Credit for schools deal shared among all local parties

The schools consolidation settlement deal  the various parties agreed to after three days of mediation sessions really did seem to please all sides. There was genuine appreciation flowing between the attorneys and clients -- and to and from U.S. District Judge Samuel "Hardy" Mays.

We have the attorneys listed in the story, but an error made on deadline -- a faulty cut-and-paste by yours truly -- omitted the Memphis City Schools attorneys Dorsey Hopson (lead counsel on staff) and Mike Marshall and Ernest Kelly (MCS's longtime outside attorneys). So, for the record, here is that passage again.

Memphis City Council member Shea Flinn said many of the various attorneys helped find ways in mediations to build momentum toward an agreement. They included: Dorsey Hopson, Mike Marshall and Ernest Kelly (MCS), Allan Wade and Brandy Parrish (City Council), Leo Bearman and Lori Patterson (County Commission), Larry Giordano (SCS), Scott Bennett and Greg Grisham (SCS board members) and Regina Morrison-Newman (city of Memphis).

"People put down their swords and came up with ideas for how we could make it work," Flinn said. "Nobody is going to be perfectly happy with the agreement because it was a good negotiation."

The end, as we point out in this morning's story, came swiftly -- the previously shut-off courtroom, with papered-over windows, suddenly opened and the few members of the media who were on the 11th floor were invited in. After going through the legal motions and reading the settlement, Mays passed along his appreciation.

It should be noted that those involved, though they were under a gag order, did repeatedly emphasize that Mays was doing everything possible to make a deal happen and thus avoid making a unilateral order on how to reconstitute a suburban-only schools board he had deemed unconstitutional unless it had Memphis representation.

Here are some of my notes on the Mays remarks:
  • He offered thanks "for the diligence and care and patience with which you've approached this matter."
  • He pointed out that, "Most of the decision-makers here actually have other jobs. You've taken time from your jobs and I'm grateful for your participation."
  • Of the lawyers, Mays said: "I want to thank counsel for your professionalism, creativity and flexibility and your many courtesies."
  • Finally, he concluded: "If we haven't solved all the problems, we have solved enough of the problems to move the process along. It will be the beginning of a new process."


Thank you so much for applying time in order to publish “Credit for schools deal shared among all local parties - Eye on Schools Merger”.
Thanks a ton for a second time ,Niamh

Your personal posting, “Credit for schools deal shared among all local parties -
Eye on Schools Merger” was very well worth commenting on!
Only needed to say u did a superb work. Thanks a lot ,Sherry

Leave a comment

Type the characters you see in the picture above.

  • About

As the process for merging Shelby County's schools accelerates into action, we'll provide bonus coverage here at, with a particular focus on the 21-member transition team and the 23-member unified school board. Comment early and often. If you have any tips or suggestions you wish to share, contact Zack McMillin at or 529-2564.

  • Zack McMillin on Twitter