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Courtney Leyes

Partner, Memphis
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Overview

Courtney Leyes is an attorney in the firm’s Memphis, Nashville, and Gulfport offices. She represents employers nationwide, with a particular focus on employers of all sizes in North Mississippi and throughout Tennessee.

Courtney prefers to consider herself as a problem solver first and a lawyer second. In doing so, she values creating synergistic partnerships with each of her clients. She approaches problems based on the client’s needs and with the passion and care as if it were her own organization. In doing so, Courtney works with clients on a number of preventive measures, including policy reviews and implementation, trainings on a variety of issues, including sensitivity training for your LGBTQIA employees, and various HR audits. Unfortunately, not all problems can be resolved on the front end, and sometimes an employee (or former employee) goes outside of the organization to a government agency or the court system to have the dispute resolved. During these times, employers can count on Courtney’s experience in representing employers in litigation related to discrimination and harassment in the workplace and wage and hour issues.

In representing employers, Courtney does not take a “one-size-fits-all” approach. Does the employer want to send a message or want a quick and judicious resolution? Courtney has experience with both as she has federal jury trial experience, having tried and won three employment discrimination cases on behalf of employers who desired to take a stand, and has resolved a number of cases to the satisfaction of the company, in part based on the good relationships Courtney has developed amongst her peers and adversaries. Evidence of this respect for Courtney comes in the form of the prestigious AV Preeminent rating Courtney received from her peers by Martindale-Hubbell – the highest distinction awarded by Martindale-Hubbell as well as being included as a Best Lawyer for 2021. She also has been listed in Mid-South Super Lawyers – Rising Stars since 2014 and was the recipient of the Memphis Business Journal’s 2017 Best of the Bar awards for Ace Associate.

Courtney is a frequent speaker and author on topics including gender diversity in the legal profession and evolving workplace protections of LGBTQIA employees.

Passionate and committed to the advancement of women in both the legal profession and the workplace, Courtney brings this commitment to the firm’s Women’s Initiative and Leadership Council. Additionally, Courtney works to promote female-owned businesses in the Memphis and Nashville communities and female professionals by hosting lunch and learns and other events.

Experience

Reported Cases

  • Beverly Crabb v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc./Sherry Pharr v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., 2012 WL 4092427 (N.D. Miss. Sept.17, 2012) (granting summary judgment in favor of employer as to both plaintiffs’ Section 1981 race and retaliation claims and state law claims).

Honors & Leadership

Honors & Awards

  • Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America (2021)
  • Winner of the Memphis Business Journal's 2017 Best of the Bar awards for Ace Associate
  • Named, Super Lawyer - Mid-South since 2014

Professional Activities

  • Legislative Director, Society for Human Resource Management, Northwest Mississippi Chapter

Community Activities

  • Advisory Team Chairman and Honor Board Adviser for Delta Zeta chapter, Delta Gamma Fraternity (2015-present)
  • Mock Trial Facilitator for Delta Gamma Fraternity’s Living Carefully Program (2015-present)
  • Mewtopia, Volunteer (2013-present)

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