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AWARDS AND HONORS

Kelly D. Simpkins

Member

Kelly Simpkins is a senior litigator with substantial experience in life, health, and disability insurance defense; bad faith litigation; commercial and business litigation; and products liability. He has represented insurers in bad faith actions, regulatory matters, FINRA, and sales practices/agent fraud claims both in Mississippi and numerous other states. His cases range from single claimant cases to the defense of complex mass tort actions. He has litigated and tried cases involving sales practices, bad faith claims, oil and gas contracts, commercial paper, property disputes, and securities matters, among many others.

Kelly is a member of the Defense Research Institute, Mississippi Defense Lawyers Association, The Mississippi Bar, Tennessee Bar Association, American Bar Association and International Claim Association. He is a former member of the Charles Clark Chapter of the American Inns of Court. Kelly was selected as a Mid-South Super Lawyer in 2008, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018 and was selected a Mississippi “Top 50” Mid-South Super Lawyer in 2013, 2014, 2016, and 2018. Kelly has also been named a Best Lawyer in America from 2013-2019 in the practice areas of Commercial Litigation and Insurance Law.

Professionals Comment on Working With Kelly:

“This lawyer has excellent ability and is a credit to the bar.” -Judge.

“I worked with Kelly Simpkins for several years in my former employment as an in-house attorney for an insurance carrier, and have continued to work with him for the past two years in my outside practice, where I manage certain complex litigation matters for that same carrier. I have always found Kelly to be responsive, thoughtful, and to employ the highest of ethical standards in his work. I respect him very much.” -Attorney

“I have worked with Kelly as part of insurance industry associations and with respect to presentations at industry conferences. In all of my dealings with Kelly, he has been extremely capable, hardworking, knowledgeable, and highly responsive.” -Attorney

“Mr. Simpkins is an excellent lawyer. He is very knowledgable, calm, patient, respected by others, and hard working.”

Areas of Practice
  • Business Litigation
  • Commercial Litigation
  • Complex Litigation
  • Contract Matters
  • ERISA
  • Intellectual Property
  • Insurance Litigation
  • Life, Health and Disability Insurance
  • Products Liability
  • Property Litigation
  • Reinsurance Litigation
  • Securities
Litigation Percentage
  • 95% of Practice Devoted to Litigation
Bar Admissions
  • Mississippi, 1991
  • Tennessee, 2002
  • Arkansas, 2018
  • U.S. District Court- Western District of Arkansas, 2017
  • U.S. District Court- Eastern District of Arkansas, 2017
  • U.S. District Court- Northern District of Ohio, 2016
  • U.S. District Court – Northern District of Mississippi, 1991
  • U.S. District Court – Southern District of Mississippi, 1991
  • U.S. District Court – Western District of Tennessee, 2006
  • U.S. District Court- Eastern District of Tennessee, 2012
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, 1991
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, 2005
  • U.S. Supreme Court, 1996
Education
  • University of Mississippi School of Law
    • Oxford, Mississippi, 1991
    • Honors: cum laude
    • Law Journal: Mississippi Law Journal, Assistant Editor
  • Covenant College
    • Lookout Mountain, Georgia, B.A., 1983
    • Honors: cum laude
    • Major: Psychology
  • Mississippi State University
    • Starkville, Mississippi, 1978-1980
Honors and Awards
  • Best Lawyers in America (Commercial Litigation and Insurance Law) 2013, 2014, 2015,2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019
  • Mid-South Super Lawyer – 2008 , 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018
  • Selected a Mississippi “Top 50” Mid-South Super Lawyer 2013, 2014, 2016 and 2018
  • Memphis Magazine, Top 50 Attorneys in Mississippi
Published Works
  • ABA ERISA Manual Author- 2014, 2016, and 2018
  • ERISA Survey of Federal Circuits
    • Co-author Fifth Circuit Section – 2005, 2007, 2010, 2012
    • Published by the American Bar Association Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section (ABA TIPS)
  • Keeping Your Church Out of Court, 2010 edition
    • Contributing Editor
    • Published by the Mississippi Baptist Convention Board
Reported Cases
  • Hall v. Mutual of Omaha Ins. Co., 2018 WL 1440075 (N.D. Miss. Mar. 22, 2018)
  • Minnesota Life Ins. Co. v. Financial Institution Consulting Corp., 280 F. Supp. 3d 1057 (W.D. Tenn. 2017)
  • Pratt v. Mutual of Omaha Life Ins. Case, 2016 WL 1248885 (N.D. Miss.)
  • United States of America v. Dawn Properties, Inc. v. City of Ridgeland, Mississippi, 64 F. Supp. 3d 955 (S.D. Miss. 2014)
  • In Re Rick and Tina Myers, 2016 WL 7742408 (S.D. Miss Bankruptcy Court)
  • Stockstill v. Weathersby, 2014 WL 1324311 (S.D. Miss.)
  • Gardner v. Minnesota Life Insurance Company, 2014 WL 1277246 (N.D. Miss.)
  • Lee v. USAble Life, 2013 WL 152863 (S.D. Miss.)
  • Pierce v. United Home Life Insurance Company, 914 F.Supp. 2d 826, 2012 (S.D. Miss.)
  • Beasley v. Wal-Mart Stores, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 49291 (N.D. Miss. Apr. 9, 2012)
  • Vannorman v. Stonebridge Life Insurance Co. Defendant, 2012 U.S. Dist. Lexis 14291 (S.D. Miss.)
  • Mungo v. Minnesota Life Ins. Co., 2011 U.S. Dist. 2011 WL 2516934 (D.S.C.)
  • Ochelllo v. Liberty Mut. Fire Ins. Co., 784 F. Supp. 2d 681 (S.D. Miss. 2011)
  • Employers’ Mut. Cas. Ins. Co., v. Hughes, 780 F. Supp. 2d 1204
  • Allen v. Wal-Mart, 2011 U.S. Dist. Lexis 134055 (N.D. Miss. Nov. 18, 2011)
  • Fikes v. Wal-Mart, 813 F. Supp. 2d 815 (N.D. Miss. 2011)
  • Minnesota Life Ins. Co. v. Mungo, 2011 WL 2518768 D.S.C., June 23, 2011
  • In re Myers, 425 B.R. 296 (S.D. Miss. 2010)
  • Taylor v. Wal-Mart, 2010 WL 8150648, (N.D. Miss. Dec. 15, 2010)
  • Lumpkin v. Old Mut. Fin. Secs., 2010 WL 3239417 (S.D. Miss. Aug. 5, 2010)
  • Tigner v. Lea C. Paslay Ins., Inc., 2009 WL 363347, (N.D. Miss., Oct. 28, 2009)
  • Barnes v. Stonebridge Life Ins. Co., 624 F. Supp. 2d 574 (S.D. Miss. 2009)
  • Cynthia B. Winchester v. Unum Life Insurance Company of America, 2009 WL 10687894, (W.D. Tennessee, Jan. 26, 2009)
  • In re Myers, 382 B.R. 304 (S.D. Miss. 2008)
  • MTW v. Great Western Capital Corp., 2008 (U.S. Dist. Lexis 121046 (S.D. Miss., Mar. 14, 2008)
  • Tigner v. Bondex Intfl, Inc., 575 F. Supp.2d 766 (N.D. Miss. 2008)
  • McClendon v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., 280 F. Appfx 354 (5th Cir. 2008)
  • Jackson v. Balboa Ins. Co., 590 F. Supp. 2d 825 (S.D. Miss. 2008)
  • Lam v. Mid-Century Ins. Co., 2008 WL 5120052 (N.D. Cal.Dec. 3, 2008)
  • Masztal v. Meritplan Ins. Co., 586 F. Supp. 2d 662 (S.D. Miss. 2008)
  • Xenakis v. Time Ins. Co., 2008 WL 5397156 (C.D. Cal.Oct. 30, 2008)
  • Tigner v. Lea C. Paslay Ins., Inc., 575 F. Supp. 2d 766 (N.D. Miss. 2008)
  • Cynthia B. Winchester v. Unum Life Insurance Company, 2008 WL 11376608 (W.D. Tennessee, Western Division, Jul. 7, 2008)
  • Kulpa v. OM Fin. Life. Ins. Co., 558 F. Supp. 2d 676 (S.D. Miss. 2008)
  • Reece v. Kanawha Ins. Co., 2008 WL 906512 (N.D. Miss. Apr. 2, 2008)
  • Kulpa v. OM Fin. Life Ins. Co., 2008 WL 351689 (S.D. Miss.Feb. 6, 2008)
  • Hussey v. Fid. & Guar. Life Ins. Co., 560 F. Supp. 2d 493 (S.D. Miss. 2008)
  • Patterson v. Radioshack Corp., 268 F. Appfx 298 (5th Cir. 2008)
  • Fid. & Guar. Life Ins. Co. v. Williams, 2008 WL 336605 (S.D. Miss.Feb. 1, 2008)
  • Verhoeven v. Balboa Ins. Co., 2007 WL 4374222 (E.D. La.Dec. 13, 2007)
  • Mingo v. Meritplan Ins. Co., 2007 WL 4292026 (W.D. La.Dec. 4, 2007)
  • McLendon v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., 521 F. Supp. 2d 561 (S.D. Miss. 2007)
  • Graphia v. Balboa Ins. Co., 517 F. Supp. 2d 854 (E.D. La. 2007)
  • Billings v. Am. Bankers Ins. Co. of Fla., 2007 WL 603080 (S.D. Miss.Feb. 21, 2007)
  • Chastain v. Union Sec. Life Ins. Co., 502 F. Supp. 2d 1072 (C.D. Cal. 2007)
  • MTW Inv. Financing, LLC v. Great Western Capital Corp. of the Americas, Inc., WL 4375212, (S.D. Miss. Dec 12, 2007)
  • Graphia v. Balboa Ins. Co., WL 954886, (E.D.La., March 27, 2007)
  • Cody v. Pan-Am. Life Ins. Co., 2006 WL 2792388 (S.D. Miss.Sept. 27, 2006)
  • Patterson v. Radioshack Corp., 2006 WL 2265296 (N.D. Miss. Aug. 7, 2006)
  • Miss. Ins. Guar. Assfn v. Miss. Cas. Ins. Co., 947 So. 2d 865 (Miss. 2006)
  • Countrywide Home Loans, Inc. v. Charles A. Davis and Vera Davis, 2005 WL 224197 (S.D. Miss.))
  • Charles A. Davis and Vera Davis v. Countrywide Home Loans, Inc. (WMC Mortgage, Inc.), 2006 WL 1999108 (S.D.Miss.))
  • Windsor Vill. of Clinton, LLC v. Solon Automated Servs., Inc., 392 F. Supp. 2d 769 (S.D. Miss. 2005)
  • Gen. Reinsurance Corp. v. MS Cas. Ins. Corp., 2005 WL 2039156 (E.D. Pa.Aug. 23, 2005)
  • Hutton v. Am. Gen. Life & Accident Ins. Co., 909 So. 2d 87 (Miss. Ct. App. 2005)
  • Jabour v. Life Ins. Co. of N. Am., 362 F. Supp. 2d 736 (S.D. Miss. 2005)
  • Jones v. Belhaven Coll., 334 F. Supp. 2d 916 (S.D. Miss. 2004)
  • Jones v. Belhaven Coll., 98 F. Appfx 283 (5th Cir. 2004)
  • In re Myers, 2011 WL 3880968, Bkrtcy., S.D. Miss., Sept 1, 2004
  • Alexander v. Stonebridge Life Ins. Co., 2004 WL 741668 (N.D. Miss.Mar. 24, 2004)
  • Smallwood v. Ill. Cent. R.R. Co., 385 F.3d 568 (5th Cir. 2004)
  • Joe v. Minn. Life Ins. Co., 337 F. Supp. 2d 821 (S.D. Miss. 2004)
  • Brown v. PFL Life Ins. Co., 312 F. Supp. 2d 863 (N.D. Miss. 2004)
  • Wash. Mut. Fin. Group, LLC v. Bailey, 364 F.3d 260 (5th Cir. 2004)
  • In re Diet Drugs (Phentermine/Fenfluramine/Dexfenfluramine) Prods. Liab. Litig., 2004 WL 1535806 (E.D. Pa.June 18, 2004)
  • Joe v. Minn. Life Ins. Co., 272 F. Supp. 2d 603 (S.D. Miss. 2003)
  • Turnipseed v. Unum Life Ins. Co. of Am., 230 F. Supp. 2d 727 (S.D. Miss. 2002)
  • Davis v. Life Investors Ins. Co. of Am., 282 B.R. 186 (S.D. Miss. 2002)
  • Ellis v. Wash. Mut. Fin. Group, LLC, 2002 WL 32163527 (S.D. Miss.May 8, 2002)
  • Davis v. Life Investors Ins. Co. of Am., Inc., 214 F. Supp. 2d 691 (S.D. Miss. 2002)
  • Pittman v. Weber Energy Corp., 790 So. 2d 823 (Miss. 2001)
  • Dantzler v. Am. Home Prods. Corp., 2000 WL 34333156 (N.D. Miss.Sept. 13, 2000)
  • Estate of Jackson v. Miss. Life Ins. Co., 755 So. 2d 15 (Miss. Ct. App. 1999)
  • Marble v. Am. Gen. Life & Accident Ins. Co., 996 F. Supp. 571 (N.D. Miss. 1998)
  • Jones v. Ga. Pac. Corp., 1998 U.S. Lexis 8092 (U.S. 1998)
  • Jones v. Ga. Pac. Corp., 90 F.3d 114 (5th Cir. 1996)
  • McArthur v. Time Ins. Co., 889 F. Supp. 938 (S.D. Miss. 1995)
  • Williams ex rel. Williams v. Jackson Stone Co., 867 F. Supp. 454 (S.D. Miss. 1994)
  • In re Chateaugay Corp., 146 B.R. 339 (S.D.N.Y. 1992)
Speeches
  • “Transracial and Transcultural Issues in Adoption”, panelist, July 2012
  • “Suicide: Nuts, Bolts and Nooses”- International Claims Association 2011 Annual Conference
  • “Misrepresentations and Rescissions” – International Claim Association 2010 Annual Conference
  • “Recent Developments Concerning Debt Protection Instruments”- Consumer Credit Insurance Association 2007 Annual Conference
  • “Coverage Issues Arising Out of Hurricane Katrina”, Best Insurance Law Podcast, 2007
Representative Matters
  • Hurricane Cases
    • Represented carriers in claims and lawsuits arising out of Hurricanes Katrina, Ivan and Ike in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, successfully managing large inventory of cases in a cost efficient manner.
    • Assisted clients in avoiding litigation through advice, counsel, coverage opinions, and alternative dispute resolution.
    • Over 85% of the cases were disposed of summarily or compelled to arbitration.
    • Advised on wind, water, flood and lender placed coverage issues.
    • You may also listen to Kelly discuss “Coverage Issues Arising Out of Hurricane Katrina” Best Insurance Law Podcast, 2007, by clicking here.
  • Complex Cases
    • Successfully defended putative class action case in Texas arising out of Hurricane Ivan by positioning case so that representative of class abandoned class claims.
    • Obtained dismissal of putative class action case in South Carolina involving debt cancellation products.
    • Successful resolution of class action filed in California involving debt protection products.
    • Obtained 3.5 million dollar verdict against Mississippi Insurance Guaranty Association on behalf of carrier.
    • Commercial paper cases-as a result of suits filed in obtained favorable settlements on behalf of carriers against lending institutions who paid over false and fraudulent indorsements
  • Individual Cases
    • Obtained summary judgment on bad faith claims involving property insurance, health insurance, life insurance, workers compensation
    • Defense verdicts in cases involving alleged bad faith, oil and gas contracts, products liability, commercial paper, property disputes, and collection cases.
Associations and Memberships
  • Defense Research Institute
  • Mississippi Defense Lawyers Association
  • American Bar Association
  • The Mississippi Bar
  • Tennessee Bar Association
  • Charles Clark Chapter Inns of Court
  • International Claim Association
Birth Information
  • Meridian, Mississippi
Other
  • Active Participant in Mississippi Pro Bono Program
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