Bill Blair graduated from Millsaps College in 1975 with distinction. He received his Juris Doctor from the University of Mississippi in 1978, being awarded the Dean Robert J. Farley Award for graduating first in his law school class. Bill served on the University of Mississippi Law Journal from 1976 to 1978.
He began his legal career in Jackson, Mississippi, when he was admitted to the Mississippi Bar in 1978 and practiced with the law firm of Gerald, Brand, Watters & Cox from 1978 to 1980. From 1980 to 1986, Bill served as V.P. Legal of Callon Petroleum Company, and in 1986, he joined the firm of Ott & Purdy. In 1992, he formed the firm of McDaniel & Blair which later became Blair & Bondurant. He is admitted to practice in all Mississippi State Courts, the U. S. Supreme Court, the U. S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, and the U. S. District Courts for the Northern and Southern Districts of Mississippi.
Bill was born in Quitman, Mississippi, in 1953. He served as President of the Mississippi Oil and Gas Lawyers Association (1988-1989). He has had an AV rating from Martindale-Hubbell for over 25 years. He was selected for induction in “Best Lawyers” in several fields and is a trial lawyer who has tried oil and gas and commercial cases throughout the Gulf Coast region.
Bill heads the firm’s litigation section. He concentrates his practice in the area of complex business and commercial litigation, including anti-trust, energy, environmental, wrongful death, and other general litigation. Bill regularly represents oil and gas companies in Mississippi State Oil and Gas Board regulatory matters as well as Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality issues. He has argued numerous appeals before the U. S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and has tried over fifty matters to judgment. His energy representation has involved a wide range of complex cases, including class action and multi-district litigation and False Claims Act suits. Bill has also served on virtually every ad hoc committee formed by the Mississippi State Oil and Gas Board to study modernization of the conservation rules. Bill represented the State of Mississippi in complex litigation involving antitrust, oil, gas and severance tax issues in the capacity as a Special Assistant Attorney General. In fact, Bill tried and won the landmark case of Pursue Energy vs. Mississippi State Tax Commission, 816 So.2d 385 (Miss. 2002) which established that the Mississippi Attorney General had the constitutional right to employ outside counsel.
“Who Owns the Hole?” SS Landman p.49 (June 2010)
(co-authored with Troy Farrell Odom)