Jefferson D. Gilder was admitted to the Mississippi and Tennessee Bars in 1990. Mr. Gilder is admitted to practice in all courts in Mississippi and Tennessee including Federal Court, the Fifth and Sixth Circuit Courts of Appeal, and the United States Supreme Court. Mr. Gilder’s areas of practice include personal injury, criminal, medical malpractice, civil rights, and product liability. Mr. Gilder spent his first ten years as an attorney practicing with his father, Robert G. (Bob) Gilder, at Gilder Law Firm in Southaven, Mississippi before forming Gilder, Howell & Assoc., P.A. with Jamie W. Howell, Jr. in June of 2000. This firm although as another legal entity has now combined their resources and experience with Chatham – Pittman, to form Chatham Gilder Howell Pittman.

Mr. Gilder was born on July 19, 1966, in Vardaman, Calhoun County, Mississippi to Bob and Barbara (Gibson) Gilder. He and his wife, Caroline Reese Gilder, have been married over 25 years and have two daughters, Suzannah and Josephine. Mr. Gilder is a member of the Orchard Church, where he has served one year as a deacon and will have served four years as an elder at the end of 2018. Golf, Ole Miss football, family, and church fill Mr. Gilder’s time outside the office.

Mr. Gilder’s nickname is Bruiser. The character Rudy from The Rainmaker is believed to be loosely based on Mr. Gilder and a case he handled for a client who was referred to him by John Grisham. The defendants, in that case, were a sham agency and a life insurance company that sold accidental health insurance. Mr. Grisham chose Jefferson’s nickname, a name he was known by in the local bar association, for another character in the novel.

Bar Admissions
  • Tennessee, 1990
  • Mississippi, 1990
  • U.S. District Court Northern District of Mississippi
  • U.S. District Court Southern District of Mississippi
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of Tennessee
  • U.S. District Court Middle District of Tennessee
  • U.S. District Court Western District of Tennessee
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 5th Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 6th Circuit
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • University of Mississippi School of Law, Oxford, Mississippi
    • J.D. – 1990
  • University of Mississippi
    • B.A. magna cum laude – 1987
    • Honors: Member, Phi Kappa Phi
    • Major: Accountancy
    • Beta Alpha Psi, Treasurer

Mr. Gilder received his Juris Doctorate in 1990 and his Bachelor of Arts degree in Accountancy in 1987 from the University of Mississippi where he was a member of Phi Kappa Phi and graduated Magna Cum Laude. He graduated from high school at Memphis Preparatory School in Memphis, Tennessee in 1984 as Salutatorian. He had previously attended Whitehaven High School.

Honors and Awards
  • Super Lawyers 2021
  • National Trial Lawyers Top 100 Trial Lawyers 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
  • The Million Dollar Advocates Forum
  • Top 100, Society of Legal Advocates 2013, 2014
  • American Institute of Personal Injury Attorneys – 10 Best, Client Satisfaction Award 2014
Professional Associations and Memberships
  • American Association for Justice (AAJ), Member
  • Mississippi Association for Justice (MAJ), Member
  • Tennessee Trial Lawyers Association
  • Mississippi Bar Association, Member
  • Tennessee Bar Association, Member
  • DeSoto County Bar Association, Member
  • American Bar Association
  • Board of Directors at the Orchard Church, Member
  • Chair and Member of the Finance Team of the elders for 2 years
  • Community Group, Leader
  • 5 Bible Study Groups, Leader