Garrard & Trotter, LLP
W.C. Trotter, or “Cham” as he’s known around the Delta, is one of the two, and the longest serving, Mississippi lawyers in the American Bar Association House of Delegates. A partner in the Belzoni firm of Garrard & Trotter, he believes his ABA service has given him an opportunity to provide communication between the state’s legal community and the larger legal institution of the country.
He also has provided a role model for solo and small firm practitioners of all ages through his 25-plus years of involvement in legal ethics and professional responsibility issues. He has served as director of the Young Lawyers Section and other leadership positions of The Mississippi Bar.
“In 1996, I was hired by the State of Mississippi Tobacco Litigation Group to research and provide testimony when the tobacco industry attempted to not release in discovery scientific documents that had been run through their law firms and were claimed as privileged,” he recalls. “My research and testimony was that this action came under the crime fraud exception to privileged information and was discoverable.”
Trotter was later told that his expert report and deposition were the turning point in this litigation that ultimately brought about the settlement of the case in favor of the state.
After Hurricane Katrina, he was appointed by the Mississippi Supreme Court as special circuit judge in Jackson County to hear storm cases. All 42 cases assigned to him were disposed of within two years.
The University of Mississippi graduate credits his parents with teaching him the value of education, hard work, a solid moral foundation and that no matter how bad things may get, family is always there for you.
Trotter is active in community affairs, including the Mississippi Volunteer Lawyers Project, North Mississippi Rural Legal Services, Greenwood Little Theater, Mid-Delta Arts Association and the Belzoni First Presbyterian Church.
Humphreys County Circuit Clerk Timaka James-Jones said, “Cham is truly a philanthropist beyond measure. He has been an inspiration to many young people as a role model and mentor.”
An intrepid traveler, Trotter will complete his quest to visit all seven continents and 50 states within the next three years.
More on W.C. Trotter III:
Birthplace: Memphis, Tenn.
Family: Wife, Jane; Children, Lisa, McLean and Germaine
Hobbies: Travel, tennis, performing in community theater
Lawyer to have lunch with: My grandfather, W. I. Stone, criminal lawyer from Coffeeville who practiced from 1902 to 1960
Best lawyer movie: “To Kill a Mockingbird”
Favorite place to travel: Anywhere in Europe
Career goal: To keep practicing law
First job: Lead role in a Broadway musical
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