves.

    Anyway, retirees and current employees, sincere wishes for the best and I hope you prevail. But at some point, you need to take your own action and quit letting those that have caused this disaster continue to chart your course.

  2. I hate to piss in the Wheaties, but

    you mentioned an FBI investigator getting some sort of land deal. Can you give any details?

    As to Facebook, I cannot (and would not anyway) participate in any such public or private discussions via that method.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *