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Farese, Farese & Farese, P.A.

published May 14, 2007

By Author - LawCrossing
Published By
( 69 votes, average: 4.7 out of 5)
What do you think about this article? Rate it using the stars above and let us know what you think in the comments below.
<<What's the first point of interest an inquirer will gather about the tiny town of Ashland, Mississippi? With a population of less than a thousand, one wouldn't expect too much, yet the town is home to one of the most acclaimed and reputable law firms in the Mid-South of the United States. Farese, Farese & Farese, P.A., Attorneys at Law, has far exceeded the city limits of its tiny home, protecting the civil rights and liberties of its clients since 1939.

The founder, known as "Big" John Farese, the son of an Italian immigrant, and a college football star who paid his way through law school in part via competitive boxing, opened his first one-room law office in a space for which he paid two dollars in rent. By the late 40s, he and his wife were the first married couple to simultaneously serve in the Mississippi legislature. They served for just over a decade before their dedication to equality on the frontier of the civil rights movement, specifically their disagreement with segregation, brought about their defeat in the 1959 elections.


Today, the Farese firm, where six of the seven practicing attorneys are Fareses, practices in a 12,000-square-foot space and handles some of the most high-profile criminal cases in the country. The firm's (and the family's) penchant for protecting individuals' rights has not been diluted. It handles cases involving criminal defense, domestic relations, guardianship, plaintiff medical malpractice, unemployment benefits, workers' compensation, and plaintiff personal injury, among others.

The firm's reputation and impact on law are distinctive. It was responsible for the development of a child-visitation plan to ensure fair quantities of visitation for non-custodial parents that most of the state of Mississippi has adopted. The Fareses were also the driving force in a 1991 decision by the Mississippi Supreme Court to strike down a law that, since the state's inception, had indicated that spouses could not sue one another for personal injuries. This landmark decision enabled victims of spousal abuse (accidental and intentional) as well as neglected children to rightfully recover for injuries.

The firm has been sought after for many high-profile criminal cases due to its high success rate. Steve Farese, one of the attorneys as well as a son of the late "Big" John, has been voted one of the "Best Lawyers in America" by the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers for the past 10 years.

Criminal homicide cases handled by the firm have included the Mary Winkler case, in which a woman was accused of killing her minister husband; the Howard Michael Mullins case, in which a FedEx pilot was accused of beating his wife to death before burning her body; and one named after the Natural Born Killers movie (the film was implicated as an influencing factor in teenager Sarah Edmondson's decision to kill a convenience store clerk). Edmondson was granted immunity from prosecution; Mullins was acquitted; and Winkler's trial returned a verdict of voluntary manslaughter. The cases have been accompanied by media attention ranging from coverage by Court TV to interviews with Vanity Fair and spots on Larry King Live and Good Morning America.

The Farese firm's success may largely be a product of its partners' scrupulous attention to detail. Its official website dictates "The Role of the Legal Investigator in the Defense of Capital/Violent Crimes" as follows: "The legal investigator should be a 'sponge' and absorb everything pertaining to the case." And for what ends? "[P]rofessional, businesslike, methodical, and thorough work ethic is required because someone else's life is resting in the balance."

published May 14, 2007

By Author - LawCrossing
( 69 votes, average: 4.7 out of 5)
What do you think about this article? Rate it using the stars above and let us know what you think in the comments below.