Mr. Watson, formerly a partner with Baker Donelson Bearman Caldwell & Berkowitz, PC, the largest law firm in Tennessee, has been trying cases for 22 years, having represented clients before courts throughout the nation, including federal and state courts in Arkansas, Alabama, California, Illinois, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, Virginia and Washington. He has substantial experience representing both plaintiff and defendants in complex/multi-district litigation and class action cases in the areas of securities fraud, antitrust violations, consumer products, FINRA arbitrations, and corporate governance claims as well as significant personal injury matters involving defective products and trucking companies.
Washington & Lee University, B.A. in English, cum laude, 1988
Tulane University School of Law, cum laude, 1991
Admitted to practice in all federal and state courts of Tennessee; admitted in the United States Courts for the Northern District of Mississippi and Western Arkansas; admitted in the United States Courts of Appeals for the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh and Eleventh Circuits.
Member of the Memphis Bar Association
Member of the American Association for Justice (formerly ATLA)
Member of Plaintiff’s Class Action Forum
In addition to the cases listed found at “Notable Cases,” here are just a few of Mr. Watson’s past successes when representing plaintiff and defendants in commercial cases:
- Bass v. First Pacific Networks, Inc., No. C 92-20746 JW, 1993 WL 255481 (N.D. Cal. June 30, 1993) – Represented former officer and director of publicly traded company for conversion of his stock certificates by company, and defended against the company’s claims that his stock had been issued for inadequate consideration and under economic duress. Following a lengthy bench trial, Mr. Watson’s client prevailed and the company was ordered to return his stock certificates which were valued at $6.38 million.
- In re Taxable Municipal Bond Securities Litigation, MDL 863, 1995 WL 766339 (E.D. La. Dec. 29, 1995) – Successfully represented 20 secondary market broker dealers in connection securities class action involving housing and farming bonds underwritten by Drexel Burnham Lambert (a principal of which was Michael Milkin) and guaranteed by Executive Life Insurance Company.
- Slusser v. Commodity Futures Trading Commission, 210 F.3d 783 (7th Cir. 2000) –Successfully represented former manager of commodity pool by vacating $10 million civil monetary penalty imposed by the CFTC, then the largest monetary penalty that the CFTC had ever levied against an individual or corporation. Later, on remand, the CFTC obtained a $600,000 penalty against Slusser but failed to institute collection proceedings on a timely basis and thus was denied the collection of the penalty.
- Madero v. Refco, Inc., 934 F. Supp. 282 (N.D. Ill. 1996) – Successfully defended futures commission merchant in connection with customer’s churning and unauthorized transactions claims, achieving a dismissal of claims under a shortened statute of limitations imposed by merchant’s contract.
- Vickers v. Hill Equipment Co.,LLC v. Yamaha Motor Corporation USA et al, Case No. 1:96-cv-00379-GHD (N.D. Miss. Dec. 24, 1996) – Represented watercraft dealer in connection with alleged vertical anti-trust conspiracy entered into watercraft manufacturer and other retail dealers to terminate dealer for price discounting. After discovery, a seven figure settlement was reached.
- Mediasia, Ltd. v. Morgan Keegan & Co., Inc., Case No. 2:96-cv-03222 (W.D. Tenn. Nov. 21, 1996)Successfully defended broker-dealer in connection with private sale of Rule 144 stock which could not be completed due to lock up agreement. This matter involved complex options purchased by customer of broker-dealer in order to hedge stock he had purchased that was subject to a lock-up agreement.
- Guiliano v. Cleo, Inc., 995 S.W.2d 88 (Tenn. 1999) – Represented former officer who had been denied salary continuation agreement after his constructive termination. Client prevailed before the Tennessee Supreme Court, resulting in substantial payment of back salary and a change in Tennessee law concerning liquidated damages.
- Syncor Intern. Corp. v. Newbaker, 12 F. Supp.2d 781 (W.D. Tenn. 1998) – Represented radiopharmaceutical manufacturer in RICO action against various defendants who were diluting and misappropriating its product.
- Gazabo S.A de C.V. v. Chase Manhattan Bank et al, Case No. 2:00-cv-0291 (W.D. Tenn. Aug. 3, 2003) – Successfully represented foreign investor who lost several million dollars in a fraudulent investment scheme known as “prime bank notes” and recovered client’s entire investment as well as attorney’s fees after securing a temporary and preliminary injunction under the Securities Act of 1933 which froze the defendants’ assets and bank accounts. Significant confidential settlement reached.
- Logan, et al. v. SCB Computer Technologies, Inc. Case No. 03-2925 (W.D. Tenn. 2004) – Represented plaintiff class in a collective and class action involving federal and state wage and hour violations. Class-wide settlement reached and approved by court.
- Talib v. Skyway Communications Holding Corp., No. 805CV282T17TBM, 2005 WL 161070 (M.D. Fla. July 7, 2005) – Represented investor group against publicly traded company for securities laws violations and achieved preliminary injunction freezing all of the company’s assets.