Jessica Banahan McNeel

Member – Paralegal

jessica_banahan_mcneelJessica McNeel concentrates her practice on civil litigation, including the defense of medical and dental malpractice, personal injury, wrongful death, premises liability, and insurance coverage lawsuits. Jessica also has experience defending civil RICO, anti-trust, fraud, defamation, and tortious interference claims. She has tried twenty-three jury trials and ten bench trials throughout Mississippi since graduating from law school in 2007. Jessica has also successfully handled appeals before the Mississippi Supreme Court and the Court of Appeals.

Jessica recently completed a three year term on the Alumni Board of Directors for the University of Mississippi School of Law.  She currently serves on the Board of Directors for First United Methodist Church Childcare Learning Center.  Jessica is an outgoing Chair of Jackson County Civic Action Committee and is a former United Way of Jackson and George Counties board member. In addition, she is active in the Rotary Club of Pascagoula, having served as President and, currently, serving as Scholarship Chair.  Jessica is a Life Member of Junior Auxiliary of Ocean Springs/Biloxi. Jessica has been named a Mid-South Rising Star in Personal Injury Defense: Medical Malpractice every year since 2013.  In 2016, Jessica was named to the 50 Leading Business Women in Mississippi by the Mississippi Business Journal and was selected as a Finalist.  Jessica and her husband, Taylor, have two children, Mollie and John Taylor. They attend First Presbyterian Church of Pascagoula.

Jessica received her J.D., cum laude, from the University of Mississippi School of Law, where she was a member of the Moot Court Board.  While in law school, Jessica was the winner of the Moot Court Board’s Trial Advocacy Competition and was a recipient of the Campbell, DeLong scholarship.  She received a B.A. from the University of Mississippi, magna cum laude, in Political Science and English.

Practice Areas

Representative Matters

Obtained a Defense Verdict, along with John A. Banahan, in a malpractice case against a general dentist.  The Plaintiff in the case alleged that the dentist breached the minimal duty of reasonable care and was negligent when a needle fractured and became retained following the administration of an inferior aveolar nerve block.

Obtained a Defense Verdict, along with John A. Banahan, in a medical malpractice case brought against an obstetrician, wherein the Plaintiff claim that the Defendant physician performed an unnecessary hysterectomy.

Received a Directed Verdict on behalf of a general dentist at the conclusion of Plaintiff’s case in chief, wherein Plaintiff failed to prove that a needle was retained during an inferior alveolar nerve block performed by the Defendant prior to performing extractions.

Obtained a Defense Verdict, along with John A. Banahan, in a suit brought against a general surgeon. The Plaintiff in the case alleged that the physician breached the minimum duty of reasonable care and was negligent in the performance of a medical procedure on the Plaintiff wherein a laparotomy pad was retained.

Obtained a Defense Verdict on behalf of a physician where the Plaintiff alleged the physician breached the minimum duty of reasonable care and was negligent in failing to recognize an intimal tear of the Plaintiff’s popliteal artery in the emergency department. Following a week long trial, the jury returned a unanimous verdict in favor of the physician.

Obtained a Defense Verdict in an automobile case where the Plaintiff, a pedestrian, was struck by the Defendant’s automobile while crossing a state highway.

Obtained a Defense Verdict in an automobile case where the Defendant admitted liability for the accident but contested the fact that the Plaintiff’s alleged injuries were caused by the accident.

Obtained a dismissal on behalf of a telecommunications company in a suit brought by a Plaintiff alleging property damage to his vehicle was caused by a low cable.

Obtained Summary Judgment on behalf of a major insurance company on a fraud claim brought by an automobile repair facility.

Obtained a reversal in favor of the taxpayer/boat owner from the MS Supreme Court from the Chancery Court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of The Mississippi Department of Revenue in a case involving the applicability of use tax.


  • Mississippi (2007)
  • United States District Courts of Mississippi (2007)
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit (2007)


  • B.A., Political Science and English, University of Mississippi, 2004 magna cum laude
  • J.D., University of Mississippi, 2007 cum laude


  • Should the Court strictly enforce Miss. Code Ann. § 11-1-58? Mississippi Review of First Impressions, 2007.

Community and Professional Involvement

  • University of Mississippi School of Law, Alumni Board of Directors (2016-2019)
  • Rotary Club of Pascagoula
    • President (July 2016-June 2017)
    • Vice President / Programs Chair
    • President – Elect (July 2015-June 2016)
    • Scholarship Chair (2011–2015 and 2017-Current)
  • Jackson County Civic Action Committee
    • Chair (2011-2012)
    • Board of Directors (2008-2012)
  • United Way of Jackson and George Counties, Board of Directors (2011-2014)
  • Leadership Jackson County, Class of 2009
  • Order of Barristers, University of Mississippi School of Law
  • Mississippi Defense Lawyers Association
  • Defense Research Institute
  • Mississippi Bar Association
  • Jackson County Bar Association
  • Jackson County Young Lawyers
  • Habitat for Humanity
    • Women’s Build 2015
    • Jackson County Women’s Build Co-Chair 2018
  • Beach Elementary School
    • PTSO Board of Directors 
    • PTSO Present (2017-Current)
    • Beach Elementary School Parent of the Year (2018)
  • Singing River Yacht Club, Board of Directors (2019-Current)
  • American Board of Trial Advocates (2018-Current)
  • First United Methodist Church Child Learning Center, Board of Directors (2012-Current)
  • General Counsel for Jackson County Port Authority (2018-Current)
  • Mississippi Bar Associates Ethics Committee (2018-Current)
  • Mississippi Defense Lawyer Association 
  • University of MS School of Law, Bessie Young Council, Board of Directors

Honors and Awards

  • Mid-South Rising Star: Medical Malpractice Defense
  • South MS Business Journal: 50 Leading Business Women (2016)
    • Finalist


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