(Jackson, Miss.) – The Mississippi Department of Human Services (MDHS) received approval today from the Mississippi State Personnel Board to proceed with engaging the Jones Walker law firm to move forward with civil litigation filed on behalf of MDHS in May of this year to recover TANF funds from 38 parties named as defendants in the pending lawsuit.
Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch had already approved the proposed contract with Jones Walker.
“This litigation must go forward to accomplish our stated goal of recovering and returning to the taxpayers the millions of dollars in misspent TANF funds,” said Bob Anderson, Executive Director of MDHS. “MDHS has selected Jones Walker, a firm of some 370 attorneys with offices and professionals in eight states and the District of Columbia, to continue with this important litigation. After talking with a number of firms, many of whom had conflicts with taking on this work, we selected Jones Walker because they are, in our view, the firm best suited to handle this matter and move it forward by continuing to evaluate claims against additional parties, written discovery, depositions, trial, and appeal, if necessary.”
Jones Walker has been named by BTI Consulting Group as part of its Client Service A-Team, but also, the Jackson Office has many fine lawyers who are well-qualified to handle this litigation.
Kaytie Pickett and Adam Stone, who will lead the Jones Walker team representing MDHS, focus their practices on complex commercial litigation and have handled high-profile, challenging, and large commercial cases in a number of states. Both are leaders in the American Bar Association in public contract and procurement law. Kaytie Pickett is Vice-Chair of the Public Contract Committee in the State and Local Government Section of the ABA, and Adam Stone is Vice-Chair of the State and Local Procurement Law Division of the ABA.
“While Brad Pigott initiated and prepared the original complaint in this case, we believe that Jones Walker is who we need to finish the process of getting to final judgment and recovery of funds. They have a deep bench and are well acquainted with complex electronic discovery platforms, which will be crucial in a case like this involving hundreds and thousands of documents. We look forward to working with the team at Jones Walker,” Anderson concluded.
This new contract allows MDHS to effectively represent the State’s interests and to recoup the funds for the people of Mississippi. Our commitment is to complete transparency.
MDHS is even more resolved to move the agency forward by continuing to help Mississippi families by providing tangible help today to create a lasting hope for tomorrow.