162 E. Amite St., 601.869.0696, 1call.ms
CORRECTION: A previous version of this article stated that Richard Schwartz is a licensed real estate broker and an approved closing attorney for title and mortgage companies, and that his firm has offices in Columbus, Greenville, Tupelo and Greenwood. Schwartz no longer holds those titles and his firm has offices in Jackson and Hattiesburg. We apologize for the error.
Lifelong Jackson resident Richard Schwartz founded his personal injury law firm, Richard Schwartz & Associates, P.A., more than 20 years ago. The firm handles cases involving vehicle accidents, wrongful death, medical malpractice, drug recalls, product liability, workers' compensation, Social Security, disability and more.
"We help our clients through the confusion and stress of a legal case, things they may never have been through and don't know the processes of," Patrick Wooten, who is a managing partner at Richard Scwartz & Associates, says. "Our goal is to be the experts for them to help them keep their legal rights protected and receive the full benefit of the law."
Schwartz received his law degree from the University of Mississippi in 1978. He was also a member of Phi Delta Phi Honor fraternity and an officer of the university's Moot Court Board, which is a group of students who participate in mock-trial competitions throughout the United States.
In addition to his personal injury practice, Schwartz served as assistant city prosecutor in Jackson for 10 years and as the city prosecutor for Ridgeland for two years.
Schwartz also works with local charities such as Blair E. Batson Children's Hospital, Boys and Girls Club of Central Mississippi, Toys for Tots and Make-A-Wish Mississippi.
Richard Schwartz & Associates has offices in Jackson and Hattiesburg. —Dustin Cardon
Best Local Lawyer finalists Dorsey Carson (The Carson Law Group, 125 S. Congress St., Suite 1336, 601.351.9831) / Katrina Brown (Brown Bass & Jeter, PLLC, 1755 Lelia Drive, Suite 400, 601.487.8448, bbjlawyers.com) / Robert Eugene Jones (Malouf and Malouf, 501 E. Capitol St., 601.948.4320, malouflaw.com) / Rogen Chhabra (Chhabra & Gibbs, P.A., 120 N. Congress St., Suite 200, 601.948.8005, cglawms.com)
Best Local Law Firm finalists Brown Bass & Jeter PLLC (1755 Lelia Drive, Suite 400, 601.487.8448, bbjlawyers.com) / The Carson Law Group (125 S. Congress St., Suite 1336, 601.351.9831, carsonlawgroup.com) / Chhabra & Gibbs, P.A. (120 N. Congress St., Suite 200, 601.948.8005, cglawms.com) / Malouf and Malouf (501 E. Capitol St., 601.948.4320, malouflaw.com)
Best Plaintiffs Attorney finalists Amanda G. Fritz (Chhabra & Gibbs, P.A., 120 N. Congress St., Suite 200, 601.948.8005, cglawms.com) / Darryl Gibbs (Chhabra & Gibbs, P.A., 120 N. Congress St., Suite 200, 601.948.8005, cglawms.com) / Rogen Chhabra (Chhabra & Gibbs, P.A., 120 N. Congress St., Suite 200, 601.948.8005, cglawms.com)
Coxwell & Associates, PLLC, 500 N. State St., 601.948.1600, coxwelllaw.com
Over the years, Merrida "Buddy" Coxwell has continued to be a critic of social and legal injustice.
Coxwell graduated with a bachelor's degree in psychology and literature from the University of Alabama in 1977. He received his law degree from Mississippi College in 1980.
He has expertise in areas such as criminal-defense law, personal-injury law, and also in financial-fraud litigation. He has defended cases such as a federal civil-rights case against the city of Jackson that involved a family whose child was a victim of police brutality.
Coxwell is licensed in all state and federal courts in Mississippi, and also states such as West Virginia, Arkansas and Washington, D.C.
Legal Assistant Lena Huse says Coxwell is passionate about what he does and has a desire to see other do better in life despite their circumstances.
"I have worked for him for 31 years, starting when I was 19 years old as just his receptionist, and I have been able to watch his passion for law flourish," Huse says.—Christina Spann
Finalists Andrew Sorrentino (Sorrentino Law, 106 S. President St., 601.695.7765, andrewsorrentinolegal.com) / Robert Eugene Jones (Malouf and Malouf, 501 E. Capitol St., 601.948.4320, malouflaw.com) / William H Creel Jr. (Currie Johnson & Myers, P.A., 1044 River Oaks Drive, 601.969.1010, curriejohnson.com)
Jack W. Cooke Jr., P.A., 1437 Old Square Road, Suite 106, 601.981.1912
Jack "Jay" Cooke has been a practicing lawyer for 31 years. As one who specializes in residential and commercial real estate and title insurance, he closed more than 23,000 real estate transactions in the last three decades.
Cooke graduated from the University of Mississippi with his law degree in 1985. "I love getting to work with young people who are buying houses for the first time," he says. "I try to make it as simple and pleasant an experience as possible. Being friendly and efficient has been a great formula."
Cooke has been married to his wife, Martha, for 25 years. The couple has three children. He enjoys camping and serving on his local Boy Scout council's executive board.—Abigail Walker
Finalists Bobby Moorehead (Robert E. Moorehead, Attorneys at Law, PLLC, 220 W. Jackson St., Ridgeland, 601.208.0569) / Frank "Buddy" Youngblood Jr. (Frank M. Youngblood Jr., Attorney at Law, 111 Office Park Drive, Suite A, Brandon, 601.825.5200) / T Frank Collins (Collins & Associates PLLC, 100 Webster Circle, Suite 2, Madison, 601.853.4400)
Chhabra & Gibbs, P.A., 120 N. Congress St., Suite 200, 601.948.8005, cglawms.com
When dealing with issues such as estates and employment discrimination, people need a good lawyer such as this year's winner for Best Family Law Attorney, Teresa E. Harvey.
The Gluckstadt native received her bachelor's degree in political science from Delta State University in 1998 and her law degree from the University of Mississippi in 2001. She has been a family law attorney at Chhabra & Gibbs since 2011.
Her primary focuses are cases that deal with social security disability law, guardianship and domestic matters, and employment discrimination.
"... It is very fulfilling to be able to assist others in what is probably one of the most difficult times in their lives," Harvey says.—Malcolm Morrow
Finalists Andrew Sorrentino (Sorrentino Law, 106 S. President St., 601.695.7765) / Jeremy McNinch (McNinch Law Firm, PLLC, 503 Avalon Way, Suite A, Brandon, 601.519.4692) / Robert Eugene Jones (Malouf and Malouf, 501 E. Capitol St., 601.948.4320, malouflaw.com)