WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--In his 16 years as attorney general of Mississippi, Jim Hood recovered more than $3 billion from corporate defendants, including insurers denying payments to victims of Hurricane Katrina. Now he is taking his fight against corporate abuses to private practice. Effective immediately, Hood joins Weisbrod Matteis & Copley PLLC, an elite litigation boutique with a leading practice representing policyholders affected by natural disasters. He will serve as counsel in the firm’s Jackson, Mississippi office.
“Over his exemplary career as a public servant, Jim demonstrated a genuine concern for victims of injustice that aligns with the values of Weisbrod Matteis & Copley and makes him an ideal addition,” WMC Chairman August Matteis said. “Jim is a gifted legal strategist and trial lawyer, but the heart that he brings to his matters is what sets him apart.”
For the last three of his four consecutive terms as attorney general, Hood was the only Democrat elected to statewide office in Mississippi. Serving as assistant attorney general when Mississippi filed the first state case against the tobacco industry in the 1990s, he has been at the forefront of a wave of state attorneys general making aggressive use of civil litigation to curb corporate excesses. He led states in successful litigation against credit‑rating agencies following the Great Recession, and more recently initiated state action against, among others, the pharmaceutical industry and Google.
Hood will lead WMC’s State Attorneys General practice by representing states in their efforts to hold companies liable for harm to consumers and economic damage to states. He will also build on his success pursuing insurers following the devastation of Hurricane Katrina by representing public entities, businesses, homeowners and other policyholders in their efforts to maximize their insurance recoveries after hurricanes, tornados, earthquakes and other disasters. Hood will not be working at WMC on specific matters that he oversaw as attorney general.
For the past several years, WMC has represented the State of Mississippi in a number of Hurricane Katrina-related lawsuits against insurance companies. “During my time as attorney general, I hired a lot of excellent law firms, and Weisbrod Matteis & Copley is the equal of any of them,” Hood said. “I have the greatest respect for the work they have done across the country, and particularly in my state following Hurricane Katrina. This move only underlines WMC’s commitment to the Gulf South region.”
In addition to representing Mississippi in Katrina-related litigation, WMC represents two whistleblowers against State Farm in a matter that went to the U.S. Supreme Court. WMC’s team prevailed over the insurer in a unanimous decision.
Hood left his post as attorney general to run for governor of Mississippi, and came closer to victory than any Democrat in the state has since 1999. Over his career, he has tried more than 100 cases to a jury. In 2005, his second year as attorney general, he successfully prosecuted a former Ku Klux Klan member for the murder of three civil rights workers, a crime fictionalized in the film “Mississippi Burning.”
Jim Hood: Biographical Details
- Served four consecutive terms as the 39th Attorney General of Mississippi (2004-20).
- From 2008-20, was the only Democrat elected to statewide office in Mississippi.
- Recovered approximately $2 billion from BP following the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
- In 2017, filed lawsuits against numerous pharmaceutical companies alleging their involvement in a scheme to force states to pay for drugs that were not eligible for Medicaid reimbursement.
- Previously served as president of the National Association of Attorneys General.
- During his time as attorney general, created a Vulnerable Adults Unit, Domestic Violence Unit and Identity Theft Unit.
- Tried more than 100 jury trials as an assistant attorney general and district attorney in Mississippi.
Weisbrod Matteis & Copley PLLC: Firm Facts
- Founded in 2011.
- WMC’s attorneys have helped clients recover billions of dollars on insurance claims.
- Named to The National Law Journal’s Litigation Boutiques Hot List in 2014.
- Has grown to approximately 50 lawyers and 100 employees.
- In addition to representing individual plaintiffs, represents Fortune 500 companies and major financial institutions, including hedge funds, real estate developers, food companies, technology companies, private equity firms and construction firms.
- Represents Puerto Rican agencies and municipalities in litigation against insurance companies that underpaid for Hurricane Maria damage.
- Earned U.S. Supreme Court victory as counsel to two whistleblowers in United States ex rel. Rigsby v. State Farm Fire and Casualty Co. WMC’s clients alleged that State Farm systematically mischaracterized wind damage as flood damage after Hurricane Katrina to shift State Farm’s liability under homeowner policies onto the National Flood Insurance Program. WMC won an 8-0 decision.
- The only law firm in history to prove that one of the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s flood insurers defrauded the federal government by mishandling insurance claims after a hurricane.
- In addition to disaster recovery and other policyholder cases, has active practices in whistleblower matters, judgment enforcement, representing state and local governments and commercial litigation.
About Weisbrod Matteis & Copley PLLC
Founded in 2011, Weisbrod Matteis & Copley (wmclaw.com) has approximately 50 attorneys across five locations: Washington; Ft. Lauderdale; Philadelphia; San Juan; and Jackson. WMC’s attorneys have helped clients recover billions of dollars on insurance claims.