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AWARDS AND HONORS

Walter D. Willson

Member

Walter Willson is a senior litigator with substantial experience in the areas of commercial litigation, lender liability, insurance defense and complex litigation. He has extensive experience representing consumer credit institutions, banks, finance companies, and other lenders in cases involving consumer and commercial loans, and the purchase of debt protection instruments and/or credit insurance, and advises clients on regulatory issues related to the development and marketing of debt protection products, and has drafted contracts (and implemented programs) for use by the lending/credit industry.  His cases range from single claimant cases to the defense of complex mass tort actions.  Walter’s litigation practice is varied and geographically dispersed as he has litigated and tried cases involving corporate and contract matters, securities regulation involving broker-dealer disputes, intellectual property, and trade secret disputes for several institutional clients on a national basis, having defended litigation matters in 44 states.

A member of the Mississippi and Texas Bars and the Defense Research Institute, Walter was named a 2006 Super Lawyer in the inaugural group of Mid-South Super Lawyers, as well as being selected again each year since that time. In 2012, 2013 and 2014, he was selected by Mid-South Super Lawyers as a “Mississippi Top 50” attorney. He was also selected as a Leader in General Commercial Litigation in Chambers USA in 2010-2013. In addition, Walter holds an AV Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Rating, as well as being selected as a “Best Lawyer” by Best Lawyers in America every year since 2012.

A native of Lakeland, Florida, Walter received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Baylor University and the Juris Doctor degree from Mississippi College School of Law.

Areas of Practice
  • Commercial Litigation
  • Complex and Multi-District Litigation
  • Debt Protection/Deferment Litigation
  • Lender Liability Defense
  • Insurance Defense
  • Securities Arbitration and Litigation
  • Corporate Transactions
  • Trade Secret and Intellectual Property Litigation
  • Labor & Employment Litigation
Litigation Percentage
  • 90% of practice devoted to litigation and arbitration
  • 10% of practice devoted to corporate transactions and product development designed to avoid/minimize litigation
Bar Admissions
  • Mississippi
  • Texas
  • U.S. District Court – Eastern District of Arkansas
  • U.S. District Court – Western District of Arkansas
  • U.S. District Court – Colorado
  • U.S. District Court – Northern District of Florida
  • U.S. District Court – Northern District of Indiana
  • U.S. District Court – Southern District of Indiana
  • U.S. District Court – Eastern District of Michigan
  • U.S. District Court – Northern District of Mississippi
  • U.S. District Court – Southern District of Mississippi
  • U.S. District Court – Nebraska
  • U.S. District Court – Northern District of Oklahoma
  • U.S. District Court – Eastern District of Oklahoma
  • U.S. District Court – Western District of Oklahoma
  • U.S. District Court – Northern District of Texas
  • U.S. District Court – Southern District of Texas
  • U.S. District Court – Eastern District of Texas
  • U.S. District Court – Western District of Texas
  • U.S. Court of Appeals – 1st Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals – 2nd Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals – 3rd Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals – 4th Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals – 5th Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals – 6th Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals – 7th Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals – 8th Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals – 9th Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals – 10th Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals – 11th Circuit
  • U.S. Supreme Court
Education
  • Mississippi College School of Law
    • Jackson, Mississippi, Juris Doctor, 1988
    • Honors: magna cum laude
    • Law Review: Production Editor, 1987 – 1988
  • Wake Forest University; Baylor University
    • Bachelor of Arts, 1984
Honors and Awards
  • AV-Preeminent Rated by Martindale-Hubbell
  • Martindale-Hubbell Top Rated Litigator 2018
  • Mid-South Super Lawyer – 2006-2018 and is recognized as a 10 year+ Mid-South Super lawyer
  • Top 50 Mid-South Super Lawyer 2012, 2013 and 2014
  • Chambers USA 2010-2013 Leader in General Commercial Litigation
  • Selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America (Commercial Litigation), 2012- 2019
  • Selected for inclusion in the Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers 2013 to present
  • “Best of Business” in Ridgeland, MS, by the Small Business Community Association
Reported Cases
  • Hopkins v. Fire RV and Auto Center, 180 F.Supp.3d 823 (W.D. Wash. 2016)
  • Howard v. American Bankers Ins. Co. of Florida
    • 106 F.Supp. 3d 793 (S.D. Miss. 2015)
  • Patricia Mengers v. Gulf Stream, et al., 136 F.Supp.3d 1009 (2015)
  • Carvant Financial LLC v. Autoguard Advantage Corp., 958 F.Supp.2d 390 (E.D. NY. 2013)
  • Despain v. Northwestern Mut. Life Ins. Co., WL 1947551, (E.D. Ark. 2013)
  • Flowers v. Direct General Ins. Co. of Mississippi, 955 F.Supp.2d 638, (N.D. Miss. 2013)
  • Ehlen Floor Covering, Inc. v. Lamb., 859 F.Supp.2d 1285 (M.D. Fla. 2012)
  • Ehlen Floor Covering, Inc. v. Lamb, 909 F.Supp.2d 1335 (M.D. Fla.2012)
  • Ehlen Floor Covering, Inc. v. Pacific Life Insurance Company, 660 F.3d 1283 (11th Cir. 2011)
  • Tolbert v. Coast to Coast Dealer Svcs., Inc., 789 F. Supp. 2d 811, (N.D. Ohio 2011)
  • EEOC v. Hi-Line Elec. Co., 784 F. Supp. 2d 687 (N.D. Tex. 2011)
  • Garvin v. Lockheed Fed. Credit Union, 2011 WL 1675991 (W.D. Tex. 2011)
  • Time Ins. Co. v. White, 2011 WL 1045453 (S.D. Miss. 2011)
  • In re Katrina Canal Breaches Litig., 613 F.3d 504 (5th Cir. 2010)
  • Allen v. Regions Bank, 389 F. App’x 441 (5th Cir. 2010)
  • Allen v. Regions Bank, 756 F. Supp. 2d 769 (S.D. Miss. 2010)
  • Molfetta v. Time Ins. Co., 2010 WL 2041703 (D. Nev. 2010)
  • Pendergrass v .Time Ins. Co., 2010 WL 989154 (W.D. Ky. 2010)
  • Atifah v. Union Sec. Ins. Co., 694 F. Supp. 2d 668 (E.D. Mich. 2010)
  • Stewart v. Prudential Life Ins. Co. of Am., 44 So. 3d 953 (Miss. 2010)
  • Sawyers v. Herrin-Gear Chevrolet Co. Inc., 26 So. 3d 1026 (Miss. 2010)
  • Jadczak v. Assurant, Inc., 2010 WL 445607 (Del. Super. 2010)
  • Turner v. Gen. Ins. Co. of Am., 2009 WL 3247302 (S.D. Miss. 2009)
  • Holland v. Safeco Fin. Inst. Solutions, 2009 WL 2225494 (S.D. Miss., 2009)
  • Hawkins v. Am. Sec. Ins. Co., 602 F. Supp. 2d 774 (S.D. Miss. 2009)
  • Solano v. Am. Bankers Ins. Co. of Fla., 601 F. Supp. 2d 1249 (D. Colo. 2009)
  • Pannell v. Green Tree Servicing, LLC, 2009 WL 277627 (S.D. W. Va. 2009)
  • Curry v. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co., 599 F. Supp. 2d 734 (S.D. Miss. 2009)
  • In re Katrina Canal Litig. Breaches, 524 F. 3d 700 (5th Cir. 2008)
  • Xenakis v. Time Ins. Co., 2008 WL 5397156 (C.D. Cal. Oct. 30, 2008)
  • Graham v. Am. Bankers Ins. Co., 2008 WL 4330332 (S.D. Miss. 2008)
  • Mirras v. Time Ins. Co., 578 F. Supp. 2d 1351 (M.D. Fla. 2008)
  • Ehlen Floor Covering, Inc. v. Pac. Life Ins. Co., 2008 WL 4097712 (M.D. Fla. 2008)
  • Long v. Time Ins. Co., 572 F. Supp. 2d 907 (S.D. Ohio 2008)
  • Atifah v. Union Sec. Ins. Co., 2008 WL 2714459 (E.D. Mich. 2008)
  • Skinner v. Assurant Health, 559 F. Supp. 2d 718 (S.D. Miss. 2008)
  • Herd v. Am. Sec. Ins. Co., 556 F. Supp. 2d 992 (W.D. Mo. 2008)
  • Hill v. John Alden Life Ins. Co., 556 F. Supp. 2d 571 (S.D. W. Va. 2008)
  • Salvaggio v. Time Ins. Co., 553 F. Supp. 2d 577 (D. S.C. 2008)
  • Cummings v. Union Sec. Ins. Co., 2008 WL 410644 (S.D. Miss. 2008)
  • Warren v. Am. Bankers Ins. of Fla., 507 F.3d 1239 (10th Cir. 2007)
  • Graham v. Am. Bankers Ins. Co., 2007 WL 4333833 (S.D. Miss. 2007)
  • Tenet Healthsystem Desert, Inc. v. Fortis Ins. Co., 520 F. Supp. 2d 1184 (C.D. Cal. 2007)
  • Coleman v. Assurant, Inc., 508 F. Supp. 2d 862 (D. Nev. 2007)
  • Indian Gold, LLC v. Amstar Mortgage Co., 504 F. Supp. 2d 147 (S.D. Miss. 2007)
  • Chastain v. Union Sec. Life Ins. Co., 502 F. Supp. 2d 1072 (C.D. Cal. 2007)
  • Hagan v. GreenPoint Credit Corp., 2007 WL 2258866 (E.D. Ky. 2007)
  • Solano v. Am. Bankers Ins. Co. of Fla., 365 B.R. 196 (D. Colo. 2007)
  • Figueroa v. Am. Bankers Ins. Co. of Fla., 2007 WL 678621 (D. Colo. 2007)
  • Billings v. Am. Bankers Ins. Co. of Fla., 2007 WL 603080 (S.D. Miss. 2007)
  • Prudential Ins. Co. v. Stewart, 969 So. 2d 17 (Miss. 2007)
  • Stringer v. Am. Bankers Ins. Co. of Fla., 969 So. 2d 113 (Miss. Ct. App. 2007)
  • Khoury v. United Serv. Prot. Corp., 2007 WL 3149174 (Ohio Ct. App. 2007)
  • MS Life Ins. Co. v. Barfield, 203 F. App’x 306 (11th Cir. 2006)
  • Am. Bankers Ins. Co. of Fla. v. Inman, 436 F.3d 490 (5th Cir. 2006)
  • Coleman v. Assurant, Inc., 463 F. Supp. 2d 1164 (D. Nev. 2006)
  • Scott v. Fortis Ins. Co., 2006 WL 3247275 (S.D. Miss. 2006)
  • Landry v. Am. Bankers Ins. Co. of Fla., 2006 WL 2990494 (S.D. Miss. 2006)
  • Union Sec. Life Ins. Co. v. Starr, 2006 WL 2727991 (S.D. Miss. 2006)
  • Selmon v. First Family Fin. Services, Inc., 2006 WL 2662168 (N.D. Miss. 2006)
  • Smith v. Am. Gen. Fin. Services, Inc., 2006 WL 2571346 (N.D. Miss. 2006)
  • Cross v. MS Loan Ctr., 2006 WL 2506190 (N.D. Miss. 2006)
  • Bostain v. Am. Bankers Ins. Co. of Fla., 2006 WL 2455942 (N.D. Miss. 2006)
  • Figueroa v. Am. Bankers Ins. Co. of Fla., 517 F. Supp. 2d 1266 (D. Colo. 2006)
  • Warren v. Am. Bankers Ins. Co. of Fla., 2006 WL 4968123 (D. Colo. 2006)
  • Smith v. First Family Fin. Services, Inc., 436 F. Supp. 2d 836 (S.D. Miss. 2006)
  • Holmes v. CitiFinancial Mortgage Co., 436 F. Supp. 2d 829 (N.D. Miss. 2006)
  • Landry v. Am. Bankers Ins. Co. of Fla., 2006 WL 2990494 (S.D. Miss., 2006)
  • American Bankers Life Assurance Co. of Fla. v. Moore, 2006 WL 1666710 (N.D. Miss. 2006)
  • Shelton v. S. Energy Homes, Inc., 420 F. Supp. 2d 836 (S.D. Miss. 2006)
  • Dubose v. Merchants & Farmers Bank, 2006 WL 568714 (S.D. Miss. 2006)
  • Moore v. Direct Gen. Ins. Co. of Miss., 2006 WL 82505 (S.D. Miss. 2006)
  • Miss. Ins. Guar. Ass’n v. MS Cas. Ins. Co., 947 So. 2d 865 (Miss. 2006)
  • MS Credit Ctr., Inc. v. Horton, 926 So. 2d 167 (Miss. 2006)
  • Am. Bankers Life Assurance Co. of Fla. v. Overton, 128 F. App’x 399 (5th Cir. 2005)
  • MS Life Ins. Co. v. Barfield, 2005 WL 3445535 (M.D. Fla. 2005)
  • Gen. Reinsurance Corp. v. MS Cas. Ins. Corp., 2005 WL 2039156 (E.D. Pa. 2005)
  • Everett v. Friedman’s, Inc., 329 B.R. 40 (S.D. Miss. 2005)
  • Union Sec. Life Ins. Co. v. Brown, 2005 WL 1899355 (N.D. Miss. 2005)
  • Dean v. MS Life Ins. Co., 2005 WL 1711618 (N.D. Miss. 2005)
  • Union Sec. Life Ins. Co. v. Brown, 2005 WL 1683602 (N.D. Miss. 2005)
  • Owens v. First Family Fin. Services, Inc., 379 F. Supp. 2d 840 (S.D. Miss. 2005)
  • Union Sec. Life Ins. v. Martin, 2005 WL 1669029 (N.D. Miss. 2005)
  • Donald v. Pioneer Credit Co., 374 F. Supp. 2d 495 (S.D. Miss. 2005)
  • Walton v. Tower Loan of Miss., 2005 WL 1367402 (N.D. Miss. 2005)
  • Pac. Life Ins. Co. v. Heath, 370 F. Supp. 2d 539 (S.D. Miss. 2005)
  • Clark v. Commercial Credit Corp., 357 F. Supp. 2d 962 (S.D. Miss. 2005)
  • United Serv. Prot. Corp. v. Lowe, 354 F. Supp. 2d 651 (S.D. W. Va. 2005)
  • Voyager Life Ins. Co. v. Caldwell, 353 F. Supp. 2d 748 (S.D. Miss. 2005)
  • MS Life Ins. Co. v. Baker, 905 So. 2d 1179 (Miss. 2005)
  • Rainwater v. Lamar Life Ins. Co., 391 F.3d 636 (5th Cir. 2004)
  • Smallwood v. Ill. Cent. R.R. Co., 385 F.3d 568 (5th Cir. 2004)
  • Wash. Mut. Fin. Group, LLC v. Bailey, 364 F.3d 260 (5th Cir. 2004)
  • Jones v. Belhaven Coll., 98 F. App’x 283 (5th Cir. 2004)
  • Am. Bankers Ins. Co. of Fla. v. Milsap, 350 F. Supp. 2d 730 (S.D. Miss. 2004)
  • Am. Bankers Life Assurance Co. of Fla. v. Mister, 344 F. Supp. 2d 966 (N.D. Miss. 2004)
  • CitiFinancial, Inc. v. Murray, 340 F. Supp. 2d 743 (S.D. Miss. 2004)
  • Walton v. Tower Loan of Miss., 338 F. Supp. 2d 691 (N.D. Miss. 2004)
  • Jones v. Belhaven Coll., 334 F. Supp. 2d 916 (S.D. Miss. 2004)
  • Porter v. Commercial Credit Corp., 334 F. Supp. 2d 914 (S.D. Miss. 2004)
  • O’Bannon v. Guardian Life Ins. Co. of Am., 331 F. Supp. 2d 476 (S.D. Miss. 2004)
  • Bland v. Fleet Fin., Inc., 318 F. Supp. 2d 392 (N.D. Miss. 2004)
  • Alexander v. City Fin. Co., 2004 WL 1638251 (N.D. Miss. 2004)
  • Bolden v. Ky. Fin. Co., Inc., 316 F. Supp. 2d 406 (S.D. Miss. 2004)
  • Walker v. City Fin. Co., 316 F. Supp. 2d 402 (N.D. Miss. 2004)
  • Barnes v. First Franklin Fin. Corp., 313 F. Supp. 2d 634 (S.D. Miss. 2004)
  • Brumfield v. Pioneer Credit Co., 2004 WL 443883 (S.D. Miss. 2004)
  • Bishop v. First Miss. Fin. Group, Inc., 221 F.R.D. 461 (S.D. Miss. 2004)
  • Smallwood v. Ill. Cent. R.R. Co., 352 F.3d 220 (5th Cir. 2003)
  • Ross v. CitiFinancial, Inc., 344 F. 3d 458 (5th Cir. 2003)
  • Dozier v. Ky. Fin. Co., Inc., 319 F. Supp. 2d 716 (S.D. Miss. 2003)
  • Dubose v. Merchants & Farmers Bank, 318 F. Supp. 2d 419 (S.D. Miss. 2003)
  • Brumfield v. Pioneer Credit Corp., 291 F. Supp 2d 462 (S.D. Miss. 2003)
  • Littleton v. Am. Bankers Life Ins. Co. of Fla., 289 F. Supp. 2d 776 (S.D. Miss. 2003)
  • Bland v. Fleet Fin., Inc., 2003 WL 22244407 (N.D. Miss. 2003)
  • Brooks v. Am. Bankers Ins. Co. of Fla., 2003 WL 22037730 (N.D. Miss. 2003)
  • Dora v. CitiFinancial, Inc., WL 22243996 (N.D. Miss., 2003)
  • Dixon v. First Family Fin. Services, Inc., 2003 WL 21788959 (S.D. Miss. 2003)
  • Rawls v. Friedman’s Inc., 2003 WL 21728838 (S.D. Miss. 2003)
  • Williams v. Great Am. Life Ins. Co., 282 F. Supp. 2d 496 (N.D. Miss. 2003)
  • White v. City Fin. Co., 277 F. Supp. 2d 646 (S.D. Miss. 2003)
  • Hare v. City Fin. Co., 269 F. Supp. 2d 766 (S.D. Miss. 2003)
  • Am. Reliable Ins. Co. v. Arrington, 269 F. Supp. 2d 758 (S.D. Miss. 2003)
  • Bolden v. Ky. Fin. Co., 2003 WL 1048737 (S.D. Miss. 2003)
  • Guice v. MS Life Ins. Co., 836 So. 2d 756 (Miss. 2003)
  • Montgomery v. First Family Fin. Services, Inc., 239 F. Supp. 2d 600 (S.D. Miss. 2002)
  • Gipson v. Fleet Mortgage Group, Inc., 232 F. Supp. 2d 691 (S.D. Miss. 2002)
  • Conner v. First Family Fin. Services, Inc., 2002 WL 31056778 (N.D. Miss. 2002)
  • Agnew v. Commercial Credit Corp., 2002 WL 1628537 (S.D. Miss. 2002)
  • Beasley v. Personal Fin. Corp., 279 B.R. 523 (S.D. Miss. 2002)
  • Ellis v. Wash. Mut. Fin. Group, LLC, 2002 WL 32163527 (S.D. Miss. 2002)
  • Strong v. First Family Fin. Services, Inc., 202 F. Supp. 2d 536 (S.D. Miss. 2002)
  • Palmer v. Conseco Fin. Servicing Corp., 198 F. Supp. 2d 822 (N.D. Miss. 2002)
  • Dixon v. First Family Fin. Services, 276 B.R. 173 (S.D. Miss. 2002)
  • Berry v. Am. Sec. Life Ins. Co., 2002 WL 32397265 (S.D. Miss. 2002)
  • Howard v. CitiFinancial, Inc., 195 F. Supp. 2d 811 (S.D. Miss. 2002)
  • Johnson v. CitiFinancial, Inc., 2002 WL 32163528 (S.D. Miss. 2002)
  • Crockett v. CitiFinancial, Inc., 192 F. Supp. 2d 648 (N.D. Miss. 2002)
  • Willow Creek Exploration Ltd. v. Tadlock Pipe & Equip., 186 F. Supp. 2d 675 (S.D. Miss. 2002)
  • Banks v. City Fin. Co., 825 So. 2d 642 (Miss. 2002)
  • Stringer v. Am. Bankers Ins. Co. of Fla., 822 So. 2d 1011 (Miss. Ct. App. 2002)
  • Ross v. CitiFinancial, Inc., 203 F.R.D. 239 (S.D. Miss. 2001)
  • Jordan v. United Serv. Prot. Corp., 192 F. Supp. 2d 658 (S.D. Miss. 2001)
  • First Family Fin. Services, Inc. v. Fairley, 173 F. Supp. 2d 565 (S.D. Miss. 2001)
  • Jennings v. First Family Fin. Services, 2001 WL 34403089 (S.D. Miss. 2001)
  • Miller v. Am. Bankers Ins. Co. of Fla., 2001 WL 34403076 (S.D. Miss. 2001)
  • Carter v. Union Sec. Life Ins. Co., 148 F. Supp. 2d 734 (S.D. Miss. 2001)
  • Anderson v. First Family Fin. Services, Inc., 2001 WL 34403087 (S.D. Miss. 2001)
  • CitiFinancial, Inc. v. Lipkin, 143 F. Supp. 2d 657 (N.D. Miss. 2000)
  • Kirksey v. Am. Bankers Ins. Co. of Fla., 114 F. Supp. 2d 526 (S.D. Miss. 2000)
  • Braidfoot v. William Carey Coll., 793 So. 2d 642 (Miss. Ct. App. 2000)
  • Miss. Ins. Managers, Inc. v. Providence Wash. Ins. Co., 72 F. Supp. 2d 689 (S.D. Miss. 1999)
  • Carroll v. Metropolitan Ins. & Annuity Co., 969 F. Supp. 19 (S.D. Miss. 1997)
  • Brooks v. George County, 84 F.3d 157 (5th Cir. 1996)
  • Gann v. Fruehauf Corp., 52 F.3d 1320 (5th Cir. 1995)
  • Benefit Mgmt. of Maine, Inc. v. Allstate Life Ins. Co., 993 F.2d 1530 (1st Cir. 1993)
  • Lawrence v. Jackson Mack Sales, Inc. 837 F.Supp. 771 (S.D. Miss.1992)
  • In re Chateaugay Corp., (Jeep Rollover Litigation), 146 B.R. 339 (S.D.N.Y. 1992)
  • Finkelberg v. Merrill Lynch, 608 So. 2d 1214 (Miss. 1992)
  • Geisenberger v. John Hancock Distribs., Inc., 774 F. Supp. 1045 (S.D. Miss. 1991)
  • Todd v. Johnson, 718 F. Supp. 1305 (S.D. Miss. 1989)
Speeches
  • “Debt Cancellation Class Action: Status, Defenses & Response”- Consumer Credit Industry Association:
    • 61st Annual Meeting & Industry Convention – May 2012
  • “Dodd-Frank Preemption and Concurrent Authority of Federal Agencies”
    • Consumer Credit Industry Association: Fall Committee Meeting – October 2011
  • “Debt Cancellation Products and Class Actions”
    • Regulatory Seminar – May 2011
  • DRI Panel Counsel Meetings
  • “Litigation Tactics and Trends Regarding Rescission of Life and/or Health Insurance Policies”
    • Combined Insurance Company/ ACE Limited 2010
  • “Defending Predatory Lending Class Actions and Mass Actions”
    • Consumer Credit Industry Annual Meeting – May 2001
  • “Concepts and Issues Pertaining to Fiduciary Duties”
    • Mississippi Baptist Convention Board – Sept. 1996
  • “Regulatory Compliance – Adequacy of Disclosures Under Truth in Lending Act and Related State Laws”
    • MSDiversified Corporation – October 1995
Associations and Memberships
  • Defense Research Institute
  • Mississippi Defense Lawyers Association
  • The Mississippi Bar
  • State Bar of Texas
  • American Bar Association
  • Mississippi Automobile Dealers’ Association
  • Mississippi Manufacturing Association
  • Mississippi Hospitality and Restaurant Association
  • Mississippi Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store Association
Birth Information
  • 1960, Memphis, Tennessee
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