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Top 40: Matt Allen

Ask Matt Allen to characterize himself in one word, “affable” would apply.

For Allen, being kind and courteous to others are the foundations for professional leadership.

“Leadership skills come in all varieties, and people lead better exercising some skills than others,” he said. “When I go to dinner with them, I watch closely to see if they say “thank you” to the server and if they tip correctly.

“If I see that they treat people with respect, I know they are probably someone who you can work with, regardless of their skill level or background.”

An attorney with the Jackson law firm Brunini, Grantham, Grower & Hewes, Allen specializes in general civil litigation matters. His responsibilities range from preparing court pleadings, deposing witnesses and assisting in settlement of a case.

Named as one of the 12 “Future Stars” in Mississippi by Benchmark Litigation in 2008, Allen says his most significant career accomplishment to date was defending welding rod manufacturers in a case that was covered by several national publications, including the Wall Street Journal.

“This was the very first trial of thousands involving welding rod lawsuits,” he said. “We got a dismissal because of video evidence obtained showing that the plaintiff was performing activities in an unsafe manner. As a member of that team, I was able to obtain testimony from a person who had information that the plaintiff was indeed performing these activities.”

Away from the courtroom, the 33-year-old Allen enjoys his involvement in making his community a better place. Long-time friend Jonathan Lee says the Flowood native’s contributions are helping transform downtown Jackson.

“The renaissance taking place in the heart of Jackson wouldn’t be nearly as successful without Matt’s leadership,” said Lee. “I have known him for over 10 years, and I am particularly impressed by Matt’s dedication to numerous civic causes despite the obvious demands of his profession.”

A graduate of Mississippi State University, Allen earned his law degree from the University of Texas law school in 2004.

“I go to work every day defending businesses, many of them Mississippi-based, so that they can continue to make products and offer services that the people of our state need,” he said.

In his spare time, Allen enjoys watching college football, following politics and civic involvement.

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