Fees Drained Rosa Parks' Estate, Lawyer Says
A lawyer involved in a long-running dispute over Rosa Parks' estate is outraged that a judge allowed two other attorneys to accumulate fees eating away close to two-thirds of the estate's $372,000 cash value, the Associated Press reports.
Steven Cohen, who represents Parks' caretaker Elaine Steele and the Rosa and Raymond Parks Institute for Self Development, detailed the financial condition of Parks' estate in a recent filing with the Michigan Supreme Court.
"Since Mrs. Parks' death ... the court system of her adopted city has embarked on a course to destroy her legacy, bankrupt her institute, shred her estate plan and steal her very name," Cohen said in the filing.
He accuses Wayne County Probate Judge Freddie Burton Jr. of allowing lawyers John Chase Jr. and Melvin Jefferson Jr. to collect fees that drained nearly $243,000 from the estate.
Parks left almost everything she had to the institute, which was founded to teach young people leadership and character development. The court battle that racked up all the fees involves Parks' relatives and what share of Parks' estate they should get.
Parks, of course, was arrested in 1955 for refusing to give up her seat on a Montgomery, Ala., bus to a white man, and died at the age of 92. This unfortunate fight over lawyers' fees isn't exactly the type of precedent-setting legal dispute that honors her memory.
Read more at the Associated Press.
In other news: Mary J. on Sexual Abuse: It Followed Me All My Life.