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Learn more about Wise Carter’s legal legacy.

1883

Benjamin Holmes Wells is admitted to the Mississippi Bar, one of only 29 attorneys practicing in Jackson by 1898.


1898

Benjamin Holmes Wells joins W. J. Croom to form the two-man firm of Wells & Croom, which would soon become Williamson, Wells & Croom.


1900

Jackson Electric Railway Light & Power Company, the predecessor company to Mississippi Power & Light Company, becomes a principal client of Williamson, Wells & Croom.


1904

Williamson and Wells are listed as attorneys for Illinois Central Railroad in Hinds County.


1906

George W. May, William M. Williams, and J. N. Flowers form the firm of Williams, May & Flowers.


1916

Robert B. Mayes joins the firm of Wells, May & Sanders to form Mayes, Wells, May & Sanders. The firm’s offices are located in the Merchants Bank Building on the southwest corner of Capitol and State Streets in downtown Jackson.


1931

Mayes, Wells, May & Sanders becomes May, Sanders, McLaurin & Byrd, specializing in railroad and corporate law. The firm’s clients at this time include Illinois Central Railroad Company and Mississippi Power & Light Company.


1941

Sherwood W. Wise and Barron C. Ricketts form the firm of Ricketts & Wise, practicing out of the Deposit Guaranty Bank Building on Capitol Street in downtown Jackson.


1950

William O. “Billy” Carter, Jr., joins Ricketts & Wise as an associate.


1951

James Lee Byrd merges with Ricketts & Wise to form the law firm of Byrd, Ricketts & Wise. The firm continues to represent Illinois Central Railroad Company and Mississippi Power & Light Company.


1953

Byrd, Ricketts & Wise merges with the firm of Chambers, Tenholm & Smith to form Byrd, Wise & Smith.

Billy Carter establishes the first Legal Aid Society in Mississippi.


1956

James K. “Jim” Child, Jr., becomes an associate with Byrd, Wise & Smith. Byrd, Wise & Smith moves to the Electric Building on Pearl Street in downtown Jackson.


1960

The firm becomes Wise, Smith & Carter.


1966

Sherwood Wise’s book The Way I See It Then and Now is published.


1967

The firm becomes Wise Carter & Child.


1972

Wise Carter & Child merges with Steen & Caraway to form the law firm of Wise Carter Child Steen & Caraway.


1976

The firm’s representation of Hinds General Hospital serves as the foundation for its then-burgeoning health care practice.


1979

Margaret Hegman (Williams) joins Wise Carter as the firm’s first female associate.


1980

The firm becomes Wise Carter Child & Caraway (“Wise Carter”).


1980-1988

Wise Carter represents Mississippi Power & Light Company in securing the then-largest rate increase ever granted to a utility in Mississippi. The case ultimately results in a 6-3 victory before the United States Supreme Court at a time when a loss would likely have resulted in the firm’s dissolution.


1981

Wise Carter incorporates to become the present-day firm of Wise Carter Child & Caraway, P.A.


1983

Wise Carter moves from the Electric Building to the Heritage Building, its present location and the former home of both Kennington’s and McRae’s department stores in downtown Jackson.


1984

Margaret (Hegman) Williams becomes the firm’s first female shareholder.


1988

Sherwood Wise’s written history of the Wise Carter firm is published.


1988

Wise Carter is divided into two broad practice groups, the Trial Section and the Business Section.


2000

Lawyers from Shell, Buford, Callicut & Perry join the firm, adding significant expertise in representation of all aspects of healthcare.


2002

Sherwood Wise, one of the founders of the present-day Wise Carter firm, dies at age of 92.


Wise Carter opens its Gulf Coast office in Biloxi, Mississippi.


2006

Natie P. Caraway, one of the founders of the present-day Wise Carter firm, dies at the age of 73.


2007

Wise Carter opens its Hattiesburg, Mississippi office.


2011

William O. “Billy” Carter passes away on January 30, 2011, at age of 87.


2013

Wise Carter attorney Debra M. Brown is appointed as a United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi.


2016

Wise Carter expands its Gulf Coast office by welcoming two attorneys with established practices in the Gulf Coast region.


2017

Wise Carter’s expansion of its Gulf Coast office continues, leading it to relocate to the Hancock Bank building in May 2017 in order to accommodate several attorneys with established practices in the Gulf Coast Region.


2017

Wise Carter joins the Two Mississippi Museums Campaign as Bicentennial Benefactor Donors. These new museums, the Museum of Mississippi History and the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum, open in December 2017 in downtown Jackson, Mississippi.


2018

Wise Carter begins its 135th year since its earliest predecessor firm, that of Benjamin Holmes Wells, who began his law practice in 1883.


Present

Wise Carter remains committed to being a Mississippi-based law firm practicing law for the residents and businesses of Mississippi.